In a wide-ranging exclusive interview with The Brody File, U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle speaks candidly and boldly about her faith, her critics, her top legislative priorities, the mainstream media, defunding the Department of Education and oh yes, defeating Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Angle spoke with me Tuesday at her home in Reno, Nevada. Below, you can find some video clips and transcriptions from the interview. (if you only see the transcript for some of the clips, don't worry. The rest of the videos will be there later in the day)
The Brody File and our TV crew spent the full day with Angle. Besides the interview at her home, we were also with her when she spoke about her faith to a Church group in Carson City, Nevada. We also went to Lake Tahoe with Angle and her husband Ted. They’ve been married 40 years. All of that video will be part of a full TV piece on Sharron Angle that is scheduled to air on The 700 Club July 30th.
The Brody File is also working on a one on one interview with Majority Leader Reid and hopefully that will be coming soon. Stay tuned.
Angle has a real shot at defeating Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this fall. Reid’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee are essentially trying to paint Angle as way out of the mainstream. Angle’s challenge is to make sure that narrative doesn’t take hold.
So what were my impressions of her after spending the day in her company? First of all, she’s not bashful talking about her faith. She clearly sees God’s hand involved in everything with her life. That may drive liberals nuts but should she be verbally beaten up in the media for having a strong faith?
Also, she is EXTREMELY down to Earth. There is no pretentiousness whatsoever. This is NOT someone who speaks like a politician. She speaks more like a mom or in her case, a grandma. (She has 10 grandchildren)
She loves to talk. She is the first one to admit that. Her stories are very interesting especially when she told me about growing up with her family at a Reno Nevada Motel owned by her father.
She definitely seems determined not to let the mainstream media and her liberal critics define her. If it means shunning the mainstream media then so be it but she refuses to play the “gotcha game”.
I also got the sense that she is very much at peace despite all the criticism coming her way. You can tell by her body language that she is comfortable in her own skin and if people can’t handle that then…oh well. She reminded me a little bit of Sarah Palin in the sense that she may not talk in polished sound bites and she may not phrase everything perfectly but that’s what makes her a “real person” if you will. She is NOT being coached in the game of “How to give the perfect sound bite”. While that may come back to haunt her at times during this campaign, she’s betting that her authenticity and plain ole “Mamma Grizzly” persona will resonate with Nevada voters.
Here are some of the clips: (remember, some of the videos will appear later on in the day)
Sharron Angle Says Running Against Harry Reid is her “calling”:
David Brody: Let me ask you a little bit about why a happily married wife, 10 grandchildren, living in a beautiful place like Reno would want to get into beltway politics and go to DC. This is an uprooting of your life if it indeed happens:
Sharron Angle: “Well certainly my husband is retired. We have that choice now to do pretty much whatever we’d like to and I think the reason is a calling. It’s interesting how when you have God in your life that he directs your path and this is a time in our nation’s history when Nevada gets to be the state that really can make a difference in a nation and it’s purely because the most powerful man in the U.S. Senate resides in, well, he resides in the penthouse suite in Washington DC in the Ritz-Carlton but his residency is here in Nevada. He’s supposed to be representing us and he’s not representing us.”
David Brody: You mentioned that this was a “calling”. I think that was the word you used. When you got into this race back in the primary take us through that spiritually. You mentioned the word “calling” and in Evangelical terms we think of a “calling” as something that God has really put on your heart to do. Did you get that sense?
Sharron Angle: “Well I did but it’s been a real preparatory thing. When God calls you he also equips you and He doesn’t just say well today you’re going to run against Harry Reid. There is a preparation. Everyone in the Bible when you read the Bible you can see that preparatory time. Moses has his preparatory time. Paul had his preparatory time. Even Jesus had his preparatory time and so my preparation began on a school board” (Angle goes on to list all of the qualifications that prepared her for this Senate run)
Sharron Angle Responds to name-calling attacks:
David Brody: There have been some nasty things said about you. The words ‘nutcase’ and ‘mental patient’ on MSNBC, the commentators saying these type of things. When you hear those words what is your reaction and then is a narrative that many folks feel is starting to form about you and how you need to combat that at this point in the campaign. I’m curious to get your response on how you deal with all that.
Sharron Angle: “If they were truly talking about issues I might be concerned but when the progressive left has nothing on you I have a solid record they know it. I have always been what I say I am. They know it. I do tell truth. I can be trusted. My detractors know it. The only weapon they have left is personal attack and that’s what that is. That’s name calling, it’s personal attack, it’s nothing to do based in fact. You see my home. I live in a middle class neighborhood in an 1,856 square foot home. I am mainstream America and mainstream America knows that. They’re actually getting very jaded to this name-calling. They see it for what it is and it angers them and so all I can say is when they resort to personal attack and name calling it means they haven’t got anything else.”
