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

Miller questions GOP 'courage and leadership'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/08/31/art.miller.cnn.jpg 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. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    But there was one Republican for which Miller expressed strong admiration – former Alaska governor and Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin,....................

    And that's when I switched to the Weather Channel.

    September 1, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. mom2boys

    Well, this guy sure does ensure a dem win in Alaska....

    September 1, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. Tony in Maine

    Not all Alaskans are crazy. Many Alaskans consider themselves libertarians, but few are like Miller and Palin.

    September 1, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  4. GL

    This man having even started his job yet and he is al ready giving advise.

    September 1, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  5. Liz the First

    This guy is a typical republican only worse. probably has no clue what the word 'socialism' means, just knows it's an effective scare word and that the folks with limited intelligence will foam at the mouth when they hear it. Obama and the Democrats are NOT SOCIALISTS! anyone with an ounce of sense knows this. i pray to God the intelligent folks come out in droves to vote in November or the country will fall into the hands of some seriously whacko fringe nutburgers, and then we can kiss it good-bye!

    September 1, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  6. Peter s

    Another clown's time keep on the circus miller!!

    September 1, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  7. Stacey

    To all Americans with common sense:

    Vote NO to the Party of NO in NOvember!
    Vote NO to the Party of NO in NOvember!
    Vote NO to the Party of NO in NOvember!

    This slogan is worth repeating over and over.

    September 1, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  8. GL

    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."

    Just another white man Republicans hating on a black President. President Obama is hated so much by white men in the Repubicans party it is started to look like the old days when White men was very out spoken about their hate toward black men. This is nothing new. Keep report this stuff CNN and see how fast you will star a civil war. Mostly every white person running for Congress have some hateful things to say about the President and it is starting to look like these attacks are race driven. Thank you CNN for you continuing support for the party of hate black people.

    September 1, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  9. virginia nielsen

    Another crazy right wing disconnected from the real America !!! Maybe ,if he wins, he is going to quit in the first year, like his friend Sarah Palin... what a bunch of ignorant people !!!

    September 1, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. norma

    The DOW surges 250 points today on strong manufacturing numbers (you know, from the private sector)...does that sound like socialism to you? Excuse me tea partiers, but where do you get these idiots???

    September 1, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  11. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Alaskans are gonna kick themselves in the butt for electing this nut.

    September 1, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  12. GL

    Miller criticized is all the Republicans party have to offer the American people and I am getting so sick of all these hate speeches against President Obama. Hate keep this country divided and we have the Republicans to blame for this.

    September 1, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  13. Bruce

    It must be the Alaskan education system because this guy is as incoherent as Sora Palin is...LMAO!

    September 1, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  14. jake1969

    OK, please, please, please hold Republicans accountable for their comments on Social Security! Angle, Miller and a host of other Republicans have stated recently they essentially want to phase out Social Security.

    Hmmm...I remember in the recent Health Care debate, one of the main scare tactics Republicans used was "if this Health Care Bill passes, we won't have enough money for Social Security and Medicare...and we want to defend those programs."

    That whole argument is why the Republicans have won over so many elder voters. It's a total sham. They've always wanted to kill SS and medicare. Gingrich in '94 said "we will let them wither on the vine."

    Let's be clear - Republicans want to gut or kill altogether both SS and medicare. Please understand that when you vote.

    September 1, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  15. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    And you thought Nevadans were the only ones with buyer's remorse.

    September 1, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  16. Squincher

    Of course he's going to come out against the "establishment". Of course he wants "an eventual end to Social Security".

    He and his Tea Bagging ilk are all big on bluster and very short on ideas.

    It's a damn shame that Sen. Lisa Murkowski was defeated. Electing this guy and his minions in the "Tea Party" would only increase gridlock and probably force the government to come to a complete standstill.

    September 1, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  17. rjolay

    Stay away from my mother's Social Security... you Republican rich boys have already taken $140,000 from her in Wall Street, leaving her 4,00 after fees. Plus, you eliminated dental care from her pension, so that after 40 years of teaching, she walks around missing a tooth.
    I'll take a tea bag and put it where the sun doesn't shine if you do any more to her. Enough, already, as you GUYS like to say. There are many more like me... we don't have any leader, ar any Jew talk show host. Give us the change that we voted for, get your crook butts out of the way now, or face revolution from everywhere.

    September 1, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  18. Future expat

    This guy's no dummy; he graduated from West Point and Yale Law School. Thus, it stands to reason that he does not actually believe the Tea Party platitudes he's spewing, but rather that he is just pandering to the fringe.

    This is exactly the same sort of shameless pandering that John McCain has adopted in recent months. Joe Miller and John McCain have the same goal: power at any cost.

    September 1, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  19. mike

    what is with these people do they live on another planet this idiot is running around talking little government but his butt buddy stevens got a ton of money from the government for 40 years will guess what now I want my money back with interest you stupid uneducated fool go get your on food when the government airports start shutting down and the government roads are not useable and you can't use your GPS or cell phone

    September 1, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  20. Richard G

    Wow....Alaska picked a real tool in this guy! Entitlements? Looks like Alaska ranks 11th for number of people per capita on welfare. They also all get a piece of the big oil pie; isn't that a bit socialist? Without big oil, they'd be tanked.

    September 1, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  21. jake1969

    BTW, TARP was BUSH, not OBAMA. Obama's stimulus was 1/2 bailout and 1/2 public works investments. Bush's bailout was a total corporate bailout. How in the world have Republicans been able to pin the whole concept of all the bailouts on Obama? People, please, it's only recent history...pay attention.

    September 1, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  22. GL

    He's of the major forces moving this country towards socialism. Now we are back to calling the President a Socialism. THE PARTY OF HATE speaks again about nothing but hate toward the President. If any thing, the constand attack toward President will bring out more voters if not all of them that supported him.

    September 1, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. GL

    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."

    We seen this movie before back in 2008 and it didn't work then and it won't work in Nov. You republicans are nuts.

    September 1, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  24. Tracy

    Who is this guy? He will disappear very soon just like all the newcomers do. They make these great (tea party, partisan) victory speeches, make 3 or 4 major gaffes, and then they are gone. Oh wait, then we will here about his extramarital affair, or that he is quietly gay, or something that will send him packing just as quickly as he burst out of his suitcase. This guy is not even an Alaskan. Are they so desperate that they would let an outsider determine what is good for them. Well, they did vote for Sarah, so heck yeah, they they are desperate....

    September 1, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  25. Illinoistom

    Fair criticism of the GOP establishment, in my opinion. The fact that Obama has proven to be no more than the third term of Bush illustrates Joe Miller's point. Paul Ryan is pretty lonely on Capital Hill and will welcome a few Joe Millers to help restore sanity to Washington.

    September 1, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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