Chris Herrod, a congressional candidate vying to fill Jason Chaffetz’s seat in Utah, joined Glenn on radio Tuesday to share how he and his wife experienced socialism in Ukraine — and to warn people never to let it come here.
Herrod, who is running against Provo Mayor John Curtis and businessman Tanner Ainge in the Republican primary, met his wife in Ukraine, and they both know that socialism hurts people instead of helping.
“All that system does is lower the care for everybody,” Herrod said, describing the “horrors” of a system that provided mediocre care without other options. “For me, it’s not theoretical.”
Republicans who are hesitating to repeal the Affordable Care Act need to realize the dangers of socialized medicine and remember the promises they made to Americans. In the 2016 election, GOP candidates up and down the ballot vowed to repeal Obamacare and stop health care costs from rising.
On a personal note, Glenn recounted a touching story about a chance meeting he had with Herrod’s young son Dale at a rally in Provo, UT on the presidential campaign trail.
“That’s amazing, you know, how life works. Because I just pulled him out of the crowd, and he was just a great, great kid. You could see it in him, he’s an amazing kid,” Glenn said.
Herrod has been endorsed by both Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY).
GLENN: Oh, you’re going to like this guy. Chris is running for the vacated seat of representative Jason Chaffetz. Early voting begins today and continues until Election Day, which is August 15th. The winner of this GOP primary will face off against the Democrat on November 7th. I have very little trust in anybody going to Washington, but I want you to know this. He is one of the founders of the Patrick Henry caucus. His main mission is to restore the intent of the constitution. And here’s my favorite. He spent extensive time in Europe and the Middle East. He taught at two universities in the Ukraine where his wife grew up. He has seen the evils of socialism firsthand and vows that it is not going to happen here.
Chris Herrod, welcome to the program. How are you, sir?
Chris: Very good. Thank you for having me on. It’s an honor.
GLENN: So tell me about your experience in Ukraine and how you can combat socialism when we’re headed down that road fast.
Chris: Well, you know, it’s one of those things. Unfortunately, I think there’s a lot of Republicans that don’t even understand that that system doesn’t work. And, for me, it’s not theoretical. I mean, my wife has a seven-inch scar that should have been a quarter inch scar. One of the times balk she had a pregnancy and just the horrors of walking into this room with nine women on dingy, gray sheets. And I have horror story after horror story about that system. So it does not work. It is not more compassionate. Everybody will say, well, what about these 22 million that aren’t going to be covered?
Well, all that system does is lower the care for everybody. And so, again, for me, it’s not theoretical. That’s one of the things about my experience in life is I was there when the Soviet Union collapsed and Communism and socialism robbing the individual of full potential. It weakens the family and eventually morally bankrupt.
GLENN: So your wife is over from the Ukraine. Was she a Soviet Union transplant family in the ’40s, ’50s, ’60s? Or is she really Ukrainian?
Chris: Well, no, actually, I finished in 1992, I finished my masters at BYU and didn’t want to go to corporate America, so I found a teaching job and stepped off the plane and there was a beautiful woman holding up a sign with my name on it, a sign for the university, and I married her four months later. So —
GLENN: But is she really Ukrainian, or is she a former Soviet Union family? Do you know?
Chris: Her family — her father is left over from when Genghis Khan came across and then her mother is Ukrainian.
GLENN: Okay. So she must have strong feelings on what is happening in Ukraine, as do you.
Where do you stand on Russia and Putin? Friend or foe?
Chris: Well, actually, my in-laws had their windows blown out two years ago from a bomb. So we’re no fans of Putin and the leasts of it. Ronald Reagan said best. The only thing the Soviets understand is brute force, so you have to stand up to them. But you do have to realize that some of the stuff, as long as we’re talking about collusion. We’re not really talking about Russia has invaded Ukraine. We’re not talking about health care or tax reform. So Putin is a chess player. And he outplayed the Obama administration, and he’s outplaying the press and the Democrats, some Republicans right now as well. We need to talk about the real issues.
GLENN: Good for you. So let’s talk about ObamaCare. It is — it looks like they’re going for the simple repeal, the clean repeal they proposed in 2015. Is that a fix for you? Would you be okay with a simple repair like that? What has to be done?
Chris: Well, you know, I think the confidence in congress has been lost. And 61 times — over 60 times repeal when it doesn’t matter. I’m not for — get people on record. If they voted for it before now, and then we can start and look at things that we can do to bring the free market back into the system. But, again, that system does not work. Socialized medicine just pushes everybody, the quality down. So, for me, you know, let’s have some conversations. But I’m a big believer. You know, I served six years in the Utah legislature. States handle those issues much better than the Federal Government. So, you know, let us have high risk pools here in the state. And, you know, just block grant that money to the states and let the states stick to that problem as well.
GLENN: Ted Cruz and Rand Paul endorsed you. Has Mike Lee endorsed you yet?
Chris: Well, Mike has a strict policy of not endorsing in the primary. But Mike’s been very helpful to me.
GLENN: Oh, my gosh. That weasel. He asked me for my endorsement. Oh, my gosh.
Chris: Don’t be too hard on Mike.
GLENN: I won’t.
Chris: But senator Cruz will be here on Saturday for a rally for me, so he’s been really great. I met you at the Ted Cruz rally here in Provo.
