to get our schools working again, my priorities are to get
people in jobs and get jobs back to this district. Dan
Lungren is not fighting for any of those things. Look at his
voting record. His voting record is to continue to support
corporate interests, continue to support Wall Street, and
not to support small businesses and individuals who live
here. He’s voted against schools multiple times — voted
against making higher education more affordable for those
kids that want to go to college. His voting record is in direct
contrast to mine. He’s not fighting for the values and the
things that we care about here locally. He’s only taking care
of Dan Lungren and you bet we are going to go toe-to-toe
Now that you have the resources and the campaigns are in
the last few months, are you going to divert a significant
amount of these resources on television, radio — those
kinds of ad campaigns?
Sure. It will be TV, it will be radio, it will be my working
as hard as I can to talk to as many voters as I can. It will be
town halls — we did a telephone town hall last week and
had called over 30,000 individuals in the district. So, it’s
inviting people who really hunger for representation into
this conversation. We have to win this election, in the sense
that if we want something different, if we want to get back
to the basic values of opportunity, if we want to… think
about our story. Think about my story. It was one where I
knew if I worked hard enough, if I tried hard enough, I’d be
OK, I’ll be able to reach my potential. That opportunity is
dried up. And, if we want to rebuild that for our kids and
grandchildren, it’s going to take a different type of leadership, and I don’t see that out of Dan Lungren.
In terms of debating him, I know that you have challenged
him several times. Does he still keep ducking a debate?
What’s their excuse for not agreeing to a debate?
I believe Dan Lungren is afraid to debate us. But we are
going to keep putting it out there. This has to be a cam-
‘We should be proud to be
paign of ideas and contrasts. We are ready to debate him
tomorrow if he wants to.
What does his campaign keep saying? Are they trying to
call the shots as to how the debate should be structured, or
are they simply not responding?
I think Dan Lungren is hiding behind his campaign manager.
Once the campaign really heats up, he is going to definitely slam you as running on President Obama’s coat-tails.
How are you going to counter these attacks and tactics,
since you’ve been unapologetic on the President’s initiatives
from health-care reform to Wall Street reform, and also
earlier, on the stimulus package and other initiatives?
I am on the record as saying the health-care bill needs a
lot of work, so it’s a start. But, we certainly have a lot more
to do with it. On Wall Street reform, is Dan Lungren going
to tell me Wall Street doesn’t need reforming? Wall Street
does need to be reformed. We’ve bailed out these banks,
but they are not lending to the small-business owners that
I am talking to. So, there’s plenty to slam Dan Lungren on,
because who is he protecting? Just think about $75,000 in
big oil contributions that he has received and the fact that
he is making excuses for British Petroleum. So, yes, we are
going toe-to-toe with him. Yes, the voters in this district are
going to have a clear choice — someone who is going to
fight for them, and fight for the middle class, or someone
who is going to fight for the status quo and corporate
America. I am tired of this and we’ve got to change this.
Barack Obama is not running in this race. Ami Bera is run-
ning in this race and we are running against Dan Lungren
and we are going to take the race to him.
British Petroleum Chief Operating
Officer Exploration and Production,
Doug Suttles, left, rides on an air boat
near oil-covered roso-cane reeds on
the Mississippi River in Plaquemines
Parish, Louisiana, August 1. Bera has
relentlessly highlighted his opponent
Dan Lungren's backing of offshore
PATRICK SEMANSKY/REU TERS