Former State Senator Sue Lowden: Her Case for Reid's Seat

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," April 6, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: One of our next two guests could be a huge problem for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. They are both Republicans trying to unseat Senator Reid in November.

Senator Reid is vulnerable right now, way behind in the polls, and Republicans are fighting to take him on. First, former Nevada state senator Sue Lowden.


VAN SUSTEREN: Why do you want to be a United States senator?

SUE LOWDEN, NEVADA SENATE CANDIDATE: I feel there is nothing more important I could be doing with my life right now. I'm frustrated with what is going on in Washington, I'm angry with what is going on in Washington.

VAN SUSTEREN: Like what?

LOWDEN: Deficit spending, taxing, crafting legislation behind closed doors where nobody can see it, like the promises made that everything would be transparent and on the Internet for five days, and that is not happening.

I'm angry that our seniors didn't get a Social Security increase and yet all senators and congressmen got their salary increase. I'm angry about a lot of things.

VAN SUSTEREN: Looking straight ahead, whoever the Republican is in November is in good shape today. The majority leader is almost double digits behind a Republican candidate. Your big challenge is June 8th, do you agree?

LOWDEN: I agree that's one of the challenges. One thing at a time. I don't think it is going to be a pushover for sure. Harry Reid is used to having tough race. He's had close races before. And I don't deny the fact that he's going to have the entire power of everything that you have when you are majority leader to make sure he goes back.

VAN SUSTEREN: We are going to follow you around a little on the bus.


VAN SUSTEREN: Back to work everybody.


Why would Nevadans want to give up? Even if you are a conservative Republican or tea party member, why would you want to give power of having the most powerful U.S. senator?

LOWDEN: That is going to be the question. What I'm going to say is they said the same about Tom Daschle and John Thune. South Dakota has 4.4 unemployment figures and we are at more than 13 percent. There's no one who is so powerful that can't be replaced, I should say.

Nevadans will have to answer that, but what has he really done for Nevada is the question people will have to decide? We feel he has turned his back on us in a lot of regards.

VAN SUSTEREN: There's a good likelihood if you win June 8th, you're the one.

LOWDEN: I know.

VAN SUSTEREN: There's so much attention on November, but this primary is one of the most important primaries because, of course, Senator Reid, 19 -- I guess 12 years ago he won by 468 votes, so he can pull this one out if he wants. This race you guys are so neck-and-neck.

LOWDEN: Yes, it is an important race, and it is only 60 days way. We start early voting in the middle of May. We are one of those early vote states. It is critical. And I think Republicans are taking it very seriously.

We are, by the way one of those states where only Republicans vote. I think Republicans are engaged like I've never seen them engaged before. They are looking at us twice and three times.

I'm up and down the state talking to folks who I may have known before, but they are really asking the important questions. They want the right person to emerge from this primary.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is the Tea Party movement -- to what extent is that helping you? What is the role in your campaign? It is so interesting here in this state.

LOWDEN: I think that it is helping me in that it is emboldening people who have never felt they would make a difference in a race. It would never dawn on them to get up, as I keep saying, off of the couch and yelling at the TV, which you hear about so many times. And they get up and walking toward a door and making calls and stuffing envelopes and they feel empowered.

VAN SUSTEREN: But they didn't feel empowered to go to the Republican Party or Democratic Party. The way it looks like is they're going forget it, this is not going to help me at all. They seem to be disenfranchised people from those two parties.

LOWDEN: It could be. Like you said, there's a lot of independents. In our state there's a lot of libertarians who are involved in the Tea Party movement. And they are people who have never been involved before. A lot of them have never been involved. And they are making signs, and they went to Searchlight and went to see the governor speak. And they are really engaged in this race.

What it is going to translate into -- we are going to watch that. It is fascinating to watch. I feel like I'm part of it. And you saw today a lot of my campaign workers, all volunteers, by the way, who you saw in that office, they are volunteers. They are there every day making calls. They are really fired up.

VAN SUSTEREN: Would you like to see Nevada join in the health care suit that many states attorneys generals and I know your governor wants to join and may be joining it, but suing the federal government, claiming that the health care legislation is unconstitutional as to requiring people to buy health insurance.

Would you like to see your state sign on it, or not?

LOWDEN: Absolutely I would.

We can't afford to hire an attorney. Nevada has no money to do that. We are already broke, our state is, like so many states. And this new health care bill is going to put another $619 million dollars on our budget. I don't know where we are going to get it. What do we do, fire teachers? Close schools? That's what we are talking about.

VAN SUSTEREN: In some unusual way there are similarities to be drawn between you Governor Palin. Both of you support the tea party movement. Both of you started -- you were a waitress, worked you way up to the Miss America pageant, being Miss New Jersey. You actually were on TV, she was on TV, both got involved in politics. There's a strange similarity.

LOWDEN: There is. I've never shot a moose.


VAN SUSTEREN: There you go. I knew there was a difference. Never shot a moose.

LOWDEN: Never shot one, no.

VAN SUSTEREN: Have you been asked that?

LOWDEN: I have been asked that, so I was ready for that question. I've been asked what the differences are, and that is a difference.

But we do have a lot of similarities. And I can't explain that. It is just -- I'm sure there's a lot of similarities with a lot of people. But the two of us, she is in the spotlight now and people are looking at me now. But you can say that about a lot of candidates they are similar to somebody else.


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