RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Congressman Randy Forbes has served Virginia's 4th District since 2001. This year, he faces re-election opposition from Emporia physician Dr. Wynee Legrow.
Congressman Forbes joined NBC12 in our Meet the Candidates series.
RYAN: Congressman, thanks for being here.
RANDY FORBES: Thank you. Appreciate you having us.
RYAN: Speaking of your opponent, he's been concerned about the fact that you haven't agreed to meet him in a face-to-face debate. Why haven't you been able to arrange that?
RANDY FORBES: First of all, he can't even get mainstream Democrats to stand on the stage with him. If you ask him, he doesn't have any mainstream Democrats have come out and endorsed him. He's been very, very negative in this campaign. He attacked my faith. He even attacked other Democrats who won't support him because of their faith. He waited until the last minute. We've been in Washington, doing the business we think of trying to keep jobs in this area, and working very hard. He's had over a year to do whatever he wanted to in his campaign. We can't run his campaign for him. We are not going to turn down the things that we're committed to do.
RYAN: Is it a timing issue?
RANDY FORBES: I think it's more than that. I think, you know, this is a guy that is so far to the extreme that what he's done on his debate the whole time and his campaign is, you know, attack my religion, attack my faith, personal things. I think people are just tired of that. We are going to continue to take our message to the people. He can take his message to the people and we think overwhelmingly at the end, they are going to appreciate the job we've done in congress for them.
RYAN: Let's talk about your record a little bit. There's obviously a lot of angst right now about government in general.
RANDY FORBES: Sure.
RYAN: And while a lot of that is directed at Democrats, because they are in power right now, you have been a member of Congress since 2001. Do you and your fellow Republicans share some of the blame for the situation in Washington?
RANDY FORBES: I think all of the country shares some blame. One of the most important things you look at in these kinds of campaigns is not what we say about ourselves, but it is what other people say about us. If you look at the Army, the Army gave me the highest civilian award that they can give to anybody because of the work we've done for the army. The Navy gave me the highest civilian award the Navy can give for the work we've done for the Navy. Farmers have come out and supported me, endorsed me for the work we've done for farm e. If you look at the Chamber of Commerce, they've supported what we've done for the Chamber of Commerce. So when you look at all those groups coming together, one of the things they recognize, we help move the country forward, taken care of our military, help create jobs. I think they are two of the priorities we have in the 4th Congressional District.
RYAN: Everybody is talking about spending being a huge problem. Do you believe a balanced budget amendment is an appropriate by way for congress to be to go?
RANDY FORBES: I not only believe that, I am one of 17 members of congress, only 17, that have voted against every one of these bailout, stimulus bills, because we realize this debt that we're increasing, we're just passing on to our children and our grandchildren, and we don't have any way of paying it back unless we get a handle on the spending we're seeing in congress.
RYAN: When we talk about spending, are you prepared to make serious cuts, including entitlements and including defense? Those are two of the biggest areas that the federal government spend.
RANDY FORBES: Not only are we prepared, we've written legislation that would basically say, first of all, we have a balanced budget amendment, that's just common sense that we would start there, not spend more money than we take in. Second thing, Ryan, we've got to roll back some of the spending we've had. So we have a rollback of 10% a year for the next five years, which gives us a total of 40%. Then defense spending we need to put on the table, but what we need to do is not do this in a closed door session, like we're seeing happening now. But we need to make sure the American people know the facts about where we're spending, the most important thing we can do with our defense spending is make sure that we're spending our defense spending based on defense needs, not domestic wants.
RYAN: Congressman Forbes, thank you for being here.
RANDY FORBES: Great to be with you.
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