In an effort to highlight some key midterm races around the country, Glenn welcomed Bryan Smith, who is challenging incumbent Congressman Mike Simpson (R-ID) to represent Idaho's 2nd Congressional District, to the radio program this morning. Smith enjoys the endorsement of FreedomWorks, the Senate Conservatives Fund, Club for Growth, and other small government groups, and he talked about his campaign and his stance on some of the major issues facing this country.
“I want to talk to Bryan Smith. He's running for Congress out of Idaho's 2nd District that includes Boise and most of southern Idaho. He is currently running against a guy named Mike Simpson. Some are calling him the ‘Lindsey Graham of Idaho,’” Glenn explained. “There are no polls out, so we have no idea if this is going to topple another RHINO, but… why does Idaho have a guy like Lindsey Graham… even in Congress? There's no reason for it.”
To begin, Glenn asked Smith to comment on what should be done in response to the standoff between rancher Cliven Bundy and the federal government in Nevada.
“Well, the problem down there is the same problem that many of the 11 western states have, and that is: The federal government owns a huge share of the state lands. Idaho, for example, is 64%. And if you go east of the Continental Divide, the states have – on average – an 8% ownership by the federal government,” Smith explained. “So the problem is the federal government is holding minerals and ore and also deposits of other things and also of timber. And it's really getting to the point where they're mismanaging the resources. The states could do a lot better job and the truth is the Constitution never envisioned that the federal government would own 64% of Idaho's land.”
Glenn asked Smith, who is a lawyer by trade, why he would choose to dive into politics now.
“I've been married for 30 years. I have five children. I actually graduated from high school in Idaho, and we've been living in Idaho Falls for 20 years,” Smith said. “I'm a lawyer by profession. I practice law in Idaho Falls. Have a practice here. I've been busy raising children and busy in other things that I do in the community. Now my kids are grown up. My youngest is just turned 17. And we're in a position where we can strike out and start standing up for issues of liberty and freedom in our own state.”
Smith is running against Rep. Simpson, who has been in office since 1999. He has been endorsed by Mitt Romney, and is described by Smith as “John Boehner's best friend” and “one of his top lieutenants and allies.”
While Glenn and Pat questioned how such an establishment guy could consistently win in a state like Idaho, Smith explained he is Rep. Simpson’s first real challenger.
“I can tell you he ran in 1998, and he got put in with 40% of the vote because of the split ticket. And then nobody challenged him for four terms, which is eight years, Smith said. “I am the first credible challenger who has mounted a serious campaign. He really hasn't faced this kind of opposition ever.”
You can learn more about Smith’s campaign HERE.