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Public Statements

NBC "Meet the Press" - Transcript

Interview

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REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R-TN): Right.

MR. GREGORY: He's got two contests coming up. But he is losing the heart of the party even though he is still the odds-on favorite. You do you explain it?

REP. BLACKBURN: I think that what has happened is this race is really capturing the attention of the American public, Democrats and Republicans, who want to see where the Republican Party is going to shake out. What people in Tennessee said is, "Look, Newt was the candidate of the tea party, Romney's the candidate of the establishment, and they said we're conservatives, we're not necessarily partisans. What we want is someone who's going to listen to us. What we want is somebody who's going to focus on jobs and the economy and listen to us. And I think people are saying, listen to me, don't yell at me, listen to me.

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MR. GREGORY: But do we as voters celebrate the friction too much?

REP. BLACKBURN: I think that what we have to remember is what was just said, learn to agreeably disagree, to make your point because when the rhetoric gets too loud it's like I was saying, voters are saying don't yell at me, listen to me, and give me the facts. They want to be well informed and they're seeking to be well informed. That's why you've seen the rise of so many grassroots organizations. And quite frankly, I think it speaks to E.J.'s point of why the pundits are wrong so much now. Because the American people are going directly to sources, getting their information and they want us to respect them. And respect that they give us the opportunity to represent them I seek to honor that in everything I do every day.

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MR. DIONNE: ...because I wanted him to rise out of the casket and tell me, "I knew you'd be quoting Nixon some day." We ought to be able to be passionate and disagree passionately. And remember, there are people we love who have different views than the ones we have.

REP. BLACKBURN: Yeah, we debate, though.

MS. NOONAN: Yes.

REP. BLACKBURN: See, we're debating with in our families and you do it in that spirit of love and friendship. And knowing that in--at the end of the day you're never going to really agree, but you're going to celebrate the freedom that you enjoy to have that debate.

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MR. GREGORY: Quickly, Congresswoman, you look down South, Alabama and Mississippi, who gets the advantage there as you see it?

REP. BLACKBURN: I, I think that the polling is showing that the race between Santorum and Romney is tightening up.

MR. GREGORY: Yeah.

REP. BLACKBURN: I think, there again, economy, jobs, number two issue is national security, protecting this great nation, and female voters are going to be about 52 percent of that vote.

MR. GREGORY: OK. Interesting.

REP. BLACKBURN: Yeah.

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