Filed Under: Politics

Former Rep. Joe Sestak on PA’s Fetterman vs. Oz Senate race

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Pennsylvania Senate candidates Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and Dr. Mehmet Oz are locked in a tight race. Former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., joined Straight Arrow News to discuss this race, which could decide the balance of the Senate. Sestak also weighs in on the national security implications of the midterm elections with threats from Russia and China.

SHANNON LONGWORTH: I AM HERE WITH THE FORMER REPRESENTATIVE FOR PENNSYLVANIA’S SEVENTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT AND A RETIRED NAVY ADMIRAL, HE ADVISED FORMER PRESIDENT CLINTON ON DEFENSE POLICY. HE’S HERE WITH US TODAY TO DISCUSS THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA AND THE POTENTIAL IMPLICATIONS OF THIS ELECTIONS RESULTS. ADMIRAL SESTAK, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. LET’S START WITH STATE.

FORMER U.S. REP. JOE SESTAK, D-PA: ALL RIGHT, ABSOLUTELY.

LONGWORTH: THE PENNSYLVANIA RACE THAT’S GETTING A TON OF ATTENTION IS, OF COURSE, THE SENATE RACE BETWEEN DEMOCRAT JOHN FETTERMAN AND REPUBLICAN DR. MEHMET OZ. THE VETERAN’S LEAD HAS NARROWED IN RECENT WEEKS ACROSS A NUMBER OF POLLS AS A FORMER DEMOCRATIC SENATE CANDIDATE YOURSELF, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON VETERANS MESSAGING IN THE FINAL DAYS?

FORMER U.S. REP. JOE SESTAK, D-PA: WELL, YOU KNOW, FORESIGHT IS KIND OF A RARE ART IN POLITICS I DON’T OFTEN PRACTICE. BUT THAT SAID, I THINK THAT HIS GOING OUT AND ABOUT, PARTICULARLY AFTER HIS DEBATE, IS ABSOLUTELY WHAT HAS TO BE DONE. HE HAS TO BE OUT THERE AND SHOW PEOPLE THAT HE’S FEARLESS. IT’S UNFORTUNATE, THOUGH, THAT I THINK THIS ENTIRE RACE HAS BEEN BASICALLY RUN ABOUT MEMES BACK AND FORTH AS TO CAMPS JUST KIND OF SHELL EACH OTHER WITH ARTILLERY BACK AND FORTH. AND OFTEN I FEEL UNFORTUNATE, BUT JOURNALISM, OF COURSE, AIDED THAT SOMEWHAT. AND I MEAN THAT BECAUSE FOR TOO LONG, IT HAS BECOME ALMOST AN INTEREST OF POLITICS ALONE, RATHER THAN AN ACHIEVING POWER IN GOVERNMENT, RATHER THAN SAYING, HOW WILL THESE GENTLEMEN ACTUALLY EXERCISE THEIR POWER? ONCE IN GOVERNMENT? I THINK THAT’S BEEN ABSENT. AND SO AS JOHN FETTERMAN A GOOD GUY GOES OUT AND ABOUT THIS LAST COUPLE DAYS, I HOPE MORE OF THAT COMES OUT. BECAUSE I THINK THAT’S WHAT PEOPLE AT THIS END STATE MOST WANT TO HEAR. WHAT WILL YOU DO FOR ME, LIKE PINK FROM BUCKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA SAYS, WHAT ABOUT US?

LONGWORTH: SO YOU’RE NOW A FOUNDING MEMBER OF THE FORWARD PARTY, ALONG WITH FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN, AND ANDREW YANG, FAMILIAR NAMES. WHAT DO YOU SEE THIS PARTY CHANGING ABOUT THE POLITICS WE CURRENTLY HAVE IN THIS ELECTION?

