California’s Congressman-elect Mike Garcia joined Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Tonight on Thursday, where he discussed the “renaissance and awakening” from the American public and what his race portends for November.
Garcia, a former military pilot, defeated his Democrat opponent Christy Smith (D-Santa Clarita) in a special election to fill a House seat once held by Democrat Katie Hill in Southern California.
“I do believe there has been a renaissance and an awakening from the general public, not just Republicans, but Americans in general — that we really do need to pay attention to who we’re voting for … and this district is an extremely purple district,” Garcia said in response to a question from Breitbart News Editor-at-Large Rebecca Mansour regarding what his being elected means for national elections.
Garcia also said he believes his being elected is “an opportunity of a lifetime for 2020.”
“I’m in the northern LA county with Santa Clarita, Antelope Valley, Simi Valley, and Ventura County,” Garcia explained. “So as far as registered voters it’s maybe only 25 to 30 percent Republican, but what it represents is folks understanding the message and the values and understanding that we’ve gotta hire people for these jobs that are competent, qualified, and know how to run a business, and are running for the right reasons as patriots and not any self-serving motives or political agenda. I think people are recognizing that. I think that this is truly an opportunity of a lifetime for 2020, for our party, for conservatives in general. … I think we have an opportunity to get the house back, but we’ve got to continue to work our tails off to make sure that that happens and not take it for granted.”
Garcia also spoke about some of the issues he is facing in the race as he will be on the ballot again in November.
“It’s been a special campaign all along,” he said. “Remember this was the seat Katie Hill had and then resigned from, so dealing with all of that — and I had been running against her for about nine months before she resigned, so that was the primary issue, just having a qualified candidate and a patriot and someone who had the life experiences of someone that was representative of our district versus someone who wasn’t. As she resigned and things pivoted, it became about — at the core it’s always been about the constitution, capitalism, and competition, and allowing folks the free will and liberties to continue to conduct themselves as Americans with all the rights that that comes with, but in California especially we started seeing that erode even before the COVID-19 crisis, and it really became a matter of not letting our nation turn into what California has become.”
Garcia also spoke about the problems Californians face, including the “highest taxes, homelessness problems, the challenges that we see on a daily basis here” that are beginning to “creep to a national level.”
“People just want to be able to afford to live here. They want to be able to continue to survive here, and the COVID-19 thing was obviously a completely different dynamic, so the focus has really been allowing small businesses to flourish, getting taxes down, and lowering the bureaucracy,” Garcia said, adding that there are “a lot of bad bills in California that make it almost impossible for small businesses.”
Garcia went on to discuss the lasting impacts of COVID-19 and how it has affected politics in America: “I think now what we’re starting to see is blurring of the fault line, as you called it, and less about party allegiances or even conservative versus liberal values, and I really do believe we’re seeing a shift to people saying, ‘Okay we can still mitigate this virus, get back to work, and do it in a safe and responsible manner.’ It’s going to require us all to do it, but we absolutely have to figure out how to do that. … They’re not mutually exclusive. We need to save lives, but also save the economy in parallel or it is going to be a bad situation.”
Questioned about the coronavirus relief packages stemming from purple states, Garcia said they must be “throttled and feathered in correctly.”
“It all needs to be throttled and feathered in correctly and look, the odds of the first couple stimulus packages totaling close to 2.5 trillion, the odds of that number being right is slim to none,” Garcia said. “It’s very low odds that what is out there is actually the right number. It’s probably not enough. We probably do need something additional. Not necessarily the three trillion dollars that’s being floated for a bunch of political agenda topics in this latest bill floated by Pelosi — so that’s part of that. We’ve got to look at the longer it continues the longer the impact is, and you know 2.5 trillion is just over ten percent of the nations GDP, but we’ve been out of business for more than ten percent of the year, so the implications are going to ripple and magnify, so there will likely be more stimulus, but I think the state, the governors, and the lower level government who are making some of these decisions now need to also be held accountable and also need to try to figure out how to make things whole if they decide to extend these stay at home orders.”
“My priority with the 25th District here is we haven’t had representation for eight months, so there’s a tremendous amount of backlog for casework and constituent services, and a tremendous number of people who still haven’t gotten the existing COVID relief that they’ve been expecting,” Garcia said. “So, my priority especially this year is to make sure we’re opening those cases and getting them closed and completed and getting the checks that people are entitled to right now, out so those are priorities one and two.”
Garcia also addressed the issue of homelessness, saying that he believes it is “not a housing crisis.”
“I mentioned the three big c’s: the constitution, capitalism, and competition,” Garcia stated. “There’s a 4th C called charity, and I believe this homeless problem is not a housing crisis; it’s not due to a lack of units. What’s happening in California is it’s almost impossible to build low-income housing and affordable housing, but there still are units out there and opportunities.”
Garcia continued, “This is less about housing prices and more about mental health and drug rehab — and again in California these are some of the examples of bad legislation at the state level with things like prop 47 and 57 that are reclassifying felonies to misdemeanors and misdemeanors to effectively slap-on-the-wrist charges. These folks are being recycled through the system and the law enforcement officers are trying to do what they can, but the laws frankly aren’t set up to allow them to help the people who need it, so we need more mental health facilities. We need to be able to enforce laws and get people drug rehabilitation that need it, and there needs to be some piece in those action so that when people are put into rehab for either mental health or drugs, they’re kept there until they show progress.”