Jim Newberger, Minnesota’s GOP candidate for Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s seat on the U.S. Senate, visited Hutchinson Tuesday and sat down with a Leader reporter to talk policy ahead of the Nov. 6 election.
Newberger said his voters will largely come from Greater Minnesota, the reason for which is his belief that the U.S. should secure its borders and that the state’s refugee resettlement program should be altered. If elected, he said, he will help McLeod County and the agricultural industry by lowering energy costs. He also plans to tackle rising student debt.
Sen. Klobuchar has been a Senate member since 2006.
On what issue do you see yourself as an expert, and how will you use that expertise to help McLeod County?
I would have to say I consider myself an expert in energy and public safety. I’m the vice chair of the job growth and energy affordability committee. Minnesota used to be one of the most inexpensive states to purchase energy from, and now we’re one of the most expensive. I support an all-of-the-above energy approach. We have to have coal, gas and nuclear energy. We are a winter state. I am not opposed to solar- and wind-powered energy, but you can’t have those without the other three, especially in Minnesota. I would keep working on a federal level to make sure our cost of energy is as low as possible, especially for our farmers and our agricultural industry.
What’s your take on tariffs and their impact on farmers and manufacturers?
Well, the Trump tariffs were good for the Iron Range. They jumpstarted the economy there. They weren’t so good for the agricultural communities. China, Mexico and Canada hit back with their own restrictions. Tariffs are a short-term solution to a long-term problem. I believe that we need to keep working to get a good trade deal with China as soon as possible. We must renegotiate with Mexico and Canada. China must renegotiate with us. They have no choice. They depend too much on us for food. China can’t feed itself. We have the upper hand in this relationship, and we need to work extra hard. My opponent, Klobuchar, has spent the last two months playing political games with the (Brett) Kavanaugh hearings when she should have been working on the agricultural bill or helping negotiate a trade deal with China. I would not have spent time playing political games but working for our state.
What are Klobuchar’s strengths?
Her greatest strength is that she’s able to be very friendly in Minnesota. When she’s in Washington, D.C., it’s a different story. She was rated last year by Politico as the worst boss in the U.S. Senate because so many people quit. So who we have in Minnesota compared to who she is in Washington, D.C. don’t seem to match. In the Kavanaugh hearings, she gave us a look at who she is in Washington.
Where do you and President Donald Trump agree and disagree?
I agree with the president’s plan for the future of our country. We are on the right track. We have seen growth we haven’t seen since the Reagan years. Klobuchar wants to take us back to the old Obama days of no growth and big government. I disagree with the president on increasing our national debt. I would not have supported the most recent spending bill.
How do you plan to help reduce the national debt if elected?
Firstly, our national debt when Klobuchar was elected was $8.5 trillion. Eight years later our debt was almost $24 trillion. Our debt increased three times in size while she was in office. We fix our debt by reducing government spending and government waste. We also reduce our debt by increasing our growth. The more we grow, the more we’re able to move on. We also need to start discussing canceling our inter-agency debt.
What must be done to reduce mass shootings in schools?
It’s not just school shootings, it’s violence. The problem isn’t guns. It’s the human heart. It’s hatred. If you take away guns, they’ll use something else. We had a big attack in the St. Cloud mall, a Somali gentleman trying to knife people, and other incidents in Europe. In England they’re having discussions about knife control. It’s not guns. Part of it is that we no longer value human life like we used to. It’s gone down for a number of reasons. One is abortion. We don’t value life at conception, and immediately we’ve lost great value in life. Another is physician-assisted suicide. If you become a burden to your family, there is the school of thought that says you should die. That’s not OK. We have this devaluing of life as a whole. It becomes all the more easy to spread hatred.
Do you feel you’ve gained a lot of support since your campaign started? Where does your support come from?
My biggest support would be from Greater Minnesota, rural Minnesota, especially from the agricultural community and women voters. The reason for that is because I believe we need to shut down the refugee resettlement program and fix it. Right now, the program currently offers unrestricted resettlement in Minnesota. We’re the No. 1 resettlement state in the nation. Some refugees, not all, do not intend to live under American law. They want to live under a different form of law that says women are property. I believe if you are brought to the U.S. as a refugee, you should work. Again, I would like to say I support helping refugees. It’s just that our program is broken and we need to fix it. We need to make sure the people brought here are safe and vetted. I also support the Trump tax bill, and Klobuchar voted against the tax bill. She supports more taxes. She voted against family farms when she voted against the tax bill, which repealed the death (estate) tax that punished families who wanted to keep their farms in the family.
More information on Jim Newberger can be found at jimforussenate.com.