- Evan McMullin reaffirmed that he would not have joined either party had he been elected to the Senate as an independent.
- During NBC’s “Meet the Press,” McMullin said he wanted to play a key role in drafting legislation.
- McMullin thwarted his independence with Mike Lee, his Republican opponent in the general election.
Independent Senate candidate Evan McMullin on Sunday criticized his opponent, GOP Senator Mike Lee, for his record of votes during his two terms in the upper house, also reiterating his commitment not to caucus any of the major parties. politicians if he wins the general elections.
In an interview with Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” McMullin – a former CIA officer and former 2016 presidential candidate – said he would retain his independence if chosen by Utah voters to serve in the Senate.
Todd presented a scenario where the Senate has a 50-49 composition, with McMullin being a deciding vote on the body’s leadership. But Utahn reaffirmed his position and also said his independence would likely give the state more influence in the chamber.
“I will not caucus with either side. … I think this will give Utah an added value of Senate influence that it simply does not have. We certainly have in Senator Romney someone who has done a lot for our state and our country,” working beyond party lines to get things done, ”McMullin said.
He continued: “With Senator Lee, we have none of that. He sits idle until it’s time to vote no. And then he goes complaining about our country with the cable news. And I won’t. “
McMullin then argued that centrist lawmakers in the body have played a huge role in shaping the legislation, a role he is eager to take.
“I think we have seen quite well in the last few years or two, particularly that Senators in the House who are willing to act with greater independence, serving their constituents, opposing party leaders, resisting extremist factions and special interest groups, they have the greatest influence in the chamber, “he said. “They are more influential, I think, even than the party leaders. And I want it for Utah. And I know we will do a lot of good by serving this in this way.”
Polls in recent months have largely shown competitive competition between McMullin and Lee in the solidly Republican state.
In the most recent Deseret News / Hinckley Institute of Politics poll conducted earlier this month – among registered voters – Lee won the support of 41% of respondents, while 37% supported McMullin and 12% said they be indecisive.