Congressman Mo Brooks, who currently represents Alabama’s 5th Congressional district in the Tennessee Valley of North Alabama told Yellowhammer in an exclusive interview this weekend that he’s declaring his candidacy for the United States Senate. Congressman Brooks officially announced his candidacy earlier this morning on the Dale Jackson Show for the upcoming special election, which kicks off May 17, when qualifying ends.
Governor Ivey set this special election to fill the seat previously held by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. After Mr. Sessions become Attorney General, former Governor Robert Bentley appointed Senator Luther Strange to the seat, which he presently holds. Governor Ivey scheduled the primary election for August 15, followed by a run-off on September 26, and the general election on December 12.
Following is my conversation with Congressman Brooks in which he declared his candidacy (with my questions in bold and his answers in plain font):
Congressman, can you start by telling Yellowhammer’s readers why you’ve decided to run for the U.S. Senate? Certainly. I’m running for the United States Senate because the Senate has been a major barrier to solving America’s greatest challenges. Senate rules are antiquated, resulting in artificial barriers that thwart the majority will of the Senate and House of Representatives, as well as that of the President. More importantly, these arcane Senate rules thwart the will of the Americans citizens who elected the House, Senate, and President. It makes no sense that a Senate minority can grind the entire United States Senate to a halt, thereby inflicting so much damage on America.
What distinguishes you in this race Congressman Brooks? I offer one thing no one else offers: honest, proven conservative leadership. While other candidates may claim the conservative mantle, I am the only candidate who has a long-term voting record that proves I not only talk the conservative talk, I also walk the conservative walk.
Can you please share with us what issues you think are most important in this election? America faces many major issues the Senate must address:
First, we’re facing a tremendous financial crisis. America is burdened with a $20 trillion national debt and a $600 billion annual deficit (the difference between our government spending and revenue). Washington’s financially irresponsible leadership places America at risk of a debilitating insolvency and bankruptcy that threatens to destroy what it took our ancestors more than two centuries to build. In Washington, we must have elected officials who possess the intellect and economic understanding, as well as the backbone, to make the hard choices it will take to minimize America’s risk of suffering from a debilitating insolvency and bankruptcy. For those who don’t understand how bad things can be when a central government goes bankrupt, I encourage them to read about the plight of Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and Greece. Many in Washington foolishly believe America is somehow exempt from basic economic principles. That belief is both false and extremely dangerous.
Second, a grave threat to America is our lack of proper border security. While I realize the President is taking action that helps, much work remains. In particular, our porous borders jeopardize both our physical security and our economic stability. Specifically, illegal aliens are taking jobs from American workers and suppressing their wages because of the sheer millions of them who’ve entered our labor force. This flood of illegal workers artificially suppresses incomes for hard-working Americans who are fortunate enough to have jobs.
Can you please share what you’ve you done to address this issue as a U.S. Congressman? Sure, Larry, I’m happy to. I have a proven track record in support of border security. By way of but one example, NumbersUSA and other well-respected border security groups acknowledge that in my six years in Congress, I have a perfect 100% score and record on border security issues and on protecting American workers from the huge surge in the illegal alien labor supply. Jeff Sessions departure from the Senate left a huge border security void in the Senate. My border security record as a Congressman establishes that I have the understanding and determination needed to address this problem and protect American jobs for American workers.
Are there any other issues you’d like to address? Yes, there are many, but one additional one that’s a top priority is the continuing battle between free enterprise and liberty, on the one hand, and socialism and higher taxes, on the other hand. My economics education and background have taught me one thing that’s very clear: free enterprise is the path to prosperity, while socialism is the path to decline and poverty. Yet, despite an overwhelming economic history that proves that free enterprise works while socialism fails, we have countless Democrats in Washington who foolishly believe that socialism is a good economic model, despite the fact that it’s never worked in any nation that’s ever tried it, in the history of humanity. America needs U.S. Senators with the intellect, economic understanding, and backbone who will stop Socialist Bernie Sanders dead in his tracks, before America, too, falls victim to the sweet but false and dangerous siren song of socialism.
Thank you for articulating those issues Congressman Brooks. At the top of the interview, you said you have a record of proven, conservative leadership. Can you please provide some specifics in that regard? Sure, I’d be delighted to. There are several highly reputable national organizations that track every vote a Congressman casts, and then they rank us based on our votes. I’m honored by the recognition these groups have given me that prove my conservative leadership. For example:
- • During the last session of Congress, Heritage Action (the political wing of the Heritage Foundation) ranked me, as one of the Top Ten Best Congressmen on issues involving the “principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.”
- • Over the past six years, the American Conservative Union ranked my record in the top 20% of all Congressmen, with an overall A-Grade during the last session of Congress, on issues relating to “liberty, personal responsibility, traditional value, and a strong national defense.”
- • Over the past six years, the National Taxpayer Union has ranked my record at the top of the Alabama Congressional delegation, tied with Congressmen Bradley Byrne and Gary Palmer, on issues relating to “tax relief and reform, lower and less wasteful spending, individual liberty, and free enterprise.”
- • Over the past six years, Club for Growth has ranked my record in the top 20% of all Congressmen on “economic policies that strengthen our nation’s economy and shrink the size of the federal government.”
- • Finally, I’m a proud member of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of intellectual conservatives who both understand public policy and its cascading effects and have the backbone to defend conservative principles no matter the pressure to do the wrong thing. By way of example, in the recent fight over health care, it was the House Freedom Caucus that refused to fold and vote for a health care bill that, according to evaluations by both the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation, would have raised health insurance premiums over the next two to three years by 15-20% over and above expected ObamaCare increases! Working as a team, the House Freedom Caucus forced changes that are estimated to significantly cut health insurance premiums, not raise them. In sum, my record establishes that I have the backbone and public policy understanding needed to fight for the foundational principles that have made America the greatest nation in world history.
That’s quite a record of conservative achievement. Thank you for sharing that with us. One last question, many times in major elections like these, there are extensive discussions among voters and pundits about the candidates’ “electability.” Aside from the fact that you’re already a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, can you tell our readers why you think you have a good chance of winning this race? Since I began public service, I’ve been a candidate in nine re-elections: three as a state legislator, three as a county commissioner, and three as a United States Congressman. In each of those races, I’ve won every contested general and primary election by a margin of at least 30 percent or more. That’s probably the best endorsement I have of my job performance as a public servant, and if the voters give me an opportunity to be their U.S. Senator, I think they’ll like the work I do for them.
That’s quite a margin of victory. How can our readers learn more about your campaign? My website is simply MoBrooksforSenate.Com.
Thank you, Congressman Brooks. It was a pleasure to speak with you today and good luck in the race. Thank you, Larry, and thanks as well to your readers at Yellowhammer News!