Listen To The Full Interview Below:
Tiffany Smiley, US Senate candidate from Washington state joined the Guy Benson Show to react to a new report that outlines the negtive effects the COVID-19 school lockdowns had on students’ reading and math test scores.
Smiley slammed her democratic opponent’s record on COVID mandates and lockdown saying.,
“As a mom of three young boys, that school, you know, public school, all three my boys are in the public school system and they hear Senator Murray respond after me about how she funds the teachers union. And she said it was state and local government that handled that. And I reminded the audience and everyone in Washington state, she was the champion for mandates and the champion for school closures.”
TIFFANY SMILEY (R-WA), SENATE CANDIDATE: Senator Murray stood with Joe Biden with the Inflation Reduction Act and said this is going to help us. Don’t be deceived by the name, because this isn’t coming from me — this is coming from the CBO — It does nothing to combat inflation. In fact, it raises taxes on all of us. 87,000 IRS agents coming after our small business owners and hard-working Washington families.
Do you know those making $25,000 or less are five times more likely to be audited by the IRS? That’s who I’m standing up and fighting for.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
GUY BENSON, FOX RADIO HOST: Back here on “The Guy Benson Show”. Glad to have you along. GuyBensonShow.com is our website. Podcast is always free. That was the voice of Tiffany Smiley at a debate last night between herself and the incumbent Democratic Senator out in Washington state, Patty Murray. Tiffany Smiley is a veterans’ advocate and the Republican nominee in that race, which is too close for comfort for the Democrats, and Tiffany Smiley joins us again here on “The Guy Benson Show”. Welcome back.
SMILEY: Yes, thanks. Thanks for having me back on.
BENSON: How’d you feel about the debate overall?
SMILEY: I felt really good. I feel like we played offense, and we were able to deliver our remarks and hold Senator Murray accountable for her failed policies, her 30 years in government, and this is where we are with rising crime, our community is less safe, a Washington state that is struggling with the rising cost of living and gas prices. I feel like we brought the future and hope for all of Washington state.
BENSON: So, let’s talk about Senator Murray and her record. There’s a story out today – really everyone’s covering it, and we’ll probably delve into it a bit more later on in the week on this show – but we’ve gotten what’s known as the nation’s report card for students, and to the surprise of no one, it’s a disaster in the post-pandemic era. School closures obviously taking a toll. Reading quickly here from “The Wall Street Journal” – just the lead of the story – quote, “The nation’s schools recorded the largest drop in math scores ever this year with fourth and eighth grade students in nearly every state showing significant declines according to education department data released Monday. In the most sweeping analysis of test scores since the start of the pandemic, the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the nation’s report card, also revealed a nationwide plunge in reading that wiped out three decades of gains.” And you know, Tiffany, you’ve been talking about education. You’ve been talking about school closures. Patty Murray was lockstep with the teachers’ unions keeping schools shuddered for a year and a half throughout much of Washington state, doing extra completely needless anti-scientific damage to kids. We are just starting to quantify that damage, and yet what was it a few weeks ago she went on CNN, doubled down, and would not even entertain the idea of looking back, you know, even with hindsight and doing something differently. To me, that is a huge indictment, not only of her judgment, but of her awareness in the ability to move on from catastrophically bad decisions.
SMILEY: Yes. I mean, you couldn’t be more right, and we held her to account on that last night in the debate. You could have asked any parent in Washington state, and they would tell you that it was wrong what we did to our children, and it set them back with no plan to catch them up. The difference couldn’t have been more clear last night when I shared my agenda for recovery and reform for education as a mom of three young boys, you know, public school — all three of my boys are in the public school system. And to hear Senator Murray respond after me about how she funds the teachers union, and she said it was state and local government that handed that. And I reminded the audience and everyone in Washington state that she was the champion for mandates and the champion for school closures. In fact, she was nowhere to be found in Washington state. She wasn’t leading from the front. She wasn’t doing anything but being poised to sign the American Rescue Plan that’s now put us into the greatest inflation we’ve seen in a generation. This is on Senator Murray, and we need hope for our children for the future. I laid out my plan. I believe that the money needs to follow the children in their education system, that in Washington state your zip code does not determine your destiny, that those dollars follow the child to have a choice, that parents have a choice in the children’s education. And we truly need to reduce the stigma that college is for everyone. We need to ensure that our kids are also being exposed to trades at a very young age because there are multiple pathways to the American dream. We need to create and expand K-12 stem programs and certainly ban the federal government from ever forgiving student loans. So we have a lot of work to do, and again, this isn’t a Democrat-Republican issue. This is an issue for parents and it’s the education of our children in this country.
