Exclusive — House GOP Campaign Chief to Democrats: ‘You Can Either Retire, or Lose Next Fall’

Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., as Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 17, 2015, before a House Financial Services committee hearing on the annual report of the Financial Stability Oversight Council. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

House GOP campaign chief Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) told Breitbart News exclusively that he has a very clear message for any House Democrat even remotely vulnerable ahead of next year’s midterm congressional elections: Retire, or lose.

“After Virginia, New Jersey, and these other races across the country last week, I really believe that even if you were in a district that Joe Biden won by 10 points just 12 months ago, you’re at risk—which is why I’ve said very clearly over Thanksgiving, these targeted Democrats have a choice to make,” Emmer told Breitbart News exclusively on Monday. “I mean, you can either retire, or you can lose next fall. It’s up to you.”

A number of Democrats, like Reps. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Ron Kind (D-WI), Filemon Vela (D-TX), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), and more have already announced they are retiring and not running for reelection. Others, like Reps. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), Conor Lamb (D-PA), and more are running for other offices and abandoning their current congressional districts.

Emmer chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), which, on Monday evening, is hosting its annual fundraising dinner with former President Donald Trump in Tampa, Florida. Monday’s NRCC dinner, and Emmer’s interview with Breitbart News, comes exactly one year—365 days—before the 2022 midterm elections.

“It’s exactly 12 months from today,” Emmer said.

After a red wave last Tuesday which swept Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin and other Republicans to resounding victories in the Old Dominion state and elsewhere around America, Republicans are riding high heading into next year. After a similar outcome in 2009—the year after former President Barack Obama won in 2008—the GOP won a net 63 seats from Democrats in the 2010 midterm election.

While the NRCC is now, after expanding the target list last week by more than a dozen seats to at least 70 House Democrats in GOP crosshairs, Emmer did not specify a specific number of seats he expects Republicans to flip other than to note he is 100 percent confident that Republicans will retake the U.S. House majority next year.

“What I usually say and I’ll stick with it is we’re going to win back the majority,” Emmer said. “I think, much like lawyers in a courtroom who think they’re smarter than a jury, the jury always has the last word. In this case, the American people will tell us what they think. But I don’t think it’s apples to apples comparing it to 2010. Because remember, in 2010 they [the Republicans] started I think at 179 seats. We’re starting at 213. It is a redistricting year. So once all the maps are done you would expect that the true swing seats will even narrow down a little bit. So we’re going to focus on the things we can control…. We’re winning on all the issues that are most important to the voters and we’re winning with the voters that we need to win over that are in these deep Democratic territories—college-educated white voters, Hispanics, and independents. If you look at the issues—border security. we’re favored, Republicans are favored by almost a 30 percent number that we can handle border security better. Inflation, it’s almost 25 points better. Crime, it’s over 20 points better. National security, it’s over 20 points. The economy, it’s almost 20 points, and even on the issue of getting things done we’re almost 15 points better based on these voters in terms of what we’re looking at.”

To win back the majority in the House, Republicans need to flip just a net five seats from Democrat control back into GOP hands—an easy target for the GOP with redistricting swinging several seats the Republicans’ way and assuming that trends exemplified  by this past Tuesday hold or intensify moving into next year.

Emmer said that Tuesday’s elections in Virginia, New Jersey, and elsewhere nationwide were a “confirmation” that Republicans are focused on the right policies and Democrats are not.

“That was an affirmation of what we’ve been saying for months,” Emmer said. “It started with the $1.9 trillion spending bill that they did last February, where they were told by their own economists this is going to spike inflation. It started with, even go back to January 20, when this President signed executive orders killing over 10,000 good-paying energy jobs and effectively ending American energy independence, that we’d achieved over the previous four years. So everything they’ve got, one incompetent move after the next one, one entirely partisan move after the next one, culminated last Tuesday with some very interesting results. Not surprising, I would have hoped that that would be the result. What’s surprising to me is they still don’t get it. They still don’t understand. They don’t understand that this is literally a movement, that people are focused on restoring the freedom that this country is supposed to offer. And what do these people do? They’re told last Tuesday night that ‘We don’t want more big government.’ So their answer? ‘Quick, let’s get back to Washington and pass more big government.’ They just are totally out of touch with Main Street America, and that’s why they’re going to lose next fall.”

Emmer also said most of the media and the left and Democrats have yet again missed what is happening in the country.

