Gen Z Candidate Karoline Leavitt: Future of GOP Is America First
Karoline Leavitt, a frontrunner in New Hampshire’s Republican primary in the First Congressional District, said the Republican Party’s future is “America First.”
The former Trump White House assistant press secretary is one of the youngest candidates at 25 running for office this year. Her hotly contested primary is Tuesday.
“I think it’s a great thing that young people on both sides of the aisle are stepping up to run for office because the old, tired and stale, and corrupt ways of Washington, D.C. got to go,” Leavitt told “Todd Starnes Show” guest host Mary Walter.
“I mean, there have been people in D.C. that have been down there clinging to power, mooching off the taxpayers, twice as long as I have been alive,” she said. “And frankly, that’s one of the reasons I decided to step up and run for Congress, especially as a young conservative where our party, our America First movement, is lacking young, energetic conservative voices who are going to stand up for conservative values, love of God, love of family, love of freedom, love of country that we’re desperately lacking in our culture, our society.”
Leavitt pointed to Rep. Liz Cheney being ousted from the party as the big change in the GOP under Trump.
“I believe the party, the future of the Republican Party is unequivocally being America First,” Leavitt said. “I’m proud to be the only America First candidate in this race in New Hampshire. And I believe that’s why we’ve earned significant support from the people here.”
Rep. Chris Pappas, a two-term Democrat, currently holds the congressional seat but it is expected to be flipped Republican in November.
LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH KAROLINE LEAVITT BELOW:
MARY WALTER: Karoline Leavitt, she is from New Hampshire and she is running for the U.S. House. Karoline, thank you for joining me.
LEAVITT: Thank you so much for having me, Mary. I really appreciate it.
MARY WALTER: Now, I had to tell you so I saw that endorsement and I knew we were having you on the show. So I did a little research into you. I hope you don’t mind, a little stalking, you know, but you’re very interesting. And I was reading about you and about what you did. You’re going to be 25 if you defeat Chris Pappas, who is a two-term incumbent. Very, very young. And one of the things I have noticed lately is we’re seeing a lot of young faces come out on both the Democrat and the Republican sides. And maybe I’m only seeing, I’m noticing more on the Republican side because that’s what I’m following a little bit closer. Why is that?
LEAVITT: Well, thank you so much. And frankly, I think it’s a great thing that young people on both sides of the aisle are stepping up to run for office because the old, tired and stale, and corrupt ways of Washington, D.C. got to go. I mean, there have been people in D.C. that have been down there clinging to power, mooching off the taxpayers, twice as long as I have been alive. And frankly, that’s one of the reasons I decided to step up and run for Congress, especially as a young conservative where our party, our America First movement, is lacking young, energetic conservative voices who are going to stand up for conservative values, love of God, love of family, love of freedom, love of country that we’re desperately lacking in our culture, our society. A huge part of my campaign has been talking about the culture war that is really brainwashing and indoctrinating my generation of Americans. And I feel very strongly about the need to stand up and fight back against it.
MARY WALTER: I’m so fascinated because this to me is such an incredible topic that a lot of people aren’t really looking at right now. And I think it is so important because you talk about the culture war and to be conservative the way you are, I’m going to go into a little bit about, you know, your path so far, which is amazing for someone who is as young as you are. Why do you think you were able to buck that indoctrination? And I will tell you, this is kind of a two-part question, I guess. Why were you able to bucket and is the pendulum swinging the other way as we go on in the time that, you know, the cool thing now is to be anti-establishment?
