May 4, 2016 | by Steve Lawrence

“It’s Up to You”

GOP leader challenges metals industry’s top executives to step up.

Former Senator, Republican Party Chairman, U.S. Trade Representative and Labor Secretary Bill Brock says one way to heal this country’s political divisions and get the economy moving again is for metals industry leaders to step up.

The GOP statesman was the opening keynote speaker in a “fireside chat” with MSCI President and CEO M. Robert Weidner, III, at the Metals Service Center Institutes’ Annual Meeting at the Grand America Hotel, April 30 to May 2. “You’ve got to work with your Congressional representatives to open things up,” Brock told the MSCI audience. You need to know the members of Congress in your district, so you can call them or walk into their office and explain your problems.”

Brock noted that when he was in Washington, “we were a community of people who believed in this country and worked hard to get things done. Now, we are not talking to each other anymore,” he said.

“Maybe you can help get a democrat and a republican in your area to meet and come to grips with one of the real problems you are having,” Brock said. “They need your help, they can’t do it by themselves.”

The former GOP chairman lamented that “my party is being gutted right now and it will likely take two or three more years to put it back together.” Speaking before the Indiana primary May 3, the former senator said he expected Donald Trump to take that race, “and the odds are pretty good” that he will win the Republican presidential nomination on the first convention ballot. Still, he said, he would like to see a contested convention so another candidate can emerge.

On other issues, Brock said he thought it was “bad policy and bad politics” for Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell to refuse to move on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. He said that Merrick Garland, a moderate, “is probably the best we are going to get” considering the political climate.

He said Hillary Clinton might be able to move to more centrist positions once she gets her party’s nomination. “We’ll likely be able to tell by who she picks as her running mate,” Brock said. “Isn’t it unbelievable,” the veteran politician concluded, “that in this country today we are being asked to choose between two of the most unpopular politicians in the land?” 

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