September 1st, 2010
05:46 PM ET
12 years ago

Anchor notes: John King on Joe Miller

Washington (CNN) - Joe Miller calls President Obama "bad for America" and suggests he is leading the nation on a path to socialism. But the newly minted GOP Senate nominee from Alaska also has a message for the Republican Leadership. Not to mention unapologetic views on cutting federal spending and even possibly phasing out Social Security.

A few highlights from an interview taped Wednesday, the day after tea party favorite Miller clinched the GOP nomination. (Defeating incumbent GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski.)

"There is an opportunity to lead this country out of the crisis its in and I believe the Republican Party is well suited to take up that mantle," Miller said in an interview for Wednesday's "John King, USA." which will air at 7pm. "The question is whether or not there's the courage and leadership in that party to seize the moment and to recognize that the only way out of this is to get out of the age of the entitlement state to return power back to the states and recognize that central government is broken and see what we can do about fixing things and getting the government focused on those areas the enumerated powers that it should be doing. And the Republican Party can do it but it does require courage."

So is Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky the right GOP Senate leader or should the party choose a new one?

"Anybody that embraces this message can move it forward so that's going to be up to the Republican party. It's going to be up to the people of this great nation," Miller said. "I believe that the party should embrace that message. I think it is the future of this nation. I think it will lead us out of this mess. But let's just wait and see what happens."

Democrats have labeled Miller an extremist who would abolish Social Security. He is quick to make some important distinctions about those currently receiving benefits, but is forceful in making the case be believes major changes are needed down the road. Consider this exchange:

Miller: "Longer term there has got to be a move outside of that system. Ultimately we want to transfer the power back to the states so that states can take up the mantle of those programs if they so desire. In, you know, the shorter term, I think there have been many plans proposed that can move the shift or shift this away from government control and into a sector where we can actually protect those funds

"I mean if its a privatized system, for example, I can ensure that I put my money into an account that the government is not going to steal from. ... I think most Americans recognize that that system is broken and they understand that there has got to be a change longer term to bring back some fiscal sanity and to ensure that you can actually have something when you do retire rather than depend on these IOUs that when we go insolvent aren't going to be worth much."

KING: "It is an issue that you well know can be easily demagogued, so I want to deliver a statement. You tell me if it's fair or not: That anybody in the system or close to the system is fine. We won't do anything significant to change your benefits. But how about an American born tomorrow or born the day after Joe Miller was sworn in in Washington? Would that person perhaps grow up in an America where there is not a federal Social Security program if you got your way?

MILLER: "Absolutely.

KING: "That's a fair statement?"

MILLER: "No demagoguery there at all."

Filed under: 2010 • JKUSA • Joe Miller • John King USA • Lisa Murkowski
soundoff (230 Responses)
  1. johnrj08

    When I read this article a little vomit came up in my throat. This clown Miller is an idiot. If he had been in the Senate back in 1935, I'm sure he would have voted against Social Security. If he had been there in 1965, he would voted against the Civil Rights Act. For sure, he would have voted against Medicare. This joke of a human being would be against anything that helped Americans in need because he equates that with the evils of "socialism", a word he doesn't even understand.

    September 1, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  2. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    Another voice of pure reason from the far, far right pitches in to lead our country away from his wallet. Now he is trying to alienate the older voters with talk of Social Security changes including eliminating it entirely for anyone after him. He will get benefits but not the new people after him.

    It kind of worries me when he says there will be no SIGNIFICANT changes to benefits. Cutting my benefits or your benefits would not be significant to him. It would be a very significant thing to me and most likely to you.

    September 1, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  3. This Again?

    He is such a nutjob. Really, people like this scare me. Fortunately, they are just going to be drowned out by both Dems AND Reps. in DC. They dont care to work for solutions, because they have no idea how government works.

    September 1, 2010 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  4. JV

    Considering the mess (economically, politically, socially, etc., etc.) the GOP created since 2001, it would be extremely dangerous, and self-destructive, to elect this new breed of radicals they're a putting forward.

    September 1, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  5. Winkandanod

    The guy barely won a repiblican primary in Alaska. That means he got perhaps 26 people to vote for him. Now he thinks he's the voice of America. What an idiot.

    September 1, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  6. Guess Who

    "I mean if its a privatized system, for example, I can ensure that I put my money into an account that the government is not going to steal from.... Says Mr Miller. He should have continued to say,"I will put my money into an account that Madoff can steal from....

    September 1, 2010 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  7. Pragmatic

    The GOP was singing this one note song before the election, after the President was elected and ever since.

    Alaska, thanks largely to Stevens's reign as the king of pork, is the ultimate welfare state, receiving from the federal treasury $1.84 for every dollar its residents pay in taxes. Anyone betting they will willingly give up their place at the government trough?

    What will the GOP do better? When John Boehner was asked what the Republican agenda would be if they won election, the man smugly replied, “TBD" = “To be determined!” They Have No Plan!

    “Finding fault is easier than finding answers.” To quote Mitt Romney

    September 1, 2010 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  8. mshare

    Yeah, just great! Fools like him get elected and seniors will be working until they die and/or be living on the street. So much for anyone actually retiring. The only part of the government "stealing" from the Social Security trust fund are Republicans trying to fund their pockets from Wall Street. Yeah, let's elect wackos like this guy so we can all have the pleasure of living in absolute poverty.

