2010 Candidate Interview: Jim Rutledge (R-MD)

Jim Rutledge is one of the Republican candidates for US Senate in Maryland. If he wins in the primary, he’ll face off against intrenched incumbent Barbara Mikulski, who has been in the US Senate since 1987. Rutledge is a lawyer who grew up from humble roots on a beef cattle farm in Harford County. He’s got a variety of experience in the field of law and can spout off parts of the Constitution at will. On his website, you will find an incredibly details platform that he personally drafted. On June 17, I met Rutledge at the Maryland Society of Patriots meeting in Dundalk. Rutledge fired up the crowd with his conservative discussions of the issues. After the event, I got a chance to talk with him and ask him a few questions. What follows is a transcript of that interview.

Matthew Newman: What are your thoughts on the Club for Growth’s “Repeal It” movement in regards to Obamacare and what type of free market reforms do you feel we should be doing in replace of that for healthcare in this country?
Jim Rutledge: I believe definitely that the bill should be repealed. I believe it is unconstitutional and that it is a manipulation of markets by government control. The government has proven time and time again when it interferes and manipulates in free market decisions a lot of unintended consequences happen and many of them result in very bad things.

But my free market oriented solutions with regard to health affordability and access to health care insurance that’s my emphasis because I believe as far as health care quality that we have the highest health care quality in the world that’s why members of Canada’s Parliament when they get cancer they come to America first thing. Why? We have an excellent quality of care. As far as affordability I can relate to that because as a small business owner myself I’ve watched my small business premiums skyrocket over the last ten years. I’ve taken the ride. I really do personally see and feel the pain and can appreciated it.

What we need is more competition by private insurance companies and to do that I believe we need to tear down the barriers between the states and allow insurance companies to be able to compete for consumers across state lines. If we compete across state lines we’ll have a larger risk pool that will be able to contain more insurance companies. I do believe we need to get away from the concept that the insurance policy is always really tied to a particular job and employer. I believe that just like an independent life insurance policy and other types of insurance, automobile insurance, etcetera, we ought to be able to take that with us when we leave a job. So portability and tie the policy to the insured, let the insured make choices in the marketplace on the amount of coverage they want to buy and the risk they want to take and have a larger pool of insurers to choose from. All that’s going to help insurance price. Portability is very important because if I can take my policy with me and then I get sick, I never have a problem with pre-existing conditions because I already have a policy. So, it solves so many problems.

I want to see us use free market, innovative solutions that are not government takeover oriented. That’s going to get us more access to health at a more affordable insurance rate. It’s going to also keep people in a position where if I see a better job opportunity that’s better for me and my family I’ll be able to take it; I won’t feel chained to my job because I’m afraid I’m going to lose my benefits. That hurts the economy.

MRN: What qualifications would you look for, for a potential Supreme Court nominee?
JR: I would like to see a Supreme Court nominee that has demonstrated in their life a real, rubber meets the road type of legal experience. I would like to see them having actually represented individuals as well businesses, somebody who’s had both sides of the coin so to speak. So, I wouldn’t want to just see a prosecutor necessarily unless they’ve also had some experience with some other type of law. We need someone with a breadth of legal experience, but I want someone who’s going to take seriously the oath to uphold and defend the United States Constitution. So, I do want to see a judge who is not going to be interested in amending the Constitution with judicial opinions at all. That I do not want to see in judges that adopt the real liberal view that it’s such a living, breathing document that really the words change, the meaning changes over time. The voters have to choose when to amend the Constitution.

MRN: What are your thoughts on the recent immigration legislation that just passed in Arizona and the controversy surrounding that?
JR: I have read the Arizona bill (sic) and I’ve actually had experience in search and seizure cases throughout my career. The bill is completely Constitutional. It’s necessary, it’s a wise bill, I support it, I think we ought to have similar legislation in Maryland. Absolutely, and it really comes down to illegal aliens and the illegal invasion of different parts of America. It devalues citizenship, to me I value citizenship and I respect the citizenship rights of all Americans no matter what the race, no matter what their background, no matter what their ethnicity – this has nothing to do with that. This is talking about we are a country of laws, the rule of law needs to be enforced. We have a serious problem where the folks in Arizona are under a lot of threat and it’s real, and it’s tangible and it’s a shame that they have to step up to do the job the federal government is unwilling to do. But, that’s where we are. I support the bill.

MRN: A lot of times not a lot of candidates like to talk about social issues. On your website, you discuss anything and everything. What’s your stance on abortion?
JR: I’m pro-life. I’m pro-life across the board and I’m not ashamed of that. I believe that it’s just a fundamental part of the rights of the unborn child.

MRN: As a followup, what’s your thoughts on embryonic stem cell research?
JR: Now don’t I feel that embryonic stem cell research is particularly productive or necessary; that harvesting stem cells from the umbilical cord and being able to take advantage of that when a mother gives birth and be able to take advantage of that opportunity. (sic) It has proven to be very, very effective. The science on umbilical cord based stem cells has been outstanding. There’s also been a whole host of stem cell type of research and production that has worked very well that is advancing that is not has nothing to do with the concept of harvesting stem cells from human embryos that I think just lead us down a pathway of potentially disregarding the embryos as being human life, that it almost somehow becomes like a mechanical machine kind of view of life and I think that has us more towards a culture of death than a culture of life. I’m a big supporter of innovation in scientific research and I think that our creators and innovators for new research need to be rewarded under their patents, under their ability to make a profit, etcetera and be rewarded for the research breakthroughs they have.

Rutledge is a solid, conservative candidate for US Senate. Rutledge has been traversing the State meeting with Republicans and was recently endorsed by the Reagan Republican Club in Baltimore County. Like what you saw here? Check out his official website, find an event near you, and consider heading over to RightKlik to vote for him for Rutledge in the Ten Buck Fridays poll. This is the second week Rutledge has been nominated. He came in third last week and a win this week could be huge, especially against so many higher profile Republicans.

Cross-posted to Old Line Elephant