Fresh off his primary win over three Republican opponents, congressional candidate Jason Lewis is being asked questions about things he has written and said in the past. On Sunday, WCCO-TV reporter Esme Murphy grilled Lewis on several topics including his proposal for a constitutional amendment that would prevent the federal government from stopping states that want to secede from the union.
Lewis wrote about that in his 2011 book “Power Divided is Power Checked — The Argument for States Rights”
Here’s transcript and video of the exchange.
Esme Murphy: One of the things you write about in your 2011 is that what this country needs is a constitutional amendment to make it easier for states to secede from the union. Is that really what what voters in the second district think?
Jason Lewis: No I said in the book what we need is a Federal government that wouldn’t declare war on the states the way they’ve done with over regulating the states, with intervening in state law, all of those things. Now remember
EM: You did specifically call for, I just read the book. You did specifically call for a constitutional amendment…
JL: Yes I did
EM: … to allow states to secede from the union.
JL: No I said should not stop a state that wants to remove itself… but I also said, look I don’t believe any state should secede from the union. But I will say this…”
EM: But you did call for a constitutional amendment. I just read the book.
JL: Well I know, and if the state said tomorrow that they would like to dissolve the union and the first states to do that by the way were the northeastern states who talked about seceding at the beginning of our country. If they want to, should the federal government declare war on that state. Should the federal government declare war? Now I would add this, Esmae.
EM: I would say that you did call for that constitutional amendment.
JL: I know, I’m not disputing that. I’m saying that remember, we seceded from Great Britain. We seceded from Great Britain. That wasn’t a bad idea was it?
Lewis faces Democrat Angie Craig in the November general election. Craig was interviewed separately by Murphy on the same TV show (video below). Minnesota’s second congressional district has been held by Republicans for more than a decade, but President Obama did narrowly win the district.