Colorado GOP Senate candidate O’Dea aims to target federal bureaucracy, bolster border security and energy dominance

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FIRST ON FOX: Republican Joe O’Dea says that if elected to the Senate, his top priorities would be cutting federal bureaucracy, strengthening the US-Mexico border, tackling crime and “restoring energy dominance to the United States.” United”.

Colorado’s GOP Senate candidate – who is challenging Democratic Sen. Michael Bennett in a race that has become increasingly competitive this summer and could become one of the few that will determine whether Republicans regain a majority of the chamber – has on Tuesday unveiled the political agenda he would work to implement if he upsets Bennet in November’s midterm elections.

“We should be doing in the first two months what politicians like Michael Bennet talk about and never do: reform spending, secure the border with more border guards and a wall, fix the immigration system and restore security. in our cities by getting resources for our sheriffs and police chiefs to hire more cops and pay them better,” O’Dea said in a policy proposal shared first with Fox News.

O’Dea, the owner of a Denver-based construction company, stressed in an accompanying interview that “the first thing we need to do here is secure the South American border.”

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Joe O'Dea, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Michael Bennet, speaks during a primary election watch party, late June 28, 2022, in Denver.
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Joe O’Dea, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Michael Bennet, speaks during a primary election watch party, late June 28, 2022, in Denver.
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

“We have millions of people crossing every year now. It’s time to secure this border,” O’Dea noted. “Fentanyl at an all-time high. We have cartels, human trafficking, those cartels are in place in our neighborhoods right now. And generally it’s just not safe in our cities.”

As part of his plan, O’Dea said in his first Senate bill that he would push to “get rid of new programs, new spending and new bureaucracy from [President] Biden and the Democrats. I would then use those cuts to reduce the deficit.”

“The American people have watched in disgust as both sides racked up debt over the past 25 years, and in a tightly divided Senate, I will use my influence to force change,” O’Dea said.

WATCH: JOE O’DEA TALKS TO FOX NEWS DIGITAL

“The other part is to reprioritize federal spending. We should cut the 87,000 new IRS officers and cut federal bureaucracy in Washington, D.C., and invest heavily in border security — including a border wall. and hire more police to protect our neighborhoods and schools instead,” he added.

But on the burning issue of immigration, O’Dea would break with far-right conservatives and said he would work with Senate Democrats to give the Dreamers “full legal status.” The dreamers — the thousands of young undocumented immigrants smuggled into the country by their parents — gained legal protection through the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

“These kids belong here. They’re Americans…so they should get citizenship,” O’Dea said. “We should also really take a look at our immigration processes in general and clean up those good people who work here who are legal…can get through our process.”

O’Dea stressed that “my second bill would center on American energy dominance. Let’s unleash American innovation and modernize permits so we can modernize our grid and bring more clean energy online like the wind, solar and nuclear. Let’s also get the pipelines moving. Let’s get natural gas permits on the West Slope and across the United States, as well as LNG terminal permits, as part of the review process and approved and opened new markets for our natural gas in Europe and Asia.”

O’Dea suggests that “by flooding European and Asian markets with clean American natural gas, we can reduce emissions worldwide. American energy leadership is good for the world. Let’s open the door to such a bold American energy renaissance.” that it puts a stake in the heart of this inflation crisis and sends a message to Vladimir Putin and to the Russians: the world no longer needs your energy.”

“It’s a statement to the world,” O’Dea added. “The other thing it does is it creates good American jobs here to add to our economy.”

And he argued that “this is a bill that we don’t need to spend a lot of money on. This is a bill that just streamlines the energy-choking processes here in the United States. United”.

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Once a battleground state, Colorado leaned to the blue for nearly two decades and Biden won the state by 13 points in the 2020 presidential election. But after O’Dea’s victory in the GOP primary in late June, Republicans grew increasingly optimistic about the possibility of flipping Bennet’s seat from blue to red.

The Cook Report, a leading nonpartisan political handicapper, last month moved its rating for the Senate race in Colorado from Likely Democrat to Lean Democrat. And the Fox News Power Rankings also classifies the race as a Lean Democrat, which is one step away from the draw.

During the GOP Senate primary, pro-Democratic groups — meddling with the Republican competition — spent big on bolstering Republican rival Ron Hanks’ conservative credentials and branded O’Dea a moderate. Democrats saw Hanks — who attended then-President Donald Trump on Jan. 6, 2021 in the nation’s capital before the storming of the U.S. Capitol, and who has taken a hard line against legalized abortion — as the nominee. weakest in general elections.

But O’Dea won the primary, and now Democrats are trying to portray him as a far-right conservative.

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“They didn’t help each other,” O’Dea said of the “Democratic shenanigans … People see through this. The Colorado electorate here is pretty smart.”

O’Dea pointed out that “I run on the issues that are important to American workers here in Colorado. It’s inflation, gas prices, grocery prices, record crime here in Colorado. our state… And those are the issues that I’m talking about all this other nonsense with the Democratic Party, dishonest ads, trying to paint me as something that I’m not – I mean, it wasn’t not, but a few months ago I was moderate and now I’m MAGA man. It’s amazing. These guys will do anything to stay in power.”

Bennett’s campaign ran an ad last month lambasting O’Dea over abortion, an issue that has spurred many Democrats in Colorado and across the country following the conservative majority’s blockbuster decision to the Supreme Court in late June to strike down the nearly half-century-old Roe c. Wade’s decision and refer the issue of legalized abortion to the states.

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“Michael Bennet has always fought for a woman’s right to make her own health decisions, but Joe O’Dea opposes the law protecting abortion access in Colorado,” said declared a Coloradan in Bennet’s ad. “O’Dea would have voted to uphold Trump’s Supreme Court justices who overturned Roe v. Wade,” another person added.

But O’Dea told Fox News “that’s just not true.” And he reiterated his position that he opposes late-term abortions but believes that early in a pregnancy a woman’s decision to abort should be “between her, her doctor and her God”. He said he also opposes the Supreme Court ruling on abortion.

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