While focusing on adherence to the U.S. Constitution, former U.S. Rep. Virgil Goode said that balancing the budget and cracking down on illegal immigration will be the top priorities of his administration if he succeeds in his long-shot quest for the White House.
In an exclusive interview with Uncovered Politics shortly after delivering his acceptance speech in Nashville earlier today, the 65-year-old Goode criticized both major parties for failing to adequately address the ever-increasing federal budget deficit and neglecting to seal the nation’s borders.
“Balancing the budget will be one of my top priorities,” said Goode, who represented Virginia’s fifth congressional district for twelve years before losing his seat four years ago by a scant 727 votes to Democrat Tom Perriello. The former congressman was highly critical of the $1.3 trillion dollar deficit in President Obama’s 2012 budget, but also criticized House Republicans for offering a budget containing a $600 billion deficit. Neither party, he contends, has been serious about curbing runaway federal spending.
In addition to a balanced budget, controlling immigration — both legal and illegal — is the key to any real economic recovery, says Goode, who won a special election for a State Senate seat as an independent when he was 27. Goode, who boasts more legislative experience than any other candidate for the presidency, served in the Virginia Senate for 24 years before winning a seat in Congress as a Democrat in 1996.
“We need to be saving jobs for American citizens first,” he said in his characteristic Old Virginia drawl, adding that he has proposed a moratorium on green card admissions, which numbered approximately 1.2 million last year. “We also need to stop illegal immigration,” he continued. “We need to stop illegals at the border.”
The former congressman said that he would require the parents of school-age children to provide copies of birth certificates, naturalization papers or a valid visa before enrolling their children in public schools.
Unlike U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the Constitution Party candidate said that his chief law enforcement officer would be helping states like Alabama and Arizona control illegal immigration, instead of fighting them tooth and nail.
“The Democrats want massive Third World immigration,” said Goode, “because once they become citizens, they’re more likely to vote Democratic.” The Republicans aren’t much better, he added. “The Republicans like immigration because it keeps labor costs down. Mitt Romney and I disagree on immigration. Romney says he loves immigration,” said the amiable former six-term congressman.
The low-key ex-Rocky Mount lawmaker, who belonged to Rep. Ron Paul’s study group as a member of the U.S. House — “never missing a meeting,” he said proudly — hopes to appeal to the Texas congressman’s supporters once the Republican national convention in Tampa Bay concludes later this summer. “I hope some of Ron Paul’s supporters come to us,” he said.
Goode, who vigorously opposed the Wall Street bailout in 2008 — “it helped Goldman Sachs at taxpayer expense,” he sighed wistfully — hopes to appear on the ballot in as many as forty states this fall. According to ballot access expert Richard Winger, the Constitution Party’s national ticket appeared on the ballot in thirty-eight states in 2008 when little-known pastor Chuck Baldwin garnered 199,880 votes nationally.