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Mo. Senate Hopeful Billy Long: If You Liked Trump, 'Board the Billy Bus'

Mo. Senate Hopeful Billy Long: If You Liked Trump, 'Board the Billy Bus'
U.S. Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo., has become the fifth major GOP candidate to vie for the Senate seat being vacated by Roy Blunt. (Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images)
 

John Gizzi By Monday, 09 August 2021 07:32 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Two days before his 66th birthday and a few days after he was interviewed on Fox News by Tucker Carlson, Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo., made known what has been rumored for weeks: He will give up the safe U.S. House seat he has held for 12 years and next year seek the Republican nomination to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Roy Blunt.

''I think I'm the one who can redo what President Trump has done for the country and what President Biden is undoing right now,'' Long told Newsmax on Monday. ''So if you liked riding on the ‘Trump Train,' board the ‘Billy Bus.'''

The ''Billy Bus'' is a 43-foot-long campaign vehicle that will take the candidate from his hometown of Springfield, where he celebrates his birthday Aug, 11, to Branson, Jefferson City, and other sites of his announcement throughout the Show Me State.

With his 300-pound girth and distinctive auctioneer's voice and delivery, Long is a noticeable campaigner. He hails from the 7th District, which he said ''is the most Republican in Missouri and where I won my biggest margin yet last fall at a time polls show so many people hate their congressman.''

Long is the fifth major GOP hopeful in the race for Blunt's seat, along with former Gov. Eric Greitens, state Attorney General Eric Schmitt, U.S. Rep. Vickie Hartzler and St. Louis attorney Mark McCloskey (who along with his wife achieved national fame last year for pointing guns at Black Lives Matter marchers on their property).

Some candidates have raised doubts that Greitens — who resigned on the verge of impeachment in 2018 over an extramarital affair — can hold the seat if nominated.

Long declined to comment.

''I've been in six primaries and six general elections since 2010 and always won big,'' Long told us. ''Never once did I mention any opponent, and I'm not going to stop now.''

One name that the former auctioneer does mention — frequently — is that of Donald Trump, whose nomination for president in 2016 he predicted early on.

''I recently spent 45 minutes with [Trump] on the 26th floor of the Trump Tower — just the two of us and no one else,'' said Long. ''He said ‘so you're running' and I told him I was.  And I said if I win the nomination, I'm certain to win in November. So, we can save $40-$50 million in campaign funds in Missouri and instead use them in other races we need to take the Senate: Arizona, Georgia and New Hampshire.''

Long repeated what he has often told Missouri Republicans: Given the former president's widespread popularity within the GOP, ''whoever he endorses, the primary is over.''

As an example of what he means by Trump's works being undone by Biden, Long recalled a recent visit to the U.S.-Mexico border and ''watching illegal immigrants being brought in and put on commercial airliners with no ID and no vaccine and sent to some other city.

''Trump was getting this under control, but Biden is undoing it. That's why I'll fight to seal the border.''

Long also voiced his contempt for the ''defund the police'' movement and pointed out that ''in my hometown of Springfield, we have reduced hours of operation. This has got to change.''

To those who call him a long shot and latecomer, Long says he reminds them that ''when I first ran for the House, folks said I never held office, was too fat, and things like that. I won an eight-way primary rather easily. You might say I was the Donald Trump of my district.''

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


John-Gizzi
Two days before his 66th birthday and a few days after he was interviewed on Fox News by Tucker Carlson, Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo., made known what has been rumored for weeks: He will give up the safe U.S. House seat he has held for 12 years and next year seek the Republican ...
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Monday, 09 August 2021 07:32 PM
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