SESTAK: WELL, I THINK THE BIGGEST DEFICIT WE HAVE IN AMERICA TODAY IS THE ISSUE OF TRUST. IT’S BIGGER THAN THE NATIONAL DEBT, YOU CAN SEE IT EVEN IN THIS CAMPAIGN THAT’S HAPPENING IN PENNSYLVANIA AT ALMOST ANY OTHER STATE. THERE’S ONLY ONE TIME THAT A THIRD PARTY HAS EVER BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN OUR NATION. AND IT WAS ON ONE ISSUE, JUST LIKE I BELIEVE, RIGHT NOW, THE LARGEST ISSUE FOR AMERICA IS TRUST. AND THAT WAS BACK IN THE 1850S, WHEN THE ONE ISSUE THAT FOUNDED THE REPUBLICAN PARTY WAS THE EXTENSION OF SLAVERY INTO THE WESTERN TERRITORIES. AND EVENTUALLY OUT OF THAT, AS PEOPLE JUST COULDN’T PUT UP WITH THIS FIGHTING BETWEEN THE WHIGS AND THE DEMOCRATS, THE THIRD PARTY WAS FORMED AND IT WAS SUCCESSFUL. I THINK WHEN YOU WATCH THE POLL, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT JUST CAME OUT TODAY. AND IT SAID, THE VAST MAJORITY, IT’S ABOUT 61%, I BELIEVE, SAID A THIRD PARTY WOULD BE WELCOMED. NOW, WHEN YOU ASKED EACH PARTY IF THEY THINK A MEMBERS IF THEY THINK BOTH PARTIES ARE BAD, ONLY 25% SAY THAT. BUT I THINK THIS IS A MOMENT IN TIME TO WHERE WE HAVE, AS I SAID, DIVIDED OURSELVES INTO A DIALOGUE OF THE DEAF BETWEEN THE TWO PARTIES. AND IT’S ALWAYS BEEN TOUGH OUT THERE. BUT NOT TO WHERE WE’RE JUST RELYING UPON MEMES BACK AND FORTH TO SHOW ONE ANOTHER. I THINK YOU SEE PEOPLE IN COMMON SENSE PLACES LIKE PENNSYLVANIA, WOULD TAKE A TRUE LOOK AT COULD I TRUST SOMEBODY WHO’S ACTUALLY WILLING TO WORK WITH SOMEONE ELSE. AS YOU BROUGHT OUT, I REPRESENTED THE SEVENTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT IN PENNSYLVANIA, IT WAS NEARLY TWO TO ONE REPUBLICAN I WAS SECOND DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSMAN, SINCE THE CIVIL WAR, I GOT REELECTED, REELECTED WITHOUT SPENDING A PENNY ON A SINGLE AD BY 20 POINTS, NOT BECAUSE HE ALWAYS AGREED WITH ME. BUT I THOUGHT TO A LARGE EXTENT, THEY TRUSTED ME THAT I’D BE OUT THERE EXPLAINING AND TALKING WITH THEM. AND I THINK THAT’S WHAT ABSENT TODAY. AND THAT’S WHY I BELIEVE THE FORD PARTY HAS AN OPPORTUNITY, NOT A CERTAINTY, BUT A POSSIBILITY IT MIGHT BRING ABOUT, AGAIN, A DIALOGUE WITH OUR NATION’S PEOPLES.

LONGWORTH: IT CERTAINLY IS INCREDIBLY NOTABLE TO SEE HOW MANY NAMES HAVE SIGNED ON TO SUPPORT A THIRD PARTY. SO WE’LL JUST HAVE TO SEE HOW HOW IT DOES IN THE COMING MONTHS AND YEARS. BUT FOR NOW, LET’S SWITCH GEARS TO FOCUS ON FOREIGN POLICY. WHAT ARE THE NATIONAL SECURITY THREATS FACING THE COUNTRY THIS MIDTERM ELECTION?

