September 1st, 2010
04:39 PM ET
11 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)

    Now someone finally has got to the true facts. OBAMA IS BAD FOR AMERICA. NOT ONLY SOCIALISM WE'RE FALLING INTO ISLAM IS SLOWLY BUT SURELY TAKING AMERICA. Obama's ultimate goal. If the American people can't see this then we are doomed to FALL.

    September 1, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  2. RobRoy12345

    Sure we need another Bush so we can return to Murder and Mayhem along with a deepening depression that he started byt stealing the treasury and the country blind. These Rspublicans are supposed to be conservatives but every time they get in office they immediately send the country into red hot debt. Bush had a surplus which he destroyed in a matter of months. If only we could get Bush and his family and thier cohorts in crime to give back all the money they stold from America we could pay the national debt and have alot of money left over. Put hm and his father and thier cohorts in Prison where they belong.

    September 1, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  3. Ken in NC

    I hope this sucker realizes that if the powers that be are returned to the states and they are left to fend for themselves the suffering people of Alaska will suffer even more but then I gues it will be OK since he will have his own fat check from the "BIG" government he so despises.

    September 1, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  4. Randy

    Towards socialism: Are these people illiterate, unschooled? Such gross ignorance of major economic and political systems harkens back to medieval, theocratic mentality. Yet they want to govern a country. Unbelievable but true.

    September 1, 2010 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  5. Lee

    I fear what will become of this country if Republicans gain seats in congress.

    September 1, 2010 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  6. Bob

    I'm genuinely curious on tea party solutions for this country, if there are any. They(and republicans) keep saying Obama is leading this country in the wrong direction.

    Well, its easy for them to say that ambiguously. So far, what he's saying is that he wants to end entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security......that were already here before Obama??! Man, Obama just can't win with these guys!

    Is there any alternatives to the elderly getting insurance or help, or are we going to leave them on the streets? Again its so easy to cast stones – it can win elections, but I've yet to hear a workable alternative.

    September 1, 2010 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  7. Mike Mc

    Another wingnut with an overly simplistic view of the economy joins the ranks

    September 1, 2010 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  8. bj

    Let the game begin.

    September 1, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  9. anthony

    We have a huge deficit because Bush cut taxes without cutting spending, while the nation is at war. Medicare Part D also adds to the deficit because it is completely unfunded. The problem is compounded by the recession, which decreases the number of people who are working and can pay taxes, and increases the number of people who are not working and need government assistance. The health care bill adds little to the deficit because it will not be fully implemented until 2016, at which time it will cost 160 billion a year, so it is not the reason we have a trillion dollar deficit right now. Obama contributed to the deficit by his stimulus spending and his bailing out of banks and the auto industry. But he had little choice, because with the interest rate already low and the Bush tax cuts still in effect, he has no other way of fighting the recession. If he had not bailed out the banks and the auto industry, even more people would be unemployed right now.

    September 1, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  10. Sniffit


    And there we have it. You heard it here, folks. Top, right wing nutjob announces America's "decline" into Islam and Sharia law.

    I hope the people who work in the "news" media are proud of themselves. I really really do. One of us might as well be sleeping well at night. I know the advertising industry certainly is.

    September 1, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  11. Daniel

    What a clown! He's what you get when turnout is 10%.

    September 1, 2010 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  12. AK Lisa

    I'm a lifelong Alaskan like Lisa Murkowski, born and raised here. I'm disgusted that this horrible candidate beat a respected, senior Senator. Apparently she wasn't crazy enough for the tea partiers. Sickened that the politics of hate for Obama has resulted in this lunatic being on the ticket for senate representing Alaska. I'm a democratic and would gladly vote for Lisa Murkoski any day, any time, SAD, SAD, time for Alaska. I sure hate to have this embarrassment being a rep on anything Alaska. God help us!!!!!

    September 1, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  13. Leah

    Alaska gets back $5 for every $1 they send in to the federal government for taxes.
    Let Alaska go it alone and we can save money by not sending them all that extra money 🙂

    September 1, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  14. Jackalope

    Does anyone else suspect that this joker might have some pretty serious skeletons in his closet that we're all gonna hear about real soon?

