John James, a Republican candidate in the U.S. Senate primary race in Michigan, is a combat veteran, a businessman, and an unabashed pro-life conservative and constitutionalist who says President Donald Trump is keeping his “promise” to Americans.
James is aiming to win the Republican primary on August 7 and ultimately run against longstanding Democrat Sen. Debbie Stabenow in the general election in November. Trump won in Michigan in 2016 – the first time the state went with the GOP nominee since 1988.
In an interview with Breitbart News, James says being frank and up front about his conservative views, when other Republicans prefer to be seen as “moderate,” is the only option for him.
“The biggest thing is authenticity,” he explains. “Our president won because he is authentic. Here in Michigan, Jesse Jackson won back in the 80s, and then Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders won. This is a place where the authentic candidate who can relate most to people tends to do well.”
According to Right to Life of Michigan, James is the only pro-life candidate running for the Senate in that state.
The Right to Life of Michigan Political Action Committee (RLM-PAC) has made an early and “exclusive” endorsement of James in the race for the Senate seat currently occupied by “pro-abortion” Stabenow, stating James is “the only candidate in the race who meets RLM-PAC criteria.”
“For more than 40 years Debbie Stabenow has been in office—from the State Legislature to the United States Senate—voting against protections for the most vulnerable among us and the value of life at all stages,” said RLM-PAC Director Casey Kreiner in a press statement this week. “John James is an excellent candidate capable of winning a tough race, and he has committed prolife positions ensuring the protection of life through all stages.”
One of James’s opponents in the primary race is Republican Sandy Pensler, a venture capitalist who has also taught at both Yale and Harvard. In 1992, Pensler ran for Congress as a pro-choice Republican who also endorsed government-funded health care. According to the Detroit Free Press, Tom Shields, a spokesman for Pensler, said his candidate’s position has “evolved” on the issue of life.
Nevertheless, the Michigan Faith and Freedom Coalition posted its disapproval of “Pro-Choice” Pensler to Facebook:
“There is NO WAY conservatives in Michigan – in a US Senate GOP Primary – will support Sandy Pensler as a candidate,” the group writes. “We urge everyone to take a real close look at ‘Pro-Choice Pensler.’ This is not the kind of candidate we need representing conservatives in Michigan.”
James bemoans the fact that Washington Republicans keep funding Planned Parenthood.
“I think that is a tragedy,” he says. “I will do everything I can to fight for life when I get to D.C. The Right to Life Michigan endorsement is very special – it means a lot to me. I’m 100 percent pro-life, I always have been, and I always will be.”
James says he opposes the use of taxpayer funds to perform or promote abortions, or to fund organizations such as Planned Parenthood.
“I am the only pro-life candidate in the Michigan Senate race,” he asserts. “I’m excited to go to Washington and be that additional vote in the Senate to get all the help we can.”
James says his convictions inform his values.
“Faith and family, God and country, and service before self,” he explains. “Those used to be American values, but now we call them conservative values because the progressive left has actually left the reservation.”
“We used to have a Democratic president who said, ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,’” he adds. “Now, we have socialists winning elections. I’m the conservative in Michigan and I think that’s a good thing. I think most people in this state and this country are conservative who have been lied to by the Democratic marketing machine for decades.”
James asserts his background as a combat veteran, a businessman, and a husband and father help him to relate to a wide range of people in Michigan – something Stabenow lacks.
“I am someone who understands the frustration of the people, that we have been represented by a very vulnerable Debbie Stabenow who votes with Chuck Schumer – a New York senator – 95 percent of the time,” he explains. “Whether you’re on the left or the right, I don’t care what side of the aisle you’re on – that is not representing Michigan.”
An African American, James welcomes the opportunity to share his conservative values with all Americans and suggests black Americans who might be tempted to vote for Stabenow to ask themselves if they believe the quality of their life is better since the first time they voted for her.
“I believe Americans in Michigan should vote for me because I’m the best candidate,” he states. “They should look at the quality of my background and the content of my character rather than the color of my skin. But, regardless of what I look like on the outside, what truly drives me is my passion for service and my understanding that we have an obligation and not an option to serve.”
James explains his view of Michigan as the “birthplace of the middle class.”
“It’s a place that people immigrated to from all over the nation and all over the world, and now we have wild dogs running through the streets, trees growing through houses,” he says. “Democrats have been in control of the cities for decades. I think people are beginning to wake up and realize that where Democrats go, poverty follows.”
The conservative candidate says he believes voters want a representative who relates to them.
“As a father, when I talk to suburban moms and dads, I understand what it’s like to raise a family,” he states. “And, as a businessman, when I talk to folks from the factory to the farm, I understand what it’s like. Debbie Stabenow supported the estate tax! She did not support tax reform! And she doesn’t support putting money back in the hands of people who earned it.”
James reflects on Trump’s mission on the eve of the president’s visit to Michigan Saturday.
Asked by Breitbart News which of Trump’s polices have made the greatest difference in America, he replies, “It’s not a policy, it’s a promise.”
“Our president made a vow to the American people, and mostly to people who felt like the American dream had almost been exclusively reserved for the coastal elites,” he explains. “Our president came and talked about putting America first. Now, some have perverted that for their own ends by saying that means ‘America alone,’ but it doesn’t. What it does mean is our president is going to keep his promises.”
James sees the fulfillment of promise in what Trump has already done in his foreign policy. He says:
Our president is going to put maximum pressure on Korea economically in order to get them to the table, and now we’re seeing that we’re beginning to end the Korean war. Our president is holding China accountable for their intellectual property theft and their currency manipulation, getting them back to the table to negotiate fairer terms. Our president recently hosted the French president from the nation that is our oldest ally in this country which continues to advocate for Americans all over the world in that way. Our president hit Syria twice in the past year for their atrocities against their own people, showing global leadership and the fact that you can’t gas your own people.
At home in the U.S., James says Trump is fulfilling his promises by bringing about tax reform and cutting back regulations.
“Our president is standing up for folks back home – and especially in Michigan here – and saying, ‘Hey, look, businesses, you need to make sure you’re taking care of your workers and doing everything you can to bring jobs back,’ but he is also doing his job by championing tax reform and putting money back into the hands of the people who earned it and allowing those same businesses to now compete on a level playing field,” he observes.
James says the fact that Trump won in Michigan in 2016 and has promised to put the American worker first is a “signal that Debbie Stabenow is vulnerable.”
“We have a two-term Republican governor,” he points out. “We have a super majority in Lansing. A majority of our congressional delegation is Republican. A recent poll shows that Debbie Stabenow is polling under 50 percent, within the margin of error against a generic Republican. And I, certainly, am not a generic Republican.”
James stresses he has the ability to draw in millennials and minorities “in a way no one else in this party can.”
“With the right candidate – the candidate most people can relate to – that’s the one people will vote to represent them,” he says. “I believe we have a golden opportunity here to occupy a position in the United States Senate, to have a combat veteran who understands national security, a business leader who understands business, to get to the Senate and advocate for the citizens of Michigan.”