Exclusive — Jim Banks on Indiana Senate Run: ‘More Clear to Me Than Ever We Need Conservative Fighters’

Jim Banks
Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) told Breitbart News exclusively that he is running for the U.S. Senate in 2024 in Indiana because it is “more clear to me than ever” that America needs “conservative fighters in the Senate.”

“Indiana deserves a conservative in the Senate,” Banks said in an interview ahead of his announcement on Tuesday morning. “Mike Braun has been a reliable conservative in his term. He announced he’s running for governor, so it’s an open seat. I just believe I’m the type of conservative leader that Hoosiers are looking forward to send[ing] to the Senate. I’ve been a leading conservative in the House on issues like securing the border and on America First policies like getting immigration policies to put American workers first and foreign policy that puts America First over the interests of other countries. The national debt, $32 trillion, is greatly concerning to me when I see the Senate passed a $1.7 trillion omnibus bill without any fight against it in the Senate. As one of the most fiscally conservative members of the House, it makes me angry. It’s why I want to go to the Senate, to shake it up and be a part of the next generation of conservative leaders like Tom Cotton, JD Vance, and others who are over there fighting the fight. I want to go join.”

Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), the incumbent U.S. Senator in this seat, announced earlier this year he is leaving because he is running for governor. Braun will serve out the rest of his U.S. Senate term before leaving. His planned departure, however, opens this U.S. Senate seat up as an open seat and gives a conservative like Banks—who has chaired the Republican Study Committee (RSC) the last two years and been a fighter for the America First movement during his tenure in Congress—to step up and advance to the U.S. Senate.


Banks announced his campaign on Tuesday morning with a three-minute video explaining why he is running, along with a series of key endorsements from top conservatives like Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN) right out of the gate.

“First of all, I’ve learned over the last six years in Congress that the radical left and the Democrats are doing everything they can to change America and we have to fight back against what they’re trying to do,” Banks told Breitbart News. “Donald Trump taught us how to fight back hard and win against the radical left. The policies that he pushed when he was president are policies that will put America back on top and restore America. So I want to be a senator because I can do even more to advance those policies than I’ve been able to do in the House. That’s what Indiana is looking for. It’s not about me. It’s about Indiana. Indiana deserves a conservative senator who will fight for the America First policies that not that long ago, when President Trump was in office, we saw work for our country. All of his policies have been reversed since Joe Biden took office and have turned America upside down. So that’s why I want to do it. I’ve had a strong record in the House, and I believe I can do even more in the Senate.”

Banks has spent the last several years steering House Republicans more towards the America First vision that former President Donald Trump laid out for the party and away from the globalist failures of the past. Through his leadership at the RSC, he published a series of position papers structuring the agenda of the new populist GOP—and he says that agenda is something he believes strengthens the party and movement by bringing the strong parts of the GOP’s history together with the positives that Trump brought to the table.

FILE - In this Oct. 27, 2018 file photo, President Donald Trump is greeted by Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., as he arrives at Indianapolis International Airport in Indianapolis. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is rejecting two Republicans tapped by House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy to sit on a committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. She cited the “integrity” of the investigation. Pelosi said in a statement Wednesday that she would not accept the appointments of Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, whom McCarthy picked to be the top Republican on the panel, or Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan. Both are close allies of former President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Donald Trump is greeted by Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., as he arrives at Indianapolis International Airport in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

“Donald Trump taught us that when we take the traditional conservative platform of the Republican Party, which has a strong national defense, fiscal responsibility, and pro-family values, and marry that with the populist agenda that President Trump brought to our party—holding China accountable, immigration policies that put America first, trade policies that put America first, foreign policy that puts America first—when we combine those from the new populist movement and voters that have come to the Republican Party because of Donald Trump, our party is bigger and stronger than ever,” Banks said. “As Republican Study Committee Chairman, we planted the flag and said that the Trump agenda is the Republican Party agenda. When we fight for that agenda, we win elections. I still believe that strongly today. That’s what Hoosiers are looking for. They’re looking for a senator that’s going to go fight for those policies.”

Banks envisions the major issues his Senate campaign will focus on include combating what he says are the three biggest threats to the country: China, “woke-ism,” and the national debt.

“The three biggest threats to America today are China, woke-ism, and our national debt. I’ve been a leader in fighting against all three of those issues, those threats, in the House, I’ve been a leading voice,” Banks said. “Early on, in my time in Congress, there were just a few of us with President Trump who were fighting to hold China accountable. Corporate America was trying to sell us out to China as we’re watching China steal our jobs. Then they gave us COVID. No one ever held China accountable for it. So that’s why I’m one of the most fiscally conservative members of the House with a proven track record and pushing for balanced budgets and cutting wasteful spending, even when special interest groups are fighting back hard against me. I’ve been one of those leading voices for balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility. So we need, obviously with the $1.7 trillion omnibus bill, we need more senators over there who are fiscally responsible, right? Then woke-ism is a cancer that’s going to kill America if we don’t do something about it. This is a threat that we face that I’ve been a leading voice and battling with the Pentagon on, for pushing anti-Americanism and Critical Race Theory on our troops and on the Education Committee fighting back against bureaucrats and the radical left who have been trying to push CRT in our schools on our kids. That’s a fight that Republicans need to be focused on. Now, more than ever, I’m going to continue to be a leader in that fight over the next two years in the House and in a bigger way in the Senate when I get there.”

“The Senate badly needs a new generation of conservative leaders who understand that we have to tackle the China threat. There are too many Republicans who are beholden to big business and multinational corporations interested in selling us out to China. I want to be a Republican voice in the Senate, just like I have in the House, that helps Republicans realize that we are representing working-class Americans when we hold China accountable and fight back against what China is trying to do to the American economy.

While Banks is the first major candidate to join this race, it is also rumored that former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels—who spent years as the president of Purdue University, overseeing the implementation of leftist woke insanity being embedded into the college’s curriculum—may also run. Daniels, who was once nicknamed “The Blade” by former President George W. Bush for whom he served as Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), has a penchant for pushing policies also championed by former House Speaker Paul Ryan that would see severe cuts and changes to Social Security and Medicare. While Banks is not talking about his possible future primary opponent at this time, he did say specifically regarding woke ideology in educational institutions that he will continue his fight against that in this campaign and later in the U.S. Senate if he wins.

“Woke-ism is a cancer that’s going to kill America if we don’t do something about it as it’s taking a foothold in many of our institutions, especially on university campuses,” Banks said. “So we have to do everything we can to defund federal government efforts that advance woke-ism in education. I’m going to be fighting and leading the way.”


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