This week on The Palin Update with Kevin Scholla: He was born in Jordan to Christian parents and now this proud American is trying to upset the GOP establishment. New Jersey U.S. Senate hopeful Bader Qarmout is Kevin’s guest! Qarmout offers his unique perspective on terrorism, Israel, and energy, plus he talks about his admiration for Governor Palin. Also, fresh off helping propel Ted Cruz to a runoff election in Texas, Sarah Palin drums up support for Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch in their Wisconsin recall battle.
“This Great Country a Beacon for my Family…”
Qarmout is a professor and businessman and an American Grizzlies United supported candidate, however, Gov. Palin has not endorsed him as of this writing.
“This great country was a beacon for my family. Halfway around the world, they looked toward America for the opportunity and the prosperity this great nation offers hard work. They came to this great country to offer it to their children and it was my hope to be able to offer it to my children, and that’s why I’m compelled to run, because I feel it’s under attack,” he said.
Insight on International Affairs
“You being of Arab descent, does that give you some special insight into international affairs, some of the things we’re dealing with overseas, whether it is oil or terrorism,” Scholla asked.
“Absolutely, I believe I have a decent understanding of the Arab mindset, I have a clear understanding of the history of the Middle East, and also a relationship between the United States and Israel is extremely vital. Coming from someone who is familiar with that region, I truly believe that Israel has the right to exist in peace and prosperity and Israel should have an equal right to defense and security and it should not have to ask anyone for permission to defend itself,” Qarmout said.
“That’s exactly what I was going to get to next. You are pro-Israel. Talk a little bit more about why, and what has the response been from other New Jerseyans from the Middle East,” Scholla asked.
“I’m not just pro-Israel. I think the most important thing to realize is that Israel is the only stable democracy in that region. I’m really pro-stability and the Arab nations around Israel have not demonstrated that yet. As far as Iran, its goal is to push the Jews into the sea. That is really unacceptable. As a strong ally of the United States and a source of information for us, we have to stand very closely to Israel, and I feel this administration with Senator Bob Menendez going along with it is nothing but a disgrace in the handling of our strongest ally,” Qarmout said.
Freedom of Religion a Two-Way Street
“Now, your family is Christian. What was that like for your father and all of you in Jordan and even now in the U.S., I bet people assume you’re Muslim,” Scholla asked.
“Yeah, Christan Arabs are a small group. We’re a minority even among our own, we’re still a minority in the Arab world, but nonetheless even in this great nation of ours, this Judeo-Christian country, we do appreciate the opportunities of the First Amendment to worship Christianity here, which is not available in many Arab countries. But, the right for Muslims to worship in the United States is available to them as well and I just wish they would see that vantage of that and offer that privilege to others in the Arab world,” Qarmout said.
“You say you want to give your children the same country your parents gave you. Is that something that is slipping away under Barack Obama,” Scholla asked.
“Absolutely, and that’s what really compelled me off the couch to enter this race. You know, I come from the world of business. I spent over 20 years in my own business in a restaurant, food business, real estate, so I know what the business environment needs to be to create jobs. And this administration: I think what it is lacking is the understanding of how to do that. Business is not seeing any signs of confidence coming out of Washington, therefore, they’re being hesitant. I have a six-point plan on job creation, but this administration is absolutely doing the opposite of every one of those points,” Qarmout said.
The Value of Hard Work
“And you said the country that your parents gave you…your folks had to work pretty hard didn’t they,” Scholla asked.
“They certainly did. I mean as a little boy, I remember, we lived in the back of a factory where my father used to work – in the motor home that we kept parked in back of that factory so there is nothing that we have had handed to us. You know, entitlements, for people who truly deserve them, that’s fine, but my family chose to work as hard as possible to achieve the American dream, and thankfully I’m glad they did, because that’s something I want to bestow and teach my children: to earn, to earn everything humanly possible in this great country,” Qarmout said.
Repeal ObamaCare, Lower Corp. Tax Rate to 15%, Institute Flat Tax
“What are the things in New Jersey in particular that you’d like to tackle if elected. What are people complaining about when you talk to them on the campaign trail,” Scholla asked.
“Well, I am running for federal office, but I do believe the unconstitutional Menendez-ObamaCare is a huge problem here in New Jersey along with the federal and other states, so I would love to see – and people have been reinforcing this – to see repeal of the unconstitutional Menendez-ObamaCare, and replace it with the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines. Because, I come from the world of business and I know the best way to lower the price of any product is competition, and that’s what we need in health insurance. And taxes is another problem that people complain about.
You know our taxes are just unbelievably high, not only in New Jersey, but nationwide and corporate tax is high. That’s driving businesses out of business. So, I support lowering the corporate tax rate. Right now, we’re highest in the world with 35% (Sub-Chapter C Corporations). I would love to see it drop to 15%. I’d love to see American companies bring back their foreign profits from overseas and repatriate that profit. And also, even out the playing field by having some sort of a flat tax so everybody has some skin in the game. Right now we have 51% of the people who don’t pay tax at all….
