LEWISTON, Maine — Former Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) is campaigning in Maine’s vastly rural 2nd Congressional District with an economy-focused agenda that he hopes will resonate with the area’s working-class and senior population.
Breitbart News observed as Poliquin visited Lewiston residents over the weekend and spoke with them about the effects of inflation.
“How do you pay for all this?” Poliquin asked as he stood on the side of a small road and calculated the cost of grocery, gas, heating oil and electric bills.
Poliquin had just finished with a woman named Lorraine, who told him she expected the cost of heating her home to triple this year.
“Things have to change,” he said, noting that he planned to vote for Poliquin.
Shirley, an elderly woman who lives alone, told Poliquin that her groceries were “very expensive,” adding, “It’s very difficult right now for a lot of people. … I’ve never seen it this bad.”
Sandy, a former cosmetics saleswoman, stood in her doorway as she said, “I’m retired, so, you know, the cost of everything does a number on us.”
Poliquin is hoping to unseat Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME), one of the few Democrats who represent red districts that former President Donald Trump won in 2020.
Poliquin faces the challenge of convincing voters that he should replace Golden, a former Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and who, at times, has been known to defect from his party and vote with Republicans.
Asked if Golden’s modest reputation was a concern, Poliquin replied, “He’s not modest.”
“He sells himself that way, but a moderate would not be part of spending trillions and trillions of dollars that are printed or borrowed that increase inflation,” Poliquin said. “A moderate wouldn’t do that.”
Golden votes according to President Joe Biden’s agenda 84% of the time, according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis. He votes with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), an outspoken member of his party’s far-left wing, 89 percent of the time, Pro Publica found.
If Biden and his own multitrillion-dollar spending packages are to blame for 40-year high inflation — and many economists I support is — Golden shares some of the blame based on his voting record.
Golden was the only Democrat to vote against it $1.9 trillion The $1.7 trillion American Bailout and Build Back Better Act. But the Maine Democrat still they voted in November 2021 for passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a so-called $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan that included several provisions on race and gender and other elements well outside the scope of traditional infrastructure definition.
Republicans widely criticized the bill, describing it as a “green new deal,” estimating that it allocated only $110 billion to roads and bridges and other routine infrastructure projects, and blasting pet projects for individual members of Congress buried in the lengthy bill.
The Congressional Budget Office was foreseen the infrastructure plan would add a net $256 billion to the federal deficit over a ten-year period.
Golden cast other votes that could prove redeeming among his constituents. He has broken with his own party on numerous occasions for gun control measures. He voted against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for Speaker of the House twice. He voted for only one of the two articles of impeachment against former President Donald Trump during Trump’s first round of impeachment.
The New York Times it was observed after the division of the censure vote that Golden risk it “double reaction” from each party because of this.
“It can be a lonely place for me to be in Washington,” Golden said. Times at that time. “But it’s not a lonely place for me to be here in Maine and in my region.”
House Democrats also passed two major immigration bills last year, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act and the American Dream and Promise Act, which would have granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants in the form of green cards and pathways to citizenship , respectively. The bills served to incentivize the many migrants hoping to cross the United States-Mexico border illegally.
Golden was the only Democrat to vote against the green card bill, but he voted for the citizenship bill.
“A moderate wouldn’t spend us into oblivion and cause this inflation, and a moderate wouldn’t keep our borders open, actually, for two years,” Poliquin said. “That’s a very extreme position, and it’s causing all kinds of difficulties in Maine because of these overdose deaths that we’re seeing on record here. So Jared Golden votes more than 80 percent of the time with Biden, Pelosi and AOC. He is not moderate.”
Golden also voted, according to Democrats, in favor of an extreme abortion bill, the “Women’s Health Protection Act,” which would have enshrined late-term abortion access in federal law and repealed state restrictions on abortions. The measure failed in the Senate this year, as no Republicans voted in favor and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who is often seen as a centrist like Golden, also voted against.
“You know we have a situation right now where we need leadership in the Second District,” state Rep. Josh Morris told Breitbart News. Morris is a Republican who represents Turner and went to high school with Golden.
“You need someone who understands what it takes to create jobs, who understands the issues like inflation, gas prices and what that does to businesses in the Second District, and Bruce Poliquin knows that,” said Morris. “He did it four years ago and Jared Golden, frankly, I don’t think is the leader that we need.”
Poliquin, who served two terms in office before narrowly losing to Golden as a result of ranked-choice voting in 2019, said the number one motivation behind seeking another term this year was “to keep our seniors safe ».
Maine has the largest share of elderly residents in the country, according to Census data was drafted from the PRB.
“It’s not Arizona, it’s not Florida. The longest median age in the country is Maine, and we have about a third of our seniors [who] they only have Social Security, so we have a lot of people on fixed incomes with no savings who can’t afford the cost of heating oil to stay warm. They can’t afford to put gas in their car,” Poliquin said.
Poliquin, whose 94-year-old mother lives in a nearby nursing home, said: “We have about four hundred small towns and plantations, very small communities with many elderly people on their own, and my passion is to help them because you don’t have the services that you can get when you’re in Lewiston or Portland or Bangor … and all those people won’t be able to stay warm this winter.”
Poliquin added, “So there’s no need for that. [Democrats] have caused this problem. Jared Golden is a part of that.”
Write to Ashley Oliver at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.