GLENN: I think I met your son Dale; right? He was the kid that just pulled up out of the crowd, unbeknownst to you or me or him; right?
Chris: Yeah, that was — that’s kind of the highlight of his life so far and his political career. So thank you very much for that.
GLENN: That’s amazing, you know, how life works. Because I just pulled him out of the crowd, and he was just a great, great kid. You could see it in him. He’s an amazing kid.
Chris: Well, you know, I — because we’re fighting for them, I’ve tried to involve, you know, my kids in the process to let them know what we’re fighting for. And I do. This isn’t cliché. I truly fear what they’re going to face between the debt and our younger generation isn’t being taught how great this country was and the founding principles that made it great. And they’re taught to hate this country and then hate — they think that the new socialism is not that bad. But it’s never worked anywhere else in the world and, unfortunately, people don’t seem willing to call it out saying that it’s not compassionate.
GLENN: Chris, can I speak real Frank to you for just a second and just get your response. I have good friends who have gone to Washington. I have some who succeeded and some who have failed miserably. Some who have failed miserably is because they had a moment of weakness or they had something to hide. Or they just really for a second just thought you know what? If I help them, then they’ll help me. I have not met a person that has gone to Washington and left a better man. Are you prepared for what is coming your way much faster than what is coming your children’s way in society.
Chris: You know, I mean, it’s one of those things here. I’ve taken a difficult stance. I mean, here in Utah, you know, I wrote a book called the forgotten immigrant and how tolerated illegal immigration hurts immigrants. I was attacked, called all sorts of names, I even had my faith questioned. And so I — it hasn’t been easy for me to get to this point. But I am very firm in the positions. And it’s one of those things I want to go back and make a difference. And if I don’t last long, that’s okay. Too. I think that’s one of the things that helps you being willing if you’re not — I know my core principles. I know what’s true. And like I said, it’s not — I don’t need to be there for decades or anything like that. And so I believe — it’s always harder than what it is. But I have endured serious criticism and the establishment’s coming after me now. And so, you know, it hasn’t been an easy ten years, you know, here in Utah for my political career. So I — you know, I’m not afraid to call a spade a spade, and that sometimes gets you in trouble, as you well know.
GLENN: And your soul is intact.
Chris: Yes, it is. It still is.
PAT: Chris, at one point, there were 22 people. Is it still that crowded of a field? Like, 15 Republicans or something.
Chris: Yeah, well, I won the convention route, so I took on ten other people, so I’m one of the 11 there. Two other people gathered signatures. We have, you know, people are trying to get rid of the caucus convention system. We call it weighted vote. So I just have the two Republicans now, and then I have one Democrat. And I think there’s a Libertarian party and American new party or a couple other minor parties like that.
But so for the most part, I’ve kind of got through the heavy lifting and this is kind of the big name, you know, the chamber is back. One of the other candidates. But this is the primary. So I’ve already kind of gone through the caucus convention system, which that’s where they truly vet you, and you can’t get away with sound byte answers.
GLENN: And that’s actually the — I think it was Orrin Hatch who tried to change that recently.
Chris: Well, the Romneys have basically — when Mike Lee got elected, I was heavily involved in helping get Mike Lee, and they did not like that.
PAT: No, they don’t.
Chris: And, you know, what’s the worst thing that we got after Bennett? It was Mike Lee. Republicans won one, conservatives won one, and it’s a few money brokers who are going to choose.
GLENN: Is there somebody else in hit of. Not Jesus. Is there somebody in history that you look to and say I would like to be remembered as. I would like to try to pattern myself after him.
Chris: Well, obviously, you look at George Washington. For me, that experience he could have been king, and he resisted that. There’s a number of people. You look at, for me, Poland who paid a high price for, you know, freedom. I sponsor and professor when I was in the former Soviet Union, she at the age of 21, she spoke English very well. And the KGB asked her to sleep with foreigners, and she refused. And her — she was personned for a year. Her husband lost both parents. I am surrounded by a lot of people who paid a high price for freedom. So, for me, the sacrifice of being called names, you know, it is tough. My wife is just wonderful. She has been very supportive of me. I served in office. But, you know, they paid the great prices. Being attacked is a relatively minor sacrifice compared to what many of my friends have sacrificed around the world.
GLENN: Chris, I wish I could tell you that I thought that being called names would be the worst that you and your family would face, but we are in perilous times, unless more people like you get in. Hold to principles and never let go. Chris Harrod is his name. Early voting begins in Utah today. It continues until Election Day, which is August 15th. The winner of the primary will face off against the Democrat on November 7th, and we wish you the best of luck, Chris.
Chris: Well, we have a website Harris for congress.com. I love donations or additional support. But thank you very much. And, Glenn, thank you very much for what you have done. I know you paid a high price. I really appreciate the perspective you’ve given on Islam. I would love to have some time a further conversation of that. But thank you for everything that you have done.
GLENN: Thank you very much, Chris. I appreciate it. Bye-bye. Chris Herrod. If you’re in Utah, please consider him to replace Jason Chaffetz. He has been endorsed by Ted Cruz and . . .
PAT: Rand Paul.
GLENN: Rand Paul. And, you know, working behind the scenes is Mike Lee.