JACKSON, Mississippi — State Sen. Chris McDaniel told Breitbart News Sunday host Stephen K. Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News, that “courage” is needed in Washington to fight the national debt and change the direction of the country.
“I think Mississippians understand the significance of it,” McDaniel said when Bannon asked why he’s made the national debt–and unfunded liabilities of it–a major focus of his campaign.
I have two kids; I’ve got a two-year-old and a seven-year-old. My dream has always been to leave them a better country than the one I inherited. Based on those numbers, it’s fairly clear that’s not going to happen. At some point, the adults have to enter the room, and we have to start making tough decisions about the future of this country, and I, for one, am tired of kicking the can down the road. Some cuts to spending have to take place, and Mississippi is a good place to lead that charge because we still are the most conservative state in the Republic. That message is resonating, people are ready to change, and that’s why we’re going to win on June 3.
Bannon noted that with the exception of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) when he ran for the U.S. Senate in 2012, McDaniel is the only candidate he’s ever heard who actually understands–and can articulate–the threat of the national debt to the nation’s security and future:
Maybe other than Ted Cruz when he ran, I have never seen a candidate really address what terrible shape the balance sheet of the United States government is, and you are the only challenger I’ve ever heard that talks about the $100 trillion, $150 trillion, or $200 trillion of unfunded liabilities that the United States is eventually going to have to pay.
When Bannon asked McDaniel why GOP establishment figures like Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), the six-term incumbent whom McDaniel is looking to unseat in the June 3 GOP primary, have allowed this, he said many politicians in both parties lack the courage to do what’s right for the nation.
“At its core, it’s just a matter of self-preservation,” McDaniel said, elaborating:
They’re not willing to make the tough decisions because they’re unwilling to risk not being re-elected. It’s a lack of courage. It’s a lack of principle. It’s the number one reason I think our party is waving banners of pastel colors, not bold colors the way we always were and the way we always should have been. It seems like all across the country, no one has the courage to take the right stand. We’ve seen Ted Cruz do it, and Mike Lee do it, and Rand Paul do it, and a handful of others, but these older guys especially–they are stuck in a status quo system unwilling to change.
McDaniel also embraced the Conservative Reform Agenda of Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) again, noting that while conservatives sometimes have to be the “party of no” to stop the left from encroaching on the Constitution, Tea Partiers can also be “proactive.”
“Mike Lee has laid out there several steps, from anti-cronyism legislation all the way to term limits and even welfare reform, and these are things that a good, intelligent conversation needs to take place around,” McDaniel said. “Sen. Lee’s been great at kind of leading that charge, and so I’ve adopted his platform, and I look forward to working with him in D.C.”
After discussing that Cochran won’t debate McDaniel and that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin endorsed McDaniel’s candidacy, they shifted to the topic of immigration. McDaniel was the first major candidate to sign a pledge from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) that calls for no amnesty and no increase in imported foreign workers while Americans are struggling economically.
“Mississippi is still struggling with high unemployment, and that’s not something that our state enjoys one bit,” McDaniel replied when Bannon asked why he signed the pledge. “To get our state off the bottom, you have to find ways to create economic opportunity. Of course, that’s not done by federal intervention or entrance into the free market.” He added, “We do, however, as a state, have to create the right atmosphere for growth. But until then, we certainly can’t have illegal aliens coming in and taking jobs that belong to Mississippians.”
McDaniel also noted that in October 2013, Mississippi’s unemployment rate was 8.5 percent–two points higher than “our sister state Alabama,” which had a 6.5 percent unemployment rate then. “One big distinction there is one state has Jeff Sessions as a senator, and the other has Thad Cochran as a senator,” McDaniel said. “We just need to find ways to make sure we take care of American workers first, and a good place to do that is to send a strong message that amnesty is not going to be supported.”