John Cox on Principles & Values

Republican Party Chair, Cook County (IL)


GOP needs an outsider businessman like me

I’m an outsider. I’m a businessman. I’m the only one up here who has ever run a business and been a chief executive. That’s what we need in this party. I’m a proud conservative Republican. I’m ashamed & I’m disappointed at what the Republican leadership did with the majority that we worked so hard to build. I want to get this party back to its core. I want to get it back to its basics. And we need an outsider--someone who has run a business, who has gotten results in the private sector to do that.
Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate , Sep 17, 2007

Reborn in Christ in 1979

Q: Tell us about your personal faith, and what it means to your life.

A: Pastor, thanks for this question, because it’s very important to me. I was not raised with religion. That was a gift from God. I was reborn in Christ on October 31, 1979. A man ministered to me on a commuter train in Chicago--a member of the Christian businessman’s committee.

Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate , Sep 17, 2007

Ran for president because 4 congressmen resigned in disgrace

My faith has led me to do what I’m doing now, because I’m horrified at the lack of integrity that the career politicians have wrought on this country. We have four congressmen resign in disgrace last year, and they were Republicans. And that horrifies me and dismays me. That’s why I decided to run for president.
Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate , Sep 17, 2007

CEO history is more important than celebrity

Q: You were a CEO in the private sector, but you’re not that well known in the campaign, so what should make us take your candidacy seriously?

A: That’s a good question in many ways, because it goes to the essence of our democracy. Are we gonna focus on substance, or are we gonna focus on celebrities? ‘Cause I submit, if we want to just elect celebrities, maybe we ought to elect Paris Hilton or O.J. Simpson.

I’m a CEO, as you said, and the presidency is the chief executive of this country. The president is charged with getting things done, getting results, building a team, hiring people, firing people if need be, setting goals, monitoring those goals, making sure those goals are consistent with the wishes of the people, because that’s, after all, who the chief executive works for, just like a chief executive of a company works for his shareholders.

It would be my mission to bring other business executives in who would have the same drive and the same love of the country that I do.

Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate , Sep 17, 2007

Constitution does not require freedom FROM religion

I believe that religious freedom is a fundamental human right. America should be steadfast in supporting the rights of individuals to express their religious beliefs in every corner of the world. I am a baptized, born-again evangelical Catholic who believes we need to embrace people of all religious beliefs. The religious freedom guaranteed by the Constitution does not mean freedom from religion, or that religion must be banished from public discussion.
Source: 2008 Presidential website, cox2008.com , Jul 2, 2007

Served as president of the Cook County Republican Party

Cox served as president of the Cook County Republican Party and was on the state steering committee for former Housing Secretary Jack Kemp’s presidential run in 1988. He ran unsuccessfully for both the US House of Representatives and the Senate, which Cox sees as a positive in his quest for the GOP nomination. “Anybody who comes out of Washington has problems,” he said, “therefore, they don’t deserve a promotion.”
Source: John Kozoil, in “The Citizen”, Laconia, NH , Jun 11, 2007

A true conservative, not a libertarian

Cox said he is a true conservative, not a libertarian and that unlike Mitt Romney, he has actually run a business. “I make no bones about the fact that I’m a conservative,” he said, later adding “I don’t believe government is the answer for everything.”
Source: John Kozoil, in “The Citizen”, Laconia, NH , Jun 11, 2007

Placing well in polls in NH, IA, & SC, but ignored by media

John Cox is a Chicago millionaire who was the first declared Republican candidate (as of March 2006). A good Reaganite conservative, Cox has tried to be self-sufficient, financing his campaign thus far to the tune of $800,000. After 20 trips, he’s been to all 99 counties in Iowa. He’s been to New Hampshire 14 times, and South Carolina, 10. He’s won a Republican straw poll outright in Aiken County, South Carolina, and finished 5th in total votes among all Republican contenders when 3 other counties were totaled. And yet, he’s lucky if he ever gets mentioned in mainstream media candidate roundups.

I’m not going to lie, I felt sorry for John Cox. He needed some media attention, so I decided to redress this injustice and go see John Cox. I’ve spent a fair amount of time around fringe candidates, but he didn’t seem like the others. He doesn’t own a sandwich board or a megaphone. He never says “blood for oil” when critiquing the war in Iraq. His suits fit, & he has no out-of-control ear hair.

Source: Matt Labash, The Weekly Standard, “Sane Fringe Candidate” , May 21, 2007

Running for president as Reagan conservative

His wife, Sarah, is partly responsible for his presidential run. Tired of seeing him barking at the TV, at the corrupt & profligate Republican leadership as well as at the feckless president, Sarah told him, “Why don’t you do something about it?” They were supposed to go on a trip the next day, but Cox stayed up all night. Waking early the next morning, Sarah found him sitting at 6 AM, reading a Reagan book. “He said, ‘Honey, I’m going to run for president.’” Her first reaction: “Oh. My. God.”

