Senate candidate wants to move America First agenda forward

Published 10:05 pm Tuesday, July 24, 2018

A GOP candidate for U.S. Senate expressed concern about the possible impact tariffs instituted by President Donald Trump’s administration will have on farmers Monday but said some are needed because of trade disparities.

Bob Anderson, 60, made the comment during a visit to Albert Lea-based Edwards Manufacturing.

He said farmers have expressed concern over the impact tariffs will have as a trade battle continues with China, the European Union and others.

Email newsletter signup

The Trump administration on Tuesday said it would pay up to $12 billion to U.S. farmers to cope with the issue.

“I’ve learned through visiting with farming communities that there’s a lot of anxiety out there,” Anderson said. “Most that I’ve talked to still support the president on the whole issue, but I think they’ve fallen through a serious loophole that has affected them with the tariffs.”

Anderson expressed support for Trump implementing manufacturing tariffs but said he does not support tariffs.

“What I do support is fighting from a position of strength,” he said. “Canada was pushing big tariffs on our products that were moving. I think it is going to open up other avenues for farmers, but it’s easy for me to say because I’m not out there in the fields. But (I believe) the president is aware of issues, and I think they need some stability.”

Anderson said he supports Trump’s motivation in implementing the tariffs.

“He’s fighting on behalf of America, because some of these trade deals were not made in the best interest of America,” he said.

Anderson is vying for the GOP nomination for the seat — vacated by Al Franken’s resignation over sexual harassment allegations — against Nikolay Nikolayevich Bey and Minnesota Sen. Karin Housley. Democrats Tina Smith, Ali Chechem Ali, Gregg Iverson, Nick Leonard and Richard Painter are running for the position.

A lifelong Minnesota resident, Anderson worked as a dental technician and now works for his younger brother. He said all Minnesota students do not need to attend four-year colleges and universities.

“I’m kind of being a big advocate for kids that really don’t know if they want to go to a four-year degree,” he said.

Anderson described himself as a mental health advocate who is trying to break the stigma of mental health issues among veterans.

“It’s very comforting for me to go to speak with them, because I’m open and honest because I went through depression myself,” he said.

Anderson said though he did not support many of the politics of former U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone, he did support a mental health bill he led and started a cable access TV show to advocate for the legislation.

Anderson said he did not believe Republicans were delivering on their basic tenants until Trump became president.

“I would love to go out and help him move his America First agenda forward but also represent all Minnesotans — not just the parties,” Anderson said.

Breaking with traditional Republican views on health care, Anderson said he supports a public health care option in Minnesota.

“What’s going to be the competition?” he asked. “We don’t have any competition.”

Anderson said he supports term limits.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

email author More by Sam