I recently got to have an hour-long phone conversation with Erin Cruz, a youthful and energetic California conservative who is intent on challenging Dianne Feinstein for her Senate seat.
In an era when most Republican candidates seem intent on either embracing the craziness of the Alt-right or embracing the do-nothing politics of the establishment, I found it refreshing to speak with a staunch conservative who put principles first, but who is also willing and able to face the reality of the polarization of our nation’s politics.
BW: So, first thing’s first: What made you decide to run for the Senate?
EC: As I looked at the field of candidates, there was simply no one there I could vote for. There was no one who could bridge the gap between conservatives, libertarians, and moderate Democrats. I feel that my beliefs and my policies can bridge that gap and best serve the people of California.
BW: What unique qualities do you have that you could bring to the Senate?
EC: Well as I said, the ability to bring people together toward common goals and not get bogged down in partisan political gridlock.
BW: What challenges do you think you have in running in deep blue California, and how do you plan to overcome them?
EC: Well my biggest challenge is name ID. Many people vote for Feinstein just because she is the incumbent and has name recognition. Getting my name, and even more importantly, my ideas, out there is going to be the key to winning. I’m going to need a “big get out the vote” effort. President Trump got 4 million votes in California. I need all of those and more to make this happen.
BW: If elected, what would be your legislative priorities?
EC: Well, I think President Trump has done a great job of rolling back regulations and rolling back overly intrusive and unnecessary departments, but there is only so much he can do with executive authority alone. I want to legislatively roll back agencies and with them unnecessary spending, which is something neither party has been willing to tackle.
BW: What other changes would you like to see to the federal budget?
EC: I think there are a lot of obvious ways to save taxpayer money. Foreign aid to countries who actively work against us is low-hanging fruit and should be cut immediately. There is also extensive fraud, waste, and abuse across every department in the federal government, and we owe it to the taxpayers to make certain their money is being spent efficiently. Further, there is a lot of fraud in federal welfare programs, such as disability.
BW: California has fairly strict gun control laws. What would you do at the Federal level to strengthen the rights of gun owners?
EC: I would support the 2nd Amendment and its intent, which has nothing to do with hunting or sporting. It is about the right for law-abiding citizens to be able to protect themselves, even potentially from an oppressive government.
BW: California has one of the largest populations of illegal aliens in the country. What would you do to help stem the tide of illegal border crossings?
EC: We MUST secure our border, and that includes building the wall. We must also work to keep welfare programs from spending taxpayer money on the illegals here, and we must work to remove criminal aliens.
BW: Turning from policy to politics for a moment, what help, if any, do you expect from the RNC?
EC: I’m already working on the California Republican Party The RNC can help or not, but it won’t change my position on issues. That goes the same for anyone who donates to my campaign. Donors will be donating to me and the principles I hold. They shouldn’t expect special favors because they won’t get any.
BW: Would you favor a change of leadership in the Senate or would you support Mitch McConnell’s continued leadership of the Senate?
EC: What is important to me is supporting President Trump’s “America First” policies. Someone who is willing to push that agenda forward is who I would support for Senate Majority Leader, whoever that might be.
BW: Attorney General Jeff Sessions has decided to crack down on states that have legalized marijuana, of which California is perhaps the most prominent. Do you feel he is doing the right thing?
EC: I don’t believe Sessions is cracking down on California so much as he is enforcing the law the way it is written. Congress needs to step up and change the law if they don’t like it.
BW: So, would you support a bill that would decriminalize marijuana at the Federal level?
EC: Yes, I would, but with the same restrictions as alcohol. We need personal responsibility but in all aspects of our lives, and driving and other activities while high is dangerous. What people do in their own homes is their own business.
After our interview concluded, I told Ms. Cruz that if things didn’t work out in California, I would love to have her move to Texas and run against John Cornyn. Texas would then have two staunch conservative senators named “Cruz.”
If you want to learn more about Erin Cruz, you can go to her website here.