If there was one candidate from the third-party debate series who offered the shortest rebuttals, it was Constitution Party nominee Virgil Goode.
At the third-party debate on Tuesday in Chicago, Goode vowed to rein in the federal deficit by submitting a balanced budget in his first year in office while offering quick rebuttals to what seemed like consistent answers from the other three nominees on the issues of the drug war and soaring costs of higher education.
A self-avowed conservative, the man who represented Virginia’s 5th Congressional district in the House of Representatives expressed that the country needs to return to following the Constitution, including requiring Congress to pass a declaration of war before any foreign military ventures and eliminating Super PACs.
He also believes that the Founding Fathers would have outlawed same-sex marriage and abortion via the Constitution, if they had been issues at the time.
Host Carmen Russell-Sluchansky talked with Goode before the debate:
Thank you very much for joining me here. Congressman, I do appreciate. Are you excited about tonight’s debate? Considering that, obviously, the third party candidate debates express a number of views which are differential to the main parties – Democratic and Republicans. What do you hope will be discussed tonight?
Well, I think we need to talk about the deficit, we need to talk about the national debt, we need to talk about jobs in America, we need to talk about ending this triangle hole of big money packs on federal elections and there’s a need of term limits with Congress.
Is the term limits the key aspect of the Constitution Party?
No, it’s not.
You mentioned idea of getting money out of politics.
The Super packs! I think donations should be limited to individuals and no union packs, no corporate packs, no super packs
One of the issues, of course, is that the Supreme Court has ruled that the Constitution forbids that kind of circumscribing, the money that corporations and others can contribute.
I think you could structure legislation so that it would pass constitutional master. And I think that should be done. Really it just makes it fair for the average citizen. The persons that are loaded with lots of millions and billions have a far disproportionate influence on the election process and we really don’t know who they contribute to. So I’m for full disclosure and having individual donations and not super packs. Our political action committees are either unions or corporate.
Are there any particular issues that you yourself would really like to jump in?
I’m big advocate for jobs in America for American citizens, first. And one way to achieve that, in my view, is to have a near complete moratorium on green carded missions into the country while unemployment is so high and have that moratorium in effect until unemployment is under 5%.
Do the Republican and Democratic parties, if you want to speak particularly to their current candidates, would you find them pretty close or very far apart on the issue of immigration?
Very close. Of all the four candidates here tonight, Obama and Romney, I’m the only one that’s focused on a moratorium on issuing so many green cards while unemployment is where it is until it’s under 5%.
Do you have a sense of what kind of numbers are you talking about?
Sure! You have 1.2 million each year admitted on green cards, about ¾ of that are working age and taking jobs from U.S. citizens. I’m also for ending diversity visas. Diversity visas are mainly from the third world countries, particularly Middle Eastern countries. And that’s 50,000 a year. And they get green cards by lottery system. I’m for totally ending that co-sponsored legislation.
Someone have argued that corporations are looking for high school labor, computer programmers, those types – for actually increasing the number, because…
They don’t want to drive down wages. They want high wages to come there. That’s what’s wrong with the Republican Party – they want to bring in more workers to drive down wages. I want wages to be high in the U.S. for American citizens! Don’t bring in so many foreign workers! Especially it makes no sense when our unemployment is at 8%.
Your party is, of course, Constitution Party which is just getting back to the intention of the original document. Can you talk about what other aspects that applies to?
In the area of foreign involvement and being in wars, I believe, in following the Constitution. In other words, we don’t go to Syria unless the Congress makes a declaration. The U.N. and the Arab League shouldn’t be as they did in Libya – dictate to the President what we do.
How should education be funded in the country?
At the state and local level. That’s where 90% of it is. It should remain so. There should be local and state decisions.
Currently the federal government spends less than 1% of its budget on education.
Our issue with 1% – I think, it’s in the neighborhood of 100 billion, maybe more than that in the recent years of Obama.
It’s gone up.
Yes, it’s gone up. People say, “don’t spend much on it, you got to cut in this and that area.”
I think it was Ryan Paul who’s originally asked. Given the Libertarian among the Republican group there, he asked, “If you had a young man who was in an accident and was sent to the hospital with life-threatening issues, would you let him die rather than undergo medical treatment?”
No, all the emergency treatment would be provided to the person who’s illegally in the country, to anyone who has an emergency accident. However, you should not provide routine medical care to persons who’re illegally in the country. I think it was in that area of illegal immigration. Huge impact on hospitals, in particular in South East Virginia – for people who come illegally to the country and have a child. I don’t support automatic birth-right citizenship. And I believe that can be changed by statute, that you don’t need a constitutional amendment.
One more question. Same sex marriages and abortions, that kind of thing, – is this actually dictated by the Constitution?
No, when the Constitution was framing, they had no concept. Homosexuality was probably a felony and perhaps a hanging offence in 1789.
They probably wouldn’t have known about abortions. But how do we know that that’s what the Founding Fathers would have done?
That was so foreign to their thoughts! They didn’t think about it! Just like term limits – they had term limits in the Congress and they talked about whether to put into the U.S. Constitution. And they said no, who would want to serve their whole life, for years and years and years.
But, of course, you’re for term limits! Congressman Goode, thank you so much! I appreciate it.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download