BENSON: Tiffany, when you made the case on crime, which I know is a top-tier issue for voters all across the country – I would imagine it’s really top tier in Washington state because of what’s happened in Seattle and elsewhere – what is the response from Senator Murray? Because I saw that she did a press event or a little photo op a few weeks ago where she was in Seattle. Oh, everything’s fine. Look, I’m at this wonderful little small business, and you know, that’s all well and good, but while she was there that day there were one or two emergency calls within blocks because of crimes in that exact neighborhood where she was doing her photo op in Seattle. When you confront her with this stuff, and part of that’s going to be state and local officials, an approach to crime and a lack thereof when it comes to enforcement, but also some of this comes from the top, the federal level, what the Democratic Party is willing to indulge, certainly back in 2020. How does she react to those critiques?
SMILEY: Yes. You know, she really has no message and no plan, and it’s truly a slap in the face to all Washingtonians who have dealt with the rising crime, have seen their businesses ravaged by crime and have experienced it themselves. Senator Murray, you know, unlike – she’s a typical politician. I remind her that you can still be a leader. I’m going there to be a leader and stand up for all of Washington. She went on the Senate floor June of 2020, and she called for funds to be diverted from our police force. And then she disappeared, and she went into hiding and, in fact, people all over Washington say, “We didn’t see her until she came out attacking you, Tiffany.” She has no plan. You know, I’m endorsed by the Washington Fraternal Order of Police. I’m endorsed by WACOPS. The police and cops in this state are behind me all the way. Senator Murray has no (AUDIO GAP) never talks about securing the border. She’s for, of course, open border (ph). She voted against (AUDIO GAP) to help narcotics and opioids from coming across our border. She voted against that. And then, look, you know, at the federal level, I know what I can do is be a leader and disarm this dangerous rhetoric that Senator Murray continues to view that there’s no crime and, you know, divert funds from our police. On the federal level, I can ensure that our police have access to federal grant dollars for $5,000 retaining or recruiting bonuses. Our cops are understaffed here. I talked with a police officer in Tacoma just on Saturday, and he said he’s down 45 police officers. So they’re working overtime and overworking, and they need our support. We need to get crime under control in this state.
BENSON: Well, and a shrinking police force is also a big problem in Seattle where crime is up, policing is down. That’s like the worst possible combination. And that is the handiwork of one party rule in Washington State. The same party runs Washington, D.C. Both Washingtons run completely by Democrats, and I feel like a lot of voters don’t feel like it’s working out terribly well for them. One of the ways that I see Senator Murray attacking you is she is suggesting that you, Tiffany Smiley, are a threat to democracy itself. This is a frequent attack line out there on the campaign trail. And there are some Republican candidates, a few out there and also Democratic candidates who denied elections in Georgia, for example, who I think this might be a more potent critique of, but in your case it doesn’t seem to really fit. She is insinuating, she is suggesting, she is amplifying an attack line that you’re an election denier, but I know you were on our affiliate a few weeks ago, KTTH out in Seattle with our friend Jason Rantz. He wanted to put this issue again to bed. He asked you a straightforward question. Here’s what that exchange was like, and cut 30 just to remind people.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JASON RANTZ, KTTH HOST: So for the record, Tiffany Smiley, do you think our last election for Joe Biden, was it legitimate?