LEAVITT: Yeah, well, I’ll tell you, I was raised in a small business family here in the district. I’m running in New Hampshire’s first. This is my home state. I was educated here. I went to college here and really had the blessing of a lifetime working for President Trump in his White House. I was one of three assistant press secretaries that served alongside Kayleigh McEnany. So I had a very close front-hand seat to the corruption and the establishment and the swamp in Washington, D.C., And I felt very compelled after the 2020 election to continue that fight that President Trump began. And so I’ve been pounding the pavement, meeting with voters and people across my home state over the last year, putting together a winning campaign. The polls open in about a little bit more than 12 hours from now. And we’re in a real position to win this race because people don’t want career politicians. They’re done with the puppets of the swamp. And I’m running against one of them. In fact, the establishment in DC has spent $6 million against me over the last couple of weeks to slow down our momentum with the people to ensure their hand-pick in the race is elected tomorrow. However, it’s not going to work. The people are wiser than the establishment thinks they are. And I’m very proud of the America-first campaign we’ve put together over the last year.
MARY WALTER: Now, your opponent, the primary opponent, there are several running, but you’re speaking about Mowers. Right. Who is running against you? And he is the one. He is also a former Trump aide. But from what I understand, the national GOP has spent about $4 million in ads for him, correct?
LEAVITT: That’s correct. And let me just clarify, Matt Mowers was the former chief of staff to Dr. Deborah Birx, who was in cahoots with Dr. Fauci to manipulate COVID 19 data, lie to President Trump, and force millions of Americans into lockdown, shut down our businesses and close our schools. So while he was filling for Dr. Burke and Fauci, I was working alongside Kayleigh McEnany to get honest information to the American people and fight back against the corrupt, fake-news media that was slandering our president. And all of those of us who believe in him every day in the establishment knows that not in ours will be an easy rubber stamp for them. They know he can be controlled. He’ll vote whichever way the party tells him to. And they fear that I won’t because I’ve been an unapologetic America first voice over the past year, taking positions that Republican leadership may not have agreed with. And I’m proud to be supported by Freedom Caucus fighters such as Jim Jordan, Senator Ted Cruz, Lauren Boebert and Byron Donalds will be in New Hampshire tonight campaigning with me. So voters in New Hampshire are listening. Well, look, you have a clear contrast in this race. You want the homegrown freedom fighter or the puppet for the D.C. swamp. That’s what this race has come down to. And I believe we’re going to win tomorrow.
MARY WALTER: When you say America-First Agenda, what does that mean for you?
LEAVITT: It means putting our people first. It means unleashing the might of our American economy, bringing jobs back home, slashing regulation, reducing red tape, lowering taxes, and putting more money in the wallets of hard-working folks like my family and so many families across New Hampshire. It means shutting down our southern border and not allowing illegals to invade. There have been more than 4 million illegal aliens flowing into our country freely over the last year and a half. That’s more than there are law-abiding citizens in my great state of New Hampshire. That’s a complete dereliction of duty, and that’s putting America last. It means unleashing the might of our domestic energy production and ensuring that we are utilizing the resources here at home, not begging the Saudis or the Russians to produce more oil for us, but allowing our hardworking oil workers and coal miners in West Virginia and across our country to produce oil for the American people. It means putting our country, our people, our economy, our military first. And we’ve really seen the opposite of that with this administration. Joe Biden and the Democrats, enabled by my Democrat opponent who we will beat in November, put America last. And it’s not only hurting Americans here at home, but it’s also hurting our standing abroad. Our adversaries around the globe are laughing at us and taking advantage of us. We must put America first again. And this election is so critical in doing that.
MARY WALTER: No, absolutely. Now, you say you have several Congressmen and women. Very impressive, obviously very America-first candidates who are coming to you to help you and to campaign for you. Whereas your opponent has the establishment GOP who are pumping money into ads for him. Does this really illustrate what is starting to look like a pretty big divide in the Republican Party?