SESTAK: WELL, I THINK PEOPLE HAVE TO STEP BACK AND RECOGNIZE THAT IT’S THE INTERSECTION NOW AND FOR THE DISTANT FUTURE, AND INTERSECTION OF THE ECONOMY, TECHNICAL INNOVATION, AND GEOPOLITICS THAT’S CREATED A NEW WORLD WHERE ALMOST EVERYTHING IS A SECURITY ISSUE. LOOK WHAT HAPPENED WITH UKRAINE, AS WE WOKE UP ONE MORNING AND TANKS WERE GRINDING THEIR WAY INTO UKRAINE. SOON, GRAIN COULDN’T BE EXPORTED AND THE ECONOMY IN INVULNERABLE COMMUNITIES WAS IMPOVERISHED TO ALMOST TWO, THEY COULDN’T GET FOOD. AND THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN, YOU SEE COUNTRIES LIKE INDIA AND CHINA ALIGNING THEMSELVES, OR AT LEAST REMAINING SILENT AGAINST A VERY FIRST TIME DICTATOR SINCE WORLD WAR TWO REALLY MOVING INTO ANOTHER COUNTRY TO AN EXIT. WE HAVEN’T SEEN THAT REALLY, SINCE WORLD WAR TWO. SO WHAT I THINK IS WE HAVE TO RECOGNIZE WHETHER IT’S GETTING THINGS THAT ARE BEING MADE IN CHINA OUT OF THERE, BECAUSE OUR DEFENSE DEPARTMENT HAS A DEFENSE SCIENCE BOARD THAT SAYS THERE’S NOT ONE MAJOR MILITARY SYSTEM, WEAPON SYSTEM THAT WE CAN RELY UPON, THAT HAS NOT BEEN IMPREGNATED OR IS VULNERABLE TO HACKING. AS YOU PROBABLY KNOW, BLOOMBERG EVEN DID A REPORT TWO YEARS AGO SAYING THAT SERVERS MADE IN CHINA, AND ARE IN AEGIS CRYPT WARSHIPS, CIA DRONES, ALSO APPLE COMPUTERS, SERVERS HAVE BEEN HAD LITTLE WAFERS PUT INTO THE HARDWARE, LIKE SLEEPING AGENTS THAT CAN BE WOKEN UP IN WARTIME TO DO DAMAGE. NOW, PEOPLE HAVE OPPOSED THAT REPORT. BUT AT THE SAME TIME, OTHERS HAVE SAID, IF THEY HAVEN’T DONE IT, IT IS POSSIBLE. WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS A DIFFERENT ERA WE ARE IN AND WE HAVE A COUNTRY, CHINA THAT I BACKPACKED THROUGH BACK IN THE 80S, I TOOK ABOUT FOUR OR FIVE WEEKS WHEN THEY OPEN IT UP TO INDIVIDUAL TRAVEL JUST TO BACKPACK THROUGH IT FOR THAT PERIOD OF TIME, A WONDERFUL PEOPLE. BUT A GOVERNMENT NOW, WHERE THE LEADERS Z IN THE RECENT CONGRESS IS NOW BENT UPON, AS HE SAID, TO MAKE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT EQUAL TO MILITARY SECURITY AND SECURITY FOR EVERYTHING, EVEN IN THEIR ECONOMY. AND SO WE REALLY DO HAVE A VERY TOUGH TIME AND IT GOES BACK TO THE ISSUE I BROUGHT ABOUT HOW ABOUT THESE CANDIDATES RUNNING IN PENNSYLVANIA? HAS ANYBODY ASKED HIM? WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF A NUCLEAR WEAPON WERE SUDDENLY OR A DIRTY BOMB WAS SUDDENLY USED BY RUSSIA? WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE RIGHT APPROACH TO CHINA? WHO ALREADY HAS A BASE AND ONE OF THE 10 ISLANDS PACIFIC ISLANDS YOU USED TO HAVE A US BASE IN WESTERN PACIFIC? HOW WOULD YOU APPROACH THIS WITHOUT HARMING OUR ECONOMY, AND ALSO MAKING SURE THAT OUR TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION IS PROTECTED? SO THAT TO MY MIND, THAT KEY INTERSECTION OF THOSE THREE ELEMENTS IS WHAT WE HAVE TO COME TO BETTER GRIPS WITHIN THIS NATION, AND YOU CAN’T DO IT UNLESS YOU HAVE A NATION THAT UNITED.

LONGWORTH: CERTAINLY A LOT TO THINK ABOUT. AND SOME OF IT IS A LITTLE BIT FRIGHTENING, BUT WE’LL JUST HAVE TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME REPRESENTATIVE.

SESTAK: SHANNON, GREAT TO BE WITH YOU. THANKS FOR HAVING ME ABOARD.

SHANNON LONGWORTH: I AM HERE WITH THE FORMER REPRESENTATIVE FOR PENNSYLVANIA’S SEVENTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT AND A RETIRED NAVY ADMIRAL, HE ADVISED FORMER PRESIDENT CLINTON ON DEFENSE POLICY. HE’S HERE WITH US TODAY TO DISCUSS THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA AND THE POTENTIAL IMPLICATIONS OF THIS ELECTIONS RESULTS. ADMIRAL SUSTECH, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. LET’S START WITH STATE.

FORMER U.S. REP. JOE SESTAK, D-PA: ALL RIGHT, ABSOLUTELY.

LONGWORTH: THE PENNSYLVANIA RACE THAT’S GETTING A TON OF ATTENTION IS OF COURSE, THE SENATE RACE BETWEEN DEMOCRAT JOHN FETTERMAN AND REPUBLICAN DR. MEHMET OZ. THE VETERANS LEAD HAS NARROWED IN RECENT WEEKS ACROSS A NUMBER OF POLLS AS A FORMER DEMOCRATIC SENATE CANDIDATE YOURSELF, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON VETERANS MESSAGING IN THE FINAL DAYS?

