Transcript: Rep. Sean Maloney on “Face the Nation,” October 30, 2022.

The following is a transcript of an interview with Democratic Rep. Sean Maloney of New York that aired Sunday, October 30, 2022, on Face the Nation.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Welcome back to FACE THE NATION. We will now turn to the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Committee, New York Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney. Good morning to you.


MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to pick up where we just left off with our other guests. How concerned are you about the risk of political violence? And can you say unequivocally that you and your fellow Democrats agree with the results of your election?

REP. MALONEY: Of course we’ll accept the election results. Always was, always will be. And we’re very concerned about the integrity of our elections, especially when people try to intimidate people with guns, when they use those tactics to try to undermine trust. Now we… we will recognize the election results. This is the American way.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, I’m glad you said that, because there’s been a lot of attention given to comments made by some Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, who just released a tape of a statement online talking about the upcoming election. And she said, “The far right already has a plan to literally steal the next presidential election, and they’re making no secret of it.” I understand the hyperbole, but would you agree that in the current climate, talking about conspiracies to steal elections is not helpful?

REP. MALONEY: Yeah, no, I don’t understand what that means, and I haven’t seen the comment. Let me tell you what I think. I think it is perfectly legitimate for both parties to make sure that the vote is fair, that there is no fraud, that during the voting people have the right to vote or not. And that’s normal. And during voting in closed elections, there may be a recount of votes, another check of the ballots, and this is a normal thing. The other thing is that people show up with guns and sit in the back of a pickup truck next to Dropbox trying to scare people who are just training, using their voice. What’s different is when the president says for the first time in our history that he was cheated on the results when he knows it’s a lie. So let’s-let’s-not-let’s-let’s-not-for-a-minute pretend that both parties bear equal, equal responsibility for the loss of confidence in our elections. One side has been operating for several years now and doing everything they can to pretend that Joe Biden didn’t win fair and square when he did. And that’s the difference.

MARGARET BRENNAN: On this topic, Democrats spent about 53 million to support 13 Republican candidates during the primaries. I know you’re part of a strategy, and the strategy was to elevate the less electable Republicans to benefit the Democrats, and some of that worked for you. But in at least two races, these guys have a real chance to win. For example, I look at John Gibbs at Michigan. Do you take responsibility for helping those who deny the election?

REP. MALONEY: Well, there’s only one race in the country in the DCCC, one where we — where we engage in — the tactics that you’re talking about. And what we did was we ran a truthful ad that said he was too extreme for West Michigan. And we launched the general election ad about two weeks early. And Hilary Scholten has consistently beaten him since she became our nominee. She is a staunch pro-choice Democrat –

MARGARET BRENNAN: So you’re following that strategy?

REP. MALONEY: and she’s going to – and she’s going to hit him. I can tell you that on a budget of $340 million, we spent about $400,000 running an ad about the actual general election two weeks early, calling John Gibbs the extremist that he is and — and that’s all you you say And I can’t be — I can’t be responsible for what governors have done, what senators have done, and what other people have done. But the committee I chaired, with a $300 million budget, committed $400,000 to accelerate truthful advertising in the general election, and we’re going to win that race.

MARGARET BRENNAN: When we talk to voters, the top three issues they tell us they’re concerned about are our economy, inflation and crime. According to our survey, half of the voters believe that the Democrats will reduce the funding of the police. Now I saw an ad that the DCCC just bought in your area. And it starts with you talking to a policeman, you understand that well. Why has your party not been able to get rid of this perception of being soft on crime?

REP. MALONEY: Well, because, as the saying goes, a lie flies halfway around the world before the truth does. In my case, I brought $7 million to local police departments, supported the Investment in Defense Act, which will fund all police stations in my area, all up to 125 officers. This is the most important support we have given the police in 30 years. And if you’re worried about the rise in crime, my goodness, we need to listen to the police who are asking us to do something about the gun violence that’s at the root of this rise in crime. And of course the MAGA crowd is in the pocket of the NRA, won’t touch the generally safe bipartisan gun safety legislation we passed through the House. So we have results that support good policing and-and-and prosecuting gun violence. And that’s what people need to know.

MARGARET BRENNAN: In our poll, 46% of voters think Republican economic policies will help them, only 40% say the same about Democrats. 53% of voters believe that gas prices will rise under Democrats, 21% say the same about the Republican Party. I mean, since you’re… you’re talking about strategy here in these last days, how do you change that perception and how do you engage young voters?

REP. MALONEY: Yes. People need to know that we have a plan for cheaper gas, cheaper groceries, cheaper housing, cheaper health care, we have a plan for safer streets, supporting good policing, and fighting gun violence, which is a big part of the problem, and supporting our freedoms, our reproductive freedoms and our voting rights. And these are real plans. Now you can take a survey and take a snapshot at any time. But, of course, your former guests did not have a household plan. They have no plans for gun violence, they have no plans to move our country forward, protect voting rights, protect reproductive freedoms. So, I would say don’t punish the people who solve your problems and don’t reward the people who try to exploit the problems for their own political power. That’s really the difference right now. We – we are involved in the hard work of moving our country forward. The other side works on its own.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Congressman, thank you for your time this morning. We will be back soon.

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