Chaffetz Speaker’s Forum


Photo by: Luis Barreto

Story By: Luis Barreto, Reporter

Fresno City College’s Speakers Forum opened its doors to FOX News Channel contributor and former Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz on March 2 in the FCC Theater.

The former congressman explained the journey that resulted in his election to the House of Representatives, touching on his real-life experience and how that transitioned into his role in Congress.

His story included that his parents were divorced and that his mother was an alcoholic who died at a young age as a result of breast cancer. Chaffetz supported his father while living on a blowup mattress with his brother, still working after having to file bankruptcy.

“My dad also passed away soon after,” said Chaffetz.

Still, “I grew up in a nice household. Without belaboring it, my parents told me to get a job and taught me how to get along without things. It was nice to go through that process,” said Chaffetz. “You’re all going to have your own story. Whether it’s a car accident or medical issue, everybody has a situation either better or worse than you.”

Chaffetz shared intimate experiences regarding his time in congressional committees, as well his thoughts on the United States and how it’s governed. 

“I don’t believe that the government should be entangled in every aspect of our lives. They should help us towards the pursuit of happiness, not lead us to the guarantee of happiness,” said Chaffetz.

During his time in the House, Chaffetz started to “realize that the government was taking money out of my wallet and giving it to other people and I thought ‘Why?’” 

He explained that he made hospital visits in his campaigns that transformed his life. He met people that were in serious need and that had very little help in their lives. “That is the back-end of the nation the government should be funding.” 

Chaffetz moved on to challenge the audience, “Why is it that you believe what you believe?” 

“I think it’s a good idea to challenge yourself. I am very conservative, but I sometimes find myself asking why I believe what I believe,” said Chaffetz. “I wasn’t always Republican.” 

Chaffetz said that his time in Congress was a “cross-section of America” in that he came across so many different kinds of people he normally wouldn’t have come across.

“You gotta have good people on both sides earnestly trying to be on the right side of issues in America,” he said.