Nancy Mace, who is challenging South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, said her experience at The Citadel would ensure that Washington will not compromise her should she defeat Graham and be elected South Carolina's next senator in 2014.
Mace is the first female to graduate from The Citadel, and she appeared on Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot channel 125 with host and Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon.
And while the 35-year-old small-business owner said she was not defined by the The Citadel, Mace spoke about how The Citadel tested her mettle. She said how she responded to the tough military environment shows she will be tough enough to remain true to her conservative principles in Washington.
"Do you bend your values and your principles to conform to the quote-unquote establishment to go along to get along, or do you stay firm and stay strong in what you believe in to be successful?" Mace said of her time at The Citadel. "And I learned the latter."
Mace said it was a shame that those who wanted to challenge establishment Republicans often get "bullied and intimidated," and she is running to correct the "systemic failure" of Washington, D.C., which she said has occurred in part because of establishment Republicans who have strayed from conservatism over the last 20 years.
Mace's father is a retired Brigadier General who is the most decorated living graduate of The Citadel, and Mace said growing up an Army brat "instilled a love for country" and ultimately led her to want to attend The Citadel when women were allowed for the first time in 1996. She said she always thinks about military "families and the sacrifices they make," and, "that's really important to me."
"I wanted to follow my father's footsteps," Mace said, saying she felt The Citadel was an environment in which she felt she could be challenged and successful.
Mace acknowledged that South Carolina politics was a "full-contact sport" and said she was "running to win.
When Bannon, the host, said she had to be as "tough as boot leather" to graduate from The Citadel, Mace said that was an understatement.