Campa-Najjar is running against Republican nominee and former Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) for a seat vacated in January by former Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA). Hunter resigned after pleading guilty to corruption charges regarding misuse of campaign funds.
Pollak asked, “One of the first things you have to do if you are elected to Congress is the vote for speaker of the House. Would you vote for Nancy Pelosi to be the speaker now?”
Campa-Najjar replied, “No, and that was last cycle, I said that on MSNBC … and you could look that up, so my record on that has been very consistent. I would not vote for her. I think we need new fresh blood. I support term limits.”
Campa-Najjar added, “I think you should serve ten years — five terms — and get out. I think that means we would get rid of Mitch McConnell, Chuck Schumer, and Nancy Pelosi, and that’s something that I think is a fair trade-off. If people love Nancy Pelosi, the trade-off is we don’t have Mitch McConnell. If you love Mitch McConnell, the trade-off is you don’t have Nancy Pelosi.”
“I’ll be damned if we think only 435 members of Congress in the House can govern 300 million people at any given moment,” Campa-Najjar stated. “Let’s give ourselves more credit. I think there’s plenty of people who could lead our country. And we don’t have to keep recycling career politicians like my opponent or other people who’ve been there for 40 years [or] 20 years.”
Campa-Najjar added, “I think it’s time for new fresh leadership. I’d like to talk to the people who are trying to run, but I’ve made it very clear since day one that I would not be supporting Nancy Pelosi. Her time, I think, has come and gone with all due respect.”
Campa-Najjar described the Black Lives Matter campaign and movement as nascent and nebulous.
“When you look at Black Lives Matter, Occupy, and all those groups, the movement started before the the the message, and that’s been the flaw with these movements in the social media era,” replied Campa-Najjar. “I think there’s not a monolithic voice on them, so I can’t speak for Black Lives Matter because I… I’m not part of that movement.”
Pollak asked if Campa-Najjar’s ancestry shapes his thinking on the Middle East. Campa-Najjar’s grandfather, Muhammad Yousef al-Najjar (Abu Yousef), was a Palestinian terrorist involved in the mass murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany. He was killed in 1973 by Israeli commandos in Beirut, Lebanon.
“[My grandfather] died before I was born,” responded Campa-Najjar. “He died 16 years before I was born, and I would ask your listeners to think for a second, is it fair to be charged with the crimes of a distant ancestor you never met? For example, if you are the descendant [of] slave owners, that doesn’t make you racist, right?”
Campa-Najjar continued, “I think it’s important that we realize that the crimes of somebody else don’t follow generations, especially for those who never met the person who was responsible. I’ve been very clear, I’ve condemned the Munich Massacre unequivocally along with the true mastermind as we’ve learned together along this process.”
“I think the record should be very clear that my biological grandfather. I use the word ‘biological’ because, just like people have biological fathers that they don’t know, I had a biological grandfather I had no relation with, who died literally before I was born. We never crossed the Earth together.”