Exclusive interview: GOP Senate candidate says a vote for a Democrat is a vote for Obama
If voters want to stop President Obama's left-wing policies, they could do nothing more effective than to elect a self-proclaimed pro-life, pro-marriage Republican to the U.S. Senate, New Mexico candidate Allen Weh told LifeSiteNews in an exclusive interview.
Weh, who says he would allow abortion in cases of rape and incest, hopes to win his underdog election against Democratic incumbent Tom Udall, D-NM, a proponent of abortion-on-demand and redefining marriage.
Udall's campaign is attacking Weh for his opposition to ObamaCare, the HHS mandate, and partial birth abortion, calling his ideas “scary.” The Udall campaign highlights the fact that Weh has announced he was “endorsed by National Right to Life” and is “a pro-life advocate and lifelong Christian committed to protecting the sanctity of life and the rights of all persons – born or unborn.”
Weh, a veteran and former aviations industry CEO, has consistently supported greater restrictions on abortion. “I am pro-life, opposing partial birth abortions, taxpayer-funded abortions, and the use of fetus tissue for the purposes of stem-cell research,” he said in his 2010 primary campaign against Gov. Susanna Martinez. “I believe marriage is the union between one man and one woman. I am opposed to same-sex marriage.”
He amplified those views in his interview with LifeSiteNews. Life and marriage have been hot-button issues nationwide, but especially in New Mexico.
The city of Albuquerque tried to end abortions after 20 weeks due to fetal pain, but the proposed ordinance was voted down last November. “It is absolutely unconscionable that someone would attempt to abort a child at that point. It crosses a line,” Weh said. “One could argue [abortion] crosses a line in the beginning, but that's a big line you're crossing at 20 weeks. Even most secular people are going to agree with that.”
He said he would have “no problem” calling on the Senate leadership to bring the national Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act “up to the floor for a vote,” even if Harry Reid remains Senate Majority Leader. “But I think the odds are he's not going to be the guy calling the shots on the agenda after January,” Weh said.
“I think that life does begin at conception,” Weh told LifeSiteNews. “Clearly what's taking place is microscopic, but it is life beginning at conception.”
“I'm on record as being pro-life,” he said. But he added, “I have taken a position that allows for women to make up their minds about [abortion in] cases of rape and incest. ... Outside of that, I'm your guy.”
The highly decorated U.S. Marine Colonel – who served in Vietnam, Iraq, and Somalia – says his military service helped shape his desire to protect life. “When you see men die, you have to put them into body bags, and you've got to write a letter home to their parents, it gives you a keen appreciation as to life, and sacrifice, and honor,” Weh told LifeSiteNews.
Marriage also blazed into the headlines, as the state Supreme Court ruled last December that New Mexico must redefine marriage, because banning same-sex “marriage” is a form of sex discrimination. Weh believes the people and the representatives of each state should decide the issue.
“Go back to the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution, and the rights of the states are clear,” he said. “We've had a steady erosion of states rights for over 100 years, and it's time that we insist on that which was intended by the Founding Fathers. It's a state issue.”
Months earlier, the same justices ruled that Elaine Huguenin, a Christian photographer, must photograph a homosexual “commitment ceremony,” even though doing so violates her religious beliefs. One justice's concurring opinion called giving up conscience rights “the price of citizenship.” Weh said the ruling trampled on Huguenin's rights as a private business owner.
“It seems to me in this country that any business ought to have the right to decline to serve anybody,” Weh told LifeSiteNews. “You walk into restaurant and you see signs, 'We reserve the right not to serve anybody,'” he said. “They had every legitimate right under our Constitution to deny business services to those people. But yet we had a very liberal progressive state Supreme Court that went in a different direction.” But he chalked up the loss to “a very liberal progressive state Supreme Court.”
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That's precisely the sort of judicial activism he hopes to prevent federal judges from committing when they come before the Senate for confirmation.
“What I don't want are judges that are reinterpreting the Constitution of the United States. What I don't want are activist judges who are trying to be activists for their agenda on the bench,” he said. “We want judges who are going to take the Constitution of the United States and respect it and make decisions accordingly.”
But he noted it is impossible to know in advance how judges will vote on matters if they have no record on the issue, “and there are some great examples of Supreme Court justices appointed by Republican presidents who went the other direction.” Conservatives would point to Earl Warren, Warren Burger, John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, and some decisions from John Roberts as such disappointments.
He hopes to vote for judges whose views are “more in line with The Federalist Papers.”
Although he did not directly answer whether he would support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) – which would grant homosexuals and transgender people the same rights accorded to racial minorities – he said when it came to employment regulations generally, “We don't need laws. We just need people to take care of their people in a respectful, responsible way, and you're not going to have all of these problems and all these initiatives.”
“What we don't need is more laws and more over-regulation in this country,” he said.
He pointed to his own business, CSI Aviation Inc., as an example. “You won't find...pay differences between men and women...in our company,” he said. He added with pride that “we've got women in some senior positions.”
It's the people who hold senior positions in government that concern him, especially Sen. Tom Udall and President Barack Obama.
As Democratic candidates vigorously backpedal from the president, Obama has told voters that the 2014 election is a referendum on him and his administration. “I am not on the ballot this fall,” President Obama said recently at Northwestern University. “But make no mistake: These policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them.”
Weh hopes voters will agree. “Tom Udall has voted with Barack Obama 94 percent of the time,” he told LifeSiteNews. "His progressive, far-Left ideology is out of the mainstream. He is a rubber stamp for Barack Obama. The man has never broken with the failed policies of this administration, never.”
“Tom is a career politician who likes his job,” Weh said. “It's the family business.” The Udall political dynasty is known for its liberal policies, often being compared to the Kennedy clan. Tom's uncle, Mo Udall, was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona and a Democratic presidential hopeful in 1976. His cousin, Mark Udall, is also running for re-election to the Senate from Colorado against Cory Gardner.
The entrenched power of incumbents makes Weh believe that term limits are necessary to restore a citizen democracy. “Guys go to Washington, and their first order of business is to vote and figure out how to take positions that perpetuate this $174,000 job that they are in love with and keep the job and stay there forever,” he said. “It's a bipartisan problem.”
“We need them out of there, and we need people to go in for two terms and move on,” he added. He plans to introduce a term limits bill with a Democratic co-sponsor that would “grandfather every senator who's in the chamber,” so that “it's non-threatening” to the current crop of legislators.
After passage, he estimated, it will “take 20 years or so – maybe a little less, maybe a little more – to flush the system.”
Weh believes securing the U.S. border is “a national security issue” that must be undertaken before changing immigration law, but according to his website he is open to the idea of a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11-15 million illegal immigrants in the United States. In addition to National Right to Life, Weh has won endorsements from the National Rifle Association and Citizens Against Government Waste.
Weh has also blasted Udall and Obama for their approach to the Middle East. “You don't take things off the table when you talk to your adversary,” he said. Obama “has damaged this country, this country's reputation, this country's national defense, and this country's foreign policies and in ways that are hard to imagine.”
“If you like what Barack Obama is doing and if you like what is going on in Washington, you should vote for Tom Udall,” he said. “If you don't, you need to vote for me.”
Polls currently show Weh trailing Udall by approximately 12 points.