Exclusive — Cathy McMorris Rodgers: ‘We Are Going to Have to Defy History’ to Hold House GOP Majority

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NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland — House GOP conference chairwoman Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), the number four on the House GOP leadership team, told Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel here that Republicans and President Donald Trump must “defy history” one more time to hold the House GOP majority in the 2018 midterm elections.

“It is critical and we will have to defy history heading into 2018,” McMorris Rodgers said in an exclusive interview at the American Conservative Union (ACU)-hosted Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Saturday. “I hope that that is a motivator as we continue to focus on the results on the fact that our economy is growing and on jobs, on rebuilding our military—but there’s more work that needs to be done that would create the momentum on the right and it is clear the left is organized, they are motivated and it’s going to be more important than ever heading into 2018 that we focus on results, focus on what we’ve done, but remind people there is more that needs to be done. The typical off-year for a president’s party that is in power is to lose 24 seats in the House. So that is where we are going to have to defy history and we know President Trump is the one to do that.”

When it comes to the nuts and bolts of campaign operations in 2018, Republicans have a steep challenge ahead of them. Typically, in a first-term midterm election, a president’s party loses enough seats to shift the current House GOP majority to the Democrats’ control—and Republicans have a number of sitting members retiring. McMorris Rodgers told Breitbart News Saturday exactly what the GOP team, of which she is a member of leadership, is doing to hold that majority.

“You have to have the candidates, then you have to have the money, and then you have to have the message. Elise Stefanik, who is a young superstar out of upstate New York, is chairing our recruitment committee—and she is doing a great job recruiting the next generation,” McMorris Rodgers said. “One thing a lot of people don’t know about the House Republicans is that we are younger than the Democrats—on average we are six years younger than the Democrats. Our leadership team is 23 years younger on average than the Democrats’ leadership team. There’s a lot of youth and energy in the next generation of conservatives but we need more people to be running and so in these open seats finding those that have the passion, finding those that have a great candidate, we’re really encouraged by the people that are stepping up—and then we need to make sure they have the resources and the message. But this is also a year where data, some have said this is going to be a year where data matters… That’s how we break through.”

McMorris Rodgers also said that data is going to be critical—and that the grassroots across America need to get involved in the fight at a granular level to help Republicans stop the building blue wave in the midterm elections.

“It is going to be the data,” she said. “Every person, every vote is going to count. They need to be a part of this army. They need to be knocking on doors. They need to be talking to their neighbors, and taking on big government and restoring self-determination and self-governance. This is the greatest experiment in self-governance that the world has ever seen. What the left and what the Democrats are offering right now is big government. It is a top down, government-knows-best approach. Whether it’s on healthcare or whether it’s on the economy, they want to control the decision-making in Washington, D.C. We are unleashing people, unleashing our economy, rebuilding our military, and getting government back closest to the people and that’s where trust will be restored and that’s where citizens of this country will be able to live in freedom and opportunity like we’ve never seen before. It is so important. Every single election, every single vote is going to make a difference and people just need to say ‘I’m going to make a difference and I’m going to join the army and I’m going to fight this fall.’”

She added that she believes that President Trump’s speech here on Friday morning was “an excellent speech” and that his track record of accomplishments is getting stronger by the day.

“What is most exciting to me is the momentum that is building again and that we are seeing some results on Capitol Hill, whether it was the tax bill or the repeal of the individual mandate [of Obamacare] or opening up ANWR and it’s building the momentum that we need in order to tackle some of these other big issues that we want to heading into 2018 and really re-think the federal government from top to bottom and make sure these agencies and officials are accountable to hardworking taxpayers,” McMorris Rodgers said.

McMorris Rodgers also discussed a new op-ed she wrote in National Review about the “trust crisis” the federal government has with the American people right now.

“This goes to representative government and trust and confidence in representative government and the rule of law,” she said. “Unfortunately, because of the rhetoric, and because of everything—the anger, the hostility, just what’s going on so often across the country, people are saying ‘oh, I can’t trust my member of Congress. I can’t trust the federal government, and I feel I can’t even talk about issues.’ We got to be able to have this debate. We got to be able to at least respect each other and be civil to one another have the debate that’s so desperately needed. I was on a panel here about veterans. If a veteran cannot even get an appointment at the VA, that’s a breakdown in trust. We got to get these agencies back focused on their mission and representatives focused on people—people over politics or party.”

She also called on people in government and in media to work together more to solve problems for people across the country.

“We put labels on people, just dismiss them, dehumanize them, don’t even respect their human dignity let alone their position,” McMorris Rodgers said. “It doesn’t mean we’re always going to agree, I get that, but it doesn’t mean that these are enemies that we are going to just destroy either. This is America. This is about ideas. And the House of Representatives is the ultimate place where that battle of ideas is supposed to take place. We need to do that so we don’t fall into the rhetoric or just the talking points.”



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