Ryan Zinke is a former Navy SEAL Team 6 member; he is also a state Senator and candidate for Congress for the at-large seat in Montana. I recently had the chance to interview Ryan regarding his congressional run.
JK: You have been a NAVY Seal [Note: Senator Zinke was a member of SEAL Team 6, who found and killed Osama bin Laden], a State Senator, and a businessman. What is your motivation for running for Congress from Montana, especially in an increasingly divided Washington?
RZ: Why would anyone want to run for Congress? If I didn’t think I could show it, and I do believe Washington is fixable. As a Navy SEAL, our motto is obviously never quit and our only easy day was yesterday. Send in the Navy SEALS – I think it’s time to send the Navy SEALS to Washington! There is a great deal of frustration across the country that nothing’s being done – our reference has to be truth and when the reference is just what you can sell on a poll, we’ve lost our moral compass. It is about restoring truth, grace and honor back to DC.
JK: What do you believe are the most critical issues facing the nation right now?
RZ: Restoring truth to Washington, DC. I think America is strong enough to fix the problems, grace and honor to DC. I think energy independence and control spending. We have to go to a balanced budget. Quite frankly, as far as our debt goes, I don’t think you can tax your way out of it. I think people are taxed enough. I think the answer is: we’re going to grow the economy. Government shouldn’t be in the business of picking winners and losers. The government should be the referees, but they should not be calling the games. What you want, as a conservative, you want to bring the ball up to the field. I think the people want to see progress. Americans want to see progress, they want to see the beginning of the plan, how to solve our problems. Newt Gingrich, Contract for America, whether you liked or disliked it, at least it was a plan. We need to articulate a message and we need to look at it based on truth and we need to find solutions.
JK: What is your thought about the direction that the Obama Administration is taking with our nation? Do you think they are effective at any of the policies they are implementing?
RZ: I think he’s been successful at defining his Administration by Obama Care! You can’t even get on the website for inferior service – you can’t even sign up!
JK: Lastly, do you have any comments about what is needed to get our economy moving again? Unemployment is at 6.7% and job growth remains persistently stagnant in many parts of the country.
RZ: America is in trouble. We have a staggering 17 trillion in debt; household income is down, college graduates cannot find a job – time to stop breaking promises and start talking about the truth. I work in the energy industry and I find it a travesty that the Administration would not want a safe and secure energy policy for this country. I’m an advocate for a full spectrum of energy policy, but we’re never going to get there with solar cells that are going to power this country. I have a degree in geology; if I didn’t think we couldn’t be energy independent in five years, I wouldn’t say so. At the end of the day, the payoff again – nothing held hostage from foreign oil – looking out our rebirth of American manufacturing – everyone is so upset with jobs going overseas. We can compete on energy costs, especially on the manufacturing. I think we need investment in coal technology, which was promised to us multiple times during the presidential campaign, but as soon as the election it becomes an attack on coal.
In American history, it’s about hard work and self-reliance. It’s not about collecting giveaways or being on unemployment forever. That the economy moves ahead for people who are going to work to realize the American dream, own a home, send your kids to college. I think it’s the founding cornerstone of America.
For more information on Ryan Zinke and his candidacy for Congress, please visit his website at http://www.ryanzinke.com.