Ed Martin, a Republican candidate for Congress in Missouri, said in a radio interview with a conservative talk show host that President Obama and Rep. Russ Carnahan are trying to interfere with America’s freedom to worship. Martin also has taken a swipe at Carnahan’s sister Robin Carnahan, suggesting she is doing the “devil’s work” as Secretary of State.
Martin said today the growth of government endangers religious freedom and the “ultimate freedom … to get your salvation.” “And I think that’s one of the things that we have to be very, very aware of that the Obama Administration and Congressman Carnahan are doing to us,” Martin said during an interview on the “Dr. Gina show.”
Martin is challenging Carnahan (D-MO) this fall. The left-leaning FiredUp Missouri blog caught the radio segment and posted the audio tonight.
Host Gina Loudon asked if Martin is running as a tea party candidate. “I’m not running to be a Republican in Congress, I’m running to be in Congress,” he said. Martin said GOP leaders have spent a lot of time cautioning candidates and said he does not want to be that careful. For example, he said, leadership instructed him early on not to say he’d repeal health care on the campaign trail. “I said no way. I will vote to repeal it.”
Martin said that, “the tea party inspires me and supports me.” Martin let loose when the Loudon said Missouri’s 3rd district is one of the state’s most religious. Here’s the transcript:
One thing I like to say is: America is great, not because of our genetics. We’re great because we created a place and space where people can be free. And they can choose Christ, they can choose to be faithful. They can worship, and they find their way to the Lord. And — or some of them don’t. We sure want them all to, but some of them don’t.
Part of that freedom — when you take a government and you impose, and take away all your choices. One of the choices you take away is to find the Lord. And to find your savior.
And that’s one of the things that’s most destructive about the growth of government. It’s this taking away of that freedom. The freedom — the ultimate freedom, to find your salvation, to get your salvation. And to find Christ, for me and you.
And I think that’s one of the things that we have to be very, very aware of. That the Obama Administration and Congressman Carnahan are doing to us.
Listen to the full interview here.
Fired Up Missouri points out that Martin said in 2009 that Robin Carnahan (running for Senate on the fall ballot) “does the devil’s work.”
TPM readers will remember Martin, who featured tea party activists on his campaign Web site carrying signs deeming Obama as “marxist” and a “dictator.”
Martin, a former chief of staff to former Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt (R), is making the race competitive. He had 478,000 in the bank at the last filing period. Carnahan had $529,000. But the Cook Political Report ranks the seat as “likely Democratic.”
This post has been updated.