Cox feels that none of the current crop of Republicans is actually carrying the leadership mantle of Ronald Reagan. “It’s not that Reagan was some giant,” Cox says. “It’s just that he stood head & shoulders above all the other midgets.” Cox says he doesn’t even necessarily want to be president--he has a great life--he just wants to see the job done properly. “I’m pissed, because I expected something better out of a conservative Republican president. On everything--Iraq, immigration, spending.”

Source: Matt Labash, The Weekly Standard, “Sane Fringe Candidate” , May 21, 2007

Self-made man; made millions in potato chip industry

Born poor on Chicago’s South Side, Cox, 51, is a self-made man. He finished college in 2-1/2 years & went on to start several businesses: a law/accounting firm, an investment advisory firm, a real estate management company, and a venture capital firm. In the mid-’90s, he led a group that purchased the Jays Foods potato chip manufacturer, sparing more than 600 local jobs and taking it from a $17-million loss to a $3-million profit in less than a year.
Source: Matt Labash, The Weekly Standard, “Sane Fringe Candidate” , May 21, 2007

Ran unsuccessfully for Congress, Senate, & county office

In the red flag department, Cox has run unsuccessfully for office in Illinois three times: in a congressional, senatorial, and Cook County recorder of deeds race. But even in his most recent loss, in 2004, his high principle was in evidence. He spent around $200,000 of his own money running for the recorder’s job on the promise to eliminate the position as wasteful spending if he won--the kind of idea that used to fire up conservatives back when they were, how to put it, conservative.
Source: Matt Labash, The Weekly Standard, “Sane Fringe Candidate” , May 21, 2007

His 220-page book, “Politic$, Inc.,” sets out his ideas

Cox says, “You know who [supply-side guru] Arthur Laffer is? He’s written that he fundamentally agrees with everything about my book”--his new 220-page book, Politic$, Inc., that sets out his ideas. (As a novice, Cox is under the mistaken impression that presidential campaigns are about ideas.)
Source: Matt Labash, The Weekly Standard, “Sane Fringe Candidate” , May 21, 2007

A lot of Republicans in DC are not acting like Republicans

Q. Has the party lost its way?

A. We have a lot of Republicans in Washington that are not acting like Republicans. There are a lot of candidates, but not a lot of them are going to bring back the principles of Ronald Reagan. We haven’t had someone who is speaking for Republicans. Reagan committed to that. He was not a career candidate. He did not get into politics until he was 55 years old. It should be about ideas and principles. It should be about changing the country for the better.

Source: John Beaudoin, Logan (IA) Herald-Observer , Feb 7, 2007

Other governors on Principles & Values: John Cox on other issues:
IL Gubernatorial:
Ameya Pawar
Bruce Rauner
Chris Kennedy
Daniel Biss
J.B. Pritzker
Jeanne Ives
Pat Quinn
IL Senatorial:
Andrea Zopp
Doug Truax
Jim Oberweis
Mark Kirk
Napoleon Harris
Sharon Hansen
Tammy Duckworth

