Jul 3, 2022
U.S. House of Representatives GOP Primary Debate 6/30/22 Transcript
U.S. House of Representatives GOP Primary Debate 6/30/22. Read the transcript here.
Transcribe Your Own Content
Try Rev and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.
Liz Cheney: (00:19)
Funding for this program was provided in part by the Wyoming Public Television Endowment and viewers like you.
Speaker 1: (00:31)
Wyoming PBS, The Sheridan Press, and Wyoming Public Media present the U.S. House Republican Primary Debate. Live from the Whitney Center for the Arts at Sheridan College.
Craig Blumenshine: (00:48)
Good evening. I’m Craig Blumenshine. Tonight on Wyoming PBS and Wyoming Public Media, viewers and listeners will hear from all five Republican candidates seeking Wyoming’s lone seat in the United States House of Representatives. Want to get things started right away this evening and introduce those candidates to you. To my immediate left is Ms. Harriet Hageman. To her left is Ms. Robyn Belinskey. Then, follows Representative Liz Cheney. To her left, Senator Anthony Bouchard. And to his left, Colonel Denton Knapp.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:20)
Candidates, we are all very pleased that you were with us here this evening. Thank you very much for attending this debate. We have three panelists who are going to ask the candidates questions this evening, and I’d like to introduce them also to you right now. To my far right, is Steve Peck, the longtime Newspaper Publisher of the Ranger in Riverton and the current Public Affairs Producer at Wyoming PBS. In the center is Bob Beck. He’s a longtime News Director from Wyoming Public Media, and then Stephen Dow, the Governmental Affairs reporter from The Sheridan Press.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:50)
I want to thank Stephen for stepping into the role as panelists this evening. Originally, Kristen Czaban, the Publisher of The Sheridan Press, had planned to be with us, but because of the death of a family friend, she could not be here. So, our thoughts are with her this evening.
Craig Blumenshine: (02:03)
Every candidate tonight will get an opportunity to answer every question in what we hope will be a thoughtful civil exchange. Candidates have not seen the questions that we will ask them this evening, and we randomly drew their position that you see them on stage just a few moments ago. I’m proud that Wyoming PBS and Wyoming Public Media continue their decades-long tradition of bringing candidate debates just like this to you, our viewers and listeners, so that you can hear from the candidates directly, from them in their own voices.
Craig Blumenshine: (02:35)
I hope we can have a thoughtful civil discussion tonight. I told the candidates just moments ago that I hope we can have a mutual airing of views without rancor, and that the blessings of the First Amendment allow us to have a thoughtful civil discussion. We expect nothing different.
Craig Blumenshine: (02:52)
Now, if the panelists are all ready and the candidates are all ready, let’s begin the debate tonight. Asking the first question of Ms. Hageman is Steve Peck.
Steve Peck: (03:01)
Candidates, good evening. Last night, in appearance at the Presidential Library of a Republican icon, Ronald Reagan, Representative Cheney said both the Republican Party and American democracy are threatened by too many Republicans fealty to an individual instead of party, principle, and constitution. She got a standing ovation there, but in other circles, she’s become an outcast among Republicans, including having been drummed symbolically out of the party in Wyoming. You all are running for Wyoming’s only seat in the House. What does this divergence of views mean for this race, and what does it say about the state of the Republican Party in Wyoming?
Craig Blumenshine: (03:39)
Ms. Hageman ?
Harriet Hageman: (03:40)
Yes. Thank you, Steve, for the question. My first response is that we’re not a democracy, we’re a republic. And I think that is an extremely important distinction. And I think that it’s one that is missed by the statements that are made last night. Our republic is not in danger because of President Donald J. Trump. President Trump was an excellent president for the United States of America, and especially for the state of Wyoming.
Harriet Hageman: (04:05)
The threat to our republic really comes from other sources, including the fact that right now we’re seeing that we have two different systems of justice in this country, where we have one system of justice where you have people like Hunter Biden, or Hillary Clinton, or even Joe Biden who are not held accountable for the decisions in the bad acts that they undertake. We have a situation what we saw in Portland where you have rioters attacking the federal courthouse and federal agents. You have billions of dollars of damage being done to our cities through rioting, and the people are not held accountable for those things. Yet, you have the conservatives or Republicans who are being punished for exercising their First Amendment Rights.
Harriet Hageman: (04:50)
I do not believe that the Republican Party is at some kind of an impasse where we’re splitting into these splitter groups. I think that the Republican Party is actually very united in the fact that the current administration is an absolute disaster. We need to retake the House and the Senate so that we can block his agenda, and we need to further the conservative agenda.
Craig Blumenshine: (05:12)
Thank you, Ms. Hageman. Ms. Belinskey.
Robyn Belinskey: (05:15)
Yes, I did see that last night, and I believe, yes, we are a republic and we do have the right to our First Amendment Right to have been at the Capitol, to have been able to express our disdain of what happened on that day.
Robyn Belinskey: (05:36)
Anyway, the fact of the matter is we have a system of government that is divided where we cannot have actual… Oh, gosh. Anyway. Where we don’t get justice for the people who actually are innocent in some of these situations. We have people who have destroyed cities. I used to walk downtown Portland, Oregon. Portland, Oregon used to be beautiful, but where they were, they destroyed everything. Those folks have gone away unpunished. Yet, we have J6 people who are stuck in jail with no due process. And that, to me, is a travesty. And as far as the Republican Party goes, we need to stand firm, yes, but we are divided, unfortunately. And we need to make sure that we take care of making sure that we have the right representation and the relatable people to fill those positions.
Craig Blumenshine: (06:41)
Thank you, Ms. Belinskey. Representative Cheney.
Liz Cheney: (06:44)
Well, thank you very much, Craig, and it’s wonderful as always to be here at Sheridan College. Wonderful to be here for the debate tonight. I think these are really serious issues, and I think, absolutely, there’s no question that what we saw happen on January 6th was clearly an attempt to delay the count of the electoral votes. Anybody who was there understands the violence that was involved. I’m frankly stunned that one of my opponents on this stage who is a member of the Wyoming Bar, who has sworn an oath, as many of us on this stage have, to the constitution would be in a position where she is suggesting that somehow what happened on January 6th was justified, or that somehow what happened that day, the people have the right to ignore the rulings of the courts.
Liz Cheney: (07:38)
We are, in fact, a nation of laws. And we are a nation of laws only if we defend our constitutional republic. And as I made clear last night, we have to put our oath to the constitution above party. The Republican Party has a long and a storied history of embracing the conservative values, that I believe in very strongly, of limited government, low taxes, and a strong national defense. But we are now embracing a cult of personality. I won’t be part of that, and I will always stand for my oath and stand for the truth.
Craig Blumenshine: (08:12)
Thank you, Representative Cheney. Senator Bouchard.
Anthony Bouchard: (08:16)
Thank you. You know, it’s a lot of distraction because we aren’t talking about the real issues that the people of Wyoming care about, like putting fuel in their fuel tank. We’re focused on something that happened that people disagree on. Certainly, my opponent has a certain view that she is stuck to, but the Republican as a whole, they’re tired of it. They’re tired of the rhetoric.
Anthony Bouchard: (08:46)
My opponent says she stands for the Constitution, but in 2017, she didn’t care about repealing Obamacare. And that’s one of the things that got me awake, is Obama. And I think I’m one of the most unique candidates here because I started out as a grassroots activist and crossed over to the dark side. Now, I’m in the Senate. But the issues that are important to the voters are what’s happening to our economy right now. We haven’t heard from Congress any talk about stopping the printing presses. We have created an inflation and that’s in both parties. You can’t stop omnibus spending in DC with either party. They both spend money like drunken sailors. And that’s a real problem. We have people that are trying to figure out how to put fuel in their tanks, so they can get to work.
Craig Blumenshine: (09:39)
Thank you, Senator Bouchard. Colonel Knapp.
Denton Knapp: (09:43)
Ladies and gentlemen, I’ll start with talking about why I’m running to answer this question. I’ve not been a politician. I’ve been a servant all my life in the army, and that shapes how I think. And I came in because of what I saw happen with the federal government and the fact that I could do something. So, I stepped forward for that.
Denton Knapp: (10:02)
We’ve devolved into a two-party system for the most part in the country, and if you’re not on those party lines, often, you’re shoved to the side. I’ve been a Republican all my life. I believe in those platform for the Wyoming, as well as the United States Republican platform and I’ve tried to follow that. So, I don’t believe it’s a cult of personality that we need to worry about. It’s about somebody to get in and do action in Congress for two years and to make those changes.
Denton Knapp: (10:32)
Rule of law has been brought up. The checks and balances have since begun from our three party… Sorry, our three parts of government. We’ve got court interpretation of laws. We’ve got executive orders that have been issued massively; to open our borders, a lot of things on the monetary flow from the World Bank. All those things are executive orders that were signed on the first day of President Biden’s presidency. And the fact that the Congress and Representative Cheney here, the Congress needs to take control to ensure that legislation is made and those are followed. We’ve got to support our police, everybody that enforce that rule, our border patrol, and continue that. Our election process needs to get better.
Craig Blumenshine: (11:17)
Thank you, Colonel Knapp. Ms. Hageman, you have an opportunity for a 30-second rebuttal, if you’d like to take it.
Harriet Hageman: (11:22)
You bet. The biggest threat to our republic is the current administration and the corruption of our various institutions, the department of justice, the FBI, the other things that have happened over the last couple of years. And what we have is we have a committee in Congress right now that they’re focusing on something that happened 18 months ago. They’re not focusing on the issues that are important to the people in Wyoming, and they’re also ignoring the corruption that is absolutely destroying Washington DC, and as a result, taking down the rest of the country.
Craig Blumenshine: (11:54)
Thank you, Ms. Hageman. The second question will be asked by Bob Beck. Ms. Belinskey, you’ll answer first.