FORMER U.S. REP. JOE SESTAK, D-PA: WELL, YOU KNOW, FORESIGHT IS KIND OF A RARE ART IN POLITICS. I DON’T OFTEN PRACTICES. BUT THAT SAID, I THINK THAT HIS GOING OUT AND ABOUT, PARTICULARLY AFTER HIS DEBATE, IS ABSOLUTELY WHAT HAS TO BE DONE. HE HAS TO BE OUT THERE AND SHOW PEOPLE THAT HE’S FEARLESS. IT’S UNFORTUNATE, THOUGH, THAT I THINK THIS ENTIRE RACE HAS BEEN BASICALLY RUN ABOUT MEMES BACK AND FORTH AS TO CAMPS JUST KIND OF SHELL EACH OTHER WITH ARTILLERY BACK AND FORTH. AND OFTEN I FEEL UNFORTUNATE, BUT JOURNALISM, OF COURSE, AIDED THAT SOMEWHAT. AND I MEAN THAT BECAUSE FOR TOO LONG, IT HAS BECOME ALMOST AN INTEREST OF POLITICS ALONE, RATHER THAN AN ACHIEVING POWER IN GOVERNMENT, RATHER THAN SAYING, HOW WILL THESE GENTLEMEN ACTUALLY EXERCISE THEIR POWER? ONCE IN GOVERNMENT? I THINK THAT’S BEEN ABSENT. AND SO AS JOHN FETTERMAN A GOOD GUY GOES OUT AND ABOUT THIS LAST COUPLE DAYS, I HOPE MORE OF THAT COMES OUT. BECAUSE I THINK THAT’S WHAT PEOPLE AT THIS END STATE MOST WANT TO HEAR. WHAT WILL YOU DO FOR ME, LIKE PINK FROM BUCKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA SAYS, WHAT ABOUT US?

LONGWORTH: SO YOU’RE NOW A FOUNDING MEMBER OF THE FORWARD PARTY, ALONG WITH FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN, AND ANDREW YANG, FAMILIAR NAMES. WHAT DO YOU SEE THIS PARTY CHANGING ABOUT THE POLITICS WE CURRENTLY HAVE IN THIS ELECTION?

SESTAK: WELL, I THINK THE BIGGEST DEFICIT WE HAVE IN AMERICA TODAY IS THE ISSUE OF TRUST. IT’S BIGGER THAN THE NATIONAL DEBT, YOU CAN SEE IT EVEN IN THIS CAMPAIGN THAT’S HAPPENING IN PENNSYLVANIA AT ALMOST ANY OTHER STATE. THERE’S ONLY ONE TIME THAT A THIRD PARTY HAS EVER BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN OUR NATION. AND IT WAS ON ONE ISSUE, JUST LIKE I BELIEVE, RIGHT NOW, THE LARGEST ISSUE FOR AMERICA IS TRUST. AND THAT WAS BACK IN THE 1850S, WHEN THE ONE ISSUE THAT FOUNDED THE REPUBLICAN PARTY WAS THE EXTENSION OF SLAVERY INTO THE WESTERN TERRITORIES. AND EVENTUALLY OUT OF THAT, AS PEOPLE JUST COULDN’T PUT UP WITH THIS FIGHTING BETWEEN THE WHIGS AND THE DEMOCRATS, THE THIRD PARTY WAS FORMED AND IT WAS SUCCESSFUL. I THINK WHEN YOU WATCH THE POLL, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT JUST CAME OUT TODAY. AND IT SAID, THE VAST MAJORITY, IT’S ABOUT 61%, I BELIEVE, SAID A THIRD PARTY WOULD BE WELCOMED. NOW, WHEN YOU ASKED EACH PARTY IF THEY THINK A MEMBERS IF THEY THINK BOTH PARTIES ARE BAD, ONLY 25% SAY THAT. BUT I THINK THIS IS A MOMENT IN TIME TO WHERE WE HAVE, AS I SAID, DIVIDED OURSELVES INTO A DIALOGUE OF THE DEAF BETWEEN THE TWO PARTIES. AND IT’S ALWAYS BEEN TOUGH OUT THERE. BUT NOT TO WHERE WE’RE JUST RELYING UPON MEMES BACK AND FORTH TO SHOW ONE ANOTHER. I THINK YOU SEE PEOPLE IN COMMON SENSE PLACES LIKE PENNSYLVANIA, WOULD TAKE A TRUE LOOK AT COULD I TRUST SOMEBODY WHO’S ACTUALLY WILLING TO WORK WITH SOMEONE ELSE. AS YOU BROUGHT OUT, I REPRESENTED THE SEVENTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT IN PENNSYLVANIA, IT WAS NEARLY TWO TO ONE REPUBLICAN I WAS SECOND DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSMAN, SINCE THE CIVIL WAR, I GOT REELECTED, REELECTED WITHOUT SPENDING A PENNY ON A SINGLE AD BY 20 POINTS, NOT BECAUSE HE ALWAYS AGREED WITH ME. BUT I THOUGHT TO A LARGE EXTENT, THEY TRUSTED ME THAT I’D BE OUT THERE EXPLAINING AND TALKING WITH THEM. AND I THINK THAT’S WHAT ABSENT TODAY. AND THAT’S WHY I BELIEVE THE FORD PARTY HAS AN OPPORTUNITY, NOT A CERTAINTY, BUT A POSSIBILITY IT MIGHT BRING ABOUT, AGAIN, A DIALOGUE WITH OUR NATION’S PEOPLES.

