Cool as Ice
Joe Miller lays out his plan to change Washington.


Robert Costa

Miller, who loves to hunt most wild four-legged creatures, including bear, sees himself as that warrior, a man for these times. “Dependency from the federal level is all around us,” he says. “The tax policies, the regulatory policies — they are all designed to kill American business. As you look at it, the only explanation you get is that there is somebody who wants to try to equalize the economies of the world. To me, I just find that incredibly frightening. I had incredible opportunities as a kid, and I want to make sure that my children and their children have those opportunities. And they will not, if we continue in the direction that we’re heading in.”

Republicans are learning that they have to reverse the growth of government, not just slow it as they’ve done in the past, Miller says. “Following that path provides real opportunity for the GOP,” he adds.

In the final two years of President Obama’s term, Miller says, Republicans have the opportunity not only to make gains, but also to begin, with gusto, to roll back the Obama administration’s policies. “We can do things that don’t require his cooperation,” he says. “That’s what it has to be. Defunding agencies in a targeted fashion, particularly where agencies are aggressively acting against economic interests of the country, be it resource development, business, or otherwise. There are things that need to be cut — low-hanging fruit. With Obamacare, we ultimately want to see it repealed, but we are not going to get the two-thirds vote to do that.”

“There is such outrage across the political spectrum,” Miller says, adding that many of the GOP’s potential repeal and reform efforts could gain bipartisan national support. With regards to Obamacare, “we have a good chance of defunding it.” The administration, he adds, “is going to have a real difficult time with their extremist appointments. There are going to be people in the Senate who are going to do everything in their power to prevent folks who don’t like our Constitution from having any type of executive responsibility. There is going to be real concern about the bypassing of the confirmation process in the Senate.”

As a freshman senator, Miller would not sit idly on the backbench, quietly complaining about fiscal policy. The debate over America’s role in the world, he says, is another argument he’d like to join. “I’m dramatically opposed to a feel-good foreign policy,” he says. “This idea of going in and imposing democracy in other countries doesn’t mesh with my understanding of what the common defense is. So, I think that we have to be much more focused on the threats against our nation — that we use that club a little bit more. Nations like Iran need to understand that if they don’t end their WMD programs in response to sanctions, then we will do what we can militarily to take care of that. But that doesn’t mean that we’re going to go in and change their government. I just think that that spreads us too thin. Fiscally we can’t afford it, but at the base of it, I don’t think it’s constitutionally authorized.”

Fighting for a conservative Supreme Court would be another area of interest. Miller, a staunch admirer of Justice Antonin Scalia, says that the GOP needs to beef up its opposition to President Obama’s judicial nominees. If he were to make it to the Senate, Miller would not have a clear preference for committee spots, but he does note that even if he’s not on the Judiciary Committee, he will eagerly step up and scrap with Democrats over the Court. His party’s “lack of backbone” in confirmation fights, he says, is dismaying. “Overall, we need more justices like Scalia and [Clarence] Thomas on the bench, and fewer like [Elena] Kagan.”

Turning back to the campaign, Miller says that his candidacy remains his own endeavor, and despite Murkowski’s push to tag him as a candidate driven by the Tea Party Express, a conservative, California-based activist organization that has aired numerous ads backing Miller, he is his own man, with his own ideas. Miller says that Murkowski’s demonization of the Express is “masterful” but will backfire because she “calls Alaskan voters extreme, and effectively racist, for having supported the Tea Party.”


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