Former Alaska Senator and 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel told The Daily Caller in an exclusive interview that he is mulling a primary challenge to President Barack Obama in 2012.
In an e-mail exchange arranged by his daughter, TheDC asked Gravel if he was considering a run for president in 2012 and if he is specifically considering a primary challenge to President Obama. He replied, “Both are possible.”
Progressives who view President Obama’s recent tax compromise with Republican leadership as a betrayal have suggested in recent days that a primary challenge to Obama in 2012 is not unimaginable. TheDC reported that some progressives have been floating names like Howard Dean, Russ Feingold, and even actor George Clooney as possible contenders.
Gravel, who served in the Senate from 1969 to 1980, also stated that he believes that members of the U.S. government “may certainly have participated with the obviously known perpetrators” of the September 11th attacks. “Obviously an act that has triggered three wars, Afghan, Iraqi and the continuing War on Terror, should be extensively investigated”, Gravel continued, “which was not done and which the government avoids addressing.”
Gravel, who somewhat famously read the Pentagon Papers into the congressional record, also praised WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as a modern day Daniel Ellsberg. “The revelations of Wikileaks are not an endangerment to American troops in our far flung Empire, but they truly are an embarrassment to America’s political leadership today,” Gravel said.
Read the full transcript of TheDC’s interview below:
TheDC: You’re famous for reading the Pentagon Papers into the congressional record. Do you see Julian Assange as a modern day Daniel Ellsberg?
Mike Gravel (MG): Yes, in point of fact, this is the most significant effort to save democracy (which is slowly being eclipsed by the Military Industrial Complex) since the release of the Pentagon Papers. The revelations of Wikileaks are not an endangerment to American troops in our far-flung Empire, but they truly are an embarrassment to America’s political leadership today. The response of this leadership is merely an effort to hide their malfeasance and to protect their reputations.
TheDC: You’ve called for an investigation into 9/11. Do you think the government was behind the attacks?
MG: Individuals in and out of government may certainly have participated with the obviously known perpetrators of this dastardly act. Suspicions abound over the analysis presented by government. Obviously an act that has triggered three wars, Afghan, Iraqi and the continuing War on Terror, should be extensively investigated which was not done and which the government avoids addressing.
TheDC: Are you considering another run for president in 2012? Would you consider a primary challenge against President Obama?
MG: Both are possible.
TheDC: You’ve praised Sarah Palin in the past. Do you think she could beat Obama in 2012?
MG: I never praised Palin. What I’ve said and continue to believe is that she is a very talented politician. Policy wise and intellectually, I think she leaves a great deal to be desired. I don’t think she could beat Obama.
TheDC: What political cause would prompt you to chain yourself to the White House fence?
MG: The shortcomings of Democracy will not be solved by protests. The solutions are not with chaining oneself to a fence. The shortcomings will be solved by empowering the People to make laws. The central power of government is law making. Without this power the People can only protest and under the structure of representative government today that changes very little. I will continue my efforts with the National Initiative which is the best approach in this regard.