QUINCY -- When asked whether he endorses GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Dunlap, joked and asked if there was another question in the audience.
Speaking before a meeting of the three Quincy Kiwanis clubs Monday at the Holiday Inn, LaHood said that while he doesn't agree with some of Trump's comments, he does support and endorse the Republican firebrand.
"I've said all along I'm going to support the nominee any day of the week because it's better than the alternative," LaHood said. "Again, I'm a Republican."
LaHood said Trump should talk about issues instead of focusing on Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Arizona Sen. John McCain and the parents of Capt. Humayun Khan.
"Not that he's going to listen to me, but what I would tell Trump is just talk about three issues," he said. "Talk about the Supreme Court and what's at stake, talk about the economy and talk about the untrustworthiness of your opponent."
LaHood initially supported the campaign of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
"Donald Trump is our nominee," he said. "No one can argue that this was decided in some smoke-filled room by a few people. The people have spoken."
Traveling through the 18th District, LaHood said people are frustrated with government at the state and federal levels.
"People want that to change," he said. "They want the economy to get going again. They want a robust jobs report and a robust economy."
LaHood blamed the Obama administration for what he called a "regulatory rampage" against business, including new overtime rules and proposed Waters of the U.S. Government regulations that he says will not stimulate the economy.
"The federal government has the boot on the neck of the economy, and we've got to pull the boot off," he said. "If you let the private sector flourish and do well and get government out of the way, that will be beneficial to the economy and growing it."
Congress is set to return to Washington in September, and LaHood expects appropriations bills will be taken up.
"In the House, we've voted on six appropriations bills, which is the most we've done in like four years, so I think we're going to continue to vote on appropriations bills and get those over to the Senate," LaHood said. "We'll see what they do with them, but we've got to continue to fund government and do that in a responsible way."