Bob Beck: (12:00)
Ms. Belinskey, I’m hearing many of you downplay the events of January 6th. I’m hearing from people who have a different concern. So, why aren’t you more concerned about those events and the fact that some leading people from the Trump administration said his goal was to overturn the election?
Robyn Belinskey: (12:18)
Because I have actually watched several hours of video myself from every angle possible and have done my own due diligence on this. I believe, again, this is a distraction from what is actually going on in our country right now. We don’t need to be spending this kind of money and time on a situation where, again, we have lawlessness in our country. Instead of dealing with those issues, we are dealing with something that, again, happened a while ago and was a setup from the beginning for the election situation. Our voices, we, the people, were stifled. We, the people, First Amendment Right was washed out the door. And so, to me, this is a waste of time and our resources to go after something that we should be going after the lawlessness in our country first.
Craig Blumenshine: (13:14)
Thank you, Ms. Belinskey. Representative Cheney.
Liz Cheney: (13:17)
Well, thank you. I think that there’s a real tragedy that’s occurring, and the tragedy is that there are politicians in this country, beginning with Donald Trump, who have lied to the American people. People have been betrayed. He consistently has said that the election was stolen when it wasn’t, when it’s absolutely clear the courts decided, the courts determined the outcome, as you’ve seen, as you’ve watched our hearings, for example. Predominantly, maybe entirely Republican witnesses. Republican witnesses from the former Attorney General, the former Deputy Attorney General, from the Head of the Trump campaign, including one individual from New Jersey, Mr. Stepien, who’s now advising one of my opponents in this race who said that he believes that the election was not stolen. In fact, he wanted to be part of team normal, that those people who said the election was stolen were not part of team normal.
Liz Cheney: (14:17)
So, I’d be interested to know whether or not my opponent, Ms. Hageman, is willing to say here tonight that the election was not stolen. She knows it wasn’t stolen. I think that she can’t say that it wasn’t stolen because she’s completely beholden to Donald Trump. And if she says it wasn’t stolen, he will not support her. So, we’ve got to be honest. We have to be truthful. Elected officials, in particular, public servants, owe that to those people we represent.
Craig Blumenshine: (14:42)
Thank you, Representative Cheney. Senator Bouchard.
Anthony Bouchard: (14:46)
You know, it’s kangaroo court. Congress, that’s not Congress’ job to pretend that they’re the court. They have continually made this circus on TV. If it’s a charge, then why don’t we let law enforcement deal with it in the courts? Congress has a bone to pick, and that’s the problem with that committee.
Anthony Bouchard: (15:15)
They have a bone to pick. They don’t want President Trump, and they’re pushing back. And quite frankly, the American public is sick and tired of it. And to say that elections are always square, we know in several states they used COVID, they use the ballot process. What about Facebook? Using the system to steer people. We know for a fact all the major internets do that. We also know that there were ballot boxes placed by Mr. Zuckerberg. We know things that happened because of COVID balloting. In several states… Georgia doesn’t do something that Wyoming does. They don’t purge that list. A lot of ballots got mailed out. We know this. Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin. We know this happened. We know what happens in Colorado. Ballots get mailed out in Colorado, consistently, to people who aren’t voting.
Craig Blumenshine: (16:17)
Thank you, Senator. Colonel Knapp.
Denton Knapp: (16:20)
So, first of all, our nation is based on our Constitution. 34 years ago, 1987, I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution in the United States, and I take that very seriously. We should have a peaceful transition of power, and it’s been that way for over 250 plus years of our nation being able to do that. And I had time in Iraq where I actually had to help support their elections, and I’m sorry to say, theirs went a lot smoother than this last one here.
Denton Knapp: (16:50)
Some of the things that happened is [inaudible 00:16:51] laws. There was lack of transparency, lack of accountability in mailing ballots, and other things that occurred. So, people often ask, “Was election stolen?” Not to give a cop out answer, just not, I say, “Most Americans don’t know.” You have some court rulings in some states. Some audits that have taken place. But the problem is, we’ve lost trust and confidence in our election process, and that is the only way we have to change our government and the representatives that we sent. So, until we fix that… And we got election coming up in 2024 and this one in November, will we have trust and confidence in our system? And I think we have to take a hard look at that as far as how we do business. One of the things that we do is look at lessons learned. I think it’s important that we have audits, that we have investigations when something occurs to find out what happened and how to fix it, what was the cause of it? And so, we’ve got the commission that was established. We got two Republicans on it and their initial suggestions for demanding of that was denied by the Speaker of the House. So, you know, you talk about equal treatment, we got to start there.
Craig Blumenshine: (17:57)
Thank you, Colonel Knapp. Miss Hageman.
Harriet Hageman: (17:59)
Yeah. I think that this is an example of how the press and certain people have obsessed over January 6th. Because now we’ve had two questions in this debate and they’ve both been focused on that. I’ve traveled over 30,000 miles around the state of Wyoming since I started this. I’m the only one up here who’s actually been out there campaigning in the state of Wyoming to that extent in meeting with the people. The only time that the J6 situation ever comes up is when people talk about how unfair this entire committee is. They’re terribly concerned about the lack of due process. They’re concerned about the fact that there’s no ability to confront or cross examine witnesses. And they also recognize with these hearings that you might have 15 hours of videotaped depositions, and the committee shows 13 seconds of something, or two and a half minutes of something.
Harriet Hageman: (18:48)
What people are concerned about in terms of the J6 committee is it’s just totally unfair and so contrary to everything that our country stands for. And again, I think that the press and people associated with that; the Democrats who want to deflect attention from the failures of the Biden administration, the people who want to deflect attention from all the troubles in this country, they talk about January 6th, but that’s not what the people in Wyoming are talking about. What they’re talking about is the gas prices. They’re talking about food prices. They’re talking about the fact that they can’t travel. In addition to which, we have serious questions about the 2020 election. Time magazine described the Zuckerberg $500 million as an absolute game changer in terms of what happened with that election.
Craig Blumenshine: (19:32)
Miss Hageman, thank you. You have an opportunity for rebuttal, Ms. Belinskey.
Robyn Belinskey: (19:37)
In my travels around Wyoming, and I have put in the miles, too, the folks that are here in Wyoming could really care less about the January 6th situation. They are more concerned about their farms, their ranches, their businesses, being able to put their kids in school, being able to actually put gas in their car, or pay rent or their mortgages. So, the J6 thing has been turned off completely, and I don’t see a lot of people actually spending time with that.
Craig Blumenshine: (20:08)
Thank you, Ms. Belinskey. Our next question will be asked by Stephen Dow to Representative Cheney.
Stephen Dow: (20:15)
Should bipartisan cooperation still be the goal in Washington DC, or is it unachievable at this time?
Liz Cheney: (20:22)
Well, thank you for the question. It’s a really important question. I think that when you look at the challenges that our nation is facing, they are serious. We are looking at the challenges, internationally, that we’re facing; the threats that we’re facing from Russia, from North Korea, from China, from Iran. We’re looking at the challenges that we face here at home; the economic challenges, the policies of Biden administration which certainly are causing inflation that is higher than we’ve seen in 40 years, the kind of energy policies and tax policies that we know are hurting our families, we know are hurting our communities. We also, though, have toxicity and a vitriol that is absolutely tearing our country apart.
Liz Cheney: (21:08)
And I think we’ve got to elect serious leaders. We have to elect leaders who will take their oath of office seriously, who will abide by their oath of office. We have to elect leaders who won’t simply say what they think people want to hear. And I think, in this country today, there are some people who have been betrayed. There are some people who may actually believe the election was stolen despite the fact that in each case in the audits that have been mentioned up here, for example. Georgia was mentioned. In each case, the Republican officials from those states have made clear that the audits and the recounts were done, the courts decided. But we need to be clear that we’re going to abide by the rulings of the courts and that we’re a nation of laws.
Craig Blumenshine: (21:48)
Thank you, Representative Cheney. Senator Bouchard.
Anthony Bouchard: (21:52)
You know, if you followed my races, you’ll see that they were pretty brutal. You seen the Liberal Republicans come after me and run in a primary. And then, you’ll see the Democrats came after me and spend three times as much money. It was conservative Republicans that voted for me. And when you go to do the job, that’s how I vote. That’s why I have five years of record with American Conservative Union, and I get an award every year for those five years. Everybody wants to say, “Oh, we all got to get along, and it’s all about bipartisanship.” No, it’s not. The people that elected me, wanted me to go do a job in the Senate, and I do understand that the other side doesn’t like my voting record because they want me to vote more Liberal. But that’s not how the system works. The one part that we have democracy is in the election, and that’s what it’s about. I go there into the Wyoming Senate to represent the people that put me there. And that’s why I had a tough re-election, but I made it through it. I won. I don’t budge, and the other side doesn’t like it, but it’s okay. If they don’t like it, they can take another shot at the next election. That’s the system. That’s the system.
Craig Blumenshine: (23:23)
Thank you, Senator Bouchard. Colonel Knapp.
Denton Knapp: (23:26)
Yes. As far as bipartisan cooperation, what it’s about is leadership, and the job description is representative. And so, out of the 200,000 plus voters in the state of Wyoming, it’s about what they want and that we carry that forward to fight it in Congress. One of the things that’s missing now is the art of negotiation. As Senator Bouchard mentioned, it’s dog fight in there, especially when you start having separation of two major parties in the same room, but who in that room is going to go forward and ensure that they’re representing their people by doing negotiations, ensuring that-
Denton Knapp: (24:02)
By doing negotiations, ensuring that things aren’t inserted into bills. As speaker of the House said, let’s pass this so we know what’s in it. That type of attitude from leadership is what’s wrong right now. It drives division between our lawmakers and their opportunities to go and work together for the benefit of people. That’s something that’s lost right now.
Denton Knapp: (24:25)
This idea of RINO, which I think all of us are probably called at some time. I’ve been a Republican, not a Republican in name only. I’ve been asked about frontier Republican. I said I don’t know what that is. So the division within our own party, in the State of Wyoming, as well as the United States, is detrimental to what we’re trying to do, and that’s remove Joe Biden, President Joe Biden’s administration, and get our country back under control.