There are so many things that we can be doing that we are not doing, but one thing that we are doing that we shouldn’t be doing: we’re surrendering our rights to the United Nations. We’re allowing the United Nations though various programs like Agenda 21 and over-regulation with the EPA – they’re impeding on our Constitutional rights. That should never be allowed, but unfortunately, it’s being allowed as we speak,” Qarmout said.
Time to Focus on New Jersey
“You know, New Jersey is such an interesting state, because even though it’s the third smallest in size – you can drive the whole thing in three hours – you have everything in New Jersey from the cities to the urban areas to beaches to farms, and I always thought if we could get a conservative on the federal level like a Senate spot from New Jersey you can really do a lot for this entire country because they’ve seen it all in their state. Problem is, they keep electing – well – non-conservatives,” Scholla said.
“Well, it’s really been a while since we’ve had a Republican – forget about conservative – a Republican in – the United States Senate. I would love to be able to represent the good people of New Jersey in Washington. The advantage I believe we would have is the fact that as you pointed out, we have that diversity here in New Jersey. I mean look at the Democrats for the last 40 years have been Senators in New Jersey and look at the mess we’re in.
I believe we’re ready for a change. New Jersey is ready for change, and the people of New Jersey deserve better. We deserve better than what we have representing us in Washington. Right now, Republicans are saying there’s taxation without representation, because the things that we stand for are not being represented. They are not being discussed in Washington. It wasn’t until less than a year ago that Bob Menendez himself said ‘it’s time to come back to New Jersey and focus on New Jersey.’ No, sir that was time six years ago when we sent you to Washington. For five years, he was AWOL helping Boxer and others get re-elected rather than focusing on the interests of New Jersey. It is time to focus on New Jersey,” Qarmout said.
“You’ve highlighted very well the liberal record of the incumbent, but first things first, you’re going up against the big, bad moderate GOP machine. How do you approach that in the primary? Grassroots all the way, I assume,” Scholla said.
You Can’t Lift People Up When You’re Putting Them Down
“Absolutely, grassroots. My opponent – my Republican opponent who I’ll be going up against on June 5th – the candidate is an establishment candidate. He’s been in New Jersey politics for 23 years. He’s a career establishment candidate. I am not. I am a citizen representative. As a 20-year politician in New Jersey, my opponent has been a part of New Jersey’s problem. He cannot possibly be the same person to be part of Washington’s solutions. Are you familiar with Americans for Prosperity,” Qarmout asked.
“Yes, sir,” Scholla replied.
“They have a scorecard – a taxpayers scorecard on my opponent – and they gave him a D for 2012. That does not sound like a conservative,” Qarmout said.
“Have you gotten a good response from the people. How has it been getting to know your fellow New Jerseyans,” Scholla asked.
“Absolutely. I’ve been all over the state. When you say it takes about three hours to drive the state, I know. Believe me, I’ve measured every inch of it practically. I need a new set of tires and I need a pair of shoes, but the beauty of it is I got to meet so many wonderful people and with that I have absolutely no regret. What I have learned in the past several months that I have been traveling this great state all they way from Cape May to the high points of New Jersey – is that people are frustrated, but yet are still hopeful. They have not given up, rolled over and played dead yet. They’re responding very well to our positive message. When I talk through my six points of job creation, they understand, they agree, they respond very positively. When I talk about an uplifting message rather than President Obama and Bob Mendendez putting American down – you see you can’t lift people up if you’re constantly putting them down, and I believe that’s a mistake they keep making. My message is positive – positive all the way. We are the greatest nation on earth….we have to go back to what made us great. Go back to those principles rather than move away from them,” Qarmout said.
Sarah Palin Inspires, Leads by Example
“This is exactly the kind of candidacy I think Sarah Palin would encourage. You’re not the normal cookie-cutter candidate and Palin talks constantly about that – all Americans doing their part – and because of that you’re featured on the American Grizzlies United Candidate List. AGU, of course is a pro-Palin group, and hopefully that will give you more exposure, not only in New Jersey, but everywhere,” Scholla said.
“Yeah, I’m abundantly inspired by and grateful to Sarah Palin. The Governor has done a wonderful job not only representing the good people of Alaska, and bringing revenue to Alaska through the oil industry when other governors have been asleep at the wheel, so she led through example. And because of that, people such as myself have been inspired.
2012: The Year of the Citizen
You know I’m a businessman and an educator. I am not a career politician. So, I see an opportunity for Americans to rise. That’s why I highly recommend term limits and will work very diligently toward them. I believe we need regular Americans who understand the impact of business and everyday life to represent us in Washington. Twelve years: two terms in the Senate; six terms in the House. After 12 years, ‘thank you very much, now go back to do your own business.’ We need term limits. We need fresh blood, fresh ideas, because we simply cannot continue to send the same people to Washington and expect different results….I believe 2012 is the Year of the Citizen, not the Year of the Career Politician,” Qarmout said.
Qarmout’s website is: www.bq2012.com