DES MOINES — Sen. Mike Lee believes the next battle against the Affordable Care Act won't play out like the latest one did.
In a speech Saturday at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition Friends and Family Banquet, Lee called for a conservative evolution toward pushing conservative ideas, not just saying "no." Lee has faced criticism for his role in the recent fight against Obamacare
While many see Lee as a leader in conservative causes, the senator views himself as just part of a movement.
"I see myself as a guy, a guy who works in the United States Senate," Lee said in an interview at the Iowa State Capitol.
In his speech, Lee said Republicans need to be willing to set the public agenda.
"We'll continue to say 'no' to policies we oppose," Lee said. "It is every bit as important to identify those things that we're for."
We'll continue to say no to policies we oppose. It is every bit as important to identify those things that we're for.
Lee has no regrets about the "no" stand he took to block funding for the Affordable Care Act.
According to Lee, the areas Republicans need to focus on include: eliminating political "cronyism," restoring economic opportunity, and focusing on social issues conservatives used to control, like abortion and gay marriage.
Lee calls that vision a grassroots conservative movement, a name he prefers over "Tea Party."
And, in spite of speculation about what his future will be, he said a run for President is not in the cards.
"Absolutely not," Lee said. "I will be on the ballot in 2016, and it will be in Utah and Utah alone."
Lee said he's not worried about what Utahns think about him speaking across the nation. He said conservatives share the same concerns nationwide.