Exclusive – Rep. Todd Rokita: We Want a ‘True Trump Supporter in the U.S. Senate from Indiana’

UNITED STATES - APRIL 4: Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., who is running for the Republican nomination for Senate in Indiana, addresses the Steuben County Lincoln Day Dinner in Angola, Ind., on April 4, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images

Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN) said on Breitbart News Saturday he is campaigning to make sure we have a “true Trump supporter in the U.S. Senate from the state of Indiana.”

“We’re going to drive 400 miles [just today] to campaign to make sure that we have a true Trump supporter in the U.S. Senate from the state of Indiana,” Rokita told Breitbart News Saturday host Matthew Boyle.

Rokita faces off against Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN) and businessman Mike Braun in the Indiana Senate Republican primary on May 8. The winner of the primary will compete against Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), who is considered one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats up for re-election.

Rep. Rokita first discussed reports that Messer has had a history of drunk driving. Messer replaced State Rep. Roland Stine in 2003, who was killed by a drunk driver.

Rokita called the report “troubling” and said Rep. Messer needs to take responsibility for his past actions.

Rokita told Breitbart News Saturday, “It’s troubling. There’s a pattern now of Luke not taking responsibility, whether it’s that or moving out of the state and trying to say that he lives in the state.”

Rokita continued, “He says he’s for Trump’s wall, but he said on national TV as a congressman that he’s open to a pathway for citizenship, amnesty. It’s so duplicitous. I know Nolan Stein, who was Luke Messer’s predecessor in the state House who was a popular high school teacher, and I was at the services after he was killed by a drunk driver. The gymnasium was packed, the whole community came out, and because he was killed by a drunk driver and Messer was appointed by a precinct committee member to replace the vacancy, basically launching his political career. I think he certainly owed it to the precinct committee member who is choosing to disclose his past, and he didn’t think it’s more than it’s the duplicitous nature of the whole situation.”

Messer has defended against Rokita’s claims, arguing that he has never served as a member of any Gang of Eight to push for an amnesty bill.

“That guy in Indiana is known as ‘Lyin’ Todd Rokita,’” Messer fired back on a previous episode of Breitbart News Saturday. “He was called out by PolitiFact in the last couple of days for running an ad campaign that’s mostly false. From what I understand, I wasn’t listening, but from what other people have told me, I have never been part of any Gang of Eight; that’s just simply not true. In fact, I’ve helped lead the fight with President Trump to get after illegal immigration.”

Rokita then called out Mike Braun, the third Indiana Senate primary candidate for voting to raise taxes on Hoosiers while exempting his own business from the state sales tax.

“And let’s not leave Mike Braun out of it. Mike Braun, who says he an outsider was actually in office for 14 years and gave his county common core.When he got elected to the legislature, he raised taxes, the largest in state history, 45 times — at the same time, lowering taxes on his own business. He’s one of the largest timber operators in the state of Indiana, largest makers of hardwood — exempted himself from sales tax,” Rokita added.

Rokita continued, “He’s pumped in four million dollars while we have six thousand small donors; we have a real grassroots operation here. We’re in an era where’s it’s possible to buy Senate seats. I hope Indiana doesn’t take that bait.”

Boyle said, “We’ve had Congressman Messer on the program a couple of times. Mike Braun has a standing invitation to come on the show, and he has not responded for whatever reason.”

Breitbart News Saturday host Amanda House then asked Rep. Rokita about H.R. 997, the English Language Unity Act of 2017, which would make English the national language of America. Rokita serves as a cosponsor of H.R. 997.

Rokita said, “It’s basically saying that as far as our government operations go, they should be conducted in English and that we should have a uniform tutorial requirement in our naturalization process. So if you’re coming into the country, there’s currently a requirement that you’re able to articulate in English, but I’m talking about a uniform and even a bit of a task, perhaps, to make sure that you can speak English and just to encourage us to have a secure border with President Trump’s wall finally, but that we also have a common language because that’s what a nation is, a sovereign nation, or any place worth living in is. Common language, secure border, and this will go a long way of doing that. This will not demean or hurt anybody, but if you want to come here, then you should want to be a part of our community. You shouldn’t want to create your own community from your own country here. You should want to be a part of America, and that should help.”

House then said, “Learning English is only going to help immigrants and help them get job opportunities.”

Rokita agreed, saying, “Exactly, it helps them, and it unites us. If you come here with the intent of becoming an American, you got to live united, and a common language unites us. It’s only the left that wants to divide us and hyphenate us. There’s a lot of cowardice in Congress, and it will be a hard bill to pass. We ought to be trying. Try to contact your local congressman. It’s H.R. 997. Try to get your congressman on the bill.”

Breitbart News Saturday’s Boyle then asked Rokita how we get President Trump’s signature campaign promise passed, a border wall on the U.S. southern border, given the logjam in Congress.

Rokita explained, “One of the reasons Nancy Pelosi is smiling ear to ear is because of that atrocious, ridiculous $1.3 trillion … spending bill actually” prohibits Trump from building his promised border wall under the spending bill. “It’s an example of the establishment keeping a rigged system going, Republicans and Democrats, saying, ‘Yeah we’ll give you a couple of miles of fence’ while drugs are still going through the fence. That’s the fence we have now. As a senator, I plan to bring some courageous conservativism there and say, ‘No, you’re going to do this, or you’re not getting my vote.’ That’s what it’s going to have to take.”

The Indiana congressman continued, “I suggest that we do it in one fell swoop. Speaking of the entire budget, it’s not much money, and trust fund it so it can’t be taken. Maybe we will have to take a couple of warts in a spending bill to get the wall. It will take conservative votes and conservative leadership to get it done.”

Breitbart News Saturday airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern.

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