By RYAN MILLS October 25, 2021 1:24 PM
When Adam Laxalt travels around Nevada, the people he talks to are concerned.
They’re concerned, he said, about out of control spending by Democrats who are “trying to radically transform our country.” They’re concerned about a lack of security at the southern border, about Big Tech stifling free speech, and about a cancel culture that threatens their families and their livelihoods “for simply speaking on behalf of values that have made this country great for generations and generations,” Laxalt said.
And they’re concerned about what Democrats with even the slimmest of congressional majorities will do if they hold onto to unified power in 2022 and beyond: maybe abolish the Electoral College, pack the Supreme Court with leftist justices, nationalize elections.
Laxalt, who served as Nevada’s attorney general between from 2015 to 2019, recently jumped into the state’s U.S. Senate race with the goal of unseating Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democrat who narrowly won her first race in 2016 with just 47.1 percent of the vote.
In an interview with National Review, Laxalt said he is running first and foremost to be the 51st Republican vote in the Senate to stop Democrats from driving their agenda through Congress. Democrats, he said, believe that now is their time to transform the economy and to change America, to essentially finish off the transformational project that failed in the Obama era.
“I don’t think there’s anything to point to that says America was looking for radical transformation in (the 2020) election,” Laxalt said.
Laxalt launched his campaign in August with a tour of all 17 Nevada counties. An early Star Wars-themed campaign ad featuring his young children compared his candidacy to that franchise’s themes of right and wrong, and good versus evil.
“Right now, it seems like the wrong side is winning,” he says in the ad over videos of Black Lives Matter protests, an Antifa march, and rioters smashing a window and burning an American flag.
The radical left, rich elites, woke corporations, academia, Hollywood, the media: “That’s your empire right there,” he says.
When Laxalt entered office in 2015, he was the youngest attorney general in the country. Still only 43, Laxalt is 14 years younger than Masto. A Navy veteran who served during the troop surge in Iraq, Laxalt said it’s time for people in his generation “to step up” and to fight back to ensure “this radical, basically replacement of American values isn’t successful.”
In addition to providing a check on Democratic excesses, Laxalt said he his passionate about reining in Big Tech. “We just simply cannot allow big tech to control speech and debate in this country,” he said.
He also is an advocate for securing the border, an issue he says Masto has failed to champion. Masto likes to paint herself as a moderate, even though she votes in lock step with Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader, Laxalt said. She has been one of the 48 reliable Democratic votes for President Joe Biden’s agenda, and she does not stand against the worst impulses of the left, he said.
“Masto dutifully gets the media to throw ‘moderate’ in front of her name,” Laxalt said. “What world are we living in where you’re going to still call someone a moderate that is still helping to write, is still supporting the largest spending bill in generations? It doesn’t matter if they peel off a half trillion dollars or something like that. The entire arc of this package is radical, and a massive shift for our country. And she’s not standing against that.”
“She is a tool of the left, and she also just doesn’t do a lot for the state,” he said.
Laxalt is not the only Republican in the race. Sam Brown, a retired U.S. Army captain who was seriously injured by an improvised explosive device while serving in Afghanistan, also has thrown his hat in. But Laxalt has raised more money than Brown – $1.4 million through his first quarter – and is being treated by Republicans and Democrats as the GOP frontrunner.
Nevada has been trending blue over the last two decades; Democrats currently hold both of the state’s Senate seats, three of the state’s four House seats, and the governorship, and Nevada hasn’t voted for a Republican for president since George W. Bush in 2004. But Laxalt expects a “major red wave” in 2022. Independents, he said, are rejecting the radical direction of the Biden administration, and are “coming to us in droves.”
Laxalt has been a strong supporter of former President Donald Trump. Last year he served as the chairman of the former president’s re-election campaign in Nevada. Trump has endorsed Laxalt in the race, as has Donald Trump Jr., Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, Ron DeSantis, Josh Hawley, and other prominent Republicans. Laxalt said “there’s no question that some people have a problem with (Trump’s) personality and style,” but he credited the former president with growing the party’s base in Nevada, including making gains with Hispanic and working class voters, and union members.
“At the end of the day, they’re going to be voting on me as my own candidacy, and we feel like we’re the type of candidate that can motivate and unify our base, and get everyone in the tent to produce a wave election and win this race.”