LONGWORTH: IT CERTAINLY IS INCREDIBLY NOTABLE TO SEE HOW MANY NAMES HAVE SIGNED ON TO SUPPORT A THIRD PARTY. SO WE’LL JUST HAVE TO SEE HOW HOW IT DOES IN THE COMING MONTHS AND YEARS. BUT FOR NOW, LET’S SWITCH GEARS TO FOCUS ON FOREIGN POLICY. WHAT ARE THE NATIONAL SECURITY THREATS FACING THE COUNTRY THIS MIDTERM ELECTION?

SESTAK: WELL, I THINK PEOPLE HAVE TO STEP BACK AND RECOGNIZE THAT IT’S THE INTERSECTION NOW AND FOR THE DISTANT FUTURE, AND INTERSECTION OF THE ECONOMY, TECHNICAL INNOVATION, AND GEOPOLITICS THAT’S CREATED A NEW WORLD WHERE ALMOST EVERYTHING IS A SECURITY ISSUE. LOOK WHAT HAPPENED WITH UKRAINE, AS WE WOKE UP ONE MORNING AND TANKS WERE GRINDING THEIR WAY INTO UKRAINE. SOON, GRAIN COULDN’T BE EXPORTED AND THE ECONOMY IN INVULNERABLE COMMUNITIES WAS IMPOVERISHED TO ALMOST TWO, THEY COULDN’T GET FOOD. AND THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN, YOU SEE COUNTRIES LIKE INDIA AND CHINA ALIGNING THEMSELVES, OR AT LEAST REMAINING SILENT AGAINST A VERY FIRST TIME DICTATOR SINCE WORLD WAR TWO REALLY MOVING INTO ANOTHER COUNTRY TO AN EXIT. WE HAVEN’T SEEN THAT REALLY, SINCE WORLD WAR TWO. SO WHAT I THINK IS WE HAVE TO RECOGNIZE WHETHER IT’S GETTING THINGS THAT ARE BEING MADE IN CHINA OUT OF THERE, BECAUSE OUR DEFENSE DEPARTMENT HAS A DEFENSE SCIENCE BOARD THAT SAYS THERE’S NOT ONE MAJOR MILITARY SYSTEM, WEAPON SYSTEM THAT WE CAN RELY UPON, THAT HAS NOT BEEN IMPREGNATED OR IS VULNERABLE TO HACKING. AS YOU PROBABLY KNOW, BLOOMBERG EVEN DID A REPORT TWO YEARS AGO SAYING THAT SERVERS MADE IN CHINA, AND ARE IN AEGIS CRYPT WARSHIPS, CIA DRONES, ALSO APPLE COMPUTERS, SERVERS HAVE BEEN HAD LITTLE WAFERS PUT INTO THE HARDWARE, LIKE SLEEPING AGENTS THAT CAN BE WOKEN UP IN WARTIME TO DO DAMAGE. NOW, PEOPLE HAVE OPPOSED THAT REPORT. BUT AT THE SAME TIME, OTHERS HAVE SAID, IF THEY HAVEN’T DONE IT, IT IS POSSIBLE. WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS A DIFFERENT ERA WE ARE IN AND WE HAVE A COUNTRY, CHINA THAT I BACKPACKED THROUGH BACK IN THE 80S, I TOOK ABOUT FOUR OR FIVE WEEKS WHEN THEY OPEN IT UP TO INDIVIDUAL TRAVEL JUST TO BACKPACK THROUGH IT FOR THAT PERIOD OF TIME, A WONDERFUL PEOPLE. BUT A GOVERNMENT NOW, WHERE THE LEADERS Z IN THE RECENT CONGRESS IS NOW BENT UPON, AS HE SAID, TO MAKE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT EQUAL TO MILITARY SECURITY AND SECURITY FOR EVERYTHING, EVEN IN THEIR ECONOMY. AND SO WE REALLY DO HAVE A VERY TOUGH TIME AND IT GOES BACK TO THE ISSUE I BROUGHT ABOUT HOW ABOUT THESE CANDIDATES RUNNING IN PENNSYLVANIA? HAS ANYBODY ASKED HIM? WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF A NUCLEAR WEAPON WERE SUDDENLY OR A DIRTY BOMB WAS SUDDENLY USED BY RUSSIA? WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE RIGHT APPROACH TO CHINA? WHO ALREADY HAS A BASE AND ONE OF THE 10 ISLANDS PACIFIC ISLANDS YOU USED TO HAVE A US BASE IN WESTERN PACIFIC? HOW WOULD YOU APPROACH THIS WITHOUT HARMING OUR ECONOMY, AND ALSO MAKING SURE THAT OUR TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION IS PROTECTED? SO THAT TO MY MIND, THAT KEY INTERSECTION OF THOSE THREE ELEMENTS IS WHAT WE HAVE TO COME TO BETTER GRIPS WITHIN THIS NATION, AND YOU CAN’T DO IT UNLESS YOU HAVE A NATION THAT UNITED.

LONGWORTH: CERTAINLY A LOT TO THINK ABOUT. AND SOME OF IT IS A LITTLE BIT FRIGHTENING, BUT WE’LL JUST HAVE TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME REPRESENTATIVE.

SESTAK: SHANNON, GREAT TO BE WITH YOU. THANKS FOR HAVING ME ABOARD.

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIBED AUTOMATICALLY

Pennsylvania Senate candidates Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and Dr. Mehmet Oz are locked in a tight race. Former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa., joined Straight Arrow News to discuss this race, which could decide the balance of the Senate. Sestak also weighs in on the national security implications of the midterm elections with threats from Russia and China.

SHANNON LONGWORTH: I AM HERE WITH THE FORMER REPRESENTATIVE FOR PENNSYLVANIA’S SEVENTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT AND A RETIRED NAVY ADMIRAL, HE ADVISED FORMER PRESIDENT CLINTON ON DEFENSE POLICY. HE’S HERE WITH US TODAY TO DISCUSS THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA AND THE POTENTIAL IMPLICATIONS OF THIS ELECTIONS RESULTS. ADMIRAL SESTAK, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. LET’S START WITH STATE.

FORMER U.S. REP. JOE SESTAK, D-PA: ALL RIGHT, ABSOLUTELY.

LONGWORTH: THE PENNSYLVANIA RACE THAT’S GETTING A TON OF ATTENTION IS, OF COURSE, THE SENATE RACE BETWEEN DEMOCRAT JOHN FETTERMAN AND REPUBLICAN DR. MEHMET OZ. THE VETERAN’S LEAD HAS NARROWED IN RECENT WEEKS ACROSS A NUMBER OF POLLS AS A FORMER DEMOCRATIC SENATE CANDIDATE YOURSELF, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON VETERANS MESSAGING IN THE FINAL DAYS?

FORMER U.S. REP. JOE SESTAK, D-PA: WELL, YOU KNOW, FORESIGHT IS KIND OF A RARE ART IN POLITICS I DON’T OFTEN PRACTICE. BUT THAT SAID, I THINK THAT HIS GOING OUT AND ABOUT, PARTICULARLY AFTER HIS DEBATE, IS ABSOLUTELY WHAT HAS TO BE DONE. HE HAS TO BE OUT THERE AND SHOW PEOPLE THAT HE’S FEARLESS. IT’S UNFORTUNATE, THOUGH, THAT I THINK THIS ENTIRE RACE HAS BEEN BASICALLY RUN ABOUT MEMES BACK AND FORTH AS TO CAMPS JUST KIND OF SHELL EACH OTHER WITH ARTILLERY BACK AND FORTH. AND OFTEN I FEEL UNFORTUNATE, BUT JOURNALISM, OF COURSE, AIDED THAT SOMEWHAT. AND I MEAN THAT BECAUSE FOR TOO LONG, IT HAS BECOME ALMOST AN INTEREST OF POLITICS ALONE, RATHER THAN AN ACHIEVING POWER IN GOVERNMENT, RATHER THAN SAYING, HOW WILL THESE GENTLEMEN ACTUALLY EXERCISE THEIR POWER? ONCE IN GOVERNMENT? I THINK THAT’S BEEN ABSENT. AND SO AS JOHN FETTERMAN A GOOD GUY GOES OUT AND ABOUT THIS LAST COUPLE DAYS, I HOPE MORE OF THAT COMES OUT. BECAUSE I THINK THAT’S WHAT PEOPLE AT THIS END STATE MOST WANT TO HEAR. WHAT WILL YOU DO FOR ME, LIKE PINK FROM BUCKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA SAYS, WHAT ABOUT US?

