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Jack Kingston: People Know Where I Stand On The Issues

July 18, 2014 12:49pm (EDT)

Georgia’s Republican Primary election runoff is July 22. One of the hottest races is for the U.S. Senate seat of Saxby Chambliss, who is retiring. Republican Congressman Jack Kingston is facing off against businessman David Perdue. Perdue is a political newcomer and the cousin of former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue.

Before the runoff, Bill Nigut -- reporter and host of GPB radio talk show Political Rewind-- sat down with Jack Kingston to talk about his opponent, his views on education, and the crisis on the border.

Interview Highlights:

BILL NIGUT, host, Political Rewind: What’s your closing message for voters?

JACK KINGSTON, congressman, GOP U.S. Senate candidate: I think that for somebody who’s a tested conservative who doesn’t waffle, who doesn’t change his speech to the audience, that I would be the candidate. I’m endorsed by the NRA, endorsed by Sean Hannity, Erick Erickson, Karen Handel, Phil Gingrey, most of the Congressional Delegation. Three of the Tea Party leaders and sounders in the state of Georgia. I’ve been out there on the firing lines for a long time. People know where I stand on issues. I’m endorsed by the U.S. Chamber. I have have 96 percent American Conservative Union ratings. My opponent never voted in the Republican Primary in his life until his name was on the ballot. We really don’t know what his true politics are. We know he’s been all over the court on tax increases, on Common Core. Saying you’re an outsider doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a conservative. And I think that’s something the Republican base wants to see.

BILL NIGUT: In one of your new commercials, you quote him {David Perdue} on a number of issues that you think voters be alarmed by. In one of those statements, you say that he supports “Obama’s Common Core.” Is Common Core really an Obama program?

JACK KINGSTON: Well, actually, Governor Sonny Perdue was a big advocate of it…

BILL NIGUT: Then why call it an “Obama Program” ?

JACK KINGSTON: Because it is now. Because what the Obama administration wants to do is tie in state grant money with Common Core participation. So that a state board of education, or school board in a state, that does a lot with Common Core would get a grant from the federal side.

I’m the son of a college professor. The brother of one, the brother-in-law of a public school teacher. I just believe strongly that the teacher in the classroom needs to have as much flexibility as possible.

BILL NIGUT: But you would also acknowledge that if you’re a member of the United States Senate, you’ll have very little role in education in the state of Georgia. Or in any state for that matter.

JACK KINGSTON: Well with the federal government growing the Department of Education, the federal role is bigger than ever. For example, right now, the budget for the federal education, I think it’s about $40 billion, the preschool program that President Obama has talked about would add another $70 billion to it. And that would be a federally funded program. There are actually 45 different early childhood education programs right now. So what we’re seeing is a big mission treat out of Washington to get involved with local education.

BILL NIGUT: Do we have a crisis on the border right now? A humanitarian crisis?

JACK KINGSTON: I think we do.

BILL NIGUT: And what do we do about it ?

JACK KINGSTON: I think we have to implement the same policies for the other than Mexican countries that we have for Mexico. That is, when a child comes over from Mexico or from Canada, we do not admit them. And we need to have that same policy for other than Mexico. And so that would be Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. And I think as soon as you send that signal out that “hey, we have that same policy now that we used to have up until 2011” then you’d stop having this migration of kids. And remember, the drug dealers are pushing them over here because the drug dealers are getting paid one, two, three, up to five thousand dollars a kid. And the Congressional Research Office has estimated that in the month of May, that came to $20 to $40 million alone. So, you have to stem the tide. These kids are coming over. You’re disrupting their lives. Their families. You’re pulling them out of their homes. You’re destabilizing the border. So, it is a man-made crisis.

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