Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden on Thursday avoided giving specific 'yes or no' answers to a variety of issues confronting the U.S. Senate, saying instead that voters would know his philosophy.

During the half-hour news conference, McFadden was asked whether Minnesota should have created its own health care exchange, as it did, or used the federal exchange, as some states chose. McFadden declined to answer specifically, but highlighted the Minnesota health exchange as a source of government waste.

Asked whether he would have voted with Republican U.S. Senators on Wednesday in blocking the Pay Equity Act, McFadden did not give a “yes or no” answer, but  he wanted his daughter, Molly, to have the same opportunities as his sons.

The best way to accomplish that, he said, “is to get this economy working. Asked again whether he would have voted for or against the measure, McFadden said, “I believe it is the wrong question… These are election-year tricks. It’s politics as usual.”

McFadden also declined to give a specific answer about “personhood” legislation, which would ban abortion by giving the fetus personhood rights upon conception. As senator, he said, “My focus is not going to be on polarizing issues."

He described himself as “pro-life,” but said he believed in “reasonable exceptions,” that included “sexual assault, incest and the life of the mother.”

Asked about raising the minimum wage, which has been opposed by most Republicans at the state and federal levels, McFadden again said it was “the wrong question.” He called the minimum wage “a very important safeguard,” and said he found it “problematic that you would have one single wage across the country.” He said his focus would be on getting “this economy going.”

Asked whether voters needed to know more specifics on his views, McFadden said: "I think they need to know my philosophy, how I think about things."

McFadden had called the news conference to declare that if elected he would take up the mantle of retiring Republican Sen. Tom Coburn's annual Wastebook, to highlight waste in government.

He said during his campaign for Senate he would "highlight wasteful spending on a weekly basis through a new 'Waste of the Week' series on social media. His first examples of waste were the health exchanges in Minnesota, Oregon and Maryland.

Listen to the full audio of the news conference below:

Photo: Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden/source: Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune