The next president needs to put the nation back on an economic growth path like Ronald Reagan did, and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is the candidate to do it, Rep. Dave Brat of Virginia told CNBC on Tuesday.
"Trump is a pro-growth business guy," said Brat, the economics professor who became a congressman by upsetting then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the commonwealth's Republican primary and winning in the 2014 midterm election. "Some in D.C. are out of touch."
"Reagan's trajectory ... after he won set us up in great shape. And even Bill Clinton did well by following that growth path," Brat told "Squawk Box." "We need to get back to that growth path, and that can pay for a lot of what's wrong with the country."
Both Republicans and Democrats see the need for change, but want to go about it differently, said Brat, a member of the House Freedom Caucus — the powerful conservatives who led a revolt last year that resulted in the resignation of John Boehner as House speaker.
"There's nothing wrong with the Republican principles" that stress the free market and limited government, Brat added.
"The problem is we don't do any of it. And so, we've created a vacuum where there's a huge disconnect out there," he said. "In about 10 years, we're going to have a major government finance problem."
The ideas of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for reviving the economy through more government spending won't work, Brat said, citing the $19.4 trillion federal debt and the need to overall underfunded entitlements like Social Security and Medicare.
"Those [safety-net] systems were set up to be actuarially sound because the average death age was 65. It worked back then; 40 years ago when they were set up. Right now, everyone lives until 83," he said.