LONGWORTH: SO YOU’RE NOW A FOUNDING MEMBER OF THE FORWARD PARTY, ALONG WITH FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN, AND ANDREW YANG, FAMILIAR NAMES. WHAT DO YOU SEE THIS PARTY CHANGING ABOUT THE POLITICS WE CURRENTLY HAVE IN THIS ELECTION?

SESTAK: WELL, I THINK THE BIGGEST DEFICIT WE HAVE IN AMERICA TODAY IS THE ISSUE OF TRUST. IT’S BIGGER THAN THE NATIONAL DEBT, YOU CAN SEE IT EVEN IN THIS CAMPAIGN THAT’S HAPPENING IN PENNSYLVANIA AT ALMOST ANY OTHER STATE. THERE’S ONLY ONE TIME THAT A THIRD PARTY HAS EVER BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN OUR NATION. AND IT WAS ON ONE ISSUE, JUST LIKE I BELIEVE, RIGHT NOW, THE LARGEST ISSUE FOR AMERICA IS TRUST. AND THAT WAS BACK IN THE 1850S, WHEN THE ONE ISSUE THAT FOUNDED THE REPUBLICAN PARTY WAS THE EXTENSION OF SLAVERY INTO THE WESTERN TERRITORIES. AND EVENTUALLY OUT OF THAT, AS PEOPLE JUST COULDN’T PUT UP WITH THIS FIGHTING BETWEEN THE WHIGS AND THE DEMOCRATS, THE THIRD PARTY WAS FORMED AND IT WAS SUCCESSFUL. I THINK WHEN YOU WATCH THE POLL, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT JUST CAME OUT TODAY. AND IT SAID, THE VAST MAJORITY, IT’S ABOUT 61%, I BELIEVE, SAID A THIRD PARTY WOULD BE WELCOMED. NOW, WHEN YOU ASKED EACH PARTY IF THEY THINK A MEMBERS IF THEY THINK BOTH PARTIES ARE BAD, ONLY 25% SAY THAT. BUT I THINK THIS IS A MOMENT IN TIME TO WHERE WE HAVE, AS I SAID, DIVIDED OURSELVES INTO A DIALOGUE OF THE DEAF BETWEEN THE TWO PARTIES. AND IT’S ALWAYS BEEN TOUGH OUT THERE. BUT NOT TO WHERE WE’RE JUST RELYING UPON MEMES BACK AND FORTH TO SHOW ONE ANOTHER. I THINK YOU SEE PEOPLE IN COMMON SENSE PLACES LIKE PENNSYLVANIA, WOULD TAKE A TRUE LOOK AT COULD I TRUST SOMEBODY WHO’S ACTUALLY WILLING TO WORK WITH SOMEONE ELSE. AS YOU BROUGHT OUT, I REPRESENTED THE SEVENTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT IN PENNSYLVANIA, IT WAS NEARLY TWO TO ONE REPUBLICAN I WAS SECOND DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSMAN, SINCE THE CIVIL WAR, I GOT REELECTED, REELECTED WITHOUT SPENDING A PENNY ON A SINGLE AD BY 20 POINTS, NOT BECAUSE HE ALWAYS AGREED WITH ME. BUT I THOUGHT TO A LARGE EXTENT, THEY TRUSTED ME THAT I’D BE OUT THERE EXPLAINING AND TALKING WITH THEM. AND I THINK THAT’S WHAT ABSENT TODAY. AND THAT’S WHY I BELIEVE THE FORD PARTY HAS AN OPPORTUNITY, NOT A CERTAINTY, BUT A POSSIBILITY IT MIGHT BRING ABOUT, AGAIN, A DIALOGUE WITH OUR NATION’S PEOPLES.

LONGWORTH: IT CERTAINLY IS INCREDIBLY NOTABLE TO SEE HOW MANY NAMES HAVE SIGNED ON TO SUPPORT A THIRD PARTY. SO WE’LL JUST HAVE TO SEE HOW HOW IT DOES IN THE COMING MONTHS AND YEARS. BUT FOR NOW, LET’S SWITCH GEARS TO FOCUS ON FOREIGN POLICY. WHAT ARE THE NATIONAL SECURITY THREATS FACING THE COUNTRY THIS MIDTERM ELECTION?

