Dem House Candidate: ‘Real Challenge’ Running as Democrat for Congress During Debt Debate

Jul 18, 2011 1:41pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein (@rickklein) reports:

The first three weeks of former Albuquerque mayor Marty Chavez’s campaign for the House of Representatives have coincided with an intense and emotional debate over spending and the national debts in Washington. 

That’s made running for the House “a real challenge,” Chavez, D-N.M., told us on ABC’s “Top Line” today.

“You watch the conversations going on — I’m assuming it’s a conversation right now — in Washington, and it’s frankly daunting,” he said. “Right now looks like a food fight.”

His message to Washington cuts across party lines:

“To anyone that will listen, I tell them what Albuquerquians would say, and that is, ‘Get it done. Find the compromise. Get it done. Quit the bickering,’ ” Chavez said. “Why Social Security is even in this conversation right now, I don’t understand, because we know that it’s solvent. … The solution isn’t in Social Security. It’s in a mixture of spending and some of the other entitlement programs, but it’s not in Social Security. And I’m not trying to give you a political answer. Just, actuarially, Social Security should not be on the table right now.”

Chavez said he thinks Democrats re-taking the House is a “more likely scenario” than his party hold on to control of the Senate.

But he stopped short of endorsing the idea of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi re-taking her post as House speaker.

“I shook her hand one time at a reception. I don’t know her. I’m looking forward to getting to know her, as I am all the other members of Congress, and we’ll just have to see,” Chavez said of Pelosi.

And Chavez said President Obama remains popular in his Albuquerque-area district –- which Obama carried along with the state of New Mexico — though voters there have some policy differences with him.

“I think folks in the First Congressional district, because in it is Albuquerque plus some outlying area, like this president. I don’t think they necessarily agree with the president on everything, but I think they like the fact that he’s intelligent, thoughtful, and I think they believe his heart is good,” he said.

Watch the full interview with Marty Chavez HERE.

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