ATLANTA -- Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga) wants voters to view him as a solid conservative who will lead the fight against big government in the US Senate.
"I'll be that leader!" Broun said from the podium in a room at a Buckhead hotel, with about three dozen supporters in the audience applauding.
The Congressman from Athens is the first to enter what's likely to become a crowded field of Georgia congressmen vying to replace retiring Senator Saxby Chambliss. The two term senator announced his retirement in January. Broun had considered challenging the incumbent in the 2014 Republican primary.
Broun has a special place in conservative politics. He's a social conservative, devoutly religious -- and in unguarded moments, is unafraid to elaborate on those views.
"All this stuff I was taught about evolution, embryology, the big bang theory -- all that is lies straight from the pit of hell," Broun told an audience at a church in north Georgia in September. The remarks were recorded and circulated on the internet.
"It's well known that I'm a Bible-believing Christian," Broun said during an interview following his announcement. He was disinclined to go off-message much during the interview.
Q: Are you more tied to scripture than science?
Broun: (Laugh) Well, I'm a scientist. I'm a medical doctor. And I know this: Fiscal responsibility is absolutely lacking in Washington and we've got to have good solid fiscal responsibility in Washington DC, and that's exactly what I'm going to stand firm on.
Q: That's not really about scripture and science though.
A: Doesn't have anything to do with each other. We've just got to stop the spending in Washington.
A few minutes later Broun said that he frames all his policy decisions through Judeo-Christian values.
Broun he expects what he calls a friendly Republican primary contest next summer.