South Carolina Democratic Senate candidate Alvin Greene discussed his shocking win in the South Carolina Democratic primary with me.
Greene discussed the impact of his win on state and national politics, his campaign plans, his relations with the Democratic Party, charges that he's a GOP plant, and calls for him to drop out of the race because of felony obscenity charges. Greene's controversial campaign and primary win has stirred national attention and sent shock waves through the Democratic Party.
EOH: A number of critics are convinced that you are a GOP plant, a put-up job.
AG: I'm a Democrat, and I always have been a Democrat.
EOH: South Carolina Democratic Congressman Jim Clyburn has called for a federal investigation.
AG: I have no comment on that. My campaign is about jobs, better education for children and justice.
EOH: Tell us, who is Alvin Greene? What should people know about you?
AG: I'm 32. I was born in Florence, South Carolina, and grew up in Manning, South Carolina. I graduated from the University of South Carolina. I'm an Air Force and an army veteran. I did a year tour of duty in Korea. I have been out of the service nine months.
EOH: Why did you decide to run?
AG: To make a difference. I saw the US declining and I decided to save my money to run.
EOH: Let's discuss your campaign platform. You emphasize reforming the criminal justice system.
AG: The punishment must fit the crime. We spend much more of our taxpayer dollars on inmates than students. We must get our priorities together in South Carolina and across the country.
EOH: You also emphasize lower gas prices.
AG: We need an energy bill that emphasizes alternative forms of energy such as solar. We must explore all our resources.
EOH: South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Carol Fowler has cited the obscenity charges pending against you and called for you to withdraw.
AG: The election was certified on Friday, June 11, so that's old business. I'm in the race all the way.
EOH: Have you reached out to the state Democrats for support?
AG: I'm seeking state and national support that I need and am entitled to. I'm the party's nominee.
EOH: Has there been any word from president Obama about your victory?
AG: None that I know of.
EOH: Your GOP rival Senator Jim DeMint is a strong, vigorous critic of the president. How are you going to battle him?
AG: I'm working on getting a September date for a one hour live, national network debate. But my focus is on the issues.
EOH: Do you now have a campaign committee, and solicited endorsements from the media and elected officials?
AG: I'm organizing my campaign for the general election and trying to find support.
EOH: Have the state's Democratic African-American elected officials offered support?
AG: I've had some offers from small organizations, but no official endorsements yet.
EOH: Have you gotten support from younger voters and college students?
AG; Yes, I get a lot of calls from across the country, and the world. They me how much they are inspired by my campaign. And they want to do anything they can to help.
EOH: Do you feel that you made a statement to the political establishment this election with your victory?
AG: Yes. All I heard was how are you going to do it? You don't have $100 million. I'm hearing that now about the general election. In the end, it's not about the money in the bank. It's the votes that count and the issues. My goal is getting South Carolina and the nation moving forward.