Paul Nehlen is just one of hundreds of candidates running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives this year, but the businessman and inventor is running as if he’s in a national race. In a way, he is.
His Republican primary opponent, after all, is House Speaker Paul Ryan. And with the election scheduled for Aug. 9, national attention is intensifying as the campaign comes down to the wire.
“It’s absolutely a national campaign,” Nehlen told WND. “Paul Ryan opposes 92 percent of the GOP electorate on immigration and seven out of 10 voters on the Muslim refugee pause. Think about that for a moment. That is monumental.
“Paul Ryan has said he will not fund a wall and he will sue Donald Trump over his comments on Muslim immigration. It would be everything Paul Ryan could do to cause Mr. Trump to be a one-term, ineffectual president.”
Nehlen never thought he would run for office, much less challenge the sitting speaker in a primary. He has spent his life in manufacturing and industry. He currently serves as senior vice president of operations for a water filtration and disinfection technologies company, and as an inventor he recently secured his fifth patent.
However, when Nehlen read Sen. Jeff Sessions’ report on what was in the new Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, he immediately dashed off a letter of protest to Ryan, who was his congressman. He also phoned Ryan’s office to see if what Sessions wrote was true, but he didn’t get an answer. He had to go to other countries’ websites to verify what he had read about the TPP was true.
“I was absolutely incensed,” Nehlen recalled.
The businessman warned anybody who would listen about the TPP. Meanwhile, Nehlen also saw Ryan save the Export-Import Bank by attaching it to a $300 billion highway bill. He dug into Ryan’s campaign financing and discovered the speaker had received big donations from Beltway insiders with vested interests in the TPP and the Export-Import Bank.
“I cannot describe the level of betrayal that that represents,” Nehlen said. “I’ve had well over 10,000 employees in my lifetime globally, and I started out in a factory at 18 years old, and it took me 12 years to get my engineering degree. I’ve run businesses all over the globe. I just got my fifth U.S. patent a week and a half ago, and I will not stand by while Paul Ryan burns it all down.”
Nehlen had thought somebody else would challenge Ryan in his 2016 primary, but no one stepped up to the plate. So Nehlen, the lifelong businessman, took on the job himself.
Richard Viguerie, a longtime conservative fundraiser who chairs American Target Advertising and Conservative HQ, agreed with Nehlen that Ryan and other establishment GOP legislators have betrayed conservatives.
“It was, ‘If we get a majority in the House and Senate, we’ll revoke Obamacare, we’ll build the wall, we’ll secure the border, we’ll do all these things,'” Viguerie recalled. “And then they get a majority and Obama says in December 2014 [of the $1.1 trillion spending bill], ‘I got everything I wanted.'”
Viguerie, the author of “Takeover,” believes Nehlen is at the vanguard of a power struggle for control of the GOP.
“I think you’ll find a lot more of these establishment types being challenged,” Viguerie predicted. “And it won’t all change in the 2016 election, but the groundwork is being laid now so the Republican Party going forward will never be the same.”
Nehlen said he drew inspiration from Dave Brat, the college professor who upset House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the 2014 GOP primary in Virginia’s 7th district.
“Dave Brat is a hero of mine,” Nehlen declared. “He is another David to a different Goliath.”
Nehlen hopes to follow in Brat’s footsteps by scoring a major upset over a member of the GOP’s congressional leadership. He pointed out he has already quadrupled Brat’s fundraising total from two years ago.
Viguerie has high hopes for Nehlen.
“I know people who are helping him at a national level, and they’re very high on him, so hopefully he will be another Dave Brat and join the Freedom Caucus,” Viguerie said.
‘Out of step’
Nehlen acknowledged Speaker Ryan may have $10 million in the bank, but he believes Ryan’s positions on trade and immigration are out of step with Wisconsinites and the American people.
He pointed to Ryan’s comment in 2013 that a lawmaker’s job is to put himself in the shoes of other people, including “the gentleman from India who’s waiting for his green card” and “the DREAMer who is waiting.”
“We want to know why he’s working on behalf of foreigners before he’s working on behalf of Americans,” Nehlen demanded. “We can’t name a time when Paul Ryan’s worked as hard for us as he has for corporations, and it’s an indictment of Paul Ryan’s lust for power and his willingness to vote on behalf of his special interests.”
Nehlen said he would not like to see any reforms to the legal immigration system, except for a reduction in the number of H-1B, H-2B, K and L visas. However, he would like the U.S. to start enforcing existing law as currently written. He said he has met legal immigrants in Wisconsin who have told him they don’t want any changes to existing immigration laws because they want all aspiring immigrants to be held to the same standards to which they were held.
Foreigners may make up less than 5 percent of Wisconsin’s population, but Nehlen insisted the immigration issue resonates in his state. He noted Wisconsin has seen tuberculosis outbreaks that originated in immigrant communities, and when an impoverished refugee contracts TB, taxpayers must pick up the costly bill for treatment.
Nehlen does not favor admitting any refugees unless they can be properly vetted, and he has doubts about the feasibility of effective vetting. He noted Ryan has so far thwarted the Resettlement Accountability National Security Act of 2015, sponsored by Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas.
Furthermore, he pointed out, the U.S. has outsourced the first stage of refugee vetting to the U.N., and the U.N. selects almost exclusively Muslim refugees to come to America. That’s because Muslim refugees persecute Christian refugees when they try to come to the refugee camps.
“Unless you can somehow vet on the front end whether or not a refugee is Shariah-compliant or not, and I don’t know how you do that, then yes, I would completely shut [the refugee admissions program] down,” Nehlen said.
“There’s over 50 Islamic countries in the world. Why are we taking them here? There are whole tent cities in Saudi Arabia. There are safe countries – UAE, Oman. Why aren’t they going there? Why are they coming to the United States? Let them fill those countries up first.”
Name the enemy
Nehlen said the U.S. needs to vet all mosques in the country and unshackle the FBI and CIA from the chains of political correctness.
“We need to be able to name and identify our enemy, and it is anybody who is Shariah-compliant,” he said. “The break point isn’t terrorism; the break point is Shariah. Shariah is absolutely in conflict with the U.S. Constitution.”
He said Congress needs to pass H.R. 3892, introduced by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., which would ask the State Department to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization. He warned that the Department of Homeland Security’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) initiative will only make America less safe by embedding Muslim Brotherhood figures inside DHS as shapers of U.S. counter-terrorism policy.
“It is one of the worst pieces of documentation I’ve ever read,” Nehlen said. “H.R. 3892 needs to be passed. CVE needs to be lit on fire.”
The national security of the United States may be in dire straits, but Nehlen nevertheless seeks to bring a message of hope and encouragement to business leaders and working-class people – not just in Wisconsin’s first district, but all across America. He hopes his campaign will inspire others in the private sector to run for office to try and effect positive change.
“I’ve already inspired people in Janesville to run for city council,” Nehlen revealed. “That to me is amazing, and I think it sends a great message of hope that this country, its best days are still ahead. I firmly believe that.”