Florida Republican Karen Harrington tells Newsmax.TV that she will triumph over her opponent, Democratic National Committee chief Debbie Wasserman Schultz, because “South Florida is going to have a very real choice” at the polls in November.
“South Florida is going to have a real clear choice between two different candidates that contrast each other greatly,” Harrington tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview. “Debbie, who supports all of the unpatriotic American policies that this president has put forth, a lifetime politician, someone who believes in bigger government and higher taxes.
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“Or, someone like myself, who’s lived the life that many Americans have lived, a small-business owner who supports less government, lower taxes and more certainty moving forward. So Florida’s definitely going to have a very clear choice this November.”
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Harrington, who lost to Wasserman Schultz two years ago, said the Republicans also will benefit from redistricting this year. District 23 normally leans Democrat.
“We have shrunk the district,” she said. It gives us another 4-point advantage with Republicans. But not only that, it brings us into new areas that were previously held by Republicans.
“We’re very excited about our chances, our name ID – and that we’ve really taken this race nationally.”
Harrington, who has managed her family’s restaurant business for 30 years, said her first priority upon arriving in Washington is working to “get our economy going.”
“To do that, we’ve got to peel back on the regulation, the largest ever put forth by our government – and that’s Obamacare. Once we do that, we’re going to bring real certainty to business. They’re going to know that they can move forward with a plan when we move that regulation out of the way.
“Next will be to tackle our tax problem,” Harrington added. “So much uncertainty and I know that, as a business owner, we need a flat, fair tax. We look out ahead a year, two years, three years. We need to plan. We need that certainty within our businesses in order to move forward and grow this economy.
“We’ll be making sure that seniors understand we will take care of Medicare. We do have a plan as conservative Republicans not to just let it disappear. So we’re going to insure seniors that are still, many of them, for the next 10 years, won’t have to worry – but after that, we want to show that we’re going to work hard to fix Medicare and keep it there for all Americans,” she said.
Harrington added that the plans for Medicare reform put forth by likely Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, have gained the confidence of many seniors in South Florida.
“Many of them aren’t panicking too much, because our message has been one that we’re not going to hurt anybody in the next 10 years that is in retirement now or approaching retirement. So it’s important that we get our message out – that we do have a plan to make sure Medicare will be there long term,” she said.
“Either way, we’re reassuring seniors nothing will happen. I have to be honest, most seniors aren’t concerned about their Medicare as much as they are about the country’s debt and what they’re leaving behind for the next generation.”
Harrington repeated her demand that Wasserman Schultz release her personal tax returns, as she has asked Romney to do on several occasions. The former Massachusetts governor has released two years of returns.
“Her answer from her office was that she’s not running for president,” Harrington said. “But this administration has promised transparency to all Americans, so we just challenged her on that very simple thing that she asked Mitt Romney to do, but she has yet to come forward.
“I’m just waiting, and I’ll be happy to release mine.”
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During her campaign, Harrington has received endorsements from Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Florida congressman Dennis Ross, conservative radio show host, Mark Levin – and such PACs as the Susan B. Anthony List and the Eagle Forum.
“It’s been incredible,” Harrington said of the support. “They recognize the importance of this race for many reasons. Debbie is the DNC chair. She’s very outspoken on behalf of the president, supports all of his policies – but they really believe if the liberals ever take back control of the House, the gavel will be given to Debbie. And people understand that.
“So we tell people: ‘You have a clear alternative this November to vote for a good conservative and ensure that Debbie Wasserman Schultz never becomes Speaker of the House.’ ”
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