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)
  1. lolo

    These republicans and tea partiers are just out of their minds. People please go vote in November. We will certainly be doomed if these nuts get into office. Between the republican and tea party politicians it is very scary. These people are not good for the true Americans at all. They just keep on trying to change how people live their lives and it should be their way only. It is not the government doing this, this is the power hungry nuts trying to take over. I can not believe that their followers believe the crap they are spewing. The poorest people of the republican party might as well get us to being the underdog. They want to keep dumbing down their followers and they do not know any better. It is amazing to me how their precoius leaders have opened their eyes and they are still walking around blind as ever. I bet they will not return the medical stimulus check when they receive them this fall. If they are so against the American government return the taxpayers money when you receive these checks. Don't just talk the talk.

    September 1, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  2. key

    Alaska receive more federal dollars per person per capital than just about any other state this guy is stupid or read the same papers as Palin

    September 1, 2010 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  3. Matt

    They sure do raise them crazy up there in Alaska! This guy is a lunatic!

    September 1, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  4. Ken

    Is everyone from Alaska a wingnut or are there some normal people up there???

    September 1, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  5. Susan

    Miller is not uneducated, but he is still a liar. Alaska already IS a socialist state. They pay no state income tax, no property tax, and no sales taxes. They get all their revenue from taxing big oil, and the largesse of the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT and the ability of their representatives to ram through pork projects. If Miller is honest, and wants to end all that, good for him. Michigan could use our own dollars back. But I bet the words "We need to have a tax system here in Alaska" never pass his lips. He and Palin are hypocrites, plain and simple.

    September 1, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  6. Larry

    For years I've watched the steady drumbeat tactics, building up to the "lets eliminate social security" push. The money is gone, they say, it was never there, etc. They money was taken and replaced with treasure bills (are we saying the government will default on this and all their other treasury bills). Hmm, lets tell all private investors and other countries, sorry your money is gone..too bad. Very simple, we stole from social security to hide the fact that we didn't want to pay higher taxes for all the other things we wanted. It is not an entitlement...we paid for it and it was stolen. Raise the FICA tax cap, pay social security tax on all income and put the money back. Then as a people decide what we want as a society and pay the taxes to do it. No more hiding the size of the deficit behind social security because americans are too spoiled to pay for what they want, and politicians are too gutless to tell them that.

    September 1, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  7. GaryB

    This guy has no idea what "socialism" means. Alaska, with it's massive reliance on Federal redistribution of wealth (#3 per capita in federal pork among all the states) and the government instituted wealth-sharing with the oil industry is one of the most socialistic states in the union. But hey, if he wants to get Alaska off the federal dole and Alaskans are OK with that, more power to him.

    September 1, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  8. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Just what we need in Washington, another big mouthed crooked lawyer.

    September 1, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |

    Miller Alaska and Angle Nevada are both extreme right wing nut jobs. These two make legally insane people look normal. There's no place in government for these types of people who just talk hate and fear in hopes of getting elected and then they will absolutely ruin our great country. Keep them home or in a home.

    Vote NO in NOvember to the party of NO.

    September 1, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  10. Dennis1020

    And I have about concluded any politician from Alaska, even ones who quit half way through an elected term, are bad for America.

    September 1, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  11. Thank You Tea Party For Nominating Miller in AK, Maes In CO, Angel in NV, Paul In KT and Hopefull O'Donnell In DE . . .

    Vote for these birds and kiss your social security and medicare good bye

    September 1, 2010 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  12. No tea party

    Govermment is not the problem, it is the politician that we elect to run it.

    September 1, 2010 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  13. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    It is the wrong direction for America," Miller said.

    As of this morning, 64% of all Americans agree with that assessment.

    September 1, 2010 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  14. Tim

    Miller is complaining about socialism?

    Alaska is the epitome of socialism – but I doubt he realizes that.

    September 1, 2010 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  15. kayway

    the guy is just running for for governor of the least populated state in the US and he's already acting like he' s gonna run the country someday. see what kind of affect miss Sarah has on people on a ego/power trip. bet he's in bed with big oil too, as well as miss Sarah. hmmmmmmmmm....

    September 1, 2010 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  16. kayway

    make that running for bad. 🙂

    September 1, 2010 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  17. once upon a horse

    I thought that South Carolina was a backwards state after what has been coming out of there the past few years, BUT what has come from Arizona and Alaska is really giving SC some competition. This guy must have been living with the polar bears. Just another state now I'll add to my list NOT to visit and give my tourist dollars to.

    September 1, 2010 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  18. Papasan in AZ

    What the Fascists fear most of all is intelligence.
    Stay stupid America, they love you that way...

    September 1, 2010 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  19. Fontana Al

    Joe MIller,Joe Wilson,Joe the plumber, and Joe Rockhead all characters with simple names and simple minds.

    September 1, 2010 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  20. ruty

    This nut and Palin should get maried and have a bunch of little morons just like them so they can make Alaska look even more stupid then what they already are.

    September 1, 2010 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  21. Zach

    Everyone complains about the government and the economy. Then when somebody who actually has a different point of view comes along, suddenly it's "nutjob" this and "wingnut" that. That's why we'll never improve our lot.

    September 1, 2010 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  22. chill

    If many of these nihilist anti any government at all types get elected this year, the country is going to be in a world of hurt and the rest of the GOP is going to be between the rock of refusign to govern and take responsibility and the hard place of working out a compromise with the Dems to keep things functioning. Lots of people think they are against big government until it's their omelet that's tainted, or they can't visit Yellowstone, or there are no border patrols, and no one shows up in a disaster. And if all the functions that once were handled federally are turned over to the states for 50 different sets of laws, then guess what you'll have- The Balkans.

    September 1, 2010 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  23. Desmond in Canada

    Out to lunch, this Tea Partier!

    September 1, 2010 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  24. Rusty Burgoon-Clark

    JESUS said: "feed the hungry, clothe the naked, nurse the sick, care for the orphans and widows" ... "inasmuch as you have done it to the LEAST of these my brethren, you have done it to me."

    Sounds like Social Security, MediCare, and "socialism" to me!

    Wouldn't we have been in a fine state if Bush had succeeded in turning over the Social Security funds to Wall Street??!!

    I entered into a contract with the government when I started paying into Social Security over fifty years ago, and it damn well better be there, or there WILL be a violent revolution.

    September 1, 2010 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  25. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    So, I guess the question is - where was this guy during history class? FDR gave us several things that this guy might seem to think are socialist; the minimum wage, limiting the work week to 40 hours before overtime, Social Security to help those that have limited pensions among other things.

    I would like to know what this guy contributes to social welfare organizations. Where does he expect people who need help if there is no government help and the rich don't fund the social welfare organizations like food pantries and job training locations.

    September 1, 2010 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
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