Robinson says he’ll oppose GOP leadership if elected to U.S. House

Published 12:10 am Friday, April 15, 2016

Vernon Robinson is back, and this time he’s got his eyes on the 13th Congressional District.

In the 2016 race for North Carolina’s 13th District seat, Robinson says most Republican candidates agree on essential issues. Robinson, a Winston-Salem resident, distinguishes himself by saying he’s ready to oppose the GOP leadership in the U.S. House.

“We need more members who will force the leadership to return to regular order or replace that leadership, which I believe is going to have to happen,” he said. “I believe that folks need to look at not policy positions because there’s no difference in policy positions across the field, not substantially … Essentially what voters have to look at is whether an individual is interested in a career in Congress.”

If a congressional candidate wants a career in Congress, Robinson said the candidate would have to support the GOP leadership. As a result, he or she wouldn’t be able to support significant change. Similarly, if a congressional representative wants to “bring bacon back to the district,” he or she wouldn’t be able to secure money without supporting the GOP leadership.

“I would submit that I’m the guy in the field who is most credibly poised to oppose the leadership and change it so it actually does what it says it was going to do, which was be a check and balance on the power of the executive branch,” he said.

Robinson said he’s not willing to support Republican leadership in the U.S. House in order to “bring bacon” or money back to the 13th District. It’s mostly borrowed money, Robinson claimed.

“If somebody wants someone that will bring money back to the district, then there’s plenty of my opponents that will be willing to do that and they should vote for them,” he said.

His bid for the 13th District is the latest in a long line of political campaigns for Robinson — most have been unsuccessful. He has held elected office, as a Winston-Salem City councilman until 2005. The list of elected offices he’s run for include: N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction, State Senate, State House of Representatives, the 5th U.S. House District, the 8th U.S. House District and chair of the N.C. Republican Party.

This year, Robinson is one of 17 Republican candidates for the recently redrawn 13th Congressional District, which includes parts of Rowan, Iredell and Guilford counties. The district also includes the entirety of Davie, and Davidson County. The City of Salisbury sits entirely within the district. The district notably excludes Robinson’s residence in Winston-Salem. Although, North Carolina law allows residents of the state to run in any congressional district.

Robinson, 60, who lives in the 5th Congressional District, most recently worked as the head of a political action committee that raised millions and urged neurosurgeon Ben Carson to run for president. He is also an Air Force veteran. Robinson said he decided to run for the 13th Congressional District “because the House GOP leadership has failed us.” Robinson said he’s been talking for years about issues that are currently in the national political conversation.

Among the topics Robinson mentioned were securing America’s borders with other countries, stopping the “gaystapo from eroding the culture in our institutions” and stop radical, Islamic terrorism.

“All that stuff has gotten worse since 12 years ago,” he said. “It’s interesting that while I anticipated those problems, and they’re much bigger now, what I didn’t anticipate is that the House GOP leadership be an utter failure at being a check or a balance to the other branches of government, specifically to the president and executive branch.”

He said the U.S. House continues to fund President Barack Obama’s agenda through continuing resolutions, which are aimed at keeping funding levels for federal government identical to the previous year. Robinson said the U.S. House should aim to pass appropriations bills every year instead of a continuing resolution.

“Nothing is going to happen unless you remove the current leadership and replace them with some fellows that will restore regular order,” Robinson said.

If elected, Robinson says he won’t vote for bills that raise the debt ceiling, “bust budget caps” and bills that are calendared in a manner that doesn’t give members of the U.S. House an adequate amount of time to analyze.

As a measure of accountability, Robinson said he’s willing to post all of his votes for or against bills on social media. He also plans to host town halls every weekend.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.