Stefanik talks 2022 midterms, the border and Hunter Biden
House Republican Conference chairwoman Elise Stefanik talks about the upcoming midterms and other topics with Fox News Digital as Republicans look to take control of the House from Democrats.
EXCLUSIVE: Republicans are poised to elect a record number of women to Congress this cycle with the help of House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik’s E-PAC. She told Fox News Digital that these “extraordinary” female candidates will “build” a GOP majority, “fire Nancy Pelosi once and for all and save this country.”
Stefanik, in an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital, said the GOP has the “highest number ever of Republican women who filed this cycle and who won their primaries.”
Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., speaks to reporters at the Capitol in Washington on May 14, 2021.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
“Last year was known as the ‘Year of the Republican Woman,’ and we’re going to build upon that,” Stefanik said.
Stefanik created her E-PAC, or “Elevate PAC,” after 2018 when the GOP was at a “very historic low of only 13 Republican women in the House.”
MIDTERM ELECTIONS: MCCARTHY SAYS REPUBLICANS WILL PUT AMERICA ‘IN A NEW DIRECTION’ IF THEY TAKE BACK THE HOUSE
“I made it a mission through E-PAC to support, recruit and invest in female candidates early to win the Republican primaries and general elections — not because they’re women but because they’re the strongest candidates to win, and we are seeing that model really paying off,” Stefanik told Fox News Digital.
“Not only do we have the highest rates of winners in our primaries, but we are also headed into the general election where these women are going to flip seats,” she continued, adding that this year is going to be “the year of the Latina woman.”
Texas Republican congressional candidate Monica De La Cruz speaks during a campaign event at the University Draft House in McAllen, Texas, on Oct. 10, 2022.
(Allison Dinner/AFP via Getty Images)
Cassy Garcia, Republican Senate candidate for Texas, speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas on Aug. 5, 2022.
(Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
“We have three women who are going to flip seats in Texas,” Stefanik said, referring to Monica De La Cruz for Texas’ 15th Congressional District, Cassy Garcia for Texas’ 28th congressional district, and Mayra Flores for Texas’ 34th congressional district.
Rep. Mayra Flores, R-Texas, who is running for re-election, speaks during a campaign event at the University Draft House in McAllen, Texas, on Oct. 10, 2022.
(Allison Dinner/AFP via Getty Images)
Stefanik also highlighted Karoline Leavitt, the 25-year-old running to represent New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District. Leavitt, before announcing her campaign, worked as a spokesperson for Stefanik. She previously worked for former President Donald Trump at the White House as an assistant press secretary, and she secured his endorsement.
Jen Kiggans won the GOP primary for Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District.
(Kristen Zeis/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
“Karoline Leavitt is on pace to be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, a former staffer of mine,” Stefanik said, also pointing to Lori Chavez-DeRemer for Oregon’s 5th Congressional District and Jen Kiggans, a state senator and Navy pilot, for Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District.
Karoline Leavitt, if elected, would be the youngest woman to serve in Congress in history.
“So, these extraordinary candidates are going to build this majority and fire Nancy Pelosi once and for all and save this country,” Stefanik told Fox News Digital. “But what’s sad is while Democrats get glossy cover pages and front-page coverage, these Republican women last cycle were not given what they are due — which is these profile pieces to tell the stories of these women cracking glass ceilings.”
KAROLINE LEAVITT VOWS TO ‘OFFER CHANGE,’ BE A ‘FIGHTING VOICE’ FOR NEW HAMPSHIRE IF ELECTED
Top issues this cycle for voters, according to polling, include inflation, crime, border security and education. But an issue Democrats are highlighting is abortion, following the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade earlier this year.
But Stefanik said a very small number of voters identify abortion as their top issue heading to the polls on Election Day.
“Inflation overwhelmingly is the top issue, followed by crime, followed by the energy crisis, border security, as well as education — all of those issues pull ahead of abortion,” she said. “I think it is very telling that Democrats are desperately trying to force this narrative on voters, but voters are smart, they know the stakes this election cycle.”
Stefanik said that the “reality” is that “Democrats have the radical position” on abortion.
“Democrats support taxpayer-funded abortion up until after the moment of birth,” she said. “Republicans are proudly pro-life.”
Stefanik said she is “pro-life, with the exception of rape, incest, life of the mother.”
“I believe deeply in increasing funding for pregnancy crisis centers but also in advocating for moms and babies, and I have done that through leading the charge when it comes to Joe Biden’s baby formula crisis,” she said. “So, it is interesting when we go on offense to expose how radical the Democrats are when it comes to their pro-abortion agenda, taxpayer-funded abortions, we win those voters.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
She added: “The vast majority of the American people do not support late-term abortion and an even higher percentage — over 80% — of the American people do not support taxpayer-funded abortion.”
“So, you know, the Republicans are going to run and win on all sorts of issues.”
RNC CHAIR RONNA MCDANIEL SAYS GOP SEEING ‘HUGE ENTHUSIASM’ WITH LESS THAN A WEEK UNTIL ELECTION DAY
Meanwhile, Stefanik said Republican women “made history in 2020.” More Republican women than ever before joined the 117th U.S.Congressafter dominating the 2020 elections, making history for the highest number of women in theHouse of Representatives.
Stefanik’s office told Fox News that 11 out of the 15 seats that flipped red in 2020 were won by E-PAC-endorsed Republican women.
“In one cycle with E-PAC, we went from 13 to 34,” Stefanik said, noting that it had been 35 until the tragic passing of Rep. Jackie Walorski in a recent car crash.
The late Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., is shown on July 18, 2018.
(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Walorski, R-Ind., was killed in a car crash in Indiana in August at the age of 58.
“She was such a part of this,” Stefanik said, honoring the late congresswoman. “She helped me launch E-PAC and was at the founding event.”
Stefanik founded E-PAC to “recruit, engage, empower, elevate and elect more GOP women to office.”
FOX NEWS POWER RANKINGS: REPUBLICANS EXPECTED TO CONTROL HOUSE, BUT BOTH PARTIES HOLD ON TO PATHWAYS IN SENATE
“To go from 13 to nearly 50 Republican women in two cycles is a huge, huge victory,” Stefanik told Fox News Digital. “And shame on the mainstream media for smearing this effort and saying it wasn’t possible.”
She added: “We will have the last laugh when we fire Nancy Pelosi in just four days.”
As for Republicans in general, Stefanik said the GOP’s “Commitment to America” message is one “that works,” adding that the American people are “rallying around” the policy proposals.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, left, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., are shown at the U.S. Capitol on March 16, 2022.
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
“An economy that is strong and a nation that is safe; a future that’s built upon freedom and a government that’s held accountable,” Stefanik said, laying out the Republican commitment. “Each one of those four major pillars has very specific policy priorities that we’ve worked on for the past year and a half.”
She added: “This is a unifying agenda and I believe that it will help deliver what’s the largest majority since the Great Depression.”