Sharron Angle on changes to her website:
David Brody: When you went “dark” a little bit after the campaign kind of went “dark” after the primary victory. You guys re-huddled, consultants were talked to. What were some of those conversations like about pivoting off of the primary because the website went down for a little bit other than donating some money but some of the stuff was scrapped or at least not put on the new website so there’s been a lot of questions about that and I want to give you a chance to address that as to why some of that stuff isn’t on there and maybe you can give us some idea of what those conversations were like.
Sharron Angle: “The main criticism that we had all during the primary is you don’t have a professional website. ‘You need to get some professionals in here and redo your website and get a professional website.’ Well we had money that we knew was coming in but we knew we had to spend it on media, television radio getting that message out and we really our website was functional and we know that people were going there. They were getting the answers that they needed so we said we’ll wait until we have a little more money then we’ll redo the website. So the first thing we did 15 minutes after the primaries we put up a splash page that said donate money because we knew we needed that money to come in for the website, for more staffing, for media, TV, radio to get the message out and we said while we’re there redesign this so we hired the Prosper group. They did Scott Brown’s race and they put up the splash page and they began to remake our website and they said ‘you know you’re pretty wordy Sharron.’ I am pretty wordy. I say that one of the benefits of electing me as a U.S. Senator is I’ll be able to lead a filibuster but they said you’re pretty wordy. What you need to do is condense this into small very precise statements about who you are and so that’s what they began doing was making those precise statements. We’re not completely there yet. We’re still working on those precise statements but everything that Harry Reid has posted on “The Real Sharron Angle” (website) and I’ll promote that website actually because that is the old website. It won the primary and I would like people to go there and look at my positions and it’s good that he’s paying for that so I’m glad.”
Sharron Angle on her main reason for giving interviews:
Sharron Angle: “People say that I went “dark”. I didn’t. I have done over 60 interviews. I quit counting a couple of weeks ago but the whole point of an interview is to use it like they say ‘earned media’ to earn something with it and I’m not going to earn anything from people who are there to badger me and use my words to batter me with. What I need is to reach out into that public who will, go to Sharron Angle.com and send that $25. You know Harry Reid says I need $25 million. Well I say I need a million people with $25 dollars and so that’s really been the focus of using all that earned media to earn that $25 that we need to go really and be competitive in this race and so that’s what we’ve been doing so we’re not hiding. We didn’t go dark. We’re just doing what everybody told us we needed to do in the primary and didn’t have enough money to do and that is make a very professional website.”
David Brody: I just want to understand. You’re saying that you’re not willing to play this mainstream media “gotcha” game basically? Is that what you’re saying?
Sharron Angle: “No. There’s no earnings for me there. We’re looking at how can we best benefit from the media. We get so many requests. I do sometimes 7 interviews a day so it’s not like we’re running from the media. It’s just that we’re earning with that media.”
David Brody: Not to harp on the point but when you’re on Fox News or talking to more conservative outlets but maybe not going on “Meet the Press” or a “This Week”, those type of news shows, then the perception and the narrative starts to be like you are avoiding those mainstream media outlets.
Sharron Angle: Well, in that audience will they let me say I need $25 dollars from a million people go to Sharron Angle.com send money? Will they let me say that? Will I get a bump on my website and you can watch whenever I go on to a show like that we get an immediate bump. You can see the little spinners. People say ‘Oh, I heard that. I am going and I’m going to help Sharron out because they realize this is a national effort and that I need people from all around the nation. They may not be able to vote for me but they can certainly help.”
Sharron Angle on the need to “defund” the Department of Education:
David Brody: The Department of Education I just want to clarify. There’s been this talk of eliminating the Department of Education. That was on the previous website. Those words are not on the newer version of the website so what is the stance here on the Department of Education? Totally eliminating the Department of Education?
Sharron Angle: “Well, Ronald Reagan wanted to do that and it has been in the mind of some Presidents since Ronald Reagan and the reason is because we know that education is best served closest to the local level as we can get. We need those stakeholders, parents and teachers looking after our children. Bureaucracies, especially in Washington DC sending down one size fits all policies that fits no one like No Child Left Behind and sending us underfunded or unfunded mandates in education doesn’t get the money to the classroom and that’s what I’ve been saying. This is a Tenth Amendment situation. It should be in the states decided at as close to the local level as possible so that yes that means that the Department of Education is one of those departments and agencies that can be defunded and cut and as a conservative they always ask you that ‘you’re saying cut the spending well where would you cut the spending’ well here’s one place.”
