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  Politics and Elections
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Interview: Renee Ellmers, Republican nominee,
North Carolina District 2
I'm very excited about the opportunity I had to interview Republican Renee Ellmers. She is the GOP nominee challenging incumbent Democrat Bob Etheridge in North Carolina's 2nd District. While some would call her a longshot to win here, this is exactly the kind of race that can be won if the right kind of Republican wave makes political landfall on November 2.

EP:  Earlier this year, Club for Growth released their scorecard for 2009 which measures fiscal responsibility among lawmakers on Capitol Hill.  Your opponent, Bob Etheridge achieved a 6% score.  If elected, how important would it be for you to rate higher on that scale and how would your fiscal policy decisions differ from Mr. Etheridge?

Ms. Ellmers:  Well, if I don�t score higher than 6%, I�ll give up and come home.  My philosophy is conservative and "Fiscal Conservatism" is more than just a label to me.  Congressman Etheridge refers to himself as a "Fiscally Conservative Democrat," but I�ve yet to see that reflected in his voting record.  My goal will be to decrease spending, lower taxes (to stimulate job growth in the short-term), and then work toward comprehensive tax reform such as the Fair Tax.  These policies � plus decreasing regulations on small businesses � will create jobs.

EP:  You are a nurse by vocation and your husband is a doctor.  Talk for a moment about how you believe the health care bill passed by Congress will affect American families in general and health care providers, like you and your husband, specifically.

Ms. Ellmers:  Let me start out by saying that Nancy Pelosi and company forcing the healthcare bill through Congress may be the most detrimental piece of legislation to affect our country ever.  If elected I am going to work tirelessly to defund, dismantle and eventually repeal the bill.

American families and businesses will be affected by Obama-care starting January 1, 2011, when Obama-care tax increases start.  All citizens will be affected with an increase to the national debt.

Also, I am sad to say that the passage of the healthcare bill has already had a negative effect on physician practices.  In our area of North Carolina we have seen one outstanding specialist retire early; a bright, young primary care physician relocate; multiple practices have experienced drops in volume and revenue; and a few have sent out notifications to patients that they will no longer be taking Medicare.

The long and the short of it is if these trends continue there will be irreparable harm to the quality of healthcare in America.

EP:  That's why I believe we need folks like you in Washington - and the sooner the better!  Let's move to another hot button issue.  The immigration law passed recently in Arizona has caused quite an uproar across the nation.  It has been interesting to me to hear the mischaracterizations of the law among Democrats who, in many cases, haven't even read it.  What do you think this says about the attitude of Democratic leadership toward the issue of illegal immigration?

Ms. Ellmers:  I think the Democrats best illustrated their attitudes about illegal immigration when they all stood up in Congress to applaud Mexican President Calderon when he stated that he was against the Arizona immigration bill.  Who's country do they represent?

I support Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.  I think she has shown rare courage.  And the kind of leadership we have not seen in a long time.  The federal government has not enforced the immigration laws � literally leaving Arizona no choice but to pass and enforce their own, which states have the right to do under the 10th Amendment.  But I think the Obama administration will continue to perpetuate distortions in the hope that they can intimidate Arizona into backing off.

EP:  Judging from the things I've heard from Governor Brewer, I don't see that happening.  Now, few would argue that illegal immigration is a national security concern.  Along those same lines, would you discuss your impressions of President Obama's foreign policy as it relates to radical Islamic terrorism?  How would you advise the Obama administration to approach the issue of keeping Americans safe against this ongoing threat?

Ms. Ellmers:  The first step is simple:  President Obama has to recognize � and tell the American people � he understands radical Islamic terrorism does exist.  He also has to understand that our country is great because of our American exceptionalism � and not arrogance.  His repeated apologetic remarks regarding America to other nations, both ally and enemy, must end and be replaced with a message of strength.  I would also advise President Obama to step-up support for our military and discuss military strategies focused on success rather than exit dates.

EP:  Sounds like the right strategy to me!  Ok, let's talk a little about the upcoming elections.  Tuesday night, we watched Rand Paul, an open and enthusiastic voice of the Tea Party movement, win by a huge margin over an establishment Republican in the Senate primary in Kentucky.  How do you view the Tea Party movement and what do you expect its impact in November will be?

Ms. Ellmers:  I am a big fan of the Tea Party movement.  In fact, it was the Tea Party and Healthcare rallies that got me motivated to start speaking out.  Which led to my running for Congress.  I attended Tea Parties here in the Raleigh area, and my husband and I got involved with Americans for Prosperity's "Hands Off My Heathcare" Tour.

I think the Tea Party will have a significant effect on the November elections.  If it doesn�t we�re in trouble.

EP:  During the 1994 Republican surge that won over fifty seats in the House, Fred Heineman won against Democrat David Price over in the 4th district in an upset no one saw coming.  Right now, your race with Etheridge is not on the national radar.  Do you see similarities between this year's political climate and 1994?

Ms. Ellmers:  I do.  The 1994 election was voters saying no to Clinton�s march to the left after being elected in 1992.  Obama has gone much further left than even Clinton.  A lot of my district is rural, and small town voters � in both parties � are upset about the direction of the country.  My race is not on the national radar because we just finished the Primary and because it�s standard political wisdom incumbents like Congressman Etheridge are tough to unseat.  But 1994 showed that can be wrong and this election in November could be 1994 on Steroids!  The American people have shown over the last year that they have had ENOUGH politics as usual and want to STOP the direction our great country is headed in under Obama and Pelosi.

EP:  1994 on steroids - I like that.  Ok, in conclusion, let me open the floor for you to take a moment to share a bit of what you want voters of the 2nd District to know about you and why you are the right person to represent them in Congress next year.

Ms. Ellmers:  I am a nurse, wife and a mom. I believe that we are "...One Nation Under God..." and that our Constitution was divinely inspired and is as relevant today as it was when it was written by our Founding Fathers.

Like every person in the 2nd District who has watched our president "fundamentally transform" our great country, I am concerned for our children�s � my son�s � future.  I am not a politician, have never wanted to be and hope I never will be.  But I am deeply concerned, and I will not stand by and watch my son's future sacrificed at the altar of "social justice" through a series of manipulations masked as "reforms" for the end purpose of mass redistribution of wealth.

My personal beliefs are simple:  Less government; lower taxes; strong national defense.  I am a fiscal and social conservative.  I believe that prosperity and success come from each of us when we work hard to achieve, not from a government handout.

In Washington, my opponent Congressman Bob Etheridge votes with Nancy Pelosi 97% of the time and has shown that he will continue to do so despite what the citizens of District 2 think.  He voted for the Healthcare Bill, Cap and Trade, Death Tax, Stimulus, TARP and is a proponent of Card Check.  I have spoken to thousands of voters who have told me "Bob Etheridge has sold us out."  And I agree.  I wouldn�t be a candidate for Congress if I didn�t.

EP:  Amen to that!  Ms. Ellmers, thank you so much for taking the time for this interview.  I for one - and by no means the only one - am rooting for you to represent North Carolinians in the 2nd district in Congress come next January.  Best to you and your family.

Ms. Ellmers:  Thank you, Scott, for your thoughtful questions and your support.  I am grateful for the opportunity to share my thoughts and vision for our great country and look forward to the months ahead.

Please click here for a video message from Ms. Ellmers.  And then visit her website to offer your support.

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