Yesterday we talked about Scott Brown’s semi-official leap into the NH Senate race, announced during the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference, and it was clear from the response that not everyone here was thrilled with the prospect. But as with any spirited primary race, there are almost always other choices. During the conference, I had the opportunity to speak with Karen Testerman, who is also looking to replace Jeanne Shaheen in the upper chamber.
Since joining the primary hunt last fall, Testerman has been a target of liberals in the Granite state. A spokesperson for the state Democrat party responded to her initial announcement by describing her as a far-right extremist and a rubber stamp for the Tea Party. She is a former gubernatorial candidate and founder of the conservative Cornerstone Policy Research. Following is the video of our interview, along with a transcript of some of the salient points and a few final background details on the race.
On what New Hampshire conservatism means.
What’s important to the people of New Hampshire right now is accountability and integrity. They want to know that when they shake your hand that they can trust you, not that you’ll go down to Washington, DC and “drink that Kool Aid” or alter your values in some way just because someone is offering you power or money.
Where she stands on foreign policy in general and the current unrest in the Ukraine in specific:
We have to seriously look at where we, as a nation, a leader in the world, are placing ourselves strategically and why are we there. If we put our men and women on the line, we need to know they have a specific mission, what does it mean when they’ve won, what does it take to win and then we need to get the politics out of it. We need to let the military who know how to wage this conflict go ahead and do it. Otherwise, we shouldn’t be getting into this. And Congress has to okay it. Enough of this undeclared war and conflict, enough of these U.N. peacekeeping forces.
On domestic policy:
The thing that’s on most people’s minds is jobs and the economy. We’ve got so many people who are out of work, can’t find work, are on welfare… we’ve got businesses that would like to create jobs, but they don’t know if there’s going to be a new tax put on them. There’s no reliability or predictability.
Obamacare: Repeal it. Repeal it and defund it.
2nd Amendment rights, specifically national background checks and an “assault weapons” ban: Neither of those… I’m a lifetime member of the NRA, a lifetime member of the Gun Owners of New Hampshire, Second Amendment Sisters and the New Hampshire Firearms Coalition.
Gay marriage: That’s already been decided in the state. That’s a states issue and the federal government would have nothing to do with it.
You can find out more by visiting her campaign website. In addition to Scott Brown, Testerman will be facing former Senator Bob Smith and Jim Rubens. I didn’t get to speak with either, but Smith had a booth set up at the NRLC. When I asked around about Rubens, one of the only repeated comments I heard was that he favored a carbon tax, but there’s more information on both of their sites.