“Government should be the servant, not the master,” said U.S. Senate candidate from Alaska Joe Miller in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News leading up to Alaska’s Tuesday primary election.
Miller has recently received coveted endorsements from former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and nationally syndicated radio host Mark Levin.
Joe Miller comes from humble beginnings, as does his wife Kathleen. They both grew up poor, and he grew up in farm country. Miller went on to graduate from West Point, serve in the Army in Desert Storm, serve as an M1A1 tank platoon leader and was awarded the Bronze Star. He attended Yale law school, moved to Alaska in 1994, served as a magistrate judge in Alaska, and returned to practice law after leaving the judicial realm. He and his family also run three businesses, including a bed and breakfast. Miller commented that he is the only non-millionaire, major candidate in this Senate race.
During his interview with Breitbart, Miller discussed how he would approach the issue of illegal immigration, his family’s personal experience with legal immigration, constitutionally limited government, facing off against Democrat Mark Begich, fighting corruption with Sarah Palin, the Republican establishment, and his unique ability to relate to the tough situations Alaskans and Americans face in today’s economy.
Miller has outlined a seven point plan addressing the border and illegal alien crisis, which can be viewed on his website.
“We can’t allow amnesty. It’s an inducement,” Miller told Breitbart News. “We have to rid ourselves of other inducements as well. The taxpayer-funded inducements that cause people to want to come here. If you take away the benefits of illegal immigration, the end result is that you’ll have less of it, but if you reinforce it with rewards, then it’s a pretty simple concept, you’re going to have more illegals here. The approach that lacks the most compassion is the one that encourages more of this catastrophe.”
Miller brings personal perspective to the immigration conversation with multiple family members who have either immigrated legally or are first-generation American-born citizens. One of his daughters and a son-in-law live in Mexico. He commented, “I speak from a bit of a position of personal interest. I’ve got a Mexican national as a son-in-law. I’ve got a grandson that’s a dual citizen of Mexico and the United States.”
“So this is not something that we’re saying, hey we want to slam the door shut on immigration. My wife is the first natural born American in her family.”
“It’s a matter of national importance. When we basically reject the rule of law, we use this as basically, the president has, as political opportunism. Basically the agent by which he can expand his base.”
“It’s a world upside down to have a country that thinks that it should not have a rational approach to the illegal alien problem,” Miller continued. “Even a country that has these security challenges that we have, to suggest that we should not be securing the border, yet another means by which to cut off this problem.”
Some officials have suggested infringing on fourth amendment rights to address the illegal immigration situation, Miller points out, “yet we don’t even bother to do the most basic of security safeguards, and that is secure the border.”
“I’ve got a brother-in-law from India and a brother-in-law from Indonesia, a sister-in-law that’s Japanese,” Miller added. “We’re very much a multi-cultural family and one which has obviously benefitted from legal immigration. But you know you have those family members who have legally immigrated; none of them think that this is an appropriate approach to immigration to simply allow amnesty. And I think Americans are generally with us too.”
Speaking of the two other Republicans in the race, Miller said:
We have two candidates in the race, one of whom says explicitly that he’s for a pathway to citizenship, then says oh no, no, that’s not amnesty, despite the fact that Ted Cruz has called out the Republican Party’s immigration reform, which includes the pathway, as big amnesty, and I agree with Senator Cruz on that. I think any reward that you’re giving to those that come across illegally, it’s a mistake and a form of amnesty. But I think America as a whole, they reject that baseline that if we’re rewarding those that come across illegally, it’s the wrong direction for the country to go. And this is certainly a message that’s resonating here in Alaska too. I mean in part, not just because one of my opponents [is] embracing a pathway to citizenship, but also the other opponent who’s been funded by major pro-amnesty groups, Karl Rove and the Chamber of Commerce, Lindsay Graham, John McCain, and others.
Miller was asked how this race is different from his campaign for Senate in 2010 and what he learned from that race that changed how he is running his campaign now. He commented, “One of the big takeaways of course is to not allow the establishment to basically compromise the message or corrupt the campaign itself. We have great people that embrace sound constitutional liberty principles. We expect those folks to stay with us, not just of course in the general election, but also if God and the people choose, when we get to Washington D.C. in January.”
How many volunteers does the Miller campaign have? “There are thousands,” Miller said. “We have thousands of signs out, we have phone calls going on all across the state, we have canvassing going all across the state. Our campaign has been one basically built on sweat equity. We’ve never had all the money. I’m the only non-millionaire that’s running amongst the major candidates. That includes the Democrat in this race.”
In the true spirit of America, Miller has worked hard for his success, “I come out of similar circumstances to the average Alaskan. My wife knows what it’s like to be on a budget” He continued, “We’ve experienced hardship, we know what it’s like. I grew up poor, Kathleen grew up poor. I mean our family situations have allowed us to experience what most Americans experience at one time or another in their lives, and it makes us sensitive to what people go through. Even though we believe government is too big, and we need to get it out of our lives where we can. The fact is, we aren’t out there to hurt people either.”
When asked about Governor Palin’s endorsement, Miller said, “Obviously very thankful for Governor Palin’s endorsement, it was unexpected, but of course obviously warmly received. Very, very happy with Mark Levin’s endorsement. We’ve had others that have been behind us for a long time like General Boykin… Lars Larsen has been behind us for a long time. Lots of folk in this state behind us.”
He went on to list endorsements including the Alaska Republican Assembly, the Conservative Patriots Group, Alaska Right to Life, Gun owners of America, and National Association of Gun Rights.
Miller worked with Sarah Palin in the past, fighting corruption within the Republican Party in Alaska. “It helped band together the reform element of the party,” he stated.
“I’m not going to be compromised by the go along to get along crowd,” said Miller when asked about going to Washington.
Miller commented on specific portions of the Constitution that address the functions that government should be doing and “get them out of the rest of the stuff. Government from our campaign’s perspective has gotten too big, and looking for solutions in government is the wrong way to go.
Miller went on to comment that Mark Begich “and his friend Obama, all they want to do is expand government. That’s their solution is to expand government, and that is a broken solution. It’s one that’s failed us, is driving us into bankruptcy, and it’s actually bringing America into a second-place station in relationship to its other competitors worldwide.”
“I think it’s a fantastic opportunity to put Alaska at the forefront, to put the state and its decision-making at the front, to get at its resource base that the federal government has held captive,” Miller said. Miller believes, “that it’s going to be a message that Alaskans embrace and get behind and reflect in the vote this coming November.”
A Candidate Comparison Guide is available on Miller’s website for those curious as to how he stacks up against his opponents, both Democrat and Republican. His opponents include Democrat incumbent junior Senator Mark Begich as well as Republicans former Alaska Attorney General Dan Sullivan and current Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell.
Before getting off the phone, Joe Miller added, “I just also wanted to give a shout out to Andrew. Ate dinner with him in Texas a few years back. Chatted with him just very briefly before his death. Huge, huge, huge loss, really appreciated him. I know it was years ago, but that vacancy, I still feel personally and I appreciate you guys carrying on, obviously, with what he’s done.”
Photo courtesy of the Joe Miller campaign.