Claudia Tenney

Congressional Announcement - November 17, 2015

Claudia Tenney
November 17, 2015— New York
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Thank you to Binghamton. We're here at Binghamton and I just want to say thank you again to the people from Binghamton, especially the Republican voters in 2014 who overwhelmingly elected me as they’re nominee. I, unfortunately, wasn't able to prevail in 2014, but I just want to say it's really wonderful to see all these familiar faces. My friends, neighbors, Patriots of course, thank you for being here and I'm thankful to all of you for supporting me and most importantly your presence evidences are unwavering support for a beleaguered republic.

One of America's most revered leaders and our first Republican, President Abraham Lincoln, served our nation during one of the most contentious periods in our history following the Civil War. His compelling theme throughout the body of his work “can we save the Republic?” Yes, we do have a constitutional republic. “Can we govern ourselves the mission and vision by our founders?” At this critical juncture in the life of our constitutional republic, we need leaders to stand up and to act to preserve our life, our liberty, and to reclaim our self-governance from a bloated oppressive federal government. The threats from overseas and at home require an uncompromising resolve to save this Republic.

As our problems grow larger, it is clear that our current politicians in Washington are not up to the job. In fact, the Washington elite have teamed up with us- have teamed up against us with our own elected representatives. The special interest don't swear on an oath of office to uphold our Constitution. The self-serving lobbyists don't care about protecting our rights and our freedom. They just want to cut the cut of our hard-earned money. They make excuses when we questioned them about voting for trillions in new spending which will saddle our children and grandchildren with dangerously unsustainable debt because it pleases lobbyists; they rubber stamp the interests of wealthy insurance companies by funding Obamacare which is bankrupting our small businesses, killing jobs, and taking doctors away from their patients.

Washington politicians have sold out the average citizen, the small business owner, the family farmer, and the entrepreneur who are the backbone of our nation. They don't feel the pain of high taxes, skyrocketing debt, and unaffordable health care because they've exempted themselves. They vote for trade deals that are neither free nor fair to enrich their international corporate paymasters. Meanwhile Ameri- American industry, especially here in the Empire State or what was the Empire State, industry is losing jobs each and every day. These politicians vote for amnesty which rewards illegal immigrants who have no respect for our laws even though amnesty hurts our law-abiding citizens. They promise to secure our borders and haven't even though our world is becoming more dangerous.

They promised to cut wasteful spending and haven't; instead our debt is now on pace to surpass 20 trillion dollars by the time Obama leaves office with another 200 trillion in unfunded liabilities which make us less financially secure. They preach that every American who wants a job would be provided the opportunity to work yet today the American workforce is smaller than it was in 2008 they promised to uphold our traditional values yet they continue to fund immoral organizations like Planned Parenthood. They campaigned against special interest in Washington, but their voting records and financial statements are fat with lobbyists influence. They promised to provide our brave men and women in uniform who serve to protect us, yet our veterans continue to be denied the proper support and the health care they deserve when they return home. They said they would stand by our allies and stand up to our enemies instead they endanger … with an Iranian nuclear deal debacle and continue to allow ISIS to run rampant around the world and now when France one of our strongest and longest NATO allies, has been viciously attacked because America has become less strong and less vigilant in the face of Terror. God bless the people of Paris and let's pray for Paris.

Now is the time for us to elect a true representative the people, one who understands the proper role of the state, local, and the federal government. As set forth in our Constitution, we know that the Tenth Amendment helps us support our state's rights and limits our federal government and it's worth quoting the power is not- worth quoting for the Tenth Amendment “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor prohibited to it by- by the states are reserved to the States respectively or to the people.” Not Barack Obama, not the Department of Education, not the Department of Interior, not the EPA, not the chamber of commerce or crony capitalism as one of the great Mark Levin calls it. The power in this country belongs to the people as set forth in our Constitution and our Bill of Rights.

Now is the time to elect someone who is not part of the Washington establishment or the bloated federal bureaucracy, one who has the courage to challenge political power brokers and the energy to fight for all of us. One who actually believes in republican principles and has a proven record of boldly standing up for them against tide of progressivism, oppressive big government, and liberalism. Now is the time for a true outsider, a citizen legislature as envisioned by Jefferson, someone who'll go to Washington and say no to corrupt lobbyists and special interests, say no to funding Obamacare and Planned Parenthood which uses our tax money to engage in the immoral sale of baby parts, to say no to spending more than we have, and to say no to bankrupting our country and eroding-and eroding our status as the world's economic power.

Richard Hanna promised us he would stand up to the special interest in croniest but his voting record proves he's been nothing more than a shill for the Washington elite. It is never easy to stand against the crowd, but the values my parents taught me, to be honest, to be courageous, to work hard, to care for others, to stand for something even if it means losing, to encourage others, to be grateful and humble, and to live within my means. My parents are no longer with us, but it will be it would be a broken promise to them and those who elected to serve me to surrender my principles to the self-serving politicians in Washington.

As a single mom and struggling small business owner, I had to make tough decisions every day just like scores of individuals in our community: working men and women business owners farmers small family farmers and small businesses and businesses. As Republicans, we expect higher taxes, increased spending, more government, no morals, and less freedom from Barack Obama… Nancy Pelosi, and yes the likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. We don't stand with Hillary Clinton, and we never imagined the Republican leaders that we sent to Washington would join those people. We conservatives elected republican majorities to the House and Senate in Washington, we were told to- we were told by doing so the values and principles we hold dear would be restored. we must unite as a community and restore again this once great Republic. That is why I stand here today to announce my candidacy for the United States Congress in the 22nd district.

