Politico - Response to Hardball Interview
Last Friday, all the liberal special interests from California to Vermont found a new outlet for their energy, their frustrations and their money. That would be in defeating me.
In a matter of 48 hours after I participated in an interview with Chris Matthews on MSNBC's "Hardball," more than $640,000 from donors across the country flooded into my opponent's campaign. Almost to a one, these are people who never would have considered voting for me if they lived in Minnesota. In fact, most of them have probably never voted for a Republican. These are strong supporters of Barack Obama who want to see more liberal policies enacted in Washington.
These are not people who know anything about my policy views. They don't know anything about my record of reaching across the aisle on issues ranging from support for small business to foster care improvements, an issue near and dear to my heart as a former foster mother to 23 troubled teens. Or about my record of standing up to my own party when the occasion calls for it such as opposing the $700 billion Wall Street bailout and standing up to members of the other party when they try to push through tax hikes or limit personal liberty.
These are not even people who know anything about my opponent or his positions on the issues though they are willing to donate to him based on a few minutes of listening to the political echo chamber.
They have been riled up by a spin machine in serious overdrive as we come down the homestretch to Election Day.
Despite the way the blogs and the Democratic Party are spinning it, I never called all liberals anti-American, I never questioned Barack Obama's patriotism, and I never asked for some House Un-American Activities Committee witch hunt into my colleagues in Congress.
What I did was ask legitimate questions that Minnesotans have been asking me: What does Barack Obama mean by change?
He sounds good when he talks about hope and change there's no denying that. But what types of policies would come from an Obama White House? He hasn't had a long record in office, but what we do know is that he's been rated the most liberal senator. Beyond that, we have to look for other ways to discern the substance behind his pretty platitudes.
Why isn't it appropriate to ask about the formative relationships he's had? The types of relationships that may have influenced Barack Obama's views on public policy and on government decision making? Why is the media more intent on learning the type of plumbing license Joe the Plumber has than on exploring the obvious questions about Barack Obama's formative relationships with people such as the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers people with views far outside the mainstream, where most voters find themselves?
For at least two years, the American people are potentially looking at a liberal policy agenda dominating Washington from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. In fact, it's conceivable that the Democrat majority in the Senate could be large enough that the traditional minority right to filibuster would be entirely eviscerated. So why isn't it appropriate to ask what that policy agenda would look like?
Of course, none of these points has been noted in any subsequent media reports of the interview. It's like a political version of the children's game of telephone. I make a statement in an interview. Chris Matthews distorts it as he is paid so well to do. The liberal blogs contort it even more. The speaker of the House and other Democrat leaders utter absolute lies about what was said in the interview. Then the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee picks it up and runs with it, buying $1 million for negative ads so that they don't have to talk about the issues.
And it's the issues that the voters in Minnesota's 6th District want to talk about. Everywhere I go, people ask about the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, and they want to know why we're saddling taxpayers with generations of debt to pay for risky decisions by Wall Street financiers. There's a clear distinction between my position on this bailout I opposed it both times it came before the House and that of my opponent, who says he would have supported it.
The Democrats don't want to talk about the pocketbook issues that are really on the minds of Minnesotans. Those voters were concerned about how much it cost to fill their tank with gas this summer, but that pales in comparison to how much it might cost to heat their homes this winter.
They want to know how they're going to pay their mortgage and their grocery bills. Again, my record and my opponent's are clearly different when it comes to the family budget. I've always stood up for lower taxes and against wasteful government spending.
But when you can't win on the issues, you steal the election with a couple of lies and $1 million worth of mud. And the media reports and Democrat responses to my interview on "Hardball" have been echoing the outright lies of the liberal blogs. Is it really any wonder people are so cynical about politics?
Published in the Politico