Mark Pryor Reacts to Tom Cotton’s Announcement

FAYETTEVILLE, AR — Senator Mark Pryor sat down with Brad Reed at the Fox Desk on Tuesday with our sister station in Fayetteville.

Pryor voiced his opinion on the announcement that Tom Cotton will run against him in the next election.

To see the interview, watch the embedded video.

A transcript of the conversation is listed below:

Q)  How long have you known Tom Cotton was going to run against you for U.S. Senate?

A)  Well this was probably the worst kept political secret in Arkansas.  I think we’ve known this for months and you could feel this gearing up for months.   I’m excited about it.  I’m looking forward to this campaign.

Q)  Why did you go after Tom Cotton’s voting record in your latest campaign ad?

A)  He’s been in office seven months and I think it is important that the people in Arkansas understand how he’s voting.  When I look at his voting record I can’t tell how he’s voting for Arkansas.  He voted against the farm bill.  He voted against the student loan bill.  He voted to cut medicare and social security.  The list goes on and on.

Q)  Are you concerned voters just want someone in the U.S. Senate seat that does not align themselves with President Obama?

A)  Not really.  It’s excactly just the way I like it.  In 2002 people said I couldn’t win, and I won.  2008 they said I couldn’t win, and I won with 80% of the vote in the state of Arkansas.  This time they’re saying I’m vulnarable.  That’s all Washington D.C. chatter .  When you come to Arkansas and you talk to people…it feels really good around the state.

Q)  Your supporters may just be telling you what you want to hear.  How do you balance that with those in your party who say you may have a tough battle on your hands with this campaign?

A)  To me it’s not a balance.  I’m the most independant  Senator in Washington.  You look at all the records and I’m right in the center basically, and that’s a good place to be, but its not a balance for me because I don’t try to listen to all that.  I listen to folks back home.

Q)  As a red state, many in Arkansas believe you don’t listen to them as it pertains to Obamacare and the stimulus package to name a few.  Is it tough to be a democrat in Arkansas?  Do you feel like you are working both sides of a line?

A)  I don’t feel like I’m there to represent a party, and I’m not there to support or oppose a President.  I’ve had two presidents I’ve had to deal with.  I’ve been with them sometimes and against them sometimes.  To me I throw the partisan stuff out and I try to do what’s best and what’s right.  You mentioned the stimlus, you look at these highways in Northwest Arkansas and they need infrastructure.  And a lot of that stimulus went to infrastrucutre.  I’m not embarrased about that.  I think that was a good investment.

Q)  What is your opinion about Clarksville’s Superintendent wanting to arm trained volunteers with guns in schools starting this Fall?

A)  I’ve been a big supporter of the COPS program.  And that’s arming police officers and putting them in the schools. This has been a very successful program.  I think you’re better off with a COPS type program than with a bunch of volunteers.

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