Be sure to vote on Tuesday, June 3.
Thanks to Jim White of North West Liberty News and Americans for Prosperity, we can watch the debate replay. When you comment on the debate, please record the time when it happened so others can move the replay to that part of the debate.
The debate showed important differences in the candidates. This is a subject where it is almost impossible to be objective because we all have our personal views of candidates and political issues that affect what we hear.
Therefore, while I offer my opinions, please add your opinions below.
As you know, the candidates are:
- Former State Senator Ryan Zinke
- Former State Senator Corey Stapleton
- State Senator Matt Rosendale
- State Senator Elsie Arntzen
- Drew Turiano
The nominee will be one of the top 3 listed above. Elsie is not ready for prime time and Drew is not a real candidate.
Before the debate yesterday, Gun Owners of America released its ratings of the candidates:
- Corey A
- Matt A
- Elsie A
- Drew B
- Ryan C
GOA noted that Ryan was the only Montana Republican to vote against your right to personal defense in National Parks. This should pretty much remove the desire of most Republicans to vote for Ryan, and should focus the real race to being between Corey and Matt.
Here’s my summary of the debate:
- Ryan made his liberal feelings clear. He was the only one who did not take a position against the climate change question. He said he does not know whether human carbon dioxide emissions cause dangerous climate change. But he did say he would put our economy first and not stop our economy over climate change concerns.
- Ryan was asked if he would impeach Obama over Benghazi. He went off track and never got around to saying he would impeach Obama until a moderator asked him, and Ryan said a weak “yes” that did not seem too positive.
- Elsie was gung ho Montana but many of her answers seemed to have no point relevant to the questions.
- Elsie agreed with Ryan’s liberal view of not being ready to transfer BLM and USFS lands to Montana because of cost concerns. Corey and Matt agreed on the importance of such transfer and said such transfer would be positive for Montana’s economy. Corey and Matt 10. Ryan and Elsie 0.
- On immigration, Corey said enforce current laws, Matt said seal our borders. Corey said we need qualified immigrants because they are important to our economy. Corey 10, Matt 5.
- Matt asked Corey a question on the Montana budget in an attempt to nail Corey. In reply, Corey made Matt look like an out-of-state fool for even asking the question and turned Matt’s question into a description of one of Corey’s economic accomplishments in the Montana Senate that Matt did not understand. Corey’s answer showed how the Democrats will destroy Matt if he is nominated. Corey 10, Matt 0.
- Corey asked Ryan a question that almost toppled Ryan because Ryan had no good answer. Corey 10, Ryan 0.
- Corey was easily the top debate performer. He showed his depth of knowledge about Montana politics, economics, international politics, and how he is best qualified to represent Montana in Congress.
In summary, Matt cannot win this race because he has focused so much on getting tea party support, drone shooter and all, that he cannot get mainstream Republican support. Matt does not know enough about Montana history and politics to represent Montanans. Matt is no more conservative than Corey and only Corey, as Corey himself said, appeals to the full range of Republicans, from liberal to conservative to tea party.
Ryan’s C-rating with GOA will cause many Republican supporters to move to Corey but they will never move to Matt. If tea party conservatives wake up and smell the roses, they will vote for Corey so he can beat Ryan. Otherwise, these tea party conservatives may wake up next Wednesday morning and find they elected Ryan by wasting their votes on Matt.
Now it’s your turn to tell us your opinion of the debate and who you hope Montana sends to Congress and why below.