Exclusive — Rep. Ted Budd: 'We Need to Get Back to America First Principles'

When it comes to scoring a highly-coveted endorsement from former President Donald Trump, displaying “America First” principles is key, according to leading North Carolina U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC).

Budd spoke to Breitbart News Saturday ahead of Trump’s rally in Selma, North Carolina, where the former president spoke in support of him. Trump’s stamp of approval has become “now the most sought after thing in politics,” Trump’s senior advisor Lynne Patton said —his endorsement of Budd has already contributed to a double-digit lead in the polls ahead of former Gov. Pat McCrory (R) and former Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC).

“I would say it goes back to what President Trump told me moments before he endorsed me on June 6 of last year. He said, ‘I’m endorsing you because you have never wavered on ‘America First’ principles,”‘ Budd told Breitbart News’s D.C. Bureau Chief Matthew Boyle.

“Plus, they realize I’m the reliable ‘America First’ conservative. I support second amendment rights. They know I’m a small business person. I’m Trump-endorsed. I’m the strongest conservative on the ballot, and that’s why they’re endorsing me — that’s why my polls are going up,” Budd continued. 

Budd discussed how “America First” principles should specifically influence two areas voters have consistently said are crucial in the midterm elections: immigration and election integrity. The Senate hopeful, who has also been endorsed by the National Border Patrol Council, talked about the Build the Wall Now Act,” which he introduced last week. The legislation would “remove all legal impediments” to build the border wall and unlock $2.1 billion in unspent funding appropriated for its construction.

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“We need to finish the wall, but we also need administration that has these border patrol agents back,” Budd noted.

More specifically, Budd said the border wall needs to be finished to help curtail the massive amounts of fentanyl being trafficked into the United States. Notably, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently warned federal, state, and local law enforcement of an impending nationwide spike in fentanyl-related “mass overdose events” and reported the amount of the drug infiltrating into the United States in 2021 was enough “to kill every American.”

“We’re losing as many people in one year as we lost in 10 years in the Vietnam War — about 70,000 people. It’s the biggest [leading cause of death] between 18 and 45. But for the first time, we were able to bend that curve downward for the first time in recorded history, under President Trump,” he said. 

“Now under Biden, that number has gone back up. So we need to get back to ‘America First’ principles — border security. So much of this is coming in [from] China, ingredients [made] in China, manufactured in Mexico, coming up through our border as fake pills,” the congressman continued. “A lot of people think they’re taking a knock off Xanax or something like that, and then all of a sudden they realize it’s got fentanyl, and they are dead. It’s just tragic what’s happening. So we need border security, and we also need to prevent illegal diversions in the supply chain. Those are some things we did under President Trump.”

As far as fighting for election integrity, Budd said, “the mindset that we have to approach this with is to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat.” The congressman emphasized the importance of state legislatures cracking down on voter fraud and passing streamlined election integrity laws. 

“I want to say, in the U.S. Constitution, it really puts the onus on state legislature, and for us in North Carolina, the general assembly to make the lion’s share of the changes regarding election laws,” he said. “Their Republican legislature, since 2010, they have repeatedly passed voter ID [laws] and the liberal activist courts — which by the way, we’re getting ready to take that back over here in North Carolina — but the liberal activist courts have struck down the will of the people and struck down voter ID. So let’s get back to voter ID. Let’s use traditional absentee ballots.”

Budd also slammed Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg for using hundreds of millions of dollars to privately boost now-President Joe Biden and Democrats in the 2020 election — a story that has gotten a significant amount of attention since Citizens United came out with a documentary film detailing the tech tycoon’s heavy influence in far-left politics.

“Democrats don’t want accountability because they know they can’t win elections on their woke left agenda. So they get people like Mark Zuckerberg to do an end-run around the will of the people,” Budd said.

“We have to push back in the state in the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate against federalizing elections. It still needs to belong to the states, and we need to have transparency,” he added. “We need to make sure that people know where the money’s coming from…”

Breitbart News Saturday airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

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