Exclusive — ‘A Red Shockwave’: Navy Fighter Pilot Mike Garcia Aims to Flip California Seat Back to GOP

Mike Garcia for Congress
Mike Garcia for Congress

Mike Garcia, a retired U.S. Navy Fighter pilot running in California’s 25th congressional district special election upcoming on Tuesday, is aiming to try to launch what he calls “a red shockwave” across the country by retaking the seat for Republicans.

The district, which had been Republican for many years, fell to the Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections when now former Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) won it as part of the “blue wave” on election night. Hill has since resigned after being caught in a scandal encompassing lewd relationships with staff members, forcing this special election on Tuesday.

Garcia, the GOP nominee, appeared on Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel to discuss his background and the campaign—laying out the national implications for the race next week. Garcia flew over 30 combat missions in Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he would take off from an aircraft carrier to provide air support to ground troops hunting for Saddam Hussein.

“From our perspective, we had the easy job—we’d take off from the aircraft carrier and be in the air anywhere from four to eight hours and fly close air support for the Marines and the Army guys on the ground,” Garcia said. “Those are the guys that have the tough job. At the time, we were still looking for Saddam Hussein, so the mission was to continue to gain ground in Iraq while we were looking for Hussein. So, being there to support the troops on the ground and being there to be able to be sure they could do their jobs and get home safely—and sometimes we’d use kinetics and weapons to do the job, sometimes it was just the jet noise and hearing the sound of freedom above them to keep the enemy hunkered down long enough so they could move up and progress—so, 30 missions. Landing on an aircraft carrier at night is never relaxing. It’s never something you take for granted, and it’s one of the most challenging things you’ll ever do, but absolutely the thrill of a lifetime and truly an honor to be able to do that and represent America around the world with that show of force and that kind of strength, so I really appreciated the opportunity. It was everything that I had dreamed it would be as a career.”

But before he explained his background, Garcia responded to newly surfaced video of his Democrat opponent Christy Smith mocking his service in the military.

“It’s scary to hear those words coming out of somebody who actually already holds elected office and represents much of our district and veterans,” Garcia said when responding to the video of Smith. The veterans have reacted very negatively towards it as you can imagine. It’s sanctimonious, it’s childish, it’s a level of political elite behavior that frankly on the heels of Katie Hill it’s kind of de ja vu all over again. We’re better than that. This district is underpinned by an aerospace industry with Edwards Air Force Base just outside of our district and a lot of the large builders—they’re building a new bomber here so for her to mock not only my service but also the aerospace industry is a level of tone deafness we don’t get to see very often from elected officials. But unfortunately true colors do come out every once in a while in these environments and when someone shows you their true colors you believe them.”

If Garcia takes this seat back on Tuesday, and holds it in November, it would drop the magic number of seats that the GOP needs to flip from Democrat control to retake the House down from 17 to 18—where it currently is, after New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew defected from the Democrat Party to the GOP late last year. With 30 districts across America that President Donald Trump won in 2016 currently represented by a Democrat—this is not one of them, as it is one Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton won in 2016—the effort to retake the House majority could run through this seat. President Trump endorsed Garcia via Twitter on Friday, and Garcia told Breitbart News that if he wins as he expects to on Tuesday it will create a “domino effect” across the country against the radical left that has overtaken the Democrat Party. It could have the broader effect, too, of signaling a beginning to the end of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, because if Republicans can flip enough of these seats they can take the House back in November.

“I think it’s a bellwether. It’s a barometer of where the nation’s at on the heels of seeing some of the insanity from the far-left with Pelosi’s behavior,” Garcia said. “Obviously, we have some of the added layer of seeing the Katie Hill disaster take place as well. Every district we can claw back between now and November is a big deal, and I think there’s an awakening and I think people are realizing just how far this Democrat Party has gone, and the fact that Pelosi is the moderate in the room should scare the heck out of the entire country. There’s definitely a renaissance here in California. The implications of this in California are significant as well because it will be the first congressional seat we claw back in California for a Republican in 22 years. It’s not just a state thing, it’s not just a local thing, but it’s also a national level fight. All eyes are on this. We got the support of the party, we’ve got the support of the president as you mentioned, and a lot of members are watching this race right now and trying to understand the dynamics of this and seeing what’s working and how we’re being successful. It’s been humbling to be leading this, and it is a bigger fight, and the national implications as you said are massive right now. We’ve got to keep getting the message out and keep reminding folks this is about national security, this is about recovery during the COVID-19 crisis, this is about rational leadership with intelligence and dignity and respect and not about party politics—it’s about putting the country first, and putting the Constitution and capitalism at the forefront instead of the bickering we’ve been seeing from the left. Bringing that level of respect back to the office, it will have a domino effect. When we win on Tuesday, hopefully we can go help other districts—keep this seat in November but also take the House back and get Leader McCarthy’s position up to the Speaker shortly thereafter. I think we’re on the road to something fantastic and the hard work is going to pay off here shortly.”

During the interview, Garcia also addressed concerns regarding polling places–something both he and President Trump raised on Twitter Saturday:

LISTEN TO MIKE GARCIA ON BREITBART NEWS SATURDAY:

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