LEAVITT: I believe the party, the future of the Republican Party is unequivocally being America First. I was the spokeswoman for Congresswoman Elise Stefanik actually following the 2020 election, and I was there when we ousted Liz Cheney from the House leadership position and got at least a job because Liz Cheney was betraying Republican voters across this country and she was siding with the Democrats. She was propagating the sham January six committee hearings as if somehow the American people care about that. When we’re facing record high inflation, a wide-open southern border, bureaucrats are labeling parents as domestic terrorists for showing up to school board meetings, and you have weak Republicans like Liz Cheney talking about January 6th. So these are the type of leaders that no longer exist in our party. And the future of the GOP is America First. And I’m proud to be the only America First candidate in this race in New Hampshire. And I believe that’s why we’ve earned significant support from the people here.
MARY WALTER: I guess, the blind eye that I think is kind of part of what the Republican Party is. And I think it has to do with a lot of the things that you’ve talked about, the age, you know, and that’s both Democrats and Republicans that the establishment is just pretty old and they’ve been there forever. Would you vote for term limits that would be imposed on yourself, even if you should, if you should happen, to make it to Washington?
LEAVITT: Absolutely. In fact, I find the United States term limits pledge on day-one of my campaign because I feel so strongly about the need to shake up Washington, D.C., and ensure that we’re electing representatives who are truly for the people and working by the people as our founding fathers originally intended. Washington, D.C., is swampy, not just because it’s hot in the summer months. It’s a swamp because people stay down there for so long that they’re bought and paid for by the lobbyists on K Street and the special interest groups. And they’re not truly thinking about their constituents. You know, for example, my establishment handshake opponent, Matt Mowers refuses to respond to the question of whether or not he would have voted to send 54 billion more dollars over to Ukraine. He couldn’t answer that question because the corrupt establishment in D.C. wanted that bill to pass. However, I came out and unequivocally said I would not have voted for that funding if I was elected to be the congresswoman for New Hampshire’s first district. It’s my goal to put the people first and a record-high inflation crisis. I think it’s a dereliction of duty to steal $54 billion from the people, send it to a country far away to secure their border, while our own border is completely insecure and there’s an invasion in our country.
MARY WALTER: How do we get more young people involved in politics and more young people who are involved in a way of, you know, not just looting a city because they didn’t get their way, but to work in a useful way the way you are doing at such a young age.
LEAVITT: Well, my campaign not only you know, we don’t just talk the talk on that. We actually walk the walk. We’ve been putting in the work making a steadfast commitment to reaching out to younger voters here in New Hampshire. We’ve done it in a few ways. First, in-person events. There’s no more effective means to pulling someone onto your team than looking them in the eyes and talking about the issues. And I’m the only candidate in this state who has gone to every single college campus in the district not once, but twice. We’ve hosted a college campus tour, much to the dismay of the very liberal administrations at these schools. But we talk to the students directly. We’ve also been targeting them on social media. I run all of my social media accounts myself and speak directly to my followers, many of whom are younger voters. And that’s how we’re going to break through the mold. You know, the reality is Generation Z and millennial Americans consume their news and read up on the day’s, you know, the daily events on social media. So if we have folks that can speak to them directly and can really resonate, it’s been a very effective tool. You know, I’m proud of the army of volunteers that we’ve put together on this campaign, many of whom are college students, and high school students who are very enthused about the fact that a younger person is running. They’ve been knocking on hundreds of doors for me every single day throughout this entire summer. And they’re the reason that we’re going to win tomorrow.
MARY WALTER: Well, I wish you the best of luck tomorrow. Karoline Leavitt, I get the funny feeling that even if you do not prevail tomorrow, we’re not done hearing from you. I get the feeling that I’m probably going to be interviewing you again somewhere down the road because you are quite impressive and very young. And boy, do you have, you’ve got what it takes to run. I think a lot of people have good ideas, but they don’t have what it takes to run. So best of luck to you. And thank you so much for your time today on the Todd Starnes Show.
LEAVITT: Well, thank you, Mary. And anyone listening in the First District, I humbly ask for your vote tomorrow and we will prevail and will beat our far-left Democrat and we’ll put America first again in Congress. Thank you so much.
MARY WALTER: Absolutely. Best of luck.