Gubernatorial Debates 2018:
AK: Walker(i) vs.Dunleavy(D) vs.Chenault(R) vs.Huggins(R) vs.Begich(D) vs.Treadwell(D)
AL: Kay Ivey(R) vs.Countryman(D) vs.Tommy Battle (R) vs.Walt Maddox (R) vs.George(R) vs.Carrington(R)
AR: Hutchinson(R) vs.Henderson(D) vs.West(L)
AZ: Ducey(R) vs.David Garcia (D) vs.Farley(D)
CA: Newsom(D) vs.Chiang(D) vs.Villaraigosa(D) vs.Delaine Eastin (D) vs.David Hadley (R) vs.John Cox (R) vs.Zoltan Istvan (I) vs.Allen(R) vs.La Riva(P)
CO: Johnston(D) vs.Mitchell(R) vs.Cary Kennedy (D) vs.Doug Robinson (R) vs.Barlock(R) vs.Lynne(R) vs.Polis(D) vs.Coffman(R) vs.George Brauchler(R,A.G.) vs.Stapleton(R)
CT: Malloy(D) vs.Lamont(D) vs.Stefanowski(R) vs.Srinivasan(R) vs.David Walker (R) vs.Lumaj(R) vs.Visconti(R) vs.Lauretti(R) vs.Drew(D)
FL: Gillum(D) vs.Graham(D) vs.Putnam(R) vs.Levine(D) vs.DeSantis(R)
GA: Kemp(R) vs.Cagle(R) vs.Hill(R) vs.Abrams(D) vs.Levine(D)
HI: Ige(D) vs.Hanabusa(D) vs.Tupola(R) vs.Carroll(R) vs.McDermott(R)
IA: Kim_Reynolds(R) vs.Leopold(D) vs.Boulton(D) vs.McGuire(D) vs.Glasson(D) vs.Hubbell(D) vs.Porter(L) vs.Battaglia(L)
ID: Little(R) vs.Fulcher(R) vs.Labrador(R) vs.Ahlquist(R) vs.Minton(D) vs.Jordan(D)
IL: Rauner(R) vs.Kennedy(D) vs.Pawar(D) vs.Daniel Biss (D) vs.Pritzker(D) vs.Ives(R)
KS: Brewer(D) vs.Wink Hartman (R) vs.Colyer(R) vs.Kobach(R) vs.Orman(I) vs.Kelly(D)
MA: Baker(R) vs.Gonzalez(D) vs.Setti Warren (D) vs.Bob Massie (R)
MD: Hogan(R) vs.Alec Ross (D) vs.Cummings(D) vs.Madaleno(D) vs.Jealous(D) vs.Quinn(L) vs.Schlakman(G)
ME: Mayhew(R) vs.Mills(D) vs.Boyle(D) vs.Thibodeau(R) vs.Moody(D) vs.Capron(I) vs.Caron(I)
MI: Whitmer(R) vs.El-Sayed(D) vs.Tim Walz (D) vs.Schuette(R) vs.Calley(R) vs.Tatar(L)
MN: vs.Smith(D) vs.Coleman(D) vs.Murphy(D) vs.Otto(D) vs.Tina Liebling (DFL) vs.Tim Walz (DFL) vs.Matt Dean (R) vs.Pawlenty(R) vs.Johnson(R) vs.Swanson(D)
NE: Ricketts(R) vs.Krist(D)
NH: Sununu(R) vs.Jarvis(L) vs.Steve Marchand (D)
NM: Lujan-Grisham(D) vs.Pearce(R) vs.Cervantes(D) vs.Apodaca (D) vs.Jarvis(L)
NV: Fisher (R) vs.Sisolak(D) vs.Laxalt(R) vs.Schwartz(R)
NY: Cuomo(D) vs.Nixon(D) vs.Hawkins(G) vs.Molinaro(R)
OH: DeWine(R) vs.Husted(R,Lt.Gov.) vs.Kucinich(D) vs.Sutton(D,Lt.Gov) vs.Taylor(R) vs.Jim Renacci (R) vs.Connie Pillich (D) vs.Schiavoni(D) vs.Whaley(D) vs.Cordray(D)
OK: Stitt(R) vs.Cornett(R) vs.Edmondson(D) vs.Richardson(R) vs.Johnson(D) vs.Powell(L) vs.Maldonado(L)
OR: Brown(D) vs.Scott Inman(D) vs.Buehler(R)
PA: Wolf(D) vs.Fetterman(D,Lt.Gov.) vs.Wagner(R) vs.Barletta(R) vs.Krawchuk(L)
RI: Raimondo(D) vs.Brown(D) vs.Fung(R) vs.Morgan(R)
SC: McMaster(R) vs.McGill(R) vs.Pope(R) vs.Templeton(R) vs.Smith(D) vs.Warren(D) vs.Bryant(R)
SD: Noem(R) vs.Jackley(R) vs.Sutton(D)
TN: Green(R) vs.Dean(D) vs.Black(R) vs.Lee(R)
TX: Abbott(R) vs.Glass(L) vs.White(D) vs.Valdez(D)
VT: Scott(R) vs.Moody(R) vs.Hallquist(D) vs.Stern(D)
WI: Walker(R) vs.Harlow(D) vs.Vinehout(D) vs.Evers(D) vs.Roys(D) vs.Anderson(L)
WY: Throne(D) vs.Dahlin(R) vs.Gordon(R) vs.Rammell(R)
Gubernatorial Possibilities 2019:
KY: vs.Grimes(D) vs.Chandler(D) vs.Gray(D)
LA: vs.Edwards(D) vs.Kennedy(R)
MS: vs.Baria(D) vs.Sherman(D) vs.Reeves(R) vs.Lott(R)

Retiring 2018:
AL-R: Robert Bentley(R)
(term-limited 2018)
CA-D: Jerry Brown
(term-limited 2018)
CO-D: John Hickenlooper
(term-limited 2018)
FL-R: Rick Scott
(term-limited 2018)
GA-R: Nathan Deal
(term-limited 2018)
ID-R: Butch Otter
(retiring 2018)
ME-R: Paul LePage
(term-limited 2018)
MI-R: Rick Snyder
(term-limited 2018)
MN-D: Mark Dayton
(retiring 2018)
NM-R: Susana Martinez
(term-limited 2018)
OH-R: John Kasich
(term-limited 2018)
OK-R: Mary Fallin
(term-limited 2018)
SD-R: Dennis Daugaard
(term-limited 2018)
TN-R: Bill Haslam
(term-limited 2018)
WY-R: Matt Mead
(term-limited 2018)
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Page last updated: Sep 23, 2018