Democrats are touting former astronaut Jose Hernandez as a headliner for their recruiting class ofHouse candidates – a crop of political outsiders they hope will help them win back the House next year.
On ABC’s “Top Line” today, Hernandez, who hails from California’s Central Valley, said he’s got the “type of attitude and mentality” that can bring change to Washington. Serving in Congress would be a big change from being an astronaut, he acknowledged.
“I think they’re both equally hard in their own right,” Hernandez told us. “But like I’ve said –I stand by my words: It’s not rocket science. The approach I’m taking is as a problem solver. If you look at the background of most Congress folks that we have right now in the House — they’re lawyers and they’re paid to litigate. I’m an engineer and I’m paid to solve problems.”
Hernandez, who’s hoping to face freshman Rep. Jeff Dunham, R-Calif., next year, said he decided to run after getting private encouragement from President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. He said they’ll both be welcome to campaign for him – especially Mrs. Obama.
“Well, he’s always gonna be invited, but I’m certainly gonna go and invite Michelle as well to come down to the district,” he said. “Everybody’s welcome to come and help.”
Hernandez said he’s confident that voters will deliver control of the House back to Democrats next year.
“I think people are having buyer’s remorse right now with respect to what they voted these past two years,” he said. “So I’m expecting — I’m fully expecting to be part of that 25 group [of new Democrats in the House] that’s gonna come back and take the House back.”
While Hernandez is running on a platform of tax equity — especially forcing the wealthy to pay “their fair share” – he’s also leaning heavily on his biography.
“It all boils down to the American Dream. I think if you look at my story as a first generation American who worked as a migrant farm worker all his life down the valley there in San Joaquin Valley, you know — I’m an example of reaching the American Dream: what can be accomplished with hard work and a good education in this great country of ours.”