Craig Blumenshine: (24:53)
Thank you, Colonel Knapp. Miss Hageman?
Harriet Hageman: (24:56)
It’s been interesting to me being involved in politics as long as I have. Typically, when people talk about bipartisanship in Congress, they’re usually talking about when will the Republicans cave? I don’t see bipartisanship on the Democrat side. What I see is the moving forward of an agenda that’s been extremely destructive to this country.
Harriet Hageman: (25:19)
That’s why we’re $30 trillion in debt. That’s why we have the disaster, disaster, on the southern border. It’s why we are seen as being very weak on the international stage and the situation with Russia invading Ukraine.
Harriet Hageman: (25:35)
So what I see is that for a long time I believe there’s been a uniparty back in Washington, D. C. made up of Democrats and Republicans, and they don’t necessarily care who’s in power just so long as they are. But they’re not moving forward with the agenda or the issues that are of concern to the American people.
Harriet Hageman: (25:56)
So the way I look at this is that the last 30 years have been terribly destructive to the United States because congressional representatives have abdicated their responsibility of actually legislating. They’ve turned it over to unelected bureaucrats and agencies.
Harriet Hageman: (26:15)
So what I see is that when I get back there and if I’m elected as our representative for Wyoming, we’re going to have to work to roll back 30 years of really bad policies.
Craig Blumenshine: (26:27)
Thank you, Miss Hageman. Miss Belinskey?
Robyn Belinskey: (26:33)
What we actually would need is some term limits maybe for some of these folks that have been so entrenched and be able to … Bipartisanship is important only if you have two recognizable parties, by the way.
Robyn Belinskey: (26:49)
So in speaking even with Democrats in my travels, people are willing, but yet they’re kind of stuck. If we’re going to ever get ahead or move forward on anything, we do need to work together. We do need to network. I’m hoping that if we can unseat the entrenched, we will be able to do that.
Robyn Belinskey: (27:14)
But for now, it is very important that we try to make a way where it doesn’t seem to be one, folks, because we do need to make a difference and make sure that we can take back our country. It’s not happening by what’s going on right now, all the distractions. All the things that people are really concerned about are being shoved under the carpet. We need to have those addressed immediately.
Craig Blumenshine: (27:46)
Thank you, Miss Belinskey. Representative Cheney?
Liz Cheney: (27:50)
I think we all would agree that the issues that we face are big issues and that the way that we make sure that the solutions are those that we believe in as Republicans, is that we convince people to vote for Republicans. The way that we do that is by treating the voters with respect, by arguing about substance, and by making sure that we stand for principle. But we also realize at the end of the day, we’re all Americans.
Craig Blumenshine: (28:15)
Thank you, Representative Cheney. The next question asked by Steve Peck for Senator Bouchard.
Steve Peck: (28:19)
Wyoming’s three-member congressional delegation all opposed the huge federal infrastructure project that nevertheless passed and is bringing billions of dollars to the state now. With that said, what are your feelings about one-time federal dollars coming to Wyoming to build or improve infrastructure projects that often were built with federal dollars in the first place?
Anthony Bouchard: (28:40)
Well, interesting. We talked about bipartisanship. And I’ll tell you about the Senate. The state Senate only has two Democrats. It’s a Republican majority. You talk about federal money. American Rescue Plan would be one of those. So I can talk about that for a second. You look at the votes in the Wyoming Senate and you’ll see that a Republican majority voted for that. To be honestly fair, all the Republicans voted against that measure in Congress. Then that bill comes to Wyoming, that money comes to Wyoming, and the majority of Republicans vote for it. I’m one of the guys that said, no, let’s not appropriate that money, because they didn’t talk about the … It’s a carrot that has a stick. They’re not talking about all the ties to that money and what you have to do as a state.
Anthony Bouchard: (29:38)
That’s one of the things that Sandra Day O’Connor ruled in the ’90s, that they can’t tell the states what to do, but they can bribe them with money. We are doing that. Fortunately, I’ve worked on the inside in the Senate, I know where the money comes from, and it falls on deaf ears in the Senate. We need somebody who knows how it works on this side and go on that side of the fence and say no there, and come back and tell the Senate and the House in Wyoming why we should be a no.
Craig Blumenshine: (30:11)
Thank you, Senator. Colonel Knapp?
Denton Knapp: (30:13)
Yeah. So as far as the infrastructure and money coming from the federal government, you look at look at the 10th Amendment and states rates. For Wyoming, for instance, half our land is federally owned. Right now we’re going through Bureau of Land Management, land swap, and other things within the counties here in Wyoming.
Denton Knapp: (30:34)
You’ve also got nuclear plants that were planned to be built in Kemmerer with federal money, to include private from different sources. We also get electric vehicle charging money come to the state. There are not a lot electric vehicles in Wyoming, but we do have a lot of tourism here, which our second most revenue.
Denton Knapp: (30:52)
So there are some things that federal money will help. The issue is some of those federal bills that are coming out also contain things about illegal immigrants and other items that are passed in there and snuck in to pigeonhole different things for special interests. That’s something we have to watch.
Denton Knapp: (31:12)
The more money we print isn’t necessarily people having more money. We see that from the inflation rate right now. Because of that federal money that’s coming into subsidies, right now our farmers are paying double the fuel price to send their products out to market. A cousin of mine had to send his cows down to Nebraska for lack of hay here in Wyoming.
Denton Knapp: (31:34)
The cost is just incredible for them to feed the nation. That goes for our ranchers too, and our capability to sell meat throughout the United States and not get it from Venezuela, Australia, other places. So we’ve got to watch state’s rights.
Craig Blumenshine: (31:46)
Thank you, Colonel. Miss Hageman?
Harriet Hageman: (31:48)
Yes. The infrastructure bill is part of the reason that we’re seeing the inflationary pressures that we are right now. The federal government just simply printed a lot of money and started distributing it around.
Harriet Hageman: (31:59)
But the other thing is that it’s a complete misnomer to even describe it is an infrastructure bill because the vast majority of the money went for things that didn’t have anything to do with infrastructure. We have some real infrastructure needs here in the State of Wyoming, including for our rural water systems. Yet the money that they would be able to receive from this “infrastructure bill” is infinitesimal in relation to what they actually need to take care of and maintain the water infrastructure that we need here in Wyoming.
Harriet Hageman: (32:29)
This is the example of what I talk about when I talk about the uniparty and the destruction of what Washington, D. C. does. They name something such as an infrastructure bill, and then they put all kinds of goodies in there that have to do with the Green New Deal. The money will actually go to things that are very destructive of our fossil fuel industries right here in Wyoming.
Harriet Hageman: (32:52)
So in the long run, while the question seem to presuppose that the infrastructure bill would be beneficial to Wyoming, in reality, it’s going to cost us, because it is going to go to states and it is going to go to entities and it’s going go to organizations that are absolutely hell bent on destroying our fossil fuel industry. We need our fossil fuel industry a lot more than we need money from Washington, D. C. for things that aren’t related to infrastructure.
Craig Blumenshine: (33:17)
Thank you, Miss Hageman. Miss Belinskey?
Robyn Belinskey: (33:20)
This again is another overreach of the federal government. They can give us money as an enticement, but, again, there is strings attached to everything that we get from the federal government. Wyoming is pretty self-sufficient if we were allowed to be self-sufficient. By the way, this is not Putin’s fault and it’s certainly not the oil and gas company’s faults. This is our current administration and the powers that be that are in power at this moment.
Robyn Belinskey: (33:52)
But if we said no in some of this stuff, we should be able to say no and not have to be beholden to this. I think if a lot more bureaucrats actually said no to some of this stuff, we would be in better shape.
Craig Blumenshine: (34:12)
Thank you. Representative Cheney?
Liz Cheney: (34:14)
Yeah. I think all my opponents on the stage have made really important points. The infrastructure bill … And it’s not just the infrastructure bill. It’s much of the other spending, the additional spending that we’ve seen in the Biden administration, is clearly irresponsible, has clearly led to inflation. In fact, it’s not just predictable that it would, but we actually predicted that it would.
Liz Cheney: (34:35)
When the Biden administration first came into office, I spent time talking to them and saying to them, “Aren’t you worried, if you inject this much money in this much new federal spending into the economy, this fast, that you’re going to get runaway inflation?” The response that we got back was, “Well, don’t worry. It’ll take so long that the inflation won’t really be an issue.”
Liz Cheney: (34:55)
Well, they were wrong. The inflation is an issue. It is one example, among many, of a federal government that is too big and of a turn towards solutions that are not solutions.
Liz Cheney: (35:07)
We know that the best thing we can do to grow our economy is to help the private sector grow jobs, to create policies that let people keep more of what they earn, and to ensure that our communities themselves are able to have the kind of economic growth and job creation that we know is possible, and we know is certainly possible and we ought to be accomplishing here in Wyoming.
Liz Cheney: (35:28)
I think that across the board, when you look at the policies this administration has put in place, whether it’s their environmental policies, whether it’s their energy policies, whether it’s the spending, whether it’s the tax policies, they’re bad for the country and they’re bad for Wyoming. We’ve got to be in a position where we can get people to support Republicans and conservatives who are going to put the right policies in place.
Craig Blumenshine: (35:49)
Thank you, Representative Chaney. Senator Bouchard, you have rebuttal time.
Anthony Bouchard: (35:56)
I just want to be clear that people understand the process, because if you’re in the legislature, in the state legislature, you get to hear your representatives from Congress come in and talk. And they never really tell you how bad the things are that they’re voting on. In other words, they don’t come in and say, “Hey, this is bad. You guys better be against this,” because they don’t want to make enemies with the people that are here.
Craig Blumenshine: (36:25)
Senator Bouchard, thank you. Colonel Knapp will now have a question from Bob Beck.
