EDITOR’S NOTE: After initially declining a request for an interview, Boebert’s campaign reversed course on the decision. We spoke with the candidate on Monday, Oct. 12.
RBC | Lauren Boebert is running for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District this election. She comes to the race against opponent Diane Mitsch Bush after unseating five-term Republican incumbent Scott Tipton in the primary election.
“I knew we were going to win because I was out with the people, and there was a very tangible momentum, a movement taking place that couldn’t be denied, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing right now in the district,” Boebert said.
Though 2020 marks the “Shooter’s Grill” owner’s first run for any kind of public office, her rhetorical style fits with the national political discourse, often framing the outcome of the election and specific policies in existential, all-or-nothing terms.
“Freedom is what’s on the ballot this November, America is on the ballot, our Constitution is on the ballot,” said Boebert, referencing her own efforts to collect signatures and get Proposition 113 on Colorado’s 2020 ballot, a measure asking Coloradans to decide whether state electors vote in line with the national popular vote during Presidential elections.
“I have an opponent who likes to brag about the water boards she’s been on, but she’s in favor of the national popular vote. So what good does it do for you to know about water and when a call could possibly take place if you are going to sell Colorado out to California?” Boebert said. The accusation was one of multiple appeals to a nation defined by binary division, left against right, urban against rural, Colorado against California and of course “freedom against socialism.”
“President Ronald Reagan said that freedom is always one generation away from extinction, and I believe we are that generation. And I will not allow that to happen on my watch. So I’m doing everything that I can to step up and secure freedom for our children and our children’s children,” said Boebert.
Touting freedom as the central point in her campaign has not been difficult for Boebert, who cut her teeth in the national online discourse as an outspoken gun rights advocate. While she has not made the Second Amendment a central position in her Congressional bid, she still expresses strong opinions about the subject. For example, she said Colorado’s universal background check system for purchasing firearms “hasn’t worked in reducing crime in Colorado.”
“I mean we have them [background checks], so I mean no one is saying take them away. It’s all these other knee-jerk reaction laws that take place that don’t do any good, gun free zones, that’s where we see mass shootings take place, is in gun free zones, because there’s not an armed citizen present to neutralize the threat,” she said.
She expressed similar feelings about the Trump Administration’s direction to the U.S. Department of Justice to effectively ban bump stocks at a federal level.
“There are a lot of people who did not like that stance that the president took, but you know what I love about our president and what I respect about him, is he listens to the people, because he was talking about going further with regulations on our Second Amendment rights, and he listened to his people and backed off of that, which is what a representative, a leader should do, is listen to their people. And he’s truly a public servant in that manner,” she said, adding, “I will always advocate for the Second Amendment because I do believe it’s our only right that secures every other right, but there’s a lot of other work that we need to get accomplished, and that’s what I’m stepping up to do. I want to be a part of those solutions of all the things that are broken right now in our nation.”
That other work to get accomplished includes a number of prominent issues, like the cost of healthcare, which consistently polls as the number one issue in the country.
“At the end of the day I want to be a part of the solution, I want to be a part of creating more options to improve outcomes and lower the costs for people, and that doesn’t require dismantling or taking away anything from anyone,” said Boebert, refuting claims that she would repeal the Affordable Care Act, a legislation synonymous with controversy, particularly the individual mandate, which was a healthcare coverage solution originally conceived and promoted by The Heritage Foundation, a premier Republican think-tank.
“People should have a choice between their doctors. Choices between the doctors and patients making decisions, not D.C. bureaucrats, or not saying ‘sorry, this is what you get because this is what HR says is best for you,’” Boebert said.
“I believe that healthcare should be personal. It means that you ought to know the prices of procedures and the level of care you’re getting, so you can make good decisions about the cost and quality of your care,” said Boebert, adding that health insurance, and thus coverage, should “not be tethered” to employment, a talking point typically used by advocates of universal single payer healthcare, which Boebert opposes.
“If you look at England, they have socialized medicine and more than 4 million people were put on a waitlist for procedures, and 30,000 people died waiting for those procedures. No thank you,” said Boebert, citing a 2017 study in which mortality rates in the UK increased for the first time in more than 50 years. Advocates of the country’s nationalized healthcare system blamed underfunding for the excess deaths, though conservative opponents rejected that assertion.
In comparison, according to a study by Harvard School of Medicine, nearly 45,000 deaths annually in the United States are attributed to a lack of health insurance, and therefore lack of access to ongoing medical treatment for treatable conditions. But Boebert’s criticism of single payer extends beyond health outcomes, even touching on another primary campaign issue.
“The single payer system left-Democrats like my opponent want, it will close, absolutely shutter, our rural hospitals, and of course our energy industry plays a big factor into that as well,” said Boebert, who also described the energy industry as “synonymous with our economy.”
“These are high paying jobs that don’t need to leave Colorado. Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District is more than 80% federal land, and my opponent’s stance on energy should disqualify her from representing the people of Colorado’s 3rd CD. She has refused to support the Jordan Cove pipeline.”
“Exporting our liquid natural gas to countries who are currently dependent on Communist dictators for their energy will liberate them, and provide a cleaner source of energy.”
“Our coal industry, you know, we have the cleanest coal that this world has to offer, right here in Colorado, and there’s been guys who have trained their whole lives to mine our coal effectively and responsibly,” she said.
“And then also they won’t even explore uranium. We should be pushing for nuclear energy and exploring that. And we could do that right here in America. We could be mining America’s resources, creating American jobs, instead of siding with Iranian terrorists and communist dictators,” Boebert said.
Boebert also spoke to the HT about her pro-life stance, her discussions with Pueblo steel workers, and the movement of conservative women making their voices heard. You can hear the full interview in our podcast feed by searching for “Rio Blanco County News” in your favorite podcast app, or by going to https://soundcloud.com/heraldtimes1885
By LUCAS TURNER | firstname.lastname@example.org