An exclusive interview with Jim Bridenstine in the last days of his campaign to win the 1st Congressional District of Oklahoma, Tulsa Today asked…
Question: What has been your greatest surprise in this race?
Bridenstine: It has been amazing, but grassroots retail politics wins. That was a surprise to some consultants that discounted the effort, but that was how we won the primary.
Door-to-door in neighborhoods throughout Oklahoma’s 1st District we were glad to meet with people in their homes and at every civic group anywhere. In the primary, we were outspent more than 5 to 1, but we won on the ground. Shoe leather counts especially when spent by a dedicated group of volunteers.
After the primary, Congressman John Sullivan has been class-act in every regard. The primary was highly competitive, but once the voting was over; he became an unexpected powerful asset in the continuing campaign. John Sullivan has sponsored events, organized fundraisers, worked the phone, met and spoke to contributors and in all ways actively engaged to help us keep the 1st District of Oklahoma in the Republican camp. I cannot say enough of how much I appreciate his support and enthusiasm.
Question: Your commercials speak to the core of Conservative values, but for the 1st District, how do you plan to help us in Congress?
Bridenstine: First I am looking forward to working with President Mitt Romney in pursuing North America energy independence. What is good for North America energy independence is good for Oklahoma. We have to roll-back excessive regulations on energy companies. We must open public land to exploration. We must move forward with the Keystone Pipeline. We must counter the demonization of “fracking,” the oil extraction process Oklahoma has proven safe for decades under clear rules established by the Corporation Commission. Bad Liberal ideas [irrational fears] must be challenged so American companies may develop energy, employ millions and return the nation to prosperity.
Question: In debate with your opponent John Olsen, what has been the most striking difference in policy positions?
Bridenstine: John Olsen is a Barack Obama Democrat. He is not your generally conservative Oklahoma Democrat. When you hear him talk, Olsen supports more government, more taxes, more regulations, more debt, more deficit spending, and Obamacare in all regards. He goes full left down the line with the President’s agenda.
I first thought, if he were really trying to win the 1st District of Oklahoma, Olsen would have a different message. I was talking with Democrats yesterday and they continue to be astonished at the policy positions he has enthusiastically embraced.
Question: So while Democrats like Dan Boren were known for independent positions, John Olsen is going by rote to the left of the Left?
Bridenstine: That is correct. John Olsen is supporting Obamacare. He is supporting what he calls investments in roads and bridges – what Obama called “stimulus” and now our debt to GDP is 105 percent which is well beyond the historical norms that enable economic growth.
This 1st District race is very much reflective of the race for the presidency. I believe in responsible, limited government. John Olsen is Barack Obama’s policy reflection.
Question: If a resident of the 1st District may believe that their vote doesn’t matter – that Mitt Romney will win the presidency and you will win the 1st District and that they don’t need to make the effort to vote – what would you say to them?
Bridenstine: Now more than ever in America it is critical that everyone votes. No one can afford to be complacent. I don’t believe it will be good for the country to have a close vote or one where the popular vote goes one way and the Electoral College goes another. It is critical for all Oklahomans to vote because they are a part of the popular vote tallies. We need President Mitt Romney for the future of the country and the difference between free enterprise or government control are clear for all to see. We have seen it for four years. We see it at the gas station, grocery store and on everyone’s utility bills.
Barack Obama is a failure we must fix with Constitutional government, equal application of the law, free enterprise, individual freedom to dream and build those dreams daily. Somehow, Obama Democrats don’t believe people build things, but somehow roads build businesses – they claim that with a straight face even when it sounds like a joke to most Americans. Republicans believe people build businesses then those businesses are burdened with taxes that provide money for roads, bridges and the social programs big government loves.
Further, in Katie Henke’s race for the Oklahoma House District 71 in Brookside, she won and was certified in a special election by one vote, but the Court then decided the race was too close to call. Democrats often run to court when they can’t win at the polls. That is why Republicans, Independents, and Democrats that believe in traditional American government must turn out to vote Republican at this great turning point for our nation.
Our children will ask us how we voted in this election. History will hold us accountable.