Bob Beck: (36:30)
Welcome, Colonel. What are two or three concrete solutions that actually would help fix inflation?
Denton Knapp: (36:37)
So inflation right now, it was caused by executive orders. Policies are passed right now through the house that actually put those out. Right now we’ve got people that do not have jobs because they choose not to. The jobs are out there in the United States. You see the advertisements all over, especially in Wyoming. But people are making more money right now by not working and receiving subsidies from the government. That’s something we have to work on.
Denton Knapp: (37:02)
One of the things for inflation is let the states do what makes the money and pays their people. Wyoming, for instance, energy capital. I grew up Gillette, where 40% of the coal supplies the nation.
Denton Knapp: (37:15)
What we’re getting from the government right now is restrictive versus innovative. For instance, the CO2 capture for coal, which means zero emissions, hydrogen production, mining of rare earth minerals since we get 90% from China right now, which also takes care of our weapon systems and a lot of our electronic products. Wyoming can provide that.
Denton Knapp: (37:35)
It’s on the committees, Representative Cheney, I know, served on many of them, is where the fight occurs. That’s where we have to make sure that our interests for Wyoming get in there and those policies, especially the executive order ones that may not be totally legal, they were not passed through the legislation, through our representative officials, and the courts have their own interpretation. So part of that is getting back to parts of government, make sure we have checks and balances, and they’re executed.
Craig Blumenshine: (38:03)
Thank you, Colonel. Miss Hageman?
Harriet Hageman: (38:05)
Well, I think very clearly, obviously it has to do with energy development. The foundation of what we’re dealing with in terms of these inflations is that this administration has absolutely the worst energy policy that has ever come out of Washington, D. C. The fact is we’ve seen a lot of bad energy policy come out of Washington, D. C. when you’ve got Jennifer Granholm as the person who is supposed to be addressing these things, you have put a judge on transportation.
Harriet Hageman: (38:35)
The people that Joe Biden has surrounded himself with know absolutely nothing about, number one, monetary policy and they know nothing about economics. They know nothing about how our country really works. It’s really rather surprising how completely sheltered they have been coming into the kind of power that they have, and we’re all suffering the consequences from it.
Harriet Hageman: (38:56)
The fact is we need to be using our energy resources. We need to be developing energy here. Under President Trump, we had a 4% surplus in terms of oil production. In one year, we went to a 4% deficit. We’ve had an 8% swing in just one year in terms of energy.
Harriet Hageman: (39:13)
I come from an agriculture family. I’ve represented farmers and ranchers and irrigation districts and different folks in the ag industry, and I’m going to tell you something. We can’t grow food at $6 a gallon diesel. We can’t do it. We are facing serious food shortages because of what this administration has done, because of the inflation related to energy policy.
Craig Blumenshine: (39:37)
Thank you, Miss Hageman. Miss Belinskey?
Robyn Belinskey: (39:41)
Right now it looks like the current administration is encouraging the socialist agenda, that where workers are needed, they’re unavailable, of course. As a small business owner myself, I have a hard time finding anybody to help me. So there should be some incentives to work. The Bible says if you don’t work, you don’t eat.
Robyn Belinskey: (40:03)
So we don’t need dependence on foreign entities. We have everything we need here in our own state of Wyoming. For some of these folks that are on the Biden administration to actually believe that they can buy their beef at the grocery store and it doesn’t come from a ranch is appalling to me, I can’t even tell you.
Robyn Belinskey: (40:25)
Then also just the food sources that we see most recently are being destroyed. In the news, you hear plants being destroyed at every part of the country. You’re like they’re attacking our food sources. So, yeah, we have a need of getting back to business here in Wyoming.
Craig Blumenshine: (40:46)
Thank you, Belinskey. Representative Cheney?
Liz Cheney: (40:49)
Thank you. I think part of what we have to do and part of what we have to demand is honesty from the administration. When you look at how long the administration, the Biden administration, talked about inflation as transitory, how long they told us, “Well, it’s just transitory.” We heard the same thing, unfortunately, from the chairman of the Federal Reserve, “Well, it’s just transitory.”
Liz Cheney: (41:13)
They waited so long that the problem got worse and worse and worse as they injected more and more federal dollars, printed more money, and have created this, this problem.
Liz Cheney: (41:24)
So I think the combination of the policies, the combination of the spending, the combination of supply chain issues that we’re seeing and that we’re hearing about all across the state, all across the country, we have to get back to a recognition and an understanding that the private sector’s the engine of growth in our economy. That means that you’ve got to unshackle American energy. We need to unleash American energy. We were energy independent. We have the opportunity to be the arsenal of energy for the whole world.
Liz Cheney: (41:55)
That improves our economy. It improves the world economy. It also improves our national security. We certainly know that here in Wyoming, that if we are in a position where we’re able to develop and to produce the fossil fuels, the energy that we have here, use the technology that we have here, it’s the cleanest in the world, we will see economic growth. We will begin to be able to dig ourselves out of this. But it’s going to require significant policy changes.
Craig Blumenshine: (42:23)
Thank you, Representative Cheney. Senator Bouchard?
Anthony Bouchard: (42:26)
Yeah. This conversation is all on the premise that somehow they don’t know what they’re doing. They know darn well what they’re doing. I’ll say it’s not Biden pulling the strings because he has to be let off of stage and I don’t think he worked very well without a teleprompter. He can’t put a sentence together half the time. But somebody knows. Somebody knows exactly what they’re doing. This is a planned attack on America. They’re not just doing this by accident.
Anthony Bouchard: (42:56)
I also want to talk about something about the CO2. That’s something that we’ve consistently voted in the Wyoming legislature to advance with federal money. So Mr. Denton said that we don’t vote on it here. It gets voted on here. People aren’t watching.
Anthony Bouchard: (43:12)
Republicans here are taking that federal money. That’s why I’ve said we need to send somebody back there that knows what’s going on here, because if our representatives that go to Congress do not talk to the people here about even how their state legislature is taking money, that … In all fairness, Republicans have voted against a lot of this, but nobody comes back here. They just keep telling you that they go back to Washington and they tell you how they do things in Wyoming. Well, that’s not really true, because in Wyoming, they’re taking the federal dollars and they’re spending them even on CO2 sequestration.
Craig Blumenshine: (43:51)
Thank you, Senator. Colonel Knapp, you have an opportunity for rebuttal here.
Denton Knapp: (43:55)
Right. So this is about accountability of elected officials, and then the appointments that occur when that elected official takes office. So you look at the administration right now, Biden administration, and the qualifications those individuals he’s chosen to lead major departments. It’s out to the point of being ridiculous. As a result, our border’s wide open. Nobody wants the border open, but it’s open. How do you shut it? Well, we’ve got a president that opened it. Where’s the other part for the legislative and the judicial to shut that border, which, by the way, were violating US code?
Craig Blumenshine: (44:28)
Thank you, Colonel. Candidates, we are about halfway through tonight’s debate, but we’re going to continue on. Stephen Dow has the next question for Miss Hageman.
Stephen Dow: (44:37)
What is the danger of Wyoming residents losing faith in the election process? What would you do as a representative to restore faith in that process?
Harriet Hageman: (44:46)
Well, I’ve talked about election integrity quite extensively as I have have traveled around the state, again visiting with literally thousands of people. This is an issue that is at the forefront of their mind.
Harriet Hageman: (44:56)
So one of the things that I have done is I have sat down with our secretary of state and I’ve gone through great detail in terms of finding out how our elections are run, who is responsible for what, what kind of machines we use, what kind of audits are done after the fact. I have educated myself about the election process.
Harriet Hageman: (45:14)
As I’ve traveled the state, I’ve also encouraged other people to do the same. I’ve encouraged our citizens to get involved, to become election judges, to become poll watchers. I think that if they know what’s going on in their county, I think that they will have more confidence, in addition to which understanding better what Wyoming law is in terms of our elections.
Harriet Hageman: (45:32)
So I think it’s a matter of getting involved and I think it’s a matter of knowledge. Knowledge is definitely power in this kind of circumstance.
Harriet Hageman: (45:39)
What I think that you see in terms of the election integrity issues are what we’ve seen more on the national level that has a lot of people concerned, including me. The 2,000 Mules movie is something that I think we have great concern about in terms of the use of the drop boxes.
Harriet Hageman: (45:57)
What happened in Pennsylvania? The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has concluded that the changes in the absentee voting violated their constitution. Again, going back to the Zuckerberg money, allowing a private individual to capture our county clerks was devastating in our swing states. So election integrity comes back to actually enforcing the laws.
Craig Blumenshine: (46:20)
Thank you, Miss Hageman. Miss Belinskey?
Robyn Belinskey: (46:23)
In regards to voter integrity, we do need to remove those ballot boxes. We have them even in this town. We need to get rid of them. There’s one vote, one ID, and that’s the way we should conduct ourselves.
Robyn Belinskey: (46:38)
If there’s a need for a absentee ballot, then that needs to be addressed in the beginning. If there’s military, of course, they always need to have a special circumstance. But there should be no reason for us to have this type of fraud in our elections. I understand when I talked to Michael Lindell, he did say that there was a small portion of voter fraud in this state, but that is alarming anyway.
Robyn Belinskey: (47:08)
When you think about just watching all the poll workers that were in the 2020 election and what they went through, that should never happen. We need to have our judges there, the people who are watching on both sides to keep each other accountable, and there should be no reason for this.
Robyn Belinskey: (47:26)
There was a definite setup for the whole 2020 election and anything beyond that. So we need to make sure we have people involved that have integrity, that want to make sure that vote counts, because all of our votes count.
Robyn Belinskey: (47:40)
I tell people get involved, too. Don’t don’t just sit around and talk about it. Let’s get something going here, make sure that you’re accountable as well.
Craig Blumenshine: (47:48)
Thank you, Miss Belinskey. Representative Cheney.
