In a presidential election year, the importance of learning where the candidates stand on the issues is critical for the decisions voters will have to make come Election Day. Voters want to know where Barack Obama and Mitt Romney stand on the economy, jobs, taxes, and healthcare et al.
Of course, the candidates offer differing views on these topics, but there’s at least one issue the Democrat and Republican agree on: The value of recreational fishing. On that, they’re in the same boat.
Now, you might laugh, but there are important issues facing recreational fishermen and, thanks to KeepAmericaFishing, the voice of the nation’s 60 million fishermen, we learn where the two candidates stand on those matters. Not surprisingly, the two candidates have different takes, but when asked to share their angling experiences, that’s where they agree about the importance of angling.
To be fair, since we were unable to obtain a photo of Romney fishing, we’ll allow him to go first:
“Growing up in Michigan, fishing was a prominent pastime in the area, and I truly understand the valuable role recreational fishermen play both in our economy and our environment. As a boy, I fished with my dad, and in recent years, I went fishing in Alaska with my son Matt. Though my schedule makes these types of trips rarer than I would like, I realize that fishing is one of America’s great opportunities to connect with family, friends, and nature. As president, those in my administration will work with fishermen to protect this great American heritage. I gained a better understanding of the concerns and motivations of fishermen as governor of a coastal state. In Massachusetts, I was able to work with both commercial and recreational fisherman to ensure that our state’s policies met their needs and that my administration understood their concerns. As president, I will draw on these personal and professional experiences to advocate for America’s fishing community.”
“Although I grew up fishing with my friends and grandfather in Hawaii, I am not an avid sportsman and do not claim to be. I do, however, understand the importance of our nation’s outdoor heritage and the key role that sportsmen play in the conservation of our natural resources. On the campaign trail in ’08 I had the opportunity to spend some time in Montana and decided that, win or lose, I would go back there and learn to fly fish. After taking office, I was fortunate enough to return to the state and fish the East Gallatin River [see photo]. Despite having excellent guides and getting a few bites, the weather was tough that day and I didn’t land a fish. I really enjoyed the challenge of fly fishing and I’m looking forward to doing it more. I want to try for trout again but would also like to try saltwater and maybe catch a tarpon.”
The candidates were also asked about the leading threats to our nation’s fisheries and recreational angling, fishing closures, beach closures and invasive species, along with this question: What are the three most important things you can do for recreational fishing in America?
For the answers, visit KeepAmericaFishing and get yourself informed on all the fishing issues.
Photo credit: Official White House photo by Pete Souza, Aug.14, 2009