The CQ Interview & Podcast: Rep. J.D. Hayworth

Earlier this afternoon, I had an opportunity to interview Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ), who came to Congress during the heady days of the Contract With America and the rise of the Republican majority. Rep. Hayworth has written a new book that has just been released by Regnery, Whatever It Takes: Illegal Immigration, Border Security, and The War On Terror. The Congressman took an hour out of his day to talk to CQ about illegal immigration, the guest worker proposal, and how the open border in the south presents a clear and present danger to American security.
It’s fair to say that Hayworth has a front-row seat to the many issues that illegal immigration causes. He has lived most of his adult life in Arizona, one of the front-line states in the massive long-term invasion (as he sees it) across the Mexican border. The lack of action from the federal government, especially post-9/11 has continually frustrated him as it has a number of his colleagues in the Southwest. He sees that the time may have finally come for Washington to do something about stemming the flow, even if only for national-security purposes, but he believes tthat the current efforts towards a guest-worker program will not work.
I took the opportunity to speak with Hayworth at length about immigration, and found him to be a fascinating and well-schooled spokesman for the effort to close the southern gap in our defenses. We also talked at length about reform, lobbying, and the upcoming election for the Majority Leader’s office. He did not endorse any candidate, although he did say that John Shadegg, as his colleague from Arizona, has his attention. He wants to wait to see if the three contenders will agree to a debate, preferably public. Hayworth talked about the public nature of a process that normally would have taken place in quiet caucuses.
Hayworth also acknowledged that Jack Abramoff had contributed money to his campaign as well, and seemed pleased to be able to address the issue during our interview. Hayworth comes from a state that has a large Native American population that had long supported him, and his answers to my questions on reform and the Abramoff scandal are very interesting.
The interview ran to 57 minutes, and I have broken it up into four separate podcasts — the first podcasts for Captain’s Quarters, and hopefully the lead of a series of interviews for downloading by CQ readers, and listeners now as well. The links for the four parts are below:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
For those who have CQ in their RSS feedreader, podcasts will show up in this URL when I post them.
UPDATE: I added the RSS feed to iTunes, but I don’t know when it will start showing up.