Liz Cheney: (47:51)
Yeah, I think that election integrity is critical. I believe in voter ID laws. I think that in Wyoming, we have tremendously secure elections. I also know that the truth matters and the …
Liz Cheney: (48:03)
I also know that the truth matters. The claims that Ms. Hageman is making about the 2020 election are the same claims for which the president’s lead lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was disbarred. They are the same claims for which Sidney Powell has had her law license suspended. They are simply not true. It is not true that there was sufficient fraud to change the results of the 2020 election. The president’s own attorney general has said that. The president’s own deputy attorney general has said that. And, I mean, President Trump… President Trump’s campaign manager said that. President Trump’s White House Council said that. President Trump’s own family said that. There was not sufficient fraud to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Liz Cheney: (48:43)
We have to either decide that we are going to abide by the rulings of the courts. President Trump and his associates brought 61 lawsuits, state and federal court. In a number of those lawsuits, the evidence was heard. They were not simply dismissed based on standing. The president lost every one. On December 14th, when the Electoral College meets and votes, that is the end.
Liz Cheney: (49:06)
Now, if Ms. Hageman is standing up here claiming that the election was stolen or that there was fraud that was sufficient to overturn the election, she ought to say it. Otherwise, she needs to stop making claims that are not true, and she ought to tell the people of Wyoming the truth.
Craig Blumenshine: (49:21)
Thank you, Representative Cheney. Mr. Bouchard?
Anthony Bouchard: (49:24)
You know, I think the people do have a right to have a concern. What I just heard was, ” There wasn’t enough.” So that almost sounds like there was some. Hmm, interesting. That is the problem here. That’s the problem, that there is fraud happening, and we know it. That’s where we’re going to have to fix it.
Anthony Bouchard: (49:47)
Now, I will say, I want to tell the voters of Wyoming that I’m one of the few people that show up in the… Actually, there’s two of us that show up to canvasing, and we ask questions, because they catch two people that vote or three people or whatever number they catch. People need to go be part of canvasing. They need to be part of election judging, and they need to be involved.
Anthony Bouchard: (50:08)
But I will tell you, Wyoming is on a good track. We have a gold standard here on a lot of things we do. When I mentioned earlier that Georgia didn’t get voters out of the system that had been there for 20 years, that has to do a lot with federal laws that have been placed on the books. We don’t follow some of that federal law, and that’s why we don’t do that here and we purge the list. And that’s what keeps our list clean.
Anthony Bouchard: (50:33)
So with that said, people need to know that we’re on the right track here in Wyoming. But I will tell you, there’s a race coming up and they need to be concerned on that race. And I’m going to tell you, I’m supporting Chuck Gray.
Craig Blumenshine: (50:45)
Thank you, Senator Bouchard. Colonel Knapp?
Denton Knapp: (50:48)
Yeah, so in the movie, A Few Good Men, it’s, “You can’t handle the truth.” Well, America’s demanding it. And this non-transparency of what’s going on in the election system needs fixed. And until we do that, all faith and confidence is lost. The prosecution for violations for those that vote once, twice, three, four times, for those that are voting under a dead person’s name, what’s happening to all that fraud? Are states following their own laws for elections? And are audits being done correctly in essence with the state legislation and what they pass for their codes? We got to follow the rules.
Denton Knapp: (51:24)
A lot of countries can accomplish election in one day. They know who won. And as probably the most technologically developed nation in the world, we can’t do that. Everything from hanging chads to voting machines that are suspected fraud, the American people don’t trust our system right now. That’s got to be fixed.
Denton Knapp: (51:43)
Youth. I talked to somebody driving through Taco John’s drive-thru, I was getting my food, and I said, “Hey, are you going to vote this year? Are you 18?” He goes, “Yeah, I’m 18.” I said, “Are you going to vote?” He goes, “I don’t know.” I said, “Well, you should. That’s one of our privileges as citizens to do that.” “Well, how do you do it?” So starting with our youth right now in education, teaching them the process, that their vote does count, and they need to vote, and getting that process done through our high schools and even younger has to take place.
Craig Blumenshine: (52:09)
Thank you, Colonel. Ms. Hageman, you have a chance for rebuttal time.
Harriet Hageman: (52:12)
You bet, thank you. One of the things that you’ll notice Representative Cheney never, ever addresses is the $500 million that Zuckerberg invested in capturing county clerks in these swing states. Approximately 90 to 95% of that money was used to, in Democrat counties, to get out the Democrat vote. Time Magazine believes that it changed the outcome of the election, and I don’t have a reason to disbelieve that in light of the information I’ve seen. She also ignores the decisions that have been issued in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Craig Blumenshine: (52:44)
Thank you very much, Ms. Hageman. Candidates, now we’re going to change the format just a little bit. We’re going to go to what we call a lightning round. Our panelists will ask or will suggest to you one word or short-phrased questions and you’ll have 20 seconds to respond. There’ll be no rebuttal time during this lightning round. It’ll go quick, so be on your toes. The first for Mr. Peck from Ms. Belinskey.
Steve Peck: (53:06)
Wind River Indian Reservation.
Robyn Belinskey: (53:09)
Craig Blumenshine: (53:10)
Robyn Belinskey: (53:15)
Okay, I did get a hold of them, so… And I had some people actually track me down to actually be able to talk with their tribal leaders.
Craig Blumenshine: (53:28)
Thank you, Ms. Belinskey. Representative Cheney?
Liz Cheney: (53:30)
We have an obligation to the tribes on the reservation. We have treaty obligations that we’ve got to ensure that we fulfill as a nation. We’ve got to make sure that we are representing their interests. I’m incredibly honored to represent both the Arapaho and the Shoshone tribe and the leaders of those tribes and make sure that we can do everything we can so that there’s opportunity for economic growth, and that we respect the traditions and the culture on the reservation.
Craig Blumenshine: (53:57)
Thank you, Representative Cheney. Senator Bouchard?
Anthony Bouchard: (53:59)
I’m just going to use one word: Americans.
Craig Blumenshine: (54:04)
Thank you. Colonel Knapp?
Denton Knapp: (54:06)
The second largest reservation in the United States, Shoshone Arapaho, and right now with their representation, what we need to take a look at is loss of… in the mark… I’m sorry, the transfer of some of the younger women, Indigenous that are there. They are Americans. They’re our first Americans, and we ought to honor them as such. We started with 11 tribes. We’re down to two right now at the reservation.
Craig Blumenshine: (54:28)
Harriet Hageman: (54:30)
We need to ensure that we’ve got all the education opportunities that they should have. Safety and security, one of the things that we’re seeing with the drugs flooding across our southern border is it’s affecting our Indigenous people as much as anybody else, and we read about it every day in the newspaper. Also, addressing the missing women and girls is something that we should all be terribly concerned about and make sure that we’re addressing that.
Craig Blumenshine: (54:52)
Thank you very much. Bob Beck throws out the next topic for Representative Cheney.
Bob Beck: (54:56)
Liz Cheney: (54:58)
School safety is usually important. I’m a mother of five children. When I see, as mothers across the country have seen, what happened in places like Uvalde, our children need to be able to go to school and we need to know that they are going to be safe when they go to school, and that’s something we need to invest in.
Craig Blumenshine: (55:14)
Anthony Bouchard: (55:15)
You know, this is an issue I’ve talked a lot about. We see one state that has taken the lead in this area, and that’s Utah. Utah follows federal law, and they allow all citizens to carry in their schools that have a concealed carry permit. We don’t see the problems in Utah, but we see them in these places that have strong gun-free zone policies.
Craig Blumenshine: (55:38)
Thank you, Senator Bouchard. Colonel Knapp?
Denton Knapp: (55:41)
Being an instrument for 30 years, the first thing you do is secure, security. And we got to get serious about that. We can’t do it tomorrow because the shooting will happen today. We can’t wait. We need to harden our schools and some of our softer targets and ensure that, within law, that we’ve provided the safety for our children to go there. I’ve got two grandkids. My first question is, what happens when you walk in the front door of their school?
Craig Blumenshine: (56:02)
Thank you, Colonel. Ms. Hageman?
Harriet Hageman: (56:04)
Hardening our schools is absolutely imperative. Providing better security: we can do it, we know how to do it, and we’re failing at that. The other thing is, we’ve got to get rid of gun-free zones. We’re creating absolute sitting ducks for the people in those areas, and it is wrong, and we’ve got to do better.
Craig Blumenshine: (56:20)
Thank you. Ms. Belinskey?
Robyn Belinskey: (56:22)
We have the safest schools in Wyoming. Actually, they’re… Glass is everywhere. There’s check and balance systems when you walk in the door. It’s really hard to get in to actually even see your own child, in some instances. We need to actually confront the criminal element. It is not the guns that are the problem. It’s the criminals that are behind them.
Craig Blumenshine: (56:48)
Thank you, Ms. Belinskey. The next topic from Stephen Dow for Senator Bouchard.
Stephen Dow: (56:54)
Anthony Bouchard: (56:56)
Well, that’s a good question for me. We need to stop getting involved in everything that’s in the rest of the world. Ukraine is corrupt. We’ve started it. We got involved. We pushed them into being against the Russian government, and then we’re not there to help them now. We need to stay out of all this nation building.
Craig Blumenshine: (57:21)
Thank you. Colonel Knapp?
Denton Knapp: (57:23)
In my 30 years, my last 10 years, I served with NATO, UN, Special Operations Command, Unified Commands. And one thing that’s important is we have to do it together. America does not need to be the police force for the entire world, nor do we need to put boots on the ground for every war that takes place. This could have been prevented in Ukraine. You look at the elements of power for nation. The diplomacy and in trade could have been instituted a lot earlier.
Craig Blumenshine: (57:47)
Thank you, Colonel.
Denton Knapp: (57:47)
Craig Blumenshine: (57:48)
Harriet Hageman: (57:50)
Putin would not have invaded Ukraine if President Trump was still the president. Energy security is national security, and the radical environmental policies that the Western world has been pursuing and adopting over the last 30 years has made all of us unsafe, and all of us depended upon dictators and tyrants like Putin.
