Peter Kinder: I’m running for Congress to do at the Federal level what I’ve done over the last many years at the state level and that is change the course of events and move toward a conservative direction.
TMT: When did you become a conservative? Was it the way you raised that way or did it happen later?
Kinder: My dad’s best friend was his lawyer Rush Limbaugh Jr., the father of the radio-talk show host you probably are aware of. I got my conservatism at the same table where Rush got his. Mr. Limbaugh would be at my house, or have me at his house all the time. 45 years ago I was in junior high school, he would school us in all these issues. He’d say, “Boy’s I’m 49 years old, the decisions that govern how I live the rest of my life have been made. If this continues, this broken government, this idea that government can take care of us cradle to grave, if it continues you boys will live to be slaves.” It was seared into my consciousness. I absorbed many lessons form him and my father reinforced them, although he was more apolitical.
TMT: What are the specific things you’d look to cut in the budget in order to balance the budget?
Kinder: The Department of Education, the Department of Energy and subsidies to national public broadcasting, public radio and several more.
TMT: You would not consider raising taxes as a way to balance that budget?
TMT: Could you tell us some people in Congress you admire or might want to pattern your career after?
Kinder: Senators come more readily to mind. Ted Cruz, Jeff Flake from Arizona, with his anti-earmark crusade. Paul Ryan. Rand Paul, on many issues.
TMT: What are some things Congresswoman Emerson had done that you admire or would like to continue?
Kinder: Constituent services; the attention to district events and accessibility to people and attention to infrastructure. I’d like to replicate, in general, her demeanor and availability to the public.
TMT: Are there places where you disagree with Congresswoman Emerson?
Kinder: Yes sir. Some of the labor votes she’s cast and I have made no secret of that. I would not be part of a centrist leadership group in Congress. I’m certain I would be a member of the republican study committee.
TMT: Everyone in the race has been critical of the President, perhaps none more so than yourself. But is there anything the President had done that you agree with, or think was the best decision?
Kinder: I guess it would be a tie between being a good father, which I greatly admire him for. And killing Bin Laden, which was ultimately the right call, to do it the way it was done.
TMT: Why are you the best candidate for the district?
Kinder: Proven winner in good years and in bad. Proven fundraiser. Unmatched on both counts in this field, I believe. Three times in three statewide races I’ve raised seven figures. In one of those elections I raised four million. In a June election we have to have a candidate who not only has proven vote-getting ability, but who can raise money and raise it fast. That means not just in the district, but have you ever had a fundraiser in Saint Louis, much less a successful one? I’ve raised millions in Saint Louis over the course of my campaigns. I don’t know of any other candidate who has had successful events in Saint Louis and Kansas City.
TMT: Could you win a primary in 2014?
Kinder: Not only can I, but I won a grueling primary last summer and I was outspent by 1.1 million dollars, but I’m 6-0 in races, 3 statewide races.
TMT: You and Jason Smith are mentioned in the same sentence often. Why would you make a better candidate than him?
Kinder: Oh gosh. I think I’ve made the case for why I’m a better candidate. I’d rather not pare it down to why I’m better than one other candidate, because I think I’ve made my case against all the candidates in the field.
TMT: If elected, do you commit to serve each term that you run for?
Kinder: Yes. Absolutely.