I'm running because I believe in my heart I can stand up to the broken and corrupt system in Washington that puts our future and our children's future in peril. When I say I'm going to vote to cut wasteful spending and fight- fight for a balanced budget you can count on it. I know firsthand how it over reach in Washington can make the American dream seemed like the impossible. I've challenged big spenders in Albany, and I will do the same in Washington by bringing common sense to their committee rooms. When I say we need to secure our borders, you know that I will immediately vote to end Obama's illegal amnesty and I will secure our borders by whatever means necessary to protect our country, our workforce, and those who want to come here legally. When I talk about national security, know it's personal to me.

My son, Trey, is a marine. When our service men and women put on a uniform, they know exactly what's at stake. We should never apologize for taking the fight to those who chant “death to America” or threaten our allies, and we should honor those men and women who are killed- or willing to serve to protect us from those who want to kill us.

My record is a warning to the political elite in Washington. Time and again I have taken on the power brokers, even in my own party and I have won. I will call out the corruption and fight to end the cronyism that is suffocating our freedom. In Albany, I was the first to demand the resignation of corrupt Sheldon Silver the speak- the former Speaker of the House. When it was revealed that he was using taxpayer money, our money, to cover up a sexual harassment claim against him one of our members, and I stood up to Governor Cuomo by sponsoring legislation to put a curb on his overreaching executive actions dipping into the legislative priorities. I demanded his resignation over corrupting his very own anti-corruption commission. I will do the same to stop Obama’s unlawful executive tyranny against the American people.

The more I travel the district and listen to our community, it's clear to me that you're as frustrated as I am. We've lost faith in our system, but we aren't giving up together we must fight to restore our once great Republic, so that the spirit of the American Dream flows back into our district and our nation. If you're looking for truth and someone who will tirelessly and relentlessly advocate for our republican principles, I ask for your support and I ask you to stand with me to reform Washington, to protect our sacred and dear Constitution, the most revered document in the world, and to preserve the United States of America. May God bless all of you, and may God bless the United States of America. Thank you.

Q: You have a lot of support here from people who are members of the Tea Party. Do you consider yourself to be a member of the Tea Party? A: I'm not a member of the Tea Party, but what I stand for is less government and low taxes. Tea Party means “Taxed Enough Already.” Taxation is a form of oppression, and when we oppress our individuals, we recurve their freedom we suffocate freedom and so I stand for those principles and those are the core principles of the Tea Party, which by the way, if you look up Reagan's platform or the Republican platform it's about less taxes and less government and the proper role of government.

Each branch of government and each division of government has its role. There's the federal, the state, and the local- local governments. What we're doing now is the federal government is encroaching on states’ rights, the state government is encroaching on local rights. We need to restore the proper roles of government and that will give us will enhance our freedom and give the people a voice.

Q: I send an email to Congressman Hanna's media representative… yes, no Renee- Renee um did not receive a response on whether or not Congressman Hanna intends to run again. Seems to be some speculation about whether he does or does not. Does that factor at all into your decision to run?

A: No, I've decided to run the primary whether Congressman Hannah runs or not. I don't know, we'll see, maybe some other people would join the race as well, but as far as I know he's going to continue to run.

Q: You lost to him in the primary last time around, what makes you think you'll be successful this time?

A: I think this is a different time. I think, as I stated in my speech, I think this is you know people are coming around to- this is the year the political outsider the person who stands for the people and I think that that is shown just by the presidential race. You can see that the top two people in the Republican field right now are outsiders, they’re non-politicians. The next two people at least most of them, are outsiders in the political party they're not part of the Republican establishment, so I think that that movement is growing. I think I did really well against Richard Hanna. He spent, what, 13 or 14 times more than I spent. I got into the race late, I got into the race because there was no opponent, and I feel that people should have a choice.

I think this time around- I think that I'm going to have a chance to get my message out. It's heightened in spite of the, you know multi-million dollars smear campaign of a brunch run by Richard Hannah's campaign, trying to portray me as a tax-and-spend liberal. I think people started to figure out in the end then you know the top conservative in New York is in no way a tax-and-spend liberal, and I think I proved that Richard Hanna's record was really- he's the liberal and I'm the conservative Republican, and I think that, you know Richard Hanna continues to double down on values that are in principles that- that most of us don't stand for. You know you can be pro-choice, but can you really stand for Planned Parenthood? Richard continues to accept money from them and he continues to support them.

You know the Benghazi hearings are personal to me. My son's an active duty marine. There are families all over this district in people who have served and who have family members who are serving whether its foreign service, the military, first responders, we need to know why those four people were killed in Benghazi and prevent it from happening in the future. For Richard Hanna to- to take a shot at the Republicans for- for trying to get to the truth of that matter I thought was in that mistake for him and I thought it was insulting to the- to the people who died and to their families.

Q: Can you raise enough money to be competitive?

A: I'm I think … I can raise a lot more money than I did last year. Remember I only raised about $160,000, most of it my own. I'm going to make my level best to- to try to raise as much money as we can and get some support. I've given myself four more months than I had last time, so I ran a very- very grassroots, very low budget campaign. I think I was announced in March- sometime in March, so even the signatures were already being circulated and I got in the race late, so I'm hoping with an additional four months and some time to get my name out there and to get my values known that will raise money enough to turn win this race all the way to the end.

Q: Will you be courting support from the Republican establishment locally? Are you meeting with their county chairs?

A: I'm going to meet with anyone who stands for the core principles of our party to run in this primary and who believes that we need to send a message to Washington and- and send a strong candidate who can be a strong candidate on the ticket against the probable Democratic nominee- it looks like it's going to be Hillary Clinton. If not Hillary Clinton, you have the socialist Bernie Sanders or Martin O'Malley. At this point, unless someone else emerges it and see that it looks like it's going to be Hillary Clinton.