Craig Blumenshine: (58:09)
Thank you very much. Ms. Belinskey?
Robyn Belinskey: (58:12)
Money laundering. I think that’s the biggest ticket for Ukraine’s and the Biden administration, everyone else that’s involved with the Ukraine situation. I don’t believe… If America wasn’t as weak as it is right now with the current administration, this would not have been a situation that we’d even be dealing with.
Craig Blumenshine: (58:34)
Thank you. Representative Cheney?
Liz Cheney: (58:37)
It’s the frontline in the battle for freedom. We’ve got to ensure that Vladimir Putin does not gain, does not benefit from the fact that he’s conducted this war, and it’s a tremendously positive thing that we now have Sweden and Finland joining NATO.
Craig Blumenshine: (58:53)
Thank you. The next lightning round topic from Steve Peck for Colonel Knapp.
Steve Peck: (58:58)
Coronavirus vaccine policy.
Denton Knapp: (59:01)
So, coronavirus happened. I do believe it was made to kill people, and it made its way over to the United States and did just that. I lost a brother-in-law to COVID in August at 58 years old. Take it very seriously. In the military, we did our shots. When you raise your hand and take your oath, you give up some rights, unless it’s unethical or moral or illegal.
Craig Blumenshine: (59:23)
Thank you. Ms. Hageman?
Harriet Hageman: (59:25)
I think that Mr. Fauci is one of the most corrupt individuals in Washington, DC, which is saying a lot. I think his vaccine policy has been terrible. I am absolutely opposed to vaccine mandates, and in fact, filed one of the first lawsuits in the United States challenging such vaccine mandates because they violate the law and they violate the Constitution. I think that this administration has been a complete failure when it comes to the coronavirus-
Craig Blumenshine: (59:50)
Harriet Hageman: (59:50)
Craig Blumenshine: (59:51)
Thank you, Ms. Hageman. Ms. Belinskey?
Robyn Belinskey: (59:54)
The coronavirus was actually… It’s engineered to attack what we are susceptible to. It’s been a sham and we are to oppose any vaccines and any mandated situations that have been forced upon the American people.
Denton Knapp: (01:00:09)
Thank you, Ms. Belinskey. Representative Cheney?
Liz Cheney: (01:00:13)
Everybody should get vaccinated. The federal government does not have the constitutional authority to impose a federal mandate, but everybody ought to get vaccinated, and we need to do everything we can to protect ourselves from future viruses like this one that clearly was unleashed by the Chinese Communist party and by the government of China.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:00:31)
Thank you. Senator Bouchard?
Anthony Bouchard: (01:00:32)
You know, Fauci had awards for his work in cytokines. And cytokine was the biggest killer, not the virus, but the body’s reaction. They knew, and they shut down everything that was out there that could stop people from dying, and they refused to tell people. It’s a travesty.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:00:56)
Thank you, Senator. This will be the last lightning round topic thrown out from Bob Beck to Ms. Hageman. Excuse me.
Bob Beck: (01:01:05)
Harriet Hageman: (01:01:06)
I actually had the good fortune of visiting a block… a crypto… a Bitcoin mine last week in Gillette, so I am definitely learning about that. I think that it is something that we need to be exploring, but we want to keep the federal government out of it. We need to make sure that the SCC isn’t involved. I think that this is another important states’ rights issue.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:01:28)
Thank you. Ms. Belinskey?
Robyn Belinskey: (01:01:30)
I, too, have actually been in touch with some folks about the Bitcoin mining out of Cheyenne and just being able to utilize it in replacement of gold, because there’s no way you can haul gold to the grocery store. It’s a way for us to actually be able to keep our income and not have it taken.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:01:54)
Thank you, Ms. Belinskey. Representative Cheney?
Liz Cheney: (01:01:56)
I think cryptocurrency has some fascinating and important possible uses for the future. I think we need to be very careful, though, about the kinds of cryptocurrency we’re seeing. For example, the government of China, it’s a surveillance currency, and people need to understand what’s happening with their data when they participate in and use cryptocurrency like the surveillance currency that the Chinese government-
Craig Blumenshine: (01:02:18)
Thank you, Representative.
Liz Cheney: (01:02:19)
… has got.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:02:20)
Anthony Bouchard: (01:02:21)
Yeah. I would like the government to stay out of it. I think that’s the biggest problem we have right now is that there’s legislation even moving forward in Congress to make more regulations. But we really need to talk about honest money. Our dollars are not even backed by gold anymore. We need to have more conversations about that.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:02:42)
Thank you. Colonel Knapp?
Denton Knapp: (01:02:44)
On that point, also, it’s a bigger picture of, what does our world consider currency? What is important? At one point, the dollar was it, and everything was based on the dollar revenue world, backed by gold. And then, it switched to oil as a means of measuring wealth for a country. We need to take a look at where the cyber money fits in that whole process.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:03:07)
Thank you very much, Colonel. Okay, candidates, we’re going to resume our normal question and rebuttal format here right now, and the next question will be for Ms. Belinskey from Stephen Dow.
Stephen Dow: (01:03:18)
What should the role of parents be in public education, and should they be allowed to influence what is taught in the classroom?
Robyn Belinskey: (01:03:26)
By all means, they need to be involved in their kids’ education. And I tell people all the time, as a mom of four, I had two twins that are actually in two separate classes. I still made a way to get to that classroom and make sure they were being taught properly. So yes, it’s very important that parents are involved in any school situation, doesn’t matter if it’s public, private, or otherwise. And if they’re not, that’s pretty sad, because these people are entrusted with your kids all day long. They need to know… You need to know what they’re being taught. Yes.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:04:01)
Thank you, Ms. Belinskey. Representative Cheney?
Liz Cheney: (01:04:03)
I think that the family is the fundamental building block of our society, and I think that parents’ rights with respect to the education of their children should never be infringed. I think ultimately, at the end of the day, what you learn across the dinner table, what you learn from your parents, what you learn at home, those are the important lessons.
Liz Cheney: (01:04:22)
I think that one of the things that we saw during coronavirus was a lot of kids who were at home, who were doing classes online, the parents had more insight suddenly into what was happening in some of our classrooms. I think that it’s crucially important for parents to be the leading authority with respect to the education of their own children. And I think parents ought to have choices. I don’t think we should ever be in a situation where it’s only people who have a certain level of economic means that can actually make choices about where their kids go to school.
Liz Cheney: (01:04:52)
Our schools need to serve our kids. We need to value our teachers. We need to make sure that our teachers understand how important their job is in society. But parents need to have the opportunity and the ability to decide where their kids are going to go to school. They also need to have the opportunity and the ability to decide what the curriculum is going to be and what we’re teaching our kids.
Liz Cheney: (01:05:11)
One of the most important things we need to do in this nation is improve the way that we teach American history. If you look at what’s happened over the course of the last year, if you look at what’s happened over the course of the last 18 months, we’ve got a real deficit when it comes to an understanding and recognition of what the Constitution means and what our duties are as American citizens to uphold and defend the Constitution.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:05:32)
Thank you, Representative Cheney. Senator Bouchard?
Anthony Bouchard: (01:05:37)
This is a very important issue for Congress because so many Republicans talk about school choice, but they never talk about doing anything about it. We have a federal government that is just overrun with every alphabet agency that is now involved in our schools, not just the Department of Education. They all need to be abolished. We need to start cutting… And I’m not saying all at once, but we need to start reigning in the money that’s going to these agencies that are telling schools what to do: what to do in bathrooms, we’re going to hold the school lunch hostage.
Anthony Bouchard: (01:06:09)
But we need real school choice. We need to start reigning in where this federal money is coming in. And see, they’re doing it on headcount. They’re doing it on headcount per student, and it’s a big money game. They’ve turned it into a money game. How many kids are in that school, how much money we’re going to get? And it’s all beholden to what they’re telling you with those federal dollars.
Anthony Bouchard: (01:06:32)
And we need to audit what they’re telling because that’s what’s going on. They are saying, “You are going to do this if we give you this money.” Again, even the legislature in the state is not auditing what’s going on and how that money is being appropriated. We need to fix it. It needs to stop. We need to have real choices in schools.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:06:52)
Thank you, Senator. Colonel Knapp?
Denton Knapp: (01:06:54)
Just paraphrase what President Reagan said, basically, “We’re one generation away from freedom going away.” What’s going on our schools right now, including my alma mater, West Point, they’re teaching pronouns now. Get that straight for our future military officers. Who’s teaching and what’s accountability? The school boards are supposed to be servants. Calling parents domestic terrorists? I mean, I’ve fought Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Parents aren’t domestic terrorists. And the fact that that label’s going out there and it’s sticking and people are being prosecuted and thrown out of city hall meetings is ridiculous. But we got to get back to accountability for those that are supposed to serve our nation, our elected officials, and our boards.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:07:35)
Thank you very much. Ms. Hageman?
Harriet Hageman: (01:07:36)
Yes. My father was on our school board at Lingle-Ft. Laramie High School for Goshen County. And then, he was also the chairman of the education committee in the legislature for many years. Education has always been a big part of our family. My mother was a teacher, all my sisters, sister-in-laws. It is incredibly important. But what was the most significant aspect of education was the parents’ involvement in it. Both our parents, as well as our friends and relatives, all of their parents were involved in education.
Harriet Hageman: (01:08:07)
The Federal Department of Education was created by Jimmy Carter in 1980, and that’s when everything started going downhill. We don’t need a Federal Department of Education. We have a Department of Education in every single state in this nation. The Federal Department of Education has been so destructive, and it is so corrupt, and it is pursuing an agenda that is so anti-American. What we read, what we’ve heard about over the last couple of years I think has been incredibly shocking to find out that you do have the union, for example, and you have the Department of Education pursuing radical gender ideology and pursuing things that are, that again, are so anti-American.
