'Fight Hard on Principle,’ Says Freshman Republican Lawmaker
Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., a former wrestler, defeated a first-term incumbent Republican on his way to becoming a freshman member of Congress.
After winning a primary against incumbent Denver Riggleman, Good defeated Democrat Cameron Webb in the general election to represent Virginia’s 5th Congressional District. Good joins the podcast to discuss not only his unusual background but his thoughts on immigration and what he saw on a recent trip to the U.S.-Mexico border.
Rachel del Guidice: I’m joined today on “The Daily Signal Podcast” by Congressman Bob Good of Virginia. Congressman, thank you so much for joining us today on “The Daily Signal Podcast.”
Rep. Bob Good: Great to be with you, Rachel. Thank you for having me.
Rachel del Guidice: Well, it’s great to have you with us. You’re a freshman member of Congress. Can you start off just by telling us about why you decided to run for Congress?
Good: I really answered the call. My home district, I was recruited to challenge an incumbent Republican who folks in the district did not feel that he, as a first-term congressman, was reflecting the majority conservative values in the district.
And I was among those who believed that the Republican Party principles are best for America, our vision of low spending, low taxes, economic opportunity, standing on our Judeo-Christian principles, standing up for the family, standing up for faith, the importance of faith, and the importance of the sanctity of life, and frankly, reforming immigration in a way that puts Americans first was critically important to me as well.
Del Guidice: Before Congress, you had a career in wrestling that spanned four decades. You were a competitor, a coach, an administrator, and a mentor, too. Can you tell us a little bit about all of that?
Good: Yeah. Wrestling, I began to do that when I was in elementary school, continued through middle school and high school, went on to wrestle at Liberty University and earned a partial scholarship there.
Wrestling is a very demanding sport. It’s a grueling sport that really teaches discipline, sacrifice, perseverance, toughness in a way that few sports do.
And my boys would go on to become all-state wrestlers as well. We’re a wrestling family. And so [I] had a chance to coach along the way and invest in young men’s lives and the sport, and it really helped shape me in many ways into the individual that I am today.
Del Guidice: Well, going back to Congress, you’re coming in at a time where tensions are really high, in a political landscape where Republicans are in the minority, with a Democrat in the White House, in the House, and majorities in the White House and the Senate.
How do you think conservatives should respond to this unique sort of situation we find ourselves in? And it happens every so many years, but how do you think, in general, conservatives should respond at a time when they’re in the minority?
Good: Yeah, I think we’ve got to fight hard on principle and do one of two things. Either be able to stop the Democrats by gumming up the works or peeling off a few, maybe reasonable, more moderate, if any of those exist in the Democrat Party, to try to stop the radical, leftist, socialist agenda of [President Joe] Biden and [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and [Senate Majority Leader Chuck] Schumer, and do our best to stay united on true Republican, conservative principles that offer the best opportunity for our country, for economic opportunity, for energy independence, for a strong national defense, for a strong border, and for jobs for Americans.
And so we stand united in stopping the radical Democrat agenda. Or if we lose, if we lose on the votes, we lose on principle by standing united but exposing the Democrats for who they are, and then, hopefully, the American people will rebel against that or reject that at the ballot box come 2022.
Del Guidice: Some of the things Democrats have talked about, they’ve talked [about] ending the filibuster. We know … of those in the House and Senate [who] want to pass things like the Equality Act and the Green New Deal.
First of all, I guess, what are the dangers to those pieces of legislation that you see in particular? And then how do you think conservatives, even though they’re in the minority, should respond to that?
Good: It’s really clear to me that the Democrat Party has declared a war on the American people.
After Joe Biden ran, at times claiming to be more of a moderate, claiming to want to bring people together, claiming to be a uniter and a healer, he has really declared war on the people of America in terms of declaring war on their jobs; canceling the Keystone pipeline, which would cost 11,000 jobs, it’s estimated; canceling the border wall, which will cost tens of thousands of jobs also; declaring war on American energy, which will eliminate American energy independence. It’ll radically increase utility, gas, oil prices. It’ll cost, again, thousands and thousands of jobs.
Clearly on his immigration policies, he’s putting illegal immigrants ahead of American citizens. He’s putting illegal immigrants ahead of the safety of Americans.
And just one issue after another, with executive orders, Joe Biden, with his allies and the Democrat Party cheering him on, are really just declaring war on the American worker, on the American family, on the American citizen, and the safety and security of our country.
Del Guidice: We’ve talked a lot about what Democrats want to do. What are some things, some policy areas, that you’re really passionate about that you want to work on in these first days and weeks and months in Congress?
Good: Well, I’m a born-again Christian, so my most important issues would be issues related to the sanctity of life. I have signed onto, I think it’s 16 pro-life bills, and the capstone of that, my friend, Alex Mooney from West Virginia, has a bill, the Life at Conception Act, which would recognize and protect all life.
There is no more greater responsibility of government to protect life and to protect those who cannot protect themselves, and that begins with innocent, precious life.
I also believe very strongly in the founding Judeo-Christian principles our nation was established upon, the importance of faith and family as cornerstones to who we are as a country and also just recognizing the importance of the Constitution.
The Democrat Party does not believe in the sacredness of the Constitution or the rule of law, and so fighting to protect that.
And I think the most pressing issues beyond life would be attacking the national debt and the deficit and the spending, which we will be the first generation to leave a legacy of debt to your generation and those who come behind us, and for Republicans to return to true fiscal conservatives.
