July 22, 2024

The former Virginia Republican congressman, now a Liberty University vice-provost, told C-SPAN “Washington Journal” viewers Sunday his three-part litmus test for anyone running for president.

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“I have a litmus test of three issues for everybody,” said David A. Brat, who, in the 2014 political cycle, stunned the Republican establishment by defeating Majority Leader Eric I. Cantor in the primary. “It’s never personal. I try not to make it personal.” 

Brat, who joined the Liberty faculty in 2019 after his loss to Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D.-Va.), said he, in the main, supports anyone who stands up for the Republican Creed on the federal level, but there are three critical issues.

“There’s nothing wrong with the Republican Creed. It’s just that the Republicans don’t keep the creed, and among the items in there is adherence to the Constitution, fiscal responsibility, virtues—right?” he said.

The vice-provost’s presidential three-part litmus test issues are federal debt, Red China, and the border. 

“I want to know your position on the $50 trillion in debt,” he said. 

I want to know your position on China, a totalitarian surveillance state, the United States’ number one trading partner, where our big tech folks in the US help to write the code that punishes their slave class morally,” he said.

“Third, of course, is the border issue, which is now, it used to be, everyone thought it was just a political hack job where you said, every state’s a border state, and every city’s a border city,” said Brat, who was an economics professor at Randolph Macon University when he won the June 10, 2014 primary. 

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The former House Freedom Caucus stalwart said nine years ago when he made reducing immigration the cornerstone of his campaign, the issue was way outside the mainstream.

“It was a bunch of right-wingers, and you get called names, et cetera,” he said. “Now everybody’s seeing exactly what I saw back in 2014,” he said. “If you don’t follow the rule of law, it’s going to turn into a disaster.”

Brat said he is surprised it is difficult to get Republican candidates to take a stand on his three issues.

“I ask every candidate, and I’m shocked, no one will put those three on paper, and so if you put those three on paper, I support you. If you won’t put them on paper, not so much,” he said.

The Detroit native said he asks Republican candidates to run on the same issues he campaigned on.  

“I ran on all those things, primarily the spending. I was an economist for 20 years, and I think the people liked it,” Brat said.

“I ran on all that. I was in the Freedom Caucus with about 40 of the folks who follow the principles, and we’re called every name in the book,” he said. 

“Before I ran, I was a liberal arts professor in the community; being a Presbyterian economist was usually considered kind of boring,” he said.

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“As soon as you go to DC and say you don’t want endless spending and endless wars or whatever, you get in all sorts of trouble,” he said. “I ran on that, and then I voted that way, and then the swamp wasn’t pleased with those positions.”

Part of the problem is the House Republican leadership, who wasted the summer so that the lower chamber did not yet approve the 12 appropriation bills. 

“It’s very frustrating for me to see this budget play out the same way it’s played out for 30 years,” Brat said. 

“The leadership always kicks the can down the road until you got two days before they don’t do the 12 budgets you’re supposed to do and have one issue, budget items, bills that are debated in public for everyone to see.”

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