Harriet Hageman: (01:08:46)
I agree with several of the folks up here on the panel. School choice is absolutely paramount. It is paramount. And I just read the other day that Betsy DeVos put together a plan to actually address the problems within the Department of Education. When I’m in Congress, I want to sit down with her and talk to her about what that plan was, because I do believe school choice and homeschooling and other options are paramount and so important.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:09:12)
Thank you, Ms. Hageman. Ms. Belinskey, you have an opportunity to rebut here.
Robyn Belinskey: (01:09:14)
I just wanted to mention that not all of our families are mom and dad sitting around the table. So, there’s a lot of folks who actually… They have to get away from their job and they have to go and make a point of getting in there and making sure their kids are being taught properly. I also encourage people to participate at the school board level or whatever it takes to read with the kids, whatever. But getting back to just reading, writing, arithmetic, let’s get back to cursive. For crying out loud, nobody knows how to read cursive.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:09:47)
Thank you, Ms. Belinskey. We’ll move on to the next question for Representative Cheney from Steve Peck.
Steve Peck: (01:09:53)
Driving to Sheridan earlier today with Wyoming PBS, we paid $5.04 per gallon of gasoline. It’s come to signify rising inflation in Wyoming and the nation. But higher petroleum price has also been something of a boon for Wyoming’s economy, which now has a big budget surplus again. And this dichotomy for the non-economists can be a little confusing. Is $5 a gallon gas good or bad for Wyoming?
Liz Cheney: (01:10:18)
Well, look, I think that when you’re in a situation where people have got to pay more than they can afford simply to be able to do their job, when you’re in a situation where our ranchers cannot afford the diesel to get where they’ve got to get, when you’re in a situation where… whether it’s our ag industry, whether it’s our communities, whether it’s our small businesses, the price of gas really impacts people and hurts people. But as you pointed out, Steve, it also is tremendously beneficial for our fossil fuel industry.
Liz Cheney: (01:10:47)
To me, the solution to all of this is to unleash the fossil fuel industry. And when you look at what the Biden administration has done, they were absolutely right to stop the import of Russian oil and gas. That was a very important thing they did. They were right to do it. But they should have followed that up with unleashing American development of our fossil fuel industry.
Liz Cheney: (01:11:08)
They haven’t. They’ve done things like move to release oil from the strategic petroleum reserve. It makes absolutely no sense at all that we are going to look to be dependent upon nations like Venezuela, for example, for our fossil fuel needs when we have this national treasure here in the United States, and we have this national treasure here in Wyoming.
Liz Cheney: (01:11:26)
So, when you’re talking about, what do we need to do to both get our energy industry back to the place it needs to be, and then also make sure that the price of a gallon of gas is affordable, we need to unleash our energy industry so it is able to produce, so people are able to make the kind of revenue they need, but so we also have affordable fuel at the gas pump.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:11:45)
Thank you, Representative Cheney. Senator Bouchard?
Anthony Bouchard: (01:11:48)
You know, one of the biggest problems we have in Wyoming is the federal government owns so much of it. Even when they drill on a private piece of land, the adjoining land affects that. They can control it.
Anthony Bouchard: (01:12:03)
… the land affects that. They can control it because of the proximity of where the drill site is. It’s been a problem all along and obviously it’s gotten worse. We’ve got a refinery that closed down in Cheyenne, shut down and changed over to biofuel. That shouldn’t even be happening. It’s regulations galore. Price of fuel, half of it is the inflationary factor, right? If you had a silver dollar in your hand, you had two of those 1950s silver dollar, you could fill up your tank with that. That’s the inflation index. That’s what our money has done.
Anthony Bouchard: (01:12:43)
The other part is we’re controlling so much of industries and it doesn’t matter if it’s lead or alloys. Look at the price of steel now. Everything we’ve done to regulate has caused the problem we’re in now. It’s not just oil. Price of steel, four by… Sheet of steel, that’s 3/16ths, is over $400. You can’t even build anything. Hobbyists are even put out of business. It’s regulations. We’ve got to put a stop to it. We have to defund these federal agencies.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:13:21)
Senator, thank you. Colonel Knapp.
Denton Knapp: (01:13:23)
Yeah, right now federal policies are destroying our economy. And as I mentioned, let the states do what they’re good at and to use the resources that we have. Wyoming is rising as far as coal and oil right now because those elements that still exist, those organizations that are still producing coal and oil, there’s a high demand for it now. But what people don’t see is those ones that have shut down. In Campbell County, we had one mine shut down in a day and 600 people lost their jobs. And according to the federal government, they’re supposed to go learn how to use wind turbines now, after they’ve worked at that job for 20, 30 years.
Denton Knapp: (01:13:56)
And people having to choose between food and gas right now. I know all of us had to drive 23 counties and it was a wake up of what the expenditures are to do that. Our farmers are getting hit hard, as mentioned. Their fuel is doubled to move their product to market. And especially in southwestern Wyoming, where a lot of agriculture occurs, it’s hitting hard.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:14:18)
Colonel, thank you. Ms. Hageman.
Harriet Hageman: (01:14:20)
Filling the government coffers shouldn’t be our priority. And the increased tax revenue doesn’t mean that the economy is healthy. The fact is, we got an incredible Supreme Court decision today, reigning in the EPA and saying that the EPA does not have the legal authority to control greenhouse gases. That is a huge win for Wyoming, but it’s just part of the battle. Congress needs to step up and actually start addressing these issues. Because what I’m going to say is that I truly believe that there is a special place in hell for people who will adopt policies that are intended to increase the cost of energy, housing and food, and that’s exactly what the current administration is doing. The $5 and 40 gasoline is because of the failures of the Biden administration on every single thing that they’ve touched. The cancellation of the XL Pipeline, the decision to withdraw 2,000 leases right here in Wyoming.
Harriet Hageman: (01:15:13)
And what it’s doing is it is going to be devastating to the middle class and to the lower income among us. We simply cannot grow food as farmers and ranchers in this state or in Nebraska or Utah or Colorado or Montana when we’ve got $5 and $6 a gallon diesel. This is really a horrifically regressive tax that all goes back to Joe Biden’s policies. Joe Biden is a horrible president. The people he’s put in positions of power are causing serious damage to Wyoming. And while the state of Wyoming might have increased revenue, the citizens of Wyoming are the poorer for it.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:15:48)
Ms. Hageman, thank you. Ms. Belinskey.
Robyn Belinskey: (01:15:50)
Yes. Our middle class and lower income folks are definitely feeling the pinch. And with all the bureaucracy that’s going on in our government right now and the agenda of Biden and company, this is staged. We are being destroyed from within. It’s not a surprise. But anyway, we need to make sure that we keep our oil royalties here. The gas is only part of this problem, folks, and it’s so far-reaching. There are so many people that are trying to make ends meet just going to the gas station. I hear people make comments every time they fill up. But if we can take back our energy here in Wyoming, that is going to be our ticket.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:16:49)
Thank you. Representative Cheney, 30 more seconds if you would like.
Liz Cheney: (01:16:52)
One of the things I do in Washington, I serve as the vice chair of the Western Caucus. And in that position, I’ve been able to make sure that we are educating people, both by bringing people from Wyoming to testify at the hearings that the Western Caucus holds, but to make sure people understand the reality of the fossil fuel industry here in Wyoming, to understand it’s a national treasure, to understand that the federal government needs to stop policies like those we’ve seen that would prevent drilling on our public lands. And I’ll continue to fight every day for those policies and to introduce legislation that prohibits those, that ensures that Congress has to act before any of those prohibitions can be put in place.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:17:27)
Thank you. Candidates, we have time for one more question. But in order for me to give you your full time to have a closing argument here, we’re going to reduce the time that you are allowed to answer this question to just a minute instead of 90 seconds, if that’s okay, with a 30-second rebuttal. So if our timer can take that into account, this final question will come from Bob Beck for Senator Bouchard.
Bob Beck: (01:17:47)
Senator, affordable healthcare continues to be a challenge for many in Wyoming. Are there federal solutions that you have for this problem at all?
Anthony Bouchard: (01:17:58)
Well, the feds caused the problem. They said it was going to be the Affordable Healthcare Act. It’s been anything but that. It seems that everything the federal government touches, they break it. It’s a broken system. We now have one insurance company in Wyoming. We have no more competition. This is where I’ve worked heavily in health and labor. I know where these policies are affected. And we certainly need someone in Congress that knows how it affects the states. We were actually making doctors do things that they don’t normally do. They’ll see Medicaid patients twice a week because they’ll go broke. They cannot afford the staff and what they’re doing with Medicaid. And then you’ve got other ones that say, “Let’s pass it.” Well, they’re doing all Medicaid and they’re writing things. There’s been Medicaid fraud in this state, and to discuss that it would take more time than I have, but we’re not fighting that Medicaid fraud like we should.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:18:59)
Thank you, Senator. Colonel Knapp.
Denton Knapp: (01:19:01)
Yeah. So in our economy of mixed capitalism, it depends on competition, and that ensures quality of service as well as driving prices down. And to limit that through federal policy is wrong. We need to have a good mix of public and private partnerships for some of our healthcare, and especially for our elderly and those with low income. But Obamacare was a mess and that was shoved down our throats and we’re still trying to recover from that right now. Hopefully, as Senator Bouchard mentioned, we can take that lead in Wyoming and get some competition here from good insurance, good doctors, medical centers that will take care of people. And the best ones will be the ones that succeed.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:19:39)
Thank you, Colonel. Ms. Hageman.
Harriet Hageman: (01:19:41)
Yes. Again, as I’ve traveled the state, one of the industry groups that I’ve wanted to spend time with are healthcare providers. So I have spent quite a bit of time with doctors and other folks that provide healthcare in our state. And I don’t think that there is any better example of the old adage that government is always trying to fix its last solution than Obamacare. Since the moment that went into effect, we have been trying to fix the disaster that it created. And the problem is that it’s Obamacare itself. I have sat with doctors who are literally in tears because of what has happened to their profession because of the federal involvement and meddling in our medical system.
