April 05, 2007
Blogger teleconference with Duncan Hunter (R-CA)
Organized by John Hawkins, who consults for Hunter, the teleconference was quick, lasting from 3:00 to 3:20 ET. Hawkins also suggested the YouTube video appeal to conservative bloggers below.
Duncan Hunter is running as a traditional conservative, strong on defense and border security (he helped write the border fence law), convinced that we need to win in the middle east, and determined to fix the US balance of trade and stop the bleeding of manufacturing jobs to foreign sources and offshore companies.
Hunter notes that the United States was once known as "the arsenal of democracy," and argues that high paying white collar jobs will follow the blue collar ones out of the country, eventually idling much of America's industrial base and weakening national security. He favors mirroring foreign trade laws and holds the GATT, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, pretty much in contempt, as a treaty intentionally designed to weaken the US trade position.
I asked the congressman for his reaction to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's attempts to set up a shadow presidency (what the Washington Post described as the "foolish" "Pratfall in Damascus"). Hunter said that Pelosi's actions were "bad news for our country," then proved himself an astute and quick-thinking pol by quoting Democrat Scoop Jackson, "American foreign policy should leave our shore with one voice."
Asked about the harsh, partisan tirades that characterize today's political discourse, Hunter noted that many of the partisan Democrats who praised Ronald Reagan at his funeral hardly had a kind word for the man while he was alive, and that many had called him a "liar" during the Contra wars. In other words, partisan rhetoric is nothing new.
Hunter is a Vietnam veteran, and his son has served two tours in Iraq with the Marines. Hunter said that he may deploy for a third tour.
Definitely a dark horse, but Hunter came to Congress as a dark horse, defeating an incumbent Democrat who had held the seat for 18 years.