Rep. Bacon to Newsmax: Not Focused on Trump's Call to Primary Him Rep. Don Bacon. (Drew Angerer/Getty)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Saturday, 08 January 2022 01:51 PM
Rep. Don Bacon Saturday defended his vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill and told Newsmax he's not focusing on former President Donald Trump's call for someone to run against him in this year's midterm primary election.
"My job is to focus on my job and not get caught up in the drama because, in the end, I worked for this district," the Nebraska Republican said on Newsmax's "America Right Now," pointing out that he won his 2020 race in Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District by five points while Trump lost it by eight.
"This is a purple down the middle district," said Bacon. "You can't treat Omaha like you would perhaps, say, western Texas or parts of Georgia…you have to work across the middle. You have to work with independents to win the seat."
Instead, Republicans must focus on winning back the House this year, as President Joe Biden has aligned himself with Sen. Bernie Sanders and his far-left stance, and "President Trump should focus on that" as well, said Bacon.
The congressman supported Trump's agenda items 90% of the time, but when it came to the infrastructure vote, Bacon said he cast his ballot based on what he thought was right for his district and the United States.
"I was part of the 30 Republicans and 30 Democrats who put this bill together," said Bacon. "I don't say it was a great bill but I thought it was a good bill and I do what's right for our district. I"m not a yes man. I try to do the right thing."
He also said he doesn't always approve of government spending, but that infrastructure is a different matter.
"It's our legacy as the Republican Party," said Bacon, noting that President Abraham Lincoln led the efforts for the transcontinental railroad system and President Dwight D. Eisenhower was behind the interstate system.
Keeping infrastructure modern is also important when it comes to competing against China, "which spends 90% of their GDP on infrastructure," said Bacon. "We're spending 2%."
In Nebraska alone, 1,300 bridges must be replaced, and the state ranks 48th for rural broadband capability, said Bacon.
"I thought it was right for our country to try to modernize our infrastructure," said Bacon. "I see it as a safety issue and as a commerce and export issue. We'll raise our GDP in the long run."
Bacon said he does feel good about the Republicans' role in derailing the Build Back Better Bill, and about pulling some of the "junk" from the infrastructure bill so it would pass.
The congressman also on Saturday called for an end to his party's infighting, and for a focus on the border, inflation, crime, and more.
"People were sick to their stomachs about what happened in Afghanistan," he said. "We can do better. We need to provide a check and balance to what Joe Biden has embraced with Bernie Sanders, and I think that message will win."
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