Harriet Hageman: (01:20:20)
We have to get the federal government out of this. If we are going to reduce costs and improve the medical care and treatment that we can provide, we have got to roll back on the regulations. These folks are begging me when I get into Congress to roll back the regulations that are preventing them from being able to treat their patients and act and exercise their rights as medical providers and doctors.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:20:46)
Thank you, Ms. Hageman. Ms. Belinskey.
Robyn Belinskey: (01:20:49)
In addressing this situation, we need to go back to actual preventative healthcare. It’s become such a big business with the healthcare situation. I see people every day that have bottles of pills everywhere. The situations with even the pharmacist, there was a situation I was working on. It was called the PPOs, and it was about preferred provider organizations, where these doctors could actually get involved and you had to go through them for your care. But you also had healthcare that you could actually utilize for preventative services instead of just, okay, when I’m sick and I’m really bad off, having to go to these providers. We’re in a situation where we have PAs. We’re not even getting to see a doctor.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:21:51)
Thank you very much, Ms. Belinskey. Representative Cheney.
Liz Cheney: (01:21:54)
Yeah, we need to adopt policies that put patients in the driver’s seat. Patients and their families ought to be making these decisions, not the federal government. I’ve been honored to be able to introduce legislation in Congress to do things like expand telehealth. We saw during the pandemic how important telehealth was for people all across Wyoming, and to make sure that we expand the access to that, that we continue the kind of reimbursements that are necessary now that the pandemic is over is really important. So I’ve introduced legislation to do that. I also think it’s crucially important, and I’ve co-sponsored legislation to stop surprise billing. People need to know that they’re not going to be faced with huge out-of-network costs and charges after they have to go to the hospital for any sort of treatment.
Liz Cheney: (01:22:38)
I also think it’s critically important that we allow insurance competition across state lines. People need to be able to choose the insurance that makes sense for them, and we shouldn’t be limited to only the insurance provider that we have in Wyoming. People ought to be able to compete, to force the insurance companies to compete for our business.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:22:56)
Thank you very much. Senator Bouchard, 30 seconds.
Anthony Bouchard: (01:23:00)
Representative Cheney has had her chance to repeal Obamacare and didn’t take it. As far as telemed, we handle that in the state. That’s just hollow talk. We need to just start taking it back away from the federal government, period. It’s too much. They passed it. They said, “Let’s pass it so we can see what’s in it.” We’ve seen what’s in it. It’s not working.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:23:25)
Thank you very much. Candidates, at this time it’s time for your closing statements. And by debate procedure that you all agreed upon, we’ll go in reverse order. Colonel Knapp, you’ll be first.
Denton Knapp: (01:23:33)
Sure. This is a great opportunity to have all five of us here. It’s the first time we’ve been together in the same room, and opportunity to debate and hear each other’s ideas. So what sets us apart? Well, everybody’s talking about the same issues. We are all Republicans, and for the most part, pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, pro states rights. So what makes us different? But you got some great experience here, to include people that have been in state and federal government for a long time, law, and a lot of different things. I’ve been a servant all my life, and that’s what I do. Why did I run? Because I saw what was happening in the federal government and I knew I could make a difference. I got mad. And part of that running is ensuring that I’m representing our state here, and those that elected me, and I make ethical and moral decisions in their benefit.
Denton Knapp: (01:24:23)
And if I can’t do that, I leave. So leadership, I’ve done that all my life, starting at 18 years old. Went to West Point for four years and then 30 years in the army, and I led. And my last 10 years of leading at strategic level. And that’s working and negotiating [inaudible 01:24:39] solutions that have to have an instinct to be executed. So whether it’s budget or bills or acquisition, whatever it is, I can bring that to federal government, I can work committees and I can make a difference. People ask, “Why didn’t you start at state or local?” There’s no time. I can get in there and out for two years and make a difference.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:24:56)
Thank you very much, Colonel Knapp. Senator Bouchard.
Anthony Bouchard: (01:24:59)
Thank you. I’ve said it before. I’m a different candidate because I started out in conservative grassroots politics and I was effective. If you like our gun laws here in our state, constitutional carry, I was the driving force behind that. And I’m proud to have the senator that sponsored it in the audience. It was because we spent a decade trying to pass that policy and we couldn’t get it done, and we had to get people involved on the outside. We need more people who know how to get people in the fight in Congress, instead of just giving great speeches and becoming actors and saying all the right things and then going back there and doing nothing.
Anthony Bouchard: (01:25:49)
If you send me to Congress, I’ll use the resources of the office, the budget, the staff to do just that; to bring the fight back, because the problem is Republicans will get control, I think they will, but will we have the right Republicans there? Will we have people that will actually fight? And that means standing up to leadership. That’s something I’ve done. I’ve got the battle scars. When they call me in the office, I tell them I don’t work for them. And that’s what we need more of in Congress.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:26:26)
Thank you, Senator. Representative Cheney.
Liz Cheney: (01:26:28)
Thank you very much. It’s been a tremendous honor, the highest honor of my professional life, to represent the people of Wyoming for the last five and a half years. I am a conservative Republican. I’m going to work hard to earn the vote of every Wyomingite in this election. And I think it’s important for people to know that I believe that the most conservative of conservative principles is fidelity to our constitution. In Wyoming, we ride for the brand, and our brand is the United States Constitution. So I’m going to ask people for their vote. I’m going to work hard to earn that vote. But people need to know something about me. I will never put party above my duty to the country. I will never put party above my duty to the Constitution. I swore an oath under God and I will abide by that oath. I won’t say something that I know is wrong simply to earn the votes of people, to earn political support.
Liz Cheney: (01:27:14)
That’s what the voters of Wyoming deserve. That’s what the voters of Wyoming demand. That’s the kind of respect that we owe the voters of this great state. We need to recognize that if we are not faithful to the Constitution, if we embrace lies, if we embrace the lies of Donald Trump, if we tell the people of Wyoming something that is not true, we will soon find ourselves without the structure and the basis and the framework of our constitutional republic. If we don’t abide by the Constitution when it is politically inconvenient, then we will not have the Constitution as our shield when we need to defend our First Amendment rights and our Second Amendment rights. So I’m asking for your vote and I’m asking you to understand that I will never violate my oath of office. And if you’re looking for somebody who will, then you need to vote for somebody else on this stage, because I won’t. I will always put my oath first.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:27:59)
Thank you, Representative Cheney. Ms. Belinskey.
Robyn Belinskey: (01:28:03)
The Constitution is used a lot in this debate in our leaders. But you know what? It’s about being the relatable candidate, the one that’s for we the people, the actual one who is standing up for people who are just ordinary, like myself. This is not rocket science. We don’t need any more politicians or attorneys to keep telling us what to do. This is important for Wyoming. We need a voice. We need someone who’s actually relatable and knows what goes on in this state at whatever level. I have been around for 30 years here in Wyoming. I’ve seen everything I need to know to be a representative of this state.
Robyn Belinskey: (01:28:50)
And I have been doing some of the work already. And to me, that’s important because I’m not waiting to be elected. I want to make sure that I am doing the work for the people here in Wyoming. This is an important race, folks. And I am doing this on my own. I’m the grassroots Republican candidate that is hell-bent to make sure that we have a voice in DC. I’ve been there, I know what it’s like, and we have to take back our state.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:29:22)
Ms. Belinskey, thank you. Ms. Hageman.
Harriet Hageman: (01:29:23)
Well, it is wonderful to be here tonight and I want to thank you for sponsoring this and for the audience being here. It’s wonderful to see some new faces on stage. I have been traveling the state, as I said, over 30,000 miles now, and one of the words that I hear over and over and over again is accountability. The people of Wyoming do not believe that they’re being represented in Congress right now because our representative doesn’t come to Wyoming. She doesn’t come here to talk to us, to explain her vote, to defend the decisions that she’s making. She focuses an awful lot of time on the January 6th Committee, but she’s not addressing the issues that are important to Wyoming. I’m the only real, proven success up here on this stage. I have been fighting the issues for Wyoming for over 25 years. I have been fighting to protect our water rights, our property rights and our constitutional rights.
Harriet Hageman: (01:30:15)
I have been representing our municipalities, our counties, the state of Wyoming, our farmers and ranchers, our oil and gas companies, our irrigation districts, our small businesses. I have been representing them and I’ve been fighting back against the federal overreach that we’ve talked about over and over and over again tonight. I have fought back and I’ve beat the EPA, the USDA, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the US Forest Service. I actually am the one person who has done something to get more access to federal lands in the state of Wyoming. I know how these agencies work. I have the experience to go back there and actually fight against them. And I’m asking for your vote on August 16th. Thank you.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:30:56)
Ms. Hageman, thank you very much. Candidates, thank you so much for attending tonight’s debate. Colonel Knapp said that this is the first time you’ve all been on a stage together. Well, I’m here to tell the state and the country, this is how you conduct a civil discussion on the issues that are important to our state and to our country. So thank you very much for participating with us this evening. The audience can applaud now if they so choose.
Craig Blumenshine: (01:31:22)
And to the audience as well, I think it’s important to say that this was very important for you to see. We do wish that more people could be here, but thank you very much for conducting yourselves in a civil manner as well. I want to tell voters that absentee voting begins tomorrow in the state of Wyoming. And if you’re not voting via absentee ballot, we encourage you to vote in the primary election on Tuesday, August 16th. I want to thank our panel this evening, Steve Peck, Bob Beck, and Steven Dow, for serving. Thank you very much. And to our timer, Joanna Kail, thank you very much. We appreciate our simulcasting partner, Wyoming Public Media. And as a reminder, you can see this debate again on the Wyoming PBS YouTube page. We encourage you to stay tuned for more debates to come. The next, I believe, is on July 28th when we’ll host the Wyoming Republican gubernatorial candidates. So from all of us from Wyoming Public Media, from the media here in Wyoming and from Wyoming PBS, thank you very much.