David Brody: And there are critics that say if you do that that the Pell Grants and some of these other federal loans people that are relying on that money students and others that that would be a real issue or are you saying though that that would then more state controlled rather than federally?
Sharron Angle: “Yes. Yes if we were allowed to keep that money in the state for our education needs we would then be able to administer those kind of programs from the state level.”
Sharron Angle: “Harry Reid is the Government”
David Brody: Just explain the disconnect a little bit that some people may have when you had said that it’s not a Senator’s job to actually create jobs and I know you were talking about that it needs to be the climate that they create but I want you to explain that a little bit because you’re talking about Harry Reid basically not being able to bring the jobs to Nevada but yet it’s not a Senator’s job to create jobs? So explain the disconnect that some people may not understand here.
Sharron Angle: “Well, Harry Reid is playing let’s make a deal with some of his friends who have given him campaign contributions and so now he’s making deals with banks to put them in a situation where they can provide jobs. That’s what he wants to do is provide those jobs. He wants to bring in Census jobs, temporary jobs. Remember, Harry Reid is the government and Ronald Reagan said the government is not the solution. The government is the problem and we know in economics that government doesn’t create jobs. Government however does create a climate for job creation and that’s what the Senator’s job is is to create that climate so that businesses will feel a comfort, a confidence with their government that there not going to be taxed and regulated out of business.”
Sharron Angle explains her top legislative priorities:
David Brody: What would be the first thing you would want to do when you got to Washington legislatively. Is there a priority order here exactly?
Sharron Angle: “Repeal Obama Care is number one. There are several things that need to be done. We need a true audit of the Fed. The audit that came out of Congress was much different than the one that’s being proposed now by the Senate in the finance bill, neither finance nor reform it’s difficult for me to call it that. The idea that we need to liquidate Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. It’s cronyism at the top and certainly ACORN has extorted the banks at the bottom and so it’s corruption all the way through. We need to do that. We also need to look at our IRS code. Pages and pages, thousands of pages of reward your friends and punish your enemies. What we need is something fairer, flatter and simpler and I would like to be on the cutting edge of that kind of economic change of direction."
Sharron Angle on how she turned her life over to Jesus Christ: (a portion of her testimony is below)
Sharron Angle: “I had met a woman who was the pastor’s wife at a Methodist Church and we began to talk about the things of God and I said you know, I really need a relationship with God and I think I could do that if I were baptized so they took me down to the Malheur River and I was immersed in the Malheur River and when I came up I was wet but the Methodists were having a Holy Ghost revival on the shore and I thought what happened here? They know God but I don’t and I began seriously searching the scriptures and I found a point that I had missed and that was that I’m a person that goes always to the head person. I don’t like to go to the secretaries or gatekeepers. I like to go to the main man and I thought of Jesus as some secondary person and I got to (the Book of) John and He said, ‘How long have I been with you and you say to Me show us the Father. I say to you if you’ve seen Me you’ve seen the Father.’ I and the Father are one.’ And I know then that Jesus was God and that’s when my personal relationship began with Jesus Christ was at that point when I recognized that Jesus was my God, my savior and I needed Him. I needed relationship with him. I needed him.”
Sharron Angle takes comfort knowing that God is in control of her future:
David Brody: You’ve got a lot of trials coming your way before November because there are people out to get you but you’ll take God in the front of it and just let the rest be history?
Sharron Angle: “Well, and certainly God knew all of this in advance. He is the Creator of the World from beginning to end and he set me in a point in time knowing He said I created you and that I have a plan and a purpose for your life and it’s to do good and so if you trust Him you know he saw the beginning from the end. He knows what’s coming up. I don’t know what’s coming up tomorrow but I do know that He is there. He saw it and that He has provided a way of escape and a way for me to endure. In First Corinthians He tells us that and so I just rest on His promises that even though they mean it for evil He means it for good. And so anything, any personal attack that they make on me, any name-calling that they do remember Nehemiah when he was building the wall and he says ‘I really don’t have time to go down to the valley of Oh-No’ and so I don’t have time to go down to the valley of Oh-No, see what they’re saying about me now, see how they are twisting my words. Truly, we are set on a course. We know what the focus of this is and that is to defeat Harry Reid and that is to stay on message. The message is there are three important issues: the economy, the economy, the economy. When we get that right, there will be prosperity but through this we know that God cares for his children. He said He would not let any of us go begging so even in a downturn of the economy we can rest assured that God sees this and knows our need.”