NC-02: Roche calls for grassroots unity in fight against Ellmers, GOP establishment


Raleigh-area radio personality and GOP congressional candidate Frank Roche admits he’s had a rough relationship in recent years with libertarians, Ron Paul supporters, and some Tea Party groups.  Roche released an audio-visual presentation on YouTube this week that includes an apology, a clarification, and a call for unity among free-marketeers as the elections approach:

[…] “The premise of this idea was to try and come to terms with the libertarian groups in the district — Ron Paul Republicans — anti-fed conservatives — so that coming forward in 2014, when we challenge an incumbent Republican for an important race,we can come together and not oppose each other — recognizing that we share a vasty majority of common ground with only a little bit of difference on the margins — and that we can come to terms with those differences over time in the future by continued conversation and me listening.” […]

The remarks on the video were delivered at a December 21 campaign event.  On the video, Roche speaks to two videos that have caused him some grief.  One video — from a 2010 NC-04 GOP candidates forum — has been dogging Roche.  Libertarians had been hitting him for some comments he made on that tape regarding inflation.  In this current video, Roche clarifies the statements he made on that 2010 video:

[…] I made the statement ‘Inflation is a good thing.’ My only mistake there was not qualifying my remarks. […] What I have been saying is target a level somewhere between zero and one and a half percent. That’s an appropriate level to target as an economy.  You can’t target zero — because we’re not perfect.  Below zero gives you deflation. […] Targeting something just above zero gives you something to grease the wheels of the economy.” […]

Roche identified one area of agreement on fiscal policy he has with the libertarians — the Federal Reserve’s Quantitative Easing policy:

[…] “That is the printing of money — four trillion dollars. We can stop that. […] We can eliminate the dual mandate of the federal reserve.”

The candidate pointed out that the Congress gave the Fed the responsibility in the 1970s to ensure the ideal of “full employment,” in addition to its other responsibility of ensuring “price stability.”

“The Fed is legally compelled to keep its foot on the pedal, to keep printing all that money. […] We could vote to change that. Return the Fed to its single mandate to keep stable prices. […] The next day, the Fed could take its foot off the pedal and stop buying all of those treasuries and mortgage-backed securities.” […]

Roche also addresses a viral video portraying a verbal dust-up he had during the 2012 campaign with libertarian blogger Adam Kokesh:

[..] I was — to put it short and simple — a pompous ass. And I need to apologize to those people who were offended by my behavior in that video. I was unprofessional.  I was disrespectful, and I lost my composure.  It was a learning curve for me. It was one of my first experiences with a tough interview situation, and I failed it. I will not make that mistake again.” […]

(Roche ran for state treasurer in the 2012 primaries.)