Republican Jason Lewis, a former conservative radio host turned congressman, said his campaign for the U.S. Senate will be about the “forgotten man and woman in Minnesota.”
His opponent, Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN), on the other hand, has become “the poster child for how the DFL has left behind the working man and woman of Minnesota.”
“This is not Hubert Humphrey’s party anymore. This is the party of Jacob Frey, Ilhan Omar, and Tina Smith. And that is a total, radical departure from at least the Farmer-Labor part of the DFL. She sort of represents the elite one percent of Democrat orthodoxy,” Lewis told The Minnesota Sun in a recent interview.
According to Lewis, Smith can “spit all over” Minnesota’s working class so long as she says “the right things on a couple of hot button issues.”
“And that’s where the Democratic Party is, which is why they’re losing, losing the forgotten man and woman of Greater Minnesota in droves,” Lewis said.
Before entering politics, Smith worked as an executive for the abortion giant Planned Parenthood while her husband, Archie, was a venture capitalist. According to financial disclosure forms from 2018, the two have a net worth of at least $5 million and up to as much as $12 million.
Her husband is now an independent investor in medical-device companies who had up to $1 million invested in a Bermuda hedge fund in 2018. A report from the Campaign Legal Center indicates that the Smiths made two stock transactions valued between $500,000 and $1 million sometime between February 2 and April 8 of this year – right around the time the coronavirus was reaching the country’s shores.
“You’ve got Tina Smith running around pretending to be this do-gooder when the first thing she did is sell all her stock in March,” said Lewis. “We don’t know, and I don’t know, but what kind of information did she have, when did she have it, and what did she know?”
Lewis is confident his populist message will resonate with enough voters in Greater Minnesota and the suburbs to carry him to electoral victory.
“For those who think you can’t win a state without winning all of the Metro, they need to look at the numbers,” he said, noting that President Donald Trump nearly won the state in 2016 despite underperforming in the Metro area.
“It’s a dirty, little secret that nobody wants to talk about but there are as many votes to be had in Greater Minnesota as there are in the Metro if you just focus on them. I still have to hold my own in the suburbs, but I think I can do that. This is going to be a campaign about that forgotten man and woman in Minnesota.”
Lewis doesn’t buy into the common narrative that a pro-Trump Republican can’t win a statewide race in Minnesota.
“I don’t think it’s an ignorance of history. I think it’s a deliberate avoidance of it because it’s so uncomfortable,” he told The Minnesota Sun.
Mitt Romney and John McCain both lost Minnesota to former President Barack Obama by more than 200,000 votes, he pointed out.
“In comes Donald Trump, anathema to the establishment, Republican and Democrat, has no money invested in this state, no endorsements, and no people on the ground and he loses by 44,000 votes. That is called tapping into something. And for the Democrats to whistle past that graveyard – I just hope they keep doing it,” said Lewis.
The former congressman said the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the “Achilles heel of the left,” which is that it is willing to “seek power by any means.”
“And Tina’s all in on that. Holding up the relief until they federalize elections or until she gets a bailout for the state. Refusing to support Tara Reade just for the sake of Joe Biden. All of these sorts of things are just revealing themselves in real time to people who were already starting to grow wary. So it’s a real chance for us,” Lewis continued.
Statewide polling purports to show a significant disparity in the approval ratings of Gov. Tim Walz and President Trump – to the detriment of the latter. Lewis, however, said he doesn’t “believe the numbers for a New-York minute.”
“These are the polls that would have Hillary Clinton in the White House. These are the polls that had me down by five points in 2016 when I won, and had me down by 13 in 2018 when, albeit I lost, I was the last guy standing in the Metro,” he said, suggesting that modern polling is used “to influence people, not to reflect people.”
“I’m just very, very suspicious of these. I can tell you from our travels, we’ve been on the road for 10 days and all over the state, not only the Metro, but also in Brainerd, also in Little Falls, in Cloquet, in Duluth, in Rochester, in Good Thunder, in Mankato, in Owatonna – all over, the people on the ground are fit to be tied. Period.”
This is the first part of a three part interview with former Congressman Jason Lewis. Check back for parts two and three.
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