Corey Stewart, the former Virginia state chairman for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, is running for office again just one month after nearly becoming the Republican nominee in Virginia’s gubernatorial race.
Now Stewart is running for the Senate against Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine.
Stewart lost the GOP gubernatorial primary in Virginia to Ed Gillespie by a little over a percentage point in June. The former Trump campaign operative ran a very Trumpian campaign in that race, earning a lot of attention for his support of Confederate monuments and strong stances against illegal immigration.
He plans on running on a similarly bellicose, anti-establishment message in his race against sitting Democratic Virginia Sen. Kaine in 2018.
“I’ve got a strong base, I’ve got 155,000 people who voted for me who will come out and vote for me in the Republican primary Senate so it’s a real opportunity to knock out Tim Kaine,” he told The Daily Caller on why he decided to run for Senate.
He added, “I’m going to run a vicious and ruthless campaign against Tim Kaine.”
Stewart considers Kaine an out-of-touch liberal who doesn’t talk about the issues Virginians care about.
“The guy is the loony left,” the Senate candidate said. “Since his run for VP [as Hillary Clinton’s running mate], he’s drifted to the extreme left and he’s driven by his blind hatred for President Trump and he’s ignoring the big issues. Namely the economy, bringing back jobs, fixing healthcare and I think that Virginians are ready for someone whose going to be focus on those things instead of things that are trying to undermine the President.”
As to the issue of possible contenders for the Republican nomination, he thinks the “establishment” will put someone up against him, and it could be former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina.
“The establishment sees me as a big threat, which I am to them. They’re going to run somebody, we’re not sure who that’s going to be. It could be Carly Fiornia or a number of other people,” Stewart told TheDC.
But he’s apparently not worried by the challenge.
“I’ve got a very big base. I now have name recognition. I’ve got the support of people like Laura Ingraham and I think it’s going to be very hard for anybody to overcome the built-in advantage I have now — even for somebody who’s as financially well off as Fiorina,” the Republican added.
Stewart says that if he was elected to the Senate, he would be aligned with the Ted Cruz wing of the upper chamber, while also remaining “fully supportive of the President’s agenda beginning with the full repeal of Obamacare and supporting his tax plan.”
In his interview with TheDC, Stewart also gave advice to his former opponent, Ed Gillespie, who is locked in a tough battle with Democratic Lt. Gov Ralph Northam in the governor’s race.
“He needs to start attacking the hell out of Ralph Northam. He needs to understand that he’s not going to win this race by playing Mr. Nice Guy and he is a nice guy but he’s gonna have to break out of that. He’s gonna have to run a race like I did against him,” he said. “The Democrats have been fighting a UFC fight and the Republicans, we’ve been playing by the Marquis de Queensbury rules. We have to start fighting and we have to start fighting harder, and that’s what Ed has to do.”
When asked about his recent inclusion in an Anti-Defamation League report on the so-called “alt lite,” Stewart dismissed the implication he was a racist and called the group “the Pro-Defamation League.”
“They’re full of crap,” he said bluntly of the ADL’s report. “Look, I’m a very conservative guy. I oppose the removal of historical monuments, I support strong enforcement of our immigration laws and because of that, the Anti-Defamation League has essentially labeled me as a racist. As far as I’m concerned, the Anti-Defamation League no longer stands for that. It stands for Pro-Defamation League because they just defamed me.”