Republican U.S. Senate primary is hurdle number one for the candidates that want the job currently held by Tim Johnson.  Former Governor Mike Rounds takes aim at the Affordable Care Act, the Department of Education and the National Debt during a 20-minute session on KSOO’s Viewpoint University.

Host Rick Knobe set the tone early in the conversation by quizzing Rounds on the motivation for repealing the ACA.  “We think it’s too important to have (the health care system) destroyed.”  To fund the mechanisms within the law, Rounds charges that Medicare is being ransacked.  “They’re taking money out of the Medicare Trust Fund using (the money) in a way that was not intended (to be used).  This fund will be broke in the year 2026.  Plus between the year 2012 and the year 2021, they are diverting over $700 billion out of the fund.”

Moving on toward government agencies Rounds feels the Department of Education should be on area of necessary cutbacks.  “The federal Department of Education does not teach any kids.  What they do is come out with onerous new regulations and rules that they want local school boards to impose.”  Rounds feels the regulatory nature of the Department has hijacked Common Core.  “Common Core came from the National Governor’s Association.  Forty-five states started Common Core to get away from (federal influences).  I just saw a brochure where folks at the federal level tried to usurp and add items in as if they were part of the (process).  Common Core was never intended to be what it is now.”

Of course eliminating federal departments would go a long way toward reeling in a massive national debt.  Rounds would support a carefully-worded Constitutional Amendment to that effect.  However, the people should be ready to be affected by a smaller government.  “People across this country should expect that the Federal Government will begin the process of balancing their budget.  It’s not easy and every single Congress should be held accountable for it.”

Rounds is in the race for the Republican nomination with Dr. Annette Bosworth, rancher Larry Rhoden, former solder and current lawyer Jason Ravenborg and former solder and NCIS investigator Stace Nelson.

The entire interview is contained below.

Rounds contends that the Affordable Care Act is a disaster.

Department of Education on the chopping block.

Federal government should live within its means.