Politics

An interview with Nevada candidate Sharron Angle: ‘I’m mainstream’

She says the Department of Education is unconstitutional, the United States should withdraw from the United Nations, a flat tax should replace the income tax and a free-market alternative should be established to cut social security.

Democrats may label Republican Sharron Angle as extreme, but the Tea Party darling running for the U.S. Senate in Nevada says she thinks most people agree with her — and not the Democrats — on the role of government.

“I think that I have the mainstream record,” said Angle, running in a tough GOP primary to take on Democratic Sen. Harry Reid, in an interview with The Daily Caller. “I think the silent majority, which is really represented by this Tea Party movement, has begun to speak.”

But can such a platform of legislative desires — that undoubtedly fires up conservatives, but has little chance of being legislated — ever turn into law?

“Well I think it depends on the climate of the Congress,” Angle said. “If the Senate and the House of Representatives are dominated by conservatives, they’re very possible.”

Last week, Angle — who was polling in single digits before the Tea Party Express endorsed her — topped a poll of Republicans vying for the Nevada seat for the first time in the campaign.

Reid has mostly taken shots at Sue Lowden, the more establishment Republican in the race. That’s led to speculation that he would rather run against someone like Angle, who he could portray as an extreme Tea Party activist in a general election.

“I’m not sure what Harry Reid’s strategy is, but I know that I’ve always been marginal —you know people have always tried to marginalize me,” Angle said.

She said there’s a “wave of conservatism” sweeping the country and “if Harry Reid thinks that this is unreal, then I think he’s out of touch with what’s going on in this nation.”

If Angle becomes the Republican nominee against Reid, she “certainly” expects that the media will go searching for her flaws, like they did with Kentucky senate candidate Rand Paul. But the largely unknown candidate, at least nationally, said she doesn’t find the media necessarily unfair — it’s just hard to get their attention on conservative causes.

“One of the ways to marginalize us is to not even talk about us,” she said. “I found that to be more the case. That is harder for us to break in to the media and to get that earned media as a conservative.”

Angle — who said she’d model herself on Sen. Jim Demint, Sen. Tom Coburn and Rep. Mike Pence — said she’s cautiously optimistic about a win in Nevada’s June 8 primary.

As for her relationship with the establishment GOP? “I’ve always had a collegial, but not agreeable relationship with ‘good ole boy’ politics and party machinery on both sides. I think that’s what’s really wrong with this country is that we’ve been letting establishment politics as usual to take the reins of this country and I’ve been fighting back against that mentality for years.”

Especially in this political climate, it’s good to be anti-establishment candidate, she said.

“It’s always been an asset for me. That’s who I am.”

The Daily Caller’s Monique Hamm contributed to this report.

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