CPAC Exclusive: An Interview With Olympia Snowe’s Primary Challenger, Andrew Ian Dodge
There have been rumors that Andrew Ian Dodge will challenge Olympia Snowe in the 2012 Republican primary. Well, today at CPAC, he announced his candidacy and he’s doing his first post-announcement interview here at Right Wing News. Enjoy!
First question: if a Republican in Maine says, “Andrew, why should I support you instead of Olympia Snow in the 2012 primary?” — what would you tell him?
I would tell him that Olympia has been there too long. She routinely votes against the Republican Party line and that roughly speaking, she thinks she runs the place and, in fact, she is not a Republican and she makes basically more Democrats happy than she does Republicans.
I mean, I’ve been trolling through and found all these wonderful quotes from Democrats saying she’s a great asset, and they love working with her, and she’s the only sane Republican and everything else. And if you look at her voting record, it’s not Republican. There is just no other way of putting it. The Democrats have voted with the Republicans more than she does.
Now the counter argument to that, one that you’re going to hear over and over again, is that Maine is a left-of-center state and if someone like Olympia Snowe can get re-elected there, then there is no chance you can get elected. What do you say to that argument?
Well, first of all, the governor and both Houses in this state are now Republican. Secondly, there are people trying to portray me as a far right Republican when, on social issues, I’m fairly Libertarian. I’m not socially liberal; I’m socially Libertarian. The difference between the two is social liberals think you should be able to do everything you want and the state will pay for it. I believe that the state needs to meddle in personal behavior far less than it’s doing now and that we should allow individuals to make personal choices; however, we need to implore people to take personal responsibility as well.
Things like socialized medicine and federal funding of abortion and all those other things are the exact opposite of what governments should be doing. Governments should not be meddling in people’s lives, not telling them how much salt they should have, what they eat, what they drink, what they stick in their bodies. However, the deal they make with the individual is that you need to take personal responsibility for your life. We’re not here to catch you if you become an addict like Charlie Sheen — obviously he’s an extreme version.
Now, as you mentioned, you’re a Libertarian and you recently co-wrote a letter with GoProud urging Congress to, and I quote, “to resist the urge to run down any social issue rabbit-holes in order to appease the special interests.” So in other words, in the primary neither you or Snow are really offering much to social conservatives, right? It’s pretty much a lateral move between the two of you?
Well, in looking at her record she seems to be more socially liberal than a Libertarian in that she supports government meddling and/or helping to facilitate certain behaviors in individuals — and there is a huge difference between the two. I put every single issue through a fiscal conservative filter. She doesn’t. There is a huge difference between those two facts.
And, in fact, there are a lot of issues I agree with social conservatives on, but not from a religious point of view but from a fiscal conservative, limited government constitutionality point of view. I mean and unfortunately they need to realize that just because I don’t come to the conclusion the same way they get there doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m bad. Surely it’s a good thing for people to come to the same conclusion, however they happen to get there.
Now you haven’t been elected to office before…
I haven’t. I’m a true outsider…
Yes, well, I was going to say, so give people an idea of what you’d be like. Can you note a politician or two, who you’d probably be most like, if you were elected?
Well, it’s kind of early to ask with the 2010 influx, but I mean there are people who have been saying, which I thought was particularly flattering, that I’m almost a Goldwater type of Republican — which I thought was interesting. Other people suggested Chris Christie, obviously lighter, Rand Paul, that sort of thing.
Yes, now one line of criticism I’ve already seen pop up against you was that you spent a great deal of time in England and let me quote you from a post you wrote back in 2007. “I may come from a different perspective as I am not English or even British. I’m American. I am an American who has probably spent more of his life being exposed to English and Englishness than ever I have been to Americans. This was especially true of my school years. Consequently as soon as I was an adult I’m endeavored to spend as much time in England as possible.”
I’m guessing that the line of attack they’re going to take is, “This guy is a want-to-be Brit. He’s not a hometown Maine guy.” What do you say to that?
I felt that in order to fully understand the socialist trend this country was heading on — I wrote in my book Statism Sucks! that the left is going to be pushing for socialized medicine and they’re going to be pushing for this and they’re going to be pushing for that and people read it and went, “Nah. you are painting the Democrats as socialists.” And I said, “but they are.” I met Democrats in London who are attending socialist events. I consider Obama a social Democrat and people like Huckabee and some of the other Republicans are more like Christian Democrats in the European sense. If you look at the history of some of the Western nations in Europe, there is a direct path. Obama and his fellow socialists in the Democrat Party want to turn the U.S. into a European style social democracy.
I remember discussing this at the University of Maine and saying, “Well, wait a second, all the socialists have now turned into environmentalists, but their rhetoric hasn’t changed. They still want to stop capitalism.” What does all this environmental legislation do? A lot of it, it hurts the capitalist system. They can’t attack it from normal ways; so what they do is via a regulation, via the EPA, is they limit the behavior of a company and achieve their goal of hurting the capitalist system.
So, having been exposed to the socialist movement in its purest form and social democracy, I would say better placed than many others to understand it and to counter it.
Last question, Andrew; Let’s say you were elected to the Senate and could get anything you want passed. Give people an idea of your priorities. Pick three laws you’d most like to see passed — and I realize these could change once you get to office.
Well, the first thing I’d do is get rid of the FCC because I think it’s completely outdated. I think we should pass a law to completely restructure the EPA, probably get rid of the Department of Education, too. My priorities would be fiscal in nature obviously.
And by the way, let me note one point about Snow’s attack on civil liberties. She and Rockefeller first proposed the Internet kill switch. That’s similar to what was used by the Egyptians. She supports this. It’s a fundamental affront to our liberties online.
Secondly, Snowe voted Obamacare out of committee. She was the first Republican to vote for Obamacare. That needs to be said. It’s, “Oh, she didn’t vote for it on the floor.” These are fundamental affronts to our personal liberty and for any Republican to have voted that out of committee, in the form that it was and it became — it’s just mind-boggling. Even if the Supreme Court overturns it and completely throws it away, that whole process was launched by Olympia Snowe voting it out of committee.
Thank you for your time, Andrew!
You can hear more from Andrew’s campaign here.