Congressman Kevin Cramer was on my radio show today for his weekly open phones segment, and I asked him about former state lawmaker Ben Hanson announcing a run for the U.S. House for Democrats.
“He’s not my challenger yet because I haven’t announced that I’m running,” Cramer said, correcting the way I referred to Hanson.
“I’m running because I believe that North Dakota deserves a congressman who will focus on the needs of hard-working North Dakotans — creating good paying jobs for working families, strengthening the middle class and building an economy that works for everyone,” Hanson said in a statement earlier today announcing his campaign. “Over the course of my campaign, I will focus on boosting job growth and jumpstarting our economy by investing in small businesses, an all-of-the-above energy strategy and rebuilding our infrastructure.”
“It would have been a good platform when he was in the Legislature,” Cramer responded when I read those comments to him. He noted that Hanson was ousted from his House seat by voters last year. “He finished 4th,” Cramer noted.
Hanson got less than 22 percent of the vote per the Secretary of State’s office.
Republican state Senator Tom Campbell announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate today, a race some think Cramer will enter as well. I asked Cramer if Campbell’s decision changed the trajectory of his thinking about the race. “It does not change my thinking about it,” he said, adding that it’s “encouraging to have Tom in the race” and that it is “a sign of strength in our party.”
I also asked Cramer about the events in Charlottesville. “They have a legal, constitutional right to hold a demonstration,” he said of the organizers of what was called the “Unite the Right” rally. But he added that it “sickens me that anyone in this country still holds those views.”
And President Donald Trump’s words in response to that ugly, violent situation which have drawn no small amount of criticism from both Republicans and Democrats?
“I think if his words…had come out of the mouth of Barack Obama the liberal media would have called it poetry,” Cramer said.
Cramer’s words come as Fox News host Shep Smith says his producers couldn’t find a Republican to defend the President’s comments on air.
Here’s the full audio: