Former Congressman and 2012 Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra tells Newsmax he’s confident he can unseat Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow and become the 51st Republican in the new U.S. Senate.
Hoekstra also says that while he currently trails Stabenow in the polls, the race will tighten up after Tuesday’s GOP primary and the incumbent remains vulnerable due to her “Washington-centric” voting record.
Hoekstra served eight terms in the U.S. House before leaving office to run unsuccessfully for Michigan governor in 2010. He chaired the House Intelligence Committee from 2004 to 2007.
Video to come.
On Tuesday Hoekstra squares off in the Republican primary against chief challenger Clark Durant, founder of a nonprofit school system in Michigan. Polls have Hoekstra leading by a large margin.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, Hoekstra explains what he has been telling voters to convince them he is the best candidate to represent the GOP in the November election.
“We’re the best candidate because we’re the one that has put the best agenda out there for solutions for the people of Michigan and for the country, to get this country moving again, to pay down our debt, to deal with Obamacare and to move towards energy independence.
“We’re talking about solutions and if we expect to beat Debbie Stabenow and defeat the president, Republicans need to be focused on our vision and the solutions that we are proposing for America. And that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
Polls show that Sen. Stabenow is benefitting from a unified Democratic base and holds a lead over her potential Republican rivals.
Asked if he sees the race tightening once the dust settles, Hoekstra responds: “Yes, you’re going to see this race tighten up. You’re going to see, number one, Mitt Romney at the top of the ticket. He’s from the state of Michigan. When we come out of this primary with a vision of beating Debbie Stabenow, we will be united.
“We have the opportunity to really have a very good year in Michigan to help Mitt Romney become the president, to bring 51 conservative votes to the U.S. Senate. We’re going to keep working until 8 o’clock on Tuesday night to win the primary and then we’ll continue working until 8 o’clock on November 6 to make sure that we get that same kind of success.”
Stabenow was elected to the Senate in 2002 and re-elected in 2006. But Hoekstra believes she is vulnerable this year due to her voting record.
“She’s voted for the stimulus package, the government takeover of healthcare through Obamacare,” he says.
“She’s a very nice person but the bottom line is she believes that the future of America rests in the hands of the people in Washington, D.C., and that job creation begins with government.
“We’re putting out the alternative vision that says, ‘No, that’s not the American way. America’s future begins in grassroots America with entrepreneurs, people willing to take risks to invest and grow the economy, that the best healthcare decisions are made between individuals and their doctors, not with a bureaucrat or an IRS agent in the middle, and that the best way to strengthen our economy for the long term for future generations is to get rid of this deficit and to start paying down our debts.’
“So we’re real excited about where we can go and we think it’s going to be a clear vision between someone who is Washington-centric versus someone who is focused on grassroots America.”
Hoekstra has received endorsements from former Sen. Rick Santorum and several other prominent Republicans, but his rival Durant has won the backing of the Tea Party Express. That doesn’t concern Hoekstra, he tells Newsmax.
“The tea party, they’re split. We’ve gotten quite a bit of tea party support, so have some of my opponents. But there’s no doubt as I’ve talked to tea party leaders across the state that as soon as we get through this primary on Tuesday night, we will all be united with the goal of beating Debbie Stabenow on November 6 and swearing in a conservative Republican senator, probably the 51st conservative vote in the U.S. Senate, on January 3.
“We’re going to be united. There’s no doubt that we will come together after this primary.”
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