Columbus, Ohio Congresswoman, Deborah Pryce
HH: Joined now by Congresswoman Deborah Pryce of Ohio’s 15th district. She is in the House leadership, number four among the Republican majority there, and she was the target of the big Democratic push to try and take down one of the leaders. Congresswoman Pryce, welcome to the Hugh Hewitt Show.
DP: Well, thank you for having me, Hugh. I realize you’re in Ohio now yourself, huh?
HH: Yes, I am. I’m a Warren, Ohio graduate of John F. Kennedy, but I’m betting you’re a Harding graduate, if you stayed in Warren through your high school graduation.
DP: Well, actually, I went to Champion High School, which is just up 45 about a couple miles.
HH: You bet. You’re a Golden Flash. I know it very well.
DP: That’s right, that’s right.
HH: But now, you’re a graduate of Ohio State University. I want to make everyone know this the Bucks’ candidate as well, and Capital Law School. You’ve been a judge, you’ve been a prosecutor. You’ve been in Congress since ’92. The Democrats have never gotten close to you before. Why’d they decide to throw all this money at you this year? And how’s the challenge going, Congresswoman Pryce?
DP: Well, you know, Rahm Emanuel has had a target on my back. He’d like nothing better than to take down a House Republican leader. It would be a great trophy for him. And he realizes the political climate in Ohio is a little rougher for us this year, but he’s not going to do it. We are working real hard. It is a war zone. You can probably tell if you’re in Ohio, but we’re going to pull it out. We have a great campaign, and my opponent is just way too liberal, even in Ohio, to represent this district.
HH: I noticed that the Columbus Dispatch, not exactly a bastion of center-right thinking, came out and endorsed you, and that’s really saying something. That’s a man bites dog story, writing that voters in the 15th district, encompassing a good part of Central and Western Franklin, and most of Union and Madison Counties, should return Deborah Pryce to the Congress for her eighth term. Pryce is in a tough race against Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy, has a wealth of experience. Her track record in representing Central Ohio’s needs in Washington makes her the better choice. But it is a tougher environment. What are your polls showing, Congresswoman Pryce?
DP: Well, you know, we’re neck and neck. We gain a little, we lose a little. We’re polling every week. But I think that the good news is that we’re really holding our own. You know, my opponent trying to make the most of the Foley scandal, and I think that’s coming back around to bite her, but you know, she’s just a radical liberal, former president of the National Lawyers Guild.
HH: Whoa. I didn’t know that.
HH: She’s the NLG president?
HH: Oh my gosh. For the benefit of the audience who do not know, that means she is to the left of the ACLU by a long distance. Wow, that’s radical.
DP: That’s real radical. You know, she’s from…I mean, she was a Jerry Brown delegate, and came back and said that the party is way too far to the right for her. And so, she’s from the far, far left wing. She’s probably left of Nancy Pelosi, so we just can’t let this happen, for the state of Ohio, or for the country.
HH: All the districts I’ve been in, and I’ve been in Minnesota, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and I’m in Ohio today, the 72 or 96 hour campaign is geared up and running. It looks like it’s going pretty well in Northeastern Ohio as well. There’s a place for people to volunteer at your website, which I’ve linked at Hughhewitt.com. How’s your team for the get out the vote efforts?
DP: We are energized. We’re stamping about 800,000 pieces of mail, and we are going door to door every day. And the get out the vote effort will be ramped up. We’ve got people coming in, but our ont he ground effort is superior. I’m just real pleased with all the cooperation we’re getting from the RNC and the ORP. Things in Ohio aren’t as dim as the New York Times would like everybody to think.
HH: Now obviously, it’s expensive, and I’ve also linked to your website, where people can choose to help you if they’d like to do that.
HH: How much money is coming from out of the district, and out of Ohio, to attack you, Deborah Pryce?
DP: Well, this has been going on a year. The 527’s and the George Soros and the labor unions started right after the last election with robocalls, and those red hand ads, if any of your listeners know what those are. They were just disgusting, almost libelous. Well, they were libelous, but ads with every lie under the sun. And so we have had most of her campaign paid for by others besides herself. I don’t think she spent the first nickel until about six weeks ago. So we’ve had a lot to combat, but she just doesn’t fit this district, Hugh, not at all. And we’re very confident that Central Ohio voters will see that.
HH: Now Congresswoman Pryce, you’re a Capital Law School graduate, which is where the first Hugh Hewitt graduated from law school many decades ago, and he was also the presiding judge of a municipal court forever, and you did that for a long time. You’re a prosecutor. You’ve got this great reputation for ethics. Can you tell people what John Conyers as head of the Judiciary Committee would mean to this country?
DP: Oh, my Lord. I mean, John Conyers, just think all of them…they’re not progressive Democrats. These are all old time, old, stressing old, liberal Democrats. If you think of Charlie Rangel, and John Dingall, and John Conyers, they will take this nation back decades and decades. And all the advances we’ve made, there’s really a lot at risk, Hugh. We just really need to impress that upon people, and thank you for doing your part.
HH: Well now, the President has put the three T’s out there, as have a number of his surrogates: Terrorism, Taxes and Turnout. We’ve talked about turnout. People have to get their absentees back, they have to get them in early. We’ve talked a little bit about terrorism as well. I know your first debate centered a lot on the war. But what about taxes, and does that matter in Arlington, Upper Arlington, that area, and throughout Columbus?
DP: Well, my opponent’s raised taxes in every public office she’s ever held. I’ve reduced taxes every time I had an opportunity. I’ve never raised…I’ve never voted to raise a tax, and there’s a big contrast here. This is a race between two candidates, not a referendum on anything. People need to understand that the Bush tax cuts have been good for America, they’ve been good for individuals, they’ve been good for families, they’ve been good for jobs and progress. Her record is just one these voters won’t accept.
HH: Now you’ve been endorsed by the Federation of Independent Business, the Chamber of Commerce, pretty much every mainstream group. Are they importing the orange hats of the Howard Dean era that we saw in Iowa? Where are they getting their troops from, because that’s really not radical country down there.
DP: No, it’s not. We see money, we see resources, we see people on the ground that don’t belong to Central Ohio. They’re here because they’re liberals, too. My opponent is…I mean, she opposed a National Day of Prayer as county commissioner. She refused to support keeping ‘Under God’ in our Pledge of Allegiance. People that are like minded are swarming to support her, but that won’t fool my constituents, I don’t think.
HH: Well, we’ll check back as we get closer, Congresswoman Pryce. Do you get to go to the OSU-Indiana game Saturday?
DP: I hope so. Saturday. Go Bucks, go Bucks.
HH: It’s a great time to be an OSU grad. Thank you, Congresswoman. Great to chat with you.
End of interview.