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Boyd: Trump tariffs 'not good' for Tennessee

Hank Hayes • Jun 18, 2018 at 9:45 PM

KINGSPORT — Tennessee Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Boyd said Monday it’s his job to support President Trump, but he called Trump’s tariffs on imports “not good” for the Volunteer State.

“As governor, I would go up and make our case as best I can,” Boyd said during a stop on his 95-county bus tour at the Hawkins County Courthouse. “ ... It’s hurting our soybean farmers. It’s hurting our steel fabricators. I’m going to make that argument. He’s going to hear the voices of Tennessee. At the end of the day, the president is going to make the decision for what he thinks is best for all America.”

Boyd, who has compared himself to Trump in a TV ad, also stumped at the Kingsport Carousel, where he described his interaction with Pal’s Sudden Service founder Pal Barger.

“As governor, I would learn from Pal and take his example in state government,” he told supporters. “I would bring simplicity to government.”

Boyd has been endorsed by Kingsport Mayor John Clark and state Sen. Jon Lundberg, R-Bristol.

During the Rogersville stop, Boyd addressed these questions:

Do you support President Trump’s zero tolerance policy at the U.S.-Mexico border?

“I think the president and Congress need to come up with an immigration plan. I know there is a lot of initiatives the president has recommended. I’m very frustrated just like the entire country is, and the president is on Congress about not doing their job. … As governor, I’m going to be enforcing the laws of the land.”

What is the state’s role in illegal immigration?

“The state’s role is to enforce the law of the federal government. We don’t make the laws. Our job is to enforce the laws. … Our immigration system is broken, and we’re waiting on Congress to do their job.”

What will be the Trump effect in this GOP primary race?

“I’m not sure I spend a lot of time thinking about that. What I want to do is focus on the things the state of Tennessee needs to work on, and that’s better opportunities for education, better opportunities for jobs and making sure we’re not leaving our cities and communities behind.”

You’ve said you would balance the state’s budget, but the state constitution requires a balanced budget. Do you think the majority of Tennesseans don’t know this?

“I would hope Tennesseans do realize we have to balance our budget. One of my opponents hasn’t balanced a budget (he was probably referring to U.S. Rep. Diane Black).”

Boyd’s main opponents in the August Republican primary include Black, House Speaker Beth Harwell and Williamson County businessman Bill Lee.

Boyd is the founder and chairman of Radio Systems Corporation, which is headquartered in Knoxville. First started out of the back of Boyd’s van, the company today produces more than 4,600 pet products under brand names such as Invisible Fence, PetSafe, and SportDOG, with more than 700 employees and annual revenues of $400 million.

Boyd previously served in Gov. Bill Haslam’s cabinet as the state Commissioner of Economic and Community Development. Earlier, while serving as the governor’s special advisor on higher education, Boyd was the architect of the state’s Drive to 55 workforce development initiative and the tnAchieves and Tennessee Promise scholarship programs to help more young people go to technical or community college tuition-free.

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