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While Bloggers Corner stayed relatively quiet this morning, a few people have come by to take advantage of the open chairs here. One of them was Congressman Steve Pearce of New Mexico's 2nd District, who took a few minutes to speak with me today.
CQ: Good morning, Congressman. Which district do you represent?
SP: New Mexico's 2nd District, the southern district of New Mexico, about 70,000 square miles. It takes about nine hours to drive across it.
CQ: What do you think about the chances of Bush taking New Mexico this time around?
SP: Chances are very good. Last time we lost by 366 votes, but there was an unprecedented snowstorm on Election Day, and the snowstorm occurred only on the eastern side of the state, where the Republicans are. On the western side of the state, where it's 25% Republican, they didn't have any snow. We lost 10,000 votes for the President [from the storm] and we lost the state by 366 votes. New Mexico will be hard but I think we'll win it for the President. My district will come out very strong for the President.
CQ: I was very surprised that Bill Richardson did not get the nod for Senator Kerry's running mate this year. It seems to me that Richardson would have been tailor-made for it. What issues do you think kept Richardson off the ticket?
SP: There are people in the Democrat party that say that Richardson was never in contention, that he was the one who placed his name up. There are things that he would have to explain. He hired Monica Lewinsky. That does not sell well in conservative America. He took her out of the White House ... He was in charge of DoE when we lost 50 years worth of secrets to the Communist Chinese and that's an issue that is still needs deeper explaining. It has not been resolved. The current problems in security are the ones we saw with Los Alamos. I think there are flaws there that would have really penalized the national ticket.
CQ: You're running again for Congress?
SP: I'm in Congress and running for re-election, yes.
CQ: How's your district?
SP: 34% Republican. It's okay. The southern district always has hard races, I'll always have hard races. [Laughs]
CQ: Do you think a heavy turnout in your district will help yourself and Bush?
SP: It will. I get very good support from Democrats across the state. People just like Zell Miller, people who feel like the party is drifting way far left. They're concerned about the life issues, concerned about the marriage issues that the Democratic Party is really pushing right now. They're going to stay Democrats, but they're going to throw that party back to the middle of the spectrum.
CQ: Do you read blogs at all, Congressman?
SP: Occasionally. I don't get much of a chance to do anything except sit in meetings, but when I get on the web, I take a look to see what people are saying.
CQ: If you had one piece of advice for the bloggers coming out of this convention -- obviously talking about Republican-leaning bloggers -- what would that advice be? What do you think we should be focusing on in the next 60 days?
SP: We've got to focus on getting our turnout. The nation is extremely divided, about 46% on either side. Maybe 8%, 6% undecided, and the election will be decided by who shows up. We are conservatives, and we will stay home more quickly than our friends across the aisle. Our friends on the other side will vote for their candidate no matter what the flaws are, and Republicans will say, "I like him on 90% of the [issues] but not on 10%, I'm just going to stay home." It hurts us badly. I'm not an enemy of someone who I agree with 75% of the time. We overlook the differences and we work together, and that would be my advice to the conservatives in America. We need to understand that this election will determine the nation['s direction] for the next 20 years.Sphere It View blog reactions
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