I recently conducted a telephone interview with some of this year's Republican candidates for federal office, asking them the same set of questions (tailored for the particular office they are running for). For this post, we have Darrel Robertson, Republican candidate for the 2nd Congressional District. Robertson is the sole Republican challenger for freshman Republican Congressman Markwayne Mullin.
I made numerous attempts to set up an interview with Congressman Mullin, but his campaign made no effort to get back with me. I gave Congressman Mullin ample opportunity to have the same interview, but he evidently did not want to go on record.
The following is a transcript of the phone interview:
JF: What are three things about your personal background that you think voters need to know?
DR: Well, I’m a lifelong resident of District 2 of Oklahoma, I’m a Christian, and a successful businessman.
JF: What do you think are the top three issues facing America?
DR: I think ObamaCare is an issue that’s facing America, I think the way that taxes are structured is, and our Constitution is being trampled on and we’re losing a lot of our liberties.
JF: What is your position on term limits?
DR: I think we need term limits; just exactly how many, or the length of it, I’m not sure. People just can’t be in there for forty years, they can’t be there for twenty years. Some people argue that there’s bad about having term limits, and there is, but the good outweighs the really bad. The good is a lot better than what we’re losing on the bad.
JF: What is your position on immigration reform?
DR: Well, we need to do something, but the very first thing is we have to fix that border, because we can’t pass any laws or do anything that’s going to do any good unless we keep people from coming in here illegally.
JF: The Federal tax system is a mess. How do you propose to fix it?
DR: There’s actually two ways. Myself, I kinda favor a flat tax, and maybe even a negative flat tax where we can take care of a lot of the, you know, I think we’ve got like 81 welfare programs in the federal government. I think we could do away with all of those except one, and then turn the states over to do everything else. I think that would be the best way. The other way would to just do the FairTax.
JF: Some conservatives have become disenchanted with GOP leadership in both the House and the Senate. Do you think House Republicans should consider getting new leadership?
DR: Jim Bridenstine, I really like this guy and his voting record. Trey Gowdy is the other one. There are several guys I like in there, but we don’t need who we’ve got in there. It’s kind of like term limits, it would take care of some of this stuff. The thing at this point is, our leadership, they can’t do enough thinking to get anything accomplished. We have the power in the Congress, but it’s like, be smart enough to do something that the Senate can’t shoot you down on. It’s like they’ve sat there and not done anything for four years that we’ve had control of the Congress, because we’re afraid of the Senate. Now, that’s from the outside looking in, what I see, and I think we need some leadership that can come up with some ideas.
JF: Is there any specific legislation that you plan to file when in office?
DR: Well, of course we all need to file to repeal ObamaCare. Reform the tax structure, and I think, repeal the Farm Bill. I tell you, the very best bill that a guy could put in would be to introduce a bill, like Oklahoma’s got, to make every bill stand on it’s own.
JF: Why should voters elect you over your primary opponent?
DR: I think I can promise to be a true conservative in DC. I’m a lifelong resident here in District 2, and that’s the important people I’ve got to work for. Here’s one of the things that I won’t do: I won’t vote for making the government any bigger, and my opponent has. The other thing is I think my opponent is eaten up with PAC money. I don’t have anything against PAC money, but there isn’t any PAC money that will influence my vote, and I can promise that. I may not ever get any PAC money, but that’s still my promise, that it would ever influence me. On the Farm Bill, the sugar industry I think influenced Markwayne in a big way, and influenced how he voted. They had the opportunity to shoot down this sugar bill and restructure it, but he voted for it. You can take a look at his campaign funds, and see why he did it. But, I can promise that no PAC money will ever influence how I vote.
I'd like to thank Darrel for taking the time to do this interview with me. I'm disappointed that his primary opponent didn't do the same.
Coming next in this series will be a prominent U.S. Senate candidate.