    September 1, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  15. Rosslaw

    Joe Miller must have been hibernating for the last several decades. Alaska is and has long been the closest thing to a socialist state in this country. Palin, Miller and all other Alaskans have $3,000 given to them each year for doing nothing that is liberated from oil royalties. Alaska has been for decades the largest recipient of federal funds in the United States per capita. Miller and his ilk are just like the Republican governors, McDonnell in Va., Jindal in La. and Haley Barbour in Miss., who take billions in stimulus funds to balance their state budgets while blasting the Obama Administration for having a stimulus program. Obama should take those funds back at gunpoint.

    September 1, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  16. lost in america

    just for the record....If anyone in the GOP says it is bad normally that means it is good, they just do not like it. keep that in mind. this character looks like another radical with new far right ideas, good luck.

    September 1, 2010 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  17. NVa Native

    Aren't there like 700,000 people in all of Alaska?
    We have more than that in Fairfax County! So go on and think of your self as something important, Alaska would be broke without the socialized payout of money from the oil companies. Which is probably mostly from federal land. I don't mind that you get some thing from living way out there.
    But please don't think you are some kind of old mule skinner tough guy when you all are more like the ficticious welfare queens that the Beckler rails against.

    September 1, 2010 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  18. Nickc1969

    It's immeasurably uplifting to see all the Big-Government-lovers here going ballistic when faced with the next senator from the state of Alaska. Two months – tick-tock! Try not to crack a tooth with all that gnashing. Aww, who am I kidding – crack away!

    September 1, 2010 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  19. Ken in NC

    People are saying that Republicans are not offering credible solutions to this nations problems. Well I have listed below the top 5 solutions offered by Republicans so people can stop making those claims.

    Solution # 1 More tax cuts for big business and the very rich.

    Solution # 2

    Solution # 3

    Solution # 4

    Solution # 5
    There you have it. Now put Republicans back behind the wheel and let them drive again and be happy when they drive us to our maker or the Poor House, whichever comes first.

    September 1, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  20. sive

    The guy makes perfect sense to me.

    September 1, 2010 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  21. lost in america

    tea party solution... attack and destroy the constitution and answer selected approved questions by the media later. lets turn America into the christian state it was founded on is what Beck said. I guess he forgot our founding fathers separated church from state for a reason, because of radicals like the ones that are surfacing now.

    September 1, 2010 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  22. AZ Dem

    The Republican party is going to be reeling by 2012. They have so many Tea-Party backed candidates that even if they do win in the Midterms they are going to come to Washington and legislate so far to the right that all of COngress is going to be deadlocked. If the House falls under Republican control I think its just the contrast Obama needs to further make the case that this party had been hijacked by the far right and they need to go back to the drawing board on deciding where exactly they stand. In the meantime the presidential election of 2012 will be shaping up nicely for Obama because all it takes is a SMALL reminder of where mostly Republican policies got us in the first place before Americans "wakes up" AGAIN

    September 1, 2010 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  23. CEvans, Texas

    Those of you who voted our President into office, don't give up on him. Please give him a chance to fix what has been broken for the past 8-10 years. It is unrealistic to think it can be done in two (2) years or less.
    George W. had eight (8) years to run our country into the ground, can you at least give President Obama eight (8) to try and fix it. Please stop having a selective memory. Be true to yourself!! What ever happen to the truth? What ever happen to morals and integity? Where are the Christians values inwhich this GREAT country was founded.

    OBAMA 2012!!

    September 1, 2010 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  24. InlandEmperor

    So he wants to eliminate Social Security....a fund that by all accounts was funded infinitely until these Bush "lite"...neocon...chicken hawk... goofs decided to "borrow" from it to fund the special interests of the their band of self serving lobbyists. Hopefully Alaskans will see through his brand of malarkey. The next thing he will likely want to eliminate is his constituents receiveing their share of the state's oil revenues. Isn't it amazing that these Tea Party advocates were for the most part Bush "lite" advocates...that is until it came time to taking responsibility for supporting that group's policies that lead to our nation's current challenges?

    September 1, 2010 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  25. Dean

    Is it me or does this guy look like a real slimeball

    September 1, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
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