(KTIV) – With less than eight months until the Iowa Caucuses, nearly two dozen Democratic presidential candidates are criss-crossing the state stumping for support.
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock announced his candidacy just a little over a month ago on May 14. The former Attorney General of Montana, the 53-year-old has served as governor since 2013.
Bullock sat down with KTIV’s Al Joens to talk about his recent entry into the race, and how he stands out.
“Gov. Bullock you are one in a sea of candidates. How do you get your name and message out to voters, especially here in Iowa?” asked Joens.
“I’m in this large field and I am the only one that won in a Trump state. He took Montana in 2016 by 20 points. I won by four. Twenty-five to 30 percent of my voters voted for Donald Trump. At the end of the day, if we can’t win back some of the places that we lost, we are not going to win this race,” said Bullock. “You look in Iowa. A third of the counties along the way voted for Obama twice and then Trump. But also govern in a very divided legislature. My legislature is more Republican than yours. But we have been able to get things done like expanding health care, getting dark money out of our elections, record investments for education. Here in Iowa, I’m also pleased that Attorney General Tom Miller…was one of the first when I jumped into this race that endorsed me.”
“I know so many politicians say they want to bring civility back to Washington politics, and you touched upon that in your legislature in Montana. What would you do to see that happen?” asked Joens.
“Well, we have to. At the end of the day I think this 240-year experiment called Democracy we are kind of getting into trouble,” said Bullock. “The way I have governed is really acting like my children are watching. And I even said that to the Legislature. Our kids learn from our words and our deeds. so I can disagree with people that view things politically different than I. But that doesn’t mean you have to go into this sort of politics of personal destruction. we have to elevate the system, not be tearing it down.”
“What would be your number one priority as president?” asked Joens.
“The first thing I would do is until we actually address the corrupting influence of outside money in our elections, we are not going to be able to address anything else,” said Bullock. “I was attorney general when the Citizens United decision came up. We have really taken on that if decisions are made based on the donors versus the individuals. If we can’t address that, it is so going to be harder to address income inequality address climate change, address healthcare costs all of that.”
“Montana is an agricultural state. Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota all are. What would you bring to the table for farmers?” asked Joens.
“Montana is being hit by these tariffs, just like Iowans have,” said Bullock. “And this is no way from my perspective to govern. We have to make sure that we have fair trade and open markets. But President Trump’s America First is becoming America Alone. And farmers are getting hit on both sides, both on the imports like aluminum steel tariffs, they are finally gone away. But I was talking to an Iowa farmer a couple of weeks ago, and he said he lost $147,000. U.S. Department of Ag is supposed to pay about $70,000 of that, but he still loses $77,000. We have to be honest: these markets aren’t coming back immediately. Places like Brazil are going to take over.”