Secondly, attacking the federal government’s overly oppressive influence on education across our country, as our kids are being indoctrinated, K through 12, continuing through college, with a humanistic, frankly, atheistic worldview that’s anti-American, that’s anti-family, that’s really changing how our young people think.
Things like rejecting the 1776 initiative and replacing it with the 1619 initiative—really dangerous to our families, dangerous to our young people.
But I would like to see the Department of Education abolished. But short of that, to reduce the federal government’s control of our education system, to return control and power to the family, to the parents, and to have local control of our schools.
Education, fiscal responsibility, and then finally, immigration reform. Immigration reform is critical to our country’s future, especially eliminating illegal immigration.
You would think that we could come together and be unified, that would be a place where we could reach across the aisle and work together with Democrats on protecting our nation from an illegal immigration standpoint. But we don’t even have unity on that issue.
Del Guidice: On that issue, we actually just got back from a trip to the border. A couple of your different Republican colleagues, I was able to join you all, and we visited different spots. And I want to talk a little bit about what we saw.
But just top line, what’s on your heart and mind coming away from this trip? What did you see and learn, and what’s most on your heart after thinking about this trip a little bit?
Good: Comprehensive immigration reform from a conservative standpoint of putting the Americans first, American workers first, and protecting America first has been a critical issue to me since I launched my campaign a year and a half ago and challenged an incumbent Republican. However, illegal immigration being the cornerstone of that or the chief part of that.
And so to have an opportunity, though, to for the first time to go and visit the border myself, to be there right up close and personal as we looked at just miles and miles of the border here in Arizona, when we were there just recently, and to see what the Border Patrol deals with, to see what those folks who live along the border deal with.
And to really learn that all immigration, especially all illegal immigration, that comes from our southern border comes through the organized crime in Mexico, comes through the cartels, comes through the smugglers and through the coyotes, and just the danger that it puts these poor immigrants through, what they go through to try to reach our borders, and the danger that they encounter as they travel.
The women who are being raped, the children who are being abused—just the physical toll that it takes upon those immigrants that are coming.
And then how we are rewarding, with President Biden’s lax immigration policy, we’re rewarding the revenue that’s coming in through these cartels. We’re enriching them by allowing them to cross our border in the manner that they are. And what a danger that is, how dangerous it is to our folks trying to patrol the border, and how necessary it is to complete the wall.
Folks can disagree, and I could not disagree with them more strongly, but folks can disagree and say, “Hey, we shouldn’t have a wall because I think it’s mean,” or they just think we ought to be more welcoming or more open or what have you.
But it is totally dishonest to say the wall doesn’t work. It absolutely does work. It’s a 99% success rate when you have that wall in place, that 30-foot-tall wall.
We’ve completed nearly 500 miles under President [Donald] Trump. We’ve got 300 more miles funded already. … It’s a travesty that we wouldn’t go ahead and finish that last 300 miles that are already funded to secure our borders, to give the Border Patrol the support they need.
They’ve told us that with the new wall in place, they need one Border Patrol agent for every 2 miles. Without the wall, they need five agents for every mile. So really it’s one-tenth of the manpower needed to secure the border when the wall is in place. So it really, to see how dangerous it is, to see the control of the organized crime, and it just really illustrates how important it is that we secure the border and complete the wall.
Del Guidice: As you had mentioned, President Biden did stop construction on the border wall. And I know that with a Democrat majority in the House and Senate, there’s not a lot that can be done. But how would you say a response from conservatives should be to that?
Good: I think, like it is on many other issues, what we’ve got to do is our best to inform the American people of what’s really happening, how high the stakes are, what the consequence is of stopping the border wall, not completing it, and do our best to expose what the Democrats are doing and what the consequence of that is to the American people.
Securing the border is a national security issue. It’s an economic issue. As our schools, our social services systems, as they are already taxed to the limit to take care of our own citizens, and the flood of immigrants that are coming across illegally, so it’s a national security issue. It’s an economic issue.
But it’s also a health care issue. Here we are in the midst of a serious virus, and here we are allowing more and more immigrants to come across.
And Joe Biden has said, “Hey, a 100-day freeze on deportation of anyone, including criminals.” And he stopped building the wall, and he’s promised amnesty and citizenship to the 10 to 20 million illegal aliens who are here currently. What a danger to the American people. We’ve just got to expose that and do our best to fight against the Democrats’ agenda in that area.
Del Guidice: Well, as we wrap up, you mention the pandemic. We’ve also had an election that had very high tensions over that. As a man of faith, what would you like to tell constituents back in Virginia, as well as across the country, of what they should keep in mind during these times?
Good: I think that what we’ve got to keep in mind is that we are blessed to live in the greatest country the world has ever known. Only 5% of the world’s population gets to live in these United States, this wonderful, first-ever, self-rule government of the people, by the people, for the people. And we the people truly do have the power.
I get asked about term limits often. We have the power to term limit our representatives, our congressmen, our senators, our state representatives. We have the power to term-limit a president.
The power is with us to make our voices known, to make our voices heard, to fight and advocate for what we believe, to not allow the left to cancel us, to shout us down, to intimidate us, but to be bold and strong about what we believe our country is worth fighting for, and the future of our country is truly in the balance. And we must not give up. We must continue to fight as those before us did.
Del Guidice: Congressman Good, it’s been great having you on “The Daily Signal Podcast.” Thank you so much for being with us.
Good: Thank you so much, Rachel. Appreciate it.