SMIELY: Yes. Yes, it was legitimate. Joe Biden is our president.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BENSON: Legitimate election. Joe Biden won. That’s your position. Where is she coming from with this election denial suggestion about you?
SMILEY: Yes. I have no idea. Just a typical D.C. talking point shows, again, how completely out of touch she is, and I called her out on it in the debate last night. And I said, you know, my husband lost his life by fighting for democracy and our family lives with that sacrifice every single day. It’s certainly why we are in this fight to put country over party. And I said, so Senator Murray, why don’t you say it right here in front of everyone that I am – that me an my family are not a threat to democracy or disavow your campaign’s dangerous rhetoric that has spent millions of dollars to paint me as someone I am not. It further divides our country, and it further divides the state. I am in this race to unify because this is not about politics. This is about United States of America.
BENSON: What does she say?
SMILEY: She really didn’t have a good answer. She went back to saying I denied the election.
Changed my website. I reminded her that it is clearly on my website that we need to ensure that our elections are safe, that there’s confidence in the election system. That’s on both sides of the aisle.
BENSON: Right. Correct.
SMILEY: She did look at me and say I want to be clear to me (ph) you and your family like nodding threat to democracy, but then you have to ask questions. Then why have you spent millions and millions of dollars to paint us – to paint me specifically as that?
BENSON: Well I think we know why, right? She woke up a few months ago and said, OK, I’ve got a serious challenger. This might be a bad year. I voted for all of this stuff that’s really ticking off a lot of voters. We need to carpet bomb Tiffany Smiley before she even becomes the Republican nominee. They started attacking you before you were the nominee. They have spent millions of dollars against you. We’re now here in the last 15 days sprint to the finish, Tiffany. And look, there’s probably a lot of people listening across our audience, all across the country, around the world even who are saying she sounds really good. She sounds really smart. She sounds like she’d be a huge upgrade from Patty Murray, but man, that is such a blue state. Seattle and the surrounding area such a dominant political force out there in Washington. She might do well but maybe not well enough. What’s your response to that, some of the skepticism, which I think is understandable given the nature of your state? How do you win this? What is your roadmap to actually winning a little over two weeks from now?
SMILEY: Yes. We’re going to – I’m hitting 46 different cities across Washington state. In fact, in Seattle I was at an event on Saturday talking with independent voters and a few Democrats who came up to me and said that this is the first time that they will have ever voted for a Republican. So our message is spreading. We are gaining voters. Patty Murray is not gaining any voters. We are peeling off from her and sharing our message of turning crisis into hope for all of Washington. This is exactly why we will win. If anyone watched the debate last night, I think the contrast is clear. This isn’t Democrat or Republican, this is about Washington state. This is about getting our state back on track and having actual leadership that delivers results. That’s what’s on the ballot. This is exactly why we will win. There are polls that have us neck and neck, tied. We will push through to victory all the way through the finish line.
Senator Murray knows it as well. You know her luck has run out.
BENSON: Tiffany Smiley is U.S. Senate candidate and the Republican nominee in that race out in Washington state, the Pacific Northwest. He opponent has been in D.C. for decades. Patty Murray is part of Democratic leadership. She doesn’t really lead on very much. She’s a very reliable for their entire agenda. And Tiffany Smiley has put a scare into Patty Murray and her campaign, and we’ll see if they can come over the top and win this thing. And look, if — if the wave gets substantial enough, I don’t put it past Tiffany Smiley, who’s run an excellent campaign, to win. And the polls are close, far closer than the Democrats wants. And Tiffany, we just really appreciate your time. Great job last night. And hopefully we’ll get to check back in with you after the election as a Senator-Elect. That would be fantastic. How about that?
SMILEY: I — I look forward to it, and anyone can join us at smileyforwashington.com, all spelled out. Join us in the fight to get our country back on the right track.
BENSON: Tiffany Smiley out in Washington state, our guest here on the “Guy Benson Show”.