MARIETTA — Barry Loudermilk resigned his state senate seat this week to devote himself to his campaign to replace U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta).
Loudermilk (R-Cassville) said one supporter characterized the race as that of a small businessman against two trial lawyers and a bureaucrat.
Loudermilk said he was the small businessman, while the bureaucrat was Tricia Pridemore of Marietta, who resigned from her role as executive director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development to run for the seat. The two trial attorneys are former Congressman Bob Barr of Smyrna and Georgia House Majority Whip Ed Lindsey (R-Buckhead).
Loudermilk said he needs more information before he decides what should be done with Syria but he is hesitant for the U.S. to intervene there.
“I think we have to go back to the policy that we have to show a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States or to one of our allies that we are under treaty with before we look at a military engagement,” he said. “It has to be a clear national security interest, a clear and present danger. Otherwise, right now we can’t afford the interest on our own debt.”
Loudermilk underscored his support for the U.S. military.
“But that military’s primary purpose is to defend the liberties and the freedom and our lifestyle here in the United States and our national interest,” he said. “If somebody’s civil war doesn’t do that, I think we have to be very, very cautious in moving forward, no matter how strong the humanitarian effort.”
Like many conservative Republicans, Loudermilk supports the repeal of the controversial Common Core state standards, pointing out that he was the first co-sponsor on state Sen. William Ligon’s bill during the last legislative session to repeal the program.
“Everything we’ve been talking about here is how the federal government has screwed up our nation. Why do we want to give them the education system, too?” Loudermilk said. “Government works best when it’s local, and I think that’s the case more so in education.”
Common Core dates back to the administration of former Gov. Sonny Perdue, Loudermilk said.
“We adopted standards without even knowing what the standards were. Why are we jumping on that?” he said. “And of course there was $400 million involved in it … tied to Race to the Top (federal funds), so we took some money, we took some bailout. Now we’ve got these strings attached to it and we’re realizing we’re going to spend a whole lot more money on that just in the testing standards.”
Loudermilk said other states are beginning to turn against Common Core.
“We’ve started backpedaling a little bit,” he said of Georgia. “Whether it’s logic or political pressure, I’ll let the powers that be determine that. Nowadays, I think you get a victory wherever you can, but I give Sen. Ligon a lot of credit because he just wouldn’t give up. There was a lot of political pressure to stop that bill (to repeal Common Core) this year, and it never went anywhere, but even after the session ended, he wouldn’t stop because he sees what this is going to do in the future.”
Spying on Americans the way he spied
When Loudermilk served in the U.S. Air Force in the 1980s he worked in intelligence. There he did the same thing to the Russians that the National Security Agency is doing to Americans, he said.
Yet there was a clear line he was forbidden from crossing when he was intercepting electronic communications.
“If you were to intercept some domestic communications it would shut off immediately, you could be court martialed because it was a violation of the Fourth Amendment,” Loudermilk said. “Now we’re seeing that the military of the NSA is spying on its own citizens, doing what we did to the enemy, so it makes you wonder have we been perceived as the enemy?”
The bottom-line is that the NSA has overstepped its boundaries, he said.
“When you’ve got NSA operatives that are listening in on a private communication between a soldier in Afghanistan and his wife and they’re rating the risque value of that conversation between themselves, that is purely wrong,” he said.
Obamacare and ‘amnesty’
Stripping Obamacare of funding in the upcoming continuing resolution budget vote without shutting down the government is possible, Loudermilk said.
“That’s going to be on the president’s back,” he said. “If he says he’s going to veto, if the Senate says they’re not going to take it up, I say take it out, send it to the Senate and sic the American people on it, because they’re sick and tired of this, and they’re just barely getting into it.”
The key is to show a progression in stopping the controversial health care legislation.
The immigration bill the Senate approved earlier this year, which now languishes in the U.S. House, is nothing more than an amnesty bill, Loudermilk said.
Loudermilk is convinced the federal government doesn’t want to secure the U.S. border. That combined with the long and expensive process required to become a U.S. citizen tells Loudermilk the immigration system is broken.
“Why are we passing more laws when we’re not enforcing what we have right now? That’s the question of the ages,” he said. “We need to fix the immigration system so the people that want to come here, that are the people we need to come here, can immigrate legally, efficiently. I talked to one immigrant who said ‘you wouldn’t believe how much money we have to spend on attorneys, just attorney fees, to immigrate here.’ I don’t think it’s the way the founders intended it to be.”