SESTAK: WELL, I THINK PEOPLE HAVE TO STEP BACK AND RECOGNIZE THAT IT’S THE INTERSECTION NOW AND FOR THE DISTANT FUTURE, AND INTERSECTION OF THE ECONOMY, TECHNICAL INNOVATION, AND GEOPOLITICS THAT’S CREATED A NEW WORLD WHERE ALMOST EVERYTHING IS A SECURITY ISSUE. LOOK WHAT HAPPENED WITH UKRAINE, AS WE WOKE UP ONE MORNING AND TANKS WERE GRINDING THEIR WAY INTO UKRAINE. SOON, GRAIN COULDN’T BE EXPORTED AND THE ECONOMY IN INVULNERABLE COMMUNITIES WAS IMPOVERISHED TO ALMOST TWO, THEY COULDN’T GET FOOD. AND THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN, YOU SEE COUNTRIES LIKE INDIA AND CHINA ALIGNING THEMSELVES, OR AT LEAST REMAINING SILENT AGAINST A VERY FIRST TIME DICTATOR SINCE WORLD WAR TWO REALLY MOVING INTO ANOTHER COUNTRY TO AN EXIT. WE HAVEN’T SEEN THAT REALLY, SINCE WORLD WAR TWO. SO WHAT I THINK IS WE HAVE TO RECOGNIZE WHETHER IT’S GETTING THINGS THAT ARE BEING MADE IN CHINA OUT OF THERE, BECAUSE OUR DEFENSE DEPARTMENT HAS A DEFENSE SCIENCE BOARD THAT SAYS THERE’S NOT ONE MAJOR MILITARY SYSTEM, WEAPON SYSTEM THAT WE CAN RELY UPON, THAT HAS NOT BEEN IMPREGNATED OR IS VULNERABLE TO HACKING. AS YOU PROBABLY KNOW, BLOOMBERG EVEN DID A REPORT TWO YEARS AGO SAYING THAT SERVERS MADE IN CHINA, AND ARE IN AEGIS CRYPT WARSHIPS, CIA DRONES, ALSO APPLE COMPUTERS, SERVERS HAVE BEEN HAD LITTLE WAFERS PUT INTO THE HARDWARE, LIKE SLEEPING AGENTS THAT CAN BE WOKEN UP IN WARTIME TO DO DAMAGE. NOW, PEOPLE HAVE OPPOSED THAT REPORT. BUT AT THE SAME TIME, OTHERS HAVE SAID, IF THEY HAVEN’T DONE IT, IT IS POSSIBLE. WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS A DIFFERENT ERA WE ARE IN AND WE HAVE A COUNTRY, CHINA THAT I BACKPACKED THROUGH BACK IN THE 80S, I TOOK ABOUT FOUR OR FIVE WEEKS WHEN THEY OPEN IT UP TO INDIVIDUAL TRAVEL JUST TO BACKPACK THROUGH IT FOR THAT PERIOD OF TIME, A WONDERFUL PEOPLE. BUT A GOVERNMENT NOW, WHERE THE LEADERS Z IN THE RECENT CONGRESS IS NOW BENT UPON, AS HE SAID, TO MAKE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT EQUAL TO MILITARY SECURITY AND SECURITY FOR EVERYTHING, EVEN IN THEIR ECONOMY. AND SO WE REALLY DO HAVE A VERY TOUGH TIME AND IT GOES BACK TO THE ISSUE I BROUGHT ABOUT HOW ABOUT THESE CANDIDATES RUNNING IN PENNSYLVANIA? HAS ANYBODY ASKED HIM? WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF A NUCLEAR WEAPON WERE SUDDENLY OR A DIRTY BOMB WAS SUDDENLY USED BY RUSSIA? WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE RIGHT APPROACH TO CHINA? WHO ALREADY HAS A BASE AND ONE OF THE 10 ISLANDS PACIFIC ISLANDS YOU USED TO HAVE A US BASE IN WESTERN PACIFIC? HOW WOULD YOU APPROACH THIS WITHOUT HARMING OUR ECONOMY, AND ALSO MAKING SURE THAT OUR TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION IS PROTECTED? SO THAT TO MY MIND, THAT KEY INTERSECTION OF THOSE THREE ELEMENTS IS WHAT WE HAVE TO COME TO BETTER GRIPS WITHIN THIS NATION, AND YOU CAN’T DO IT UNLESS YOU HAVE A NATION THAT UNITED.

LONGWORTH: CERTAINLY A LOT TO THINK ABOUT. AND SOME OF IT IS A LITTLE BIT FRIGHTENING, BUT WE’LL JUST HAVE TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME REPRESENTATIVE.

SESTAK: SHANNON, GREAT TO BE WITH YOU. THANKS FOR HAVING ME ABOARD.

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