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October 28, 2006
George Allen Interview, Part II

Bumping both posts to to Saturday -- and welcome Instapundit readers.

This is the second part of my interview with Senator George Allen. In yesterday's installment, Senator Allen talked about economic policy, immigration, and taxes. He concludes by discussing his race and the messages that Republicans must communicate in these midterm elections.

CQ: Energy policy and national security have become inseparable since 9/11. You have offered an energy-reform policy to reduce dependence on foreign oil. How would that work, and what how does your opponent differ on energy policy? How soon can we achieve self-sufficiency for energy under both plans?

GA: I absolutely agree that energy independence and protecting our homeland go hand-in-hand. We must declare an end to our strategic dependence on oil from the Middle East and from any other foreign source that has the potential to jeopardize our national security and economic vitality. When I recently spoke on the Senate floor about my energy proposal, I spoke of the need for a new declaration of independence for the United States, and I believe that we can set aside partisan differences to make this reality.

My proposal includes five crucial elements: First, the strategic use our global economic power and international relationships to remove the oil-based leverage that hostile states now enjoy. Second, the accelerated exploration and development of domestic energy supplies – including American oil, American natural gas, American clean coal, and American nuclear power. Third, the accelerated research, development, and deployment of every economically viable alternative and renewable source of energy. Fourth, a bold new national commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship, investing in the next generation of leading-edge, creative scientists, researchers, and engineers of advanced technology. Fifth, an unequivocal declaration of our national security commitment to energy independence.

To be honest, I’m not sure what my opponent’s plan is for energy security. All I have ever heard him say is that we need a windfall profits tax on oil companies. He clearly isn’t a student of history as President Carter tried this with disastrous effects.

CQ: You have had your share of electoral campaigns. In this one, you have had to deal with unproven allegations of decades-old racist comments and the questioning of your ancestry. Do you ever recall a campaign as nasty as this one? What damage do you believe this does to the electoral process?

GA:One of the most unfortunate aspects has been that we have been diverted for talking about the issues Virginians care about. Campaigns are supposed to be about a robust discussion of the issues so that voters can make educated and informed choices. I have said that I brought some of this on myself, but much of this is baseless allegations. It seems that those who are scared about running on issues try to change the subject because they know that if this election is decided on issues, we’ll win.

CQ: Continuing on that point, what responsibility does the media have in covering the personal attacks? What responsibility do the candidates have in controlling the message during the campaign? In your estimation, has your opponent deliberately contributed to the personal attacks, and if so, why?

GA: It is actually ironic – the media says on one hand that the candidates need to be talking about the issues and then on the other hand, they run story after story about baseless allegations and character attacks. While it’s frustrating, throughout it all we’ve been talking about the issues that I know Virginians care about. Virginians know me. They know my positive record of over two decades of service to Virginia. That’s what we are talking about. The media can say what they want, but I am taking my message directly to Virginians. That’s the main reason that I have twice bought 2-minute segments of airtime statewide. So that Virginians can hear directly from me without having to use newspapers or nightly news stories as filters.

CQ: Republicans have heard an avalanche of bad news regarding the GOP's chances in these midterms. What message do you have for Republicans in the final days of this campaign?

GA: The positive message that I am taking around Virginia is aimed at anyone who pays taxes, works for a living, or cares about their families. It’s a message of trusting free people and free enterprise versus big government solutions and plans. Specifically, I am talking about three missions for Virginia. First and foremost, protect our freedoms – that means supporting our troops in the War on Terror, securing our borders, and making America less dependent on foreign sources of energy sources. Second, make America a land of opportunity for all – lower taxes, less litigation, less regulation, more personalized healthcare options, and improved educational opportunities, especially in the areas of science, engineering, and technology. Third, preserve our foundational values – part of this is ensuring that unelected federal judges who are appointed for life do not disregard the will, the desire, and the hope of the American people.

CQ thanks Senator Allen for joining us, and we hope to hear from him again soon. You can support Senator Allen in his re-election campaign at this site.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 28, 2006 7:40 AM

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