SiriusXM host Matt Boyle talked on Friday’s edition of Breitbart News Daily with Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson of Wisconsin, who recently won the support of pro-President Trump Great America PAC.
Nicholson faces a candidate supported by the GOP establishment, State Sen. Leah Vukmir, in the primary and would then run against Democratic incumbent Sen. Tammy Baldwin in the general election. Nicholson wants the Republican caucus to choose a different leader than current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“I don’t think it’s anything too controversial to say that when a system is not working, when an institution is not functioning right, that leadership does need to be changed,” Nicholson told Boyle. “I’m a Marine by trade, and there’s plenty of great Marine officers who, at various points in their career, knew that they had to step aside in order to allow new blood and allow a new opportunity, just allow a change in era, frankly, to allow new people to come in and try it different.”
“I also would say that’s where our state is,” he continued. “If you look at the grassroots, if you look at the people involved in politics, they come up to me, and they would bring up the fact that we need new leadership in Washington. To me, I think that the grassroots are there already, and we’re just speaking common sense.”
Nicholson urged rejecting “the framework in which many senators operate, which is that we can continually accumulate massive amounts of debt, we can operate an economy which is low growth, and that things will just somehow work out – or, even if they won’t work out, there’s an assumption on the part of a lot of people in Washington that they’ll be out of office before the bills really come due.”
“Put simply, that’s unacceptable,” he said. “I’ve said this many times: I think you cannot come at this and assume you’re going to do this for a career. I don’t think, at this point in our nation’s history, that that’s even an option anymore. In my own case, I’ve limited myself to two terms, and I’m happy to do this for just one term. It means that you go there. You take the tough votes. You deal with the problems. You try and create an environment of growth which is going to create opportunities for Americans across the spectrum. That’s got to be the goal.”
“As a conservative, I think we have to come into this and say, ‘Look, our objective here is to create an environment and a country which people from every single background can go for and be successful.’ That should be our message no matter what we’re talking about – tax reform, if we’re talking about fixing the healthcare system the Democrats screwed up. There has to be a sense of urgency and action behind everything that we do,” he stressed.
“When people think of Republicans, when they think of conservatives, they should think of people that are out there taking tough votes and moving things forward that are going to make them and their families more successful. If that is what we are associated with, that is the conservative brand, we’re going to win elections,” he contended.
“Winning elections is great, but the whole point of doing it is to get there and actually take the tough votes, even if that means not winning the next election,” he added. “That’s going to be my attitude, and that’s the way I’m going to come at this. I think you get a critical mass of people like that in the Senate, and you’ll actually see things get done. It’s high time that it happened.”
On the subject of immigration reform, Nicholson said, “Anyone who advocates for illegal immigration or unfettered immigration, take that person, and I’ll show you someone who is an advocate for abusing human rights.”
“At the end of the day, if you’re trying to flood a country with a bunch of people that are there illegally, you’re likely doing it in order to abuse them in one way, shape, or form,” he explained. “You either want to abuse them for political purposes, or you want to underpay them and use them for your economic benefit.”
“There’s a moral case to be made here, and it’s a very real one, that restricted immigration – intelligent immigration that’s economically sustainable and geographically balanced – is a good way for a country to look at immigration. That starts with being able to control your borders. Again, nothing controversial here. This is common sense, and the way countries have operated for many centuries and millennia,” he argued.
“Building a border wall, fence, obstacle, whatever the case is – and I’m a combat engineer; there are different ways that you do this – is necessary because it signals permanence. It tells the American people that yes, we’re taking our border security seriously, because black, white, Hispanic, Asian, you name it, all Americans of every background and stripe come at this and say we need to stop illegal immigration,” he said.
“Doing that then allows us to move forward, and then after we have stopped illegal immigration, form a sensible immigration policy going forward that actually benefits the American people, to include new immigrants. We have to be commonsensical about this. The whole thing about our immigration policy up to this point, at least for the last number of decades, is that it really hasn’t benefited the American people – but it also hasn’t benefited new immigrants because it’s treated them, frankly, like human chattel. That is not acceptable,” said Nicholson.
Boyle noted that President Trump’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and renegotiation of NAFTA are major issues in Wisconsin, where the dairy industry “deals with Canada on a regular basis.”
“Trade is obviously a hot-button topic,” Nicholson agreed. “I’ve got a wide coalition of conservatives who are backing my candidacy. It goes from the Club for Growth, Great America PAC, the Madison Project, FreedomWorks, you name it. What I’ve said to everybody about trade is this: look, I believe in trade, but I believe in intelligent trade.”
“We don’t have free trade right now in many of these agreements that we’re talking about,” he said. “We trade with countries – whether it’s Canada, or China, whatever the case is – who actively subsidize their industries, who are then allowed to come in and sell their products in the American market, while American producers and American workers don’t necessarily receive the same benefits from their government.”
“What we have done, what our government has done, frankly, over a number of different years, is exposed American industry to subsidized competition and said, ‘That’s trade; you should be okay with it.’ That has set the American people up for a huge fail,” he cautioned.
“I’ve said consistently we should have more bilateral agreements, less multilateral agreements. There’s a reason for that – because it gives the American people greater leverage. It means that every country in the world, every industry in the world, wants to access the American consumer market. They want to be able to sell products here,” said Nicholson.
“If we keep our agreements bilateral instead of multilateral, we do a couple of things. One, we have greater leverage with those countries in order to force them to play fair and not subsidize their industries that they’re bringing into the American market. I think that’s a good thing for everybody, for competition and for the American people,” he argued.
“It also holds our negotiators accountable because these multilateral agreements get really complex. It allows them to give away things from the American people that can be hard to detect. When it’s a one-on-one trade deal, it’s more clear to the American people what deal has been struck, and it’s easier to hold our own negotiators and government accountable. I think that’s a good thing,” he said.
“Going forward, whether we’re talking about Canada or China, I think what we need to do is apply the common sense lens, keep it simple, and not allow other countries to subsidize their industries,” he urged.
Nicholson concluded by saying that if foreign countries want to trade in the United States, we should make certain they are not “giving their foreign industries unfair advantages.”
Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Eastern.