    September 1, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  9. jo

    People of Alaska, you elected moron to high office, don't do it again. Phase out Social Security that will cause an economic boom. Another few million looking for jobs.

    September 1, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  10. mfearing

    That the Govt can steal from? He'd rather in be private interests who steal it. So much harder to catch. At least the Govt is elected and can be held responsible. Have you ever seen a private industry person stand up for the failures in the financial industry? Would you have rather turned your money over to Bernie Madoff?

    September 1, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  11. artraveler

    Mr Miller needs to take a history course about the great depression and learn what happens to a country and its people when there is no hope. I think, if he is serious, his first effort should be to eliminate outright the retirement benefits and medical coverage for those in the House and Senate. Let them be part of the great "unwashed" and see what the "market" is really like. Also, take away Besthesda as "their" hospital and let them go to the nearest hospital like the rest of the people.

    Start with your OWN overly costly benefits before you even suggest that the rest of us live and die by the greedy free market.

    September 1, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  12. Bob

    Doesn't this idiot realize it was his party that got us in this mess. How about those six years when you controlled everything!!!!

    September 1, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  13. Doug

    Another nut case without a realistic new idea nor the ability to recall that it was the GOP who ran up the debt and tried to push privatization of the social security system. Our 50 states would have 60 ways of administering the social security program if it were left up to them. It needs to remain at the federal level. I only hope the people of Alaska are wise enough to vote with their heads after educating themselves on the issues and where the candidates stand.

    September 1, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  14. Sean in AK

    Joe Miller and fringe clowns from both Left and Right are the reasons that nothing gets done in the federal government. Their ignorant opinions that they want to make into policy for everyone else coupled with their aggressive inability to hear anyone else's ideas is strangling our government and our country. He is what is wrong with our country. I am ashamed to think that someone as delusioned as he might actually be put into a position to represent me as an Alaskan. Mr. Miller, your positions represent a profound ignorance about our recent history and threaten to lead us down the same path from which we are just now starting to recover. If you do care about Alaska and the US, withdraw from this race to let more competent and intelligent people run. You are not qualified for this job and your comments prove it.

    September 1, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  15. David

    The GOP is being overtaken by anti-american lunatics. Take power back to the state level is his big mantra, that is incredibly bad for America, in fact that is a way to make America quite irrelevant and fracture the common goals of those across the nation.

    September 1, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  16. Roscoe

    Another nut from the tree of Palin

    September 1, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  17. T'SAH from Virginia

    We are in trouble -The middle class and poor are in Trouble – America is TROUBLE!! If we allow the EXTREMIST into office, we are DOOMED!!!

    The RepubliCAN'Ts went too far by hiding behind the EXTREMIST and not having the BALLS to tone them down!! Now they are STUCK with them and it's too late to detach or break away from them!!

    September 1, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  18. w l jones

    Give up your senate bid run for govern secede from the United State build your own army and face Russian powerful army without any money.

    September 1, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  19. rs

    Get rid of Social Security or privatize it and Republicans are toast.

    September 1, 2010 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  20. Kenneth Close

    The problem would be solved if it wasn't for the Government Borrowing and the refusal to raise tax's! Pork Barrel ring a note.

    September 1, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  21. No-sense makes nonsense

    The US Constitution is based on separation of Church and State. Every elected official should be required to uphold our secular government. We cannot permit the fundamentalist Christian ideology to infiltrate our government further.

    The US was strongest after WW2 when Social Democracy values were implemented for all citizens. Now the conservative right wants to install the anarchy of Ayn Rand's 'the selfish individual'.

    We must turn away from the Corporatism that conservative Republicans brought forth during Reagan's presidency ... echoed in the UK under Thatcher and in New Zealand under Roger Douglass. It's been a race to the bottom fueled by a debt driven economy that gave the illusion of a 'better standard of living'.

    September 1, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  22. guy from NM

    Another complete ignorant, just like many others, who would want a public office to "save"America, or to do the bidding of any corporation that will fill his electoral coffers. This country has become a joke.

    September 1, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  23. Clwyd

    So Mr. Joe, was bush good for the US? His deregulation of Big Business, Big Oil and Wall Street almost ruined us economically and now you repulsive republicans from the right and Alaska want to give it another try. No, to you in November. Of course, Alaska can secede from the Union as far as I'm concerned and take pathetic Palin with you!

    September 1, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  24. Dennis

    Phase out Social Security?...Why don't we phase out mindless thinking of this nature.He just becomes elected and he is going to the country and world around overnight.While he is at it,why not start by phasing out HIS Social Security and then to help the economy by emptying out his bank accounts and sending the balances to the U.S.Treasury in one lump sum.This clown should crawl back under the rock he came out from under!

    September 1, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  25. DVA

    What is bad for our country are the Republican "just say no" crowd. If they cannot come up with any viable solutions, then they are not good for this country or any other country. I have never seen such mean spirited people as those in the "tea party" and the GOP party combined. They can make any excuse they want but they just want Obama out and the only reason is (you fill in the black–oops I meant blank) They want to take back THEIR country? Who are they? The last time I looked I was an American and it is my country also. You cannot take back a country that is not yours alone. This is America, get used to it because you are soon going to be the minority. Keep going backwards Republicans, but don't forget to see what is behind you.

    September 1, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10