Earlier this summer Jorge Bonilla announced he will be the Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Florida’s 9th Congressional District challenging, as The Daily Caller puts it, “the most colorful Democrat in the House of Representatives” Alan Grayson.
We definitely need new blood in the out-of-control spending and overreaching Congress (on both sides of the aisle), and more members who will take a seat as a Constitutional conservative that will, first and foremost, represent the American people under the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Here are some of Mr. Bonilla’s thoughts on the issues at hand in the United States.
UPDATE: Look for Jorge Bonilla’s opinion on the current federal government “shutdown” below the fold.
BB: Mr. Bonilla, please give our readers some background on yourself. Your family/family history, up-bringing, schooling, work history and anything else that would give us a good bio-picture of you.
JB: I am of Puerto Rican descent. My grandfather served in World War II and in Korea. My parents came here in the late ’60s in search of economic opportunities. My father started out as a day laborer, and my mom as a factory worker. They met and married in Brooklyn, New York, where I was born. They emphasized the importance of learning English and of persistence as keys to success and achievement in America. I would go on to serve in the Marine Corps Reserves and later in the Navy, during the Desert Storm era. Shortly after conclusion of my military service, I relocated to Central Florida (1994). I’ve worked in the service industry, in retail, mortgage banking, and am currently employed as a court interpreter for the Ninth Judicial Circuit. I’ve been married to my best friend for 13 1/2 years, and we are -through the miracle of adoption- parents of a 14-month-old and a newborn.
BB: What moved you to decide to run for the U.S. Congress?
JB: The policies of the last five years have made clear to me that unless we take decisive action right now, we are in serious danger of leaving a diminished America behind to future generations. As a new parent, this is unacceptable to me. I believe that we can do better than runaway deficits, healthcare reform that doesn’t actually reform healthcare, and millions of unemployed. We must do better, and we will. This is why I’m running for Congress.
BB: Given Mr. Grayson’s colorful and creative abilities over the years on the House floor and in election campaigns, do you look forward to some of that rhetoric aimed in your direction during your campaign challenge? And do you expect a nasty race ahead?
JB: Alan Grayson is what he is and always will be, no matter how hard the media may try to spin otherwise. I can’t say that I’m “looking forward” to the hell that is sure to come down the road, but it would be foolish to plan for anything less. So I guess that’s a yes to both questions.
Part 1: Foreign Policy
BB: Mr. Bonilla, my first question is very important to many Cuban-Americans living in the state of Florida and in the USA. Where do you stand on the ongoing U.S. embargo on Cuba, and would you be able to sit in a seat in the US House of Representatives and not be pressured or persuaded to weaken or change your current convictions on the embargo?
JB: I uanmbigiously support the embargo, and will continue to do so until I have a factual basis to determine that our Cuban brethren are truly free from Castrista tyranny. As far as potential susceptibility to pressure: my word and my principles are all that I have, and no one can break those; not even in Washington.
BB: What are your thoughts and observations so far on what was deemed the “Arab Spring”, and do you believe we can trust any new Islamic-backed governments replacing the old regimes in places like Libya, Egypt, and perhaps Syria?
JB: The “Arab Spring” is a classic case study in the wages of naiveté and weakness, and it will take a long time to repair the damage done to our foreign policy. To place blind trust in what may emerge in place of the old regimes would just be further recklessness.
BB: Where do you stand on the US support of Israel, and do you believe it is our only true democratic ally in that region of the world? Do you think the so-called “Arab Spring” and the replacing of regimes that kept peace with Israel will threaten that nation’s national security even more?
JB: I unambigiously support Israel’s right to exist and self-defend, and am embarrassed at the manner in which our relationship with our strongest Middle East ally has been allowed to deteriorate. Israel is, without a doubt, our one true democratic ally in that region of the world. To answer the second part of your question, as a general rule, the replacement of moderate or pro-Western governments with radical Islamist regimes is to be considered as a cause for concern regarding Israel’s national security, as well as our own.
BB: Given the last 5 years under the Obama administration, do you think our stance and reputation in the world has increased (as it was promised it would during Obama’s 2008 campaign) or has it diminished, and most especially with our longtime allies?
JB: President Obama himself answered that question when he sent the Churchill bust back to England, and Vladimir Putin further confirmed it through his thorough schooling of the president on Syria. As I stated earlier, much damage has been done to our foreign policy.
BB: Has the United States fallen from the top as the world’s economic leader, and has it made us vulnerable? Please explain.
JB: America is still at the top, but many of our economic policies have allowed other countries to try and close the gap. What makes us vulnerable are our national debt and structural deficits, which former JCS Chair Adm. Mike Mullen once called “the greatest threat to our national security”. This is where we must work to turn things around.
BB: Mr. Bonilla, what thoughts come to mind when you hear the word “Benghazi”?
JB: Betrayal. Derelicition of duty. Mr. Grayson calls it “the scandal that never was”, but much of the truth on Benghazi has not yet emerged.
BB: Your thoughts on Syria?
JB: If we were going to enforce a “red line” at all, it should’ve happened early on. Now we are in the untenable position of choosing between a client of Iran and harborer of Hezbollah and al-Qaeda. The subsequent capitulation to Vladimir Putin outraged many of us, but again, weakness and naiveté painted the president into that corner.
BB: Your thoughts on Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood?
JB: After we aided and abetted the ousting of our longtime ally, the islamist MB manipulated our naiveté and seized power. Here’s hoping (against hope) that we learned our lesson regarding the Egyptian military.
BB: How much say/control should the United Nations have over the United States and/or our foreign AND domestic policies?
Tomorrow – Part 2: Domestic Policy
UPDATE: After posting this I asked Mr. Bonilla for his input on the current federal government shutdown:
JB: This partial shutdown is a direct result of the intransigence and recalcitrance of Democrats in Washington, D.C., pure and simple. Had there been a budget in place, we wouldn’t have had to get into all this drama. Like it or not, the Constitution prescribes that matters pertaining to the funding of the government originate in the House of Representatives, so all this foot-stomping is really unnecessary. It is up to the President to actually be an executive, and bring all sides together.
FOOTNOTE: I will be emailing Jorge Bonilla the link(s) to this 3 part interview. If you have further questions for him please feel free to ask in comments and perhaps he will look in for feedback on the interview posts and answer them.