September 1st, 2010
04:39 PM ET
12 years ago

Miller questions GOP 'courage and leadership'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption =" Alaska Senate Republican candidate Joe Miller said the Obama Administration and the GOP establishment are leading America in the wrong direction."]

Editor's Note: Watch CNN's "John King, USA" on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. ET for John King's full interview with Joe Miller.

(CNN) - A day after his opponent conceded the Republican primary for Senate in Alaska, Joe Miller took on both President Obama and the Republican political establishment Wednesday, warning that the nation is headed towards socialism and facing a dire fiscal crisis.

Incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski conceded to the Tea Party-backed candidate late Tuesday in what is considered one of the largest upsets of the 2010 midterm election cycle.

In a wide ranging interview with CNN's Chief National Correspondent John King, Miller criticized the growth of entitlement programs and corporate bailouts under the Obama administration, and described Obama as "bad for America."

"He's one of the major forces moving this country towards socialism. He is expanding the entitlement state. It is the wrong direction for America," Miller said in an interview that will air on CNN's "John King, USA."

Miller has made the threat of socialism a central theme of his campaign. In a new web video on his campaign website he warns that "our nation stands at a crossroads. It's careening toward socialism and insolvency."

However, he told King that he would not seek an immediate end to entitlement programs such as social security and Medicare.

"This is not a Joe Miller comes to D.C. and Social Security is gone, Medicare is gone. But what Joe Miller does do, and what those that I think are joining in this message do is get this government aback from the fiscal brink, back from bankruptcy so that we can ensure that the contracts that we've made with our seniors, that we can honor those," he said.

Yet he conceded that he "absolutely" would like to see an eventual end to a federal Social Security program.

"We're at a deficit. The trust fund is gone. It's full of IOUs. If this were a private pension plan the custodians of that pension plan would be in jail. But our government has raided that fund and it's completely gone," Miller said.

Miller, who has sought to establish himself as a Washington outsider throughout the campaign, called the fiscal crisis a "bipartisan problem," citing a lack of leadership in the Republican establishment.

"The question is whether or not there's the courage and leadership in [the Republican] 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," Miller said. "The Republican Party can do it, but it does require courage because its not the status quo."

But there was one Republican for which Miller expressed strong admiration – former Alaska governor and Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin, who endorsed the previously unknown candidate, and is largely credited with helping him pull off an upset win against the Republican party-backed Murkowski.

"[Palin] was critical to the success of this campaign," Miller said. "She is absolutely a force to be reckoned with nationally. I absolutely will support her in her endeavors."

Filed under: Alaska • JKUSA • Joe Miller • John King USA
soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. johnkc

    These people want to cut taxes. Taxes are at the lowest since 1950. Cutting taxes is the only solution the republicans ever have. That and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are the other reason we have spent so much. Remember, Bush is the one that signed the bailout bill. Raise taxes for the wealthiest back to the Regan days.

    September 1, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  2. George of the jungle

    They may be free spirits Hugo but the population of alaska also gets a nice check each year from the oil companies. So not such free spirits after all. Lots of people that dislike government . But they don't confrom to any standard. But will take oil money and the hell with the enviornment.

    September 1, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    I want to know how many people in Miller's family are receiving Social Security and/or Medicare.

    And how many people in Miller's circle of friends are receiving Social Security and/or Medicare.

    And I want to see him on tape telling them that if he gets elected, he's going to fight to cut off these same benefits for others who may qualify for them.

    September 1, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  4. And the survey says......

    Miller, Angle, Palin, Bachman....they are all nuttier than a squirrel turd.

    September 1, 2010 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  5. kd

    Miller's an idiot. Alaskans HATE him.

    He's making consistent pitches that classify him as a bonafide loon.

    September 1, 2010 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  6. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Someone better hurry and take this boy to school, Alaska isn't the only State in the Union but if he gets his way it will no longer be a state.

    September 1, 2010 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  7. The Big J

    How much Fed money does Alaska get each year? Miller better walk it like he talks it!

    September 1, 2010 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  8. Osilama Abu

    Anybody from Mama Grizzly is sure to fail at the General Elections.This is only a pyrrhic victory and the reality will dawn when the Dems secure a shocking and overwhelming victory in November 2010.Watch out.

    September 1, 2010 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  9. SilverHair

    Left-handed thread on this one1

    September 1, 2010 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain

    I'm a true American, from a family of military personnel going back three generations, someone who grew up around the world and consequently gained an appreciation for our country and our freedoms.

    I'm also a Democrat who votes and gets others out to vote. And someone who will work night and day to defeat at the polls people like Miller (and his backers Palin and Beck and all the other corporate lackeys who want to turn our nation into a third-world country where a few families own everything, there's no Middle Class and social programs are gutted).

    I saw it when I lived in Latin America – and I'll be damned if I'll let it happen here!

    Vote for America = Vote Democratic

    September 1, 2010 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  11. JFK

    Another candidate with no ideas and pushing the blame on Obama. This is getting very repetitive and tiresome. We need ideas and unity, not more division.

    September 1, 2010 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
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