“Where they’re missing it is they want it to be about their narrative. That’s the problem. That is not what the American people, I think, think about it,” Emmer said. “We’re talking about the issues that matter most. We’re talking about inflation, which over 70 percent of the voters in these swing districts are extremely concerned about inflation, rising prices in the grocery store, rising prices at the pump, they’re having their purchasing power hollowed out as we speak. We’re talking about the crime wave that has become a major issue across this country as a direct result of the crazy insanity of defund the police, which is a Democrat issue. We’re talking about the border, right? These guys are talking about, while a suburban mom is trying to put 10 bucks into her van so she can pick up her kids at school and then go over the grocery store and pay four times what she was paying just 10 months ago for the same hamburger that she’s going to try and make a meatloaf with, these guys are talking about climate change and talking about all the wrong things. They’re talking about raising taxes, and putting more burdens on the American people and on that education issue, for goodness sakes, that education issue has nothing to do with Critical Race Theory as much as it has to do with you had the parents that were asking to be involved in their children’s education. Instead of listening to the parents and siding with their children, these Democrats have sided with powerful teachers unions at the expense of the kids—that’s what that was all about. If you’re going to, quite frankly—I probably shouldn’t say it this way—but if you’re gonna piss off Mama Bear, Mama Bear is gonna show up and protect her cubs. She showed up last Tuesday and said: ‘You’re fired. We’re gonna hire somebody who’s going to listen to us.’ That’s what this is about.”

What’s more, the Democrats have desperately tried to make everything about Trump’s personality—rather than the issues and ideas he and other Republicans stand for. Monday night Emmer’s party committee is happily hosting Trump in Tampa, Florida, for its big annual dinner with donors, but he said the party is a movement of ideas and the policies that Trump championed in office that remain extremely popular.

“Well, we’re in Tampa, Florida, where people are free to associate without these ridiculous restrictions, and we’re excited to have the former president come and speak to our members, to our donors,” Emmer told Breitbart News. “It’s what you and I have been talking about—his policies are still extremely popular. And we look forward to highlighting it. Whether it was energy independence, whether it was a secure border, whether it’s peace in our streets and people being able to live together safely, as we go forward that’s what we’re going to advocate for. Think about it: a vote for a Republican next fall is going to be a vote to control and rein in big government, rein in the spending, get control of inflation, put people back in charge of their economic future. A vote for a Republican next fall is going to be a vote for safety and security in our communities. A vote for a Republican next fall is going to be about a secure border, it’s going to be about putting parents back in charge of their children’s education and giving individuals the right to make decisions that are best for them. As far as the president and his future, you know he’s going to make his own choices, and he’ll weigh in where he decides. But I can guarantee you this: that whether it’s our members, our supporters, I think Americans quite frankly, both left and right of center, along with the former president, are committed to firing Nancy Pelosi and stopping Democrats’ big government socialist agenda.”

What’s more, on immigration, the NRCC this week released polling data showing a devastating swing against Democrats on it. In the so-called “Build Back Better” bill that Democrats are considering jamming through on partisan lines to spend trillions more money, there are provisions contained within it that would increase immigration levels to the United States—something that a majority of Americans disapprove of, according to the NRCC polling. Asked about this, Emmer slammed President Joe Biden’s administration for trying to pay off illegal aliens $450,000 each—and noted that immigration is a “kitchen table issue” and a “pocketbook issue” to ordinary Americans and that it has an economic effect as well as a public safety impact.

“Well, the immigration issue is is a pocketbook issue. They’re making it more so,” Emmer said. “I just have to go to one piece, as you were talking about it—this issue of compensating illegal immigrants who were separated at the border. You’re coming into the country illegally. And now, we’re supposed to compensate you for some type of some type of trauma? That’s 3-to-1 that Americans disapprove of the notion that you’re going to give them any money, let alone $450,000 per family. It’s just insane. But I’m sorry, I got off a little bit. You’re talking about immigration being a kitchen table issue and how it impacts. The bottom line is that polling showed us this is still a very potent issue for Americans. This is something that, while some people would want to write it off, this is something that Americans care about, and this administration has completely punted on the immigration issue and talk about incompetence. I think it’s almost willful incompetence.”

Emmer concluded the interview by noting, too, that the more Democrats make the midterms and future elections about “personality” and not about issues, the more they lose.

“This is about a movement. They want to make this about personality every day of the week. It’s got nothing to do with that,” Emmer said. “By the way, that’s fine. They stand to get hurt even more at the ballot box. Americans are tired of this stuff. They’re smarter than these people are giving them credit for. The arrogance on the other side is what’s costing them on a daily basis as much as their misguided policies that are out of touch with mainstream USA.”

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