SPOKANE, Wash. --- KREM 2’s Whitney Ward had the chance to interview one of Eastern Washington’s most notable Republicans, former 5th District Congressman George Nethercutt.
Nethercutt held his position for 10 years, until Cathy McMorris Rodgers took the seat.
Nethercutt is in a unique position of still being active in these political circles. He splits his time between Spokane and Washington D.C.
Nethercutt answered some of the top questions people are wondering about right now.
NETHERCUTT: "A lot of people stop me and say, 'George, what do I do? It's a mess! I don't like either one of them!' It's very difficult for people. My argument is: You have to earn my vote, if you're a candidate. You have to earn my vote, whatever the office is. And I don't think either one of these candidates has earned my vote. So, I can still be a good citizen, by writing in someone, or voting down ticket, and voting, but I may not have to vote for one of these two, because neither has earned my vote."
KREM 2’s Ward: "One of the biggest controversies so far, came with the Trump Tapes that came out last week. What is your take on that?"
NETHERCUTT: "Well, I think, if we're teaching our kids to be moral people, and I think we should, then that was an immoral act, and he's, by all accounts, an immoral person. I think we have to be careful with our choices for President. I think we want moral people to serve in the Presidency of the United States. It's arguably the most important job in the world. It's the most important position. And I think we need moral people at the top level."
WHITNEY: "If you were representing the 5th District today, what would you do?"
NETHERCUTT: "I'd probably be true to my convictions. I can't vote for an immoral person. I consider myself a moral person, and I can't vote for an immoral person, on either side. So, probably, I'd vote down ticket, and I wouldn't be afraid to say 'This is where I stand.' "
WHITNEY: "What do you mean by that?"
NETHERCUTT: "You can argue that you're going to alienate a certain portion of the electorate by saying, 'I'm not voting for Trump, or I'm not voting for Clinton.' That's fine. But if you're an elected official, you have to be true to your conscience, and true to your integrity. So, my argument would be, you have to be true to yourself."
WHITNEY: "There are others who say, 'I disagree with everything he seems to stand for, his actions on multiple levels...' But they also say they will vote for him. How does that work?"
NETHERCUTT: "I think that's a moral judgement that people have to make. I have some very good Republican friends who say, 'George, I have to vote for Trump, because I can't stand Hillary in the job for four years, or eight years. And so, I respect their opinion, That is just not who I am.
There's a big middle that's growing of independent voters, who don't want to align with Democrats or Republicans. So, maybe it's time for a third party to emerge."
WHITNEY: "At this point, we've heard so many people say I'm for this one, or I'm for this one, but then there's this big group in the middle that doesn't know where to go, and what to do on Election Day. They've watched the debates, and they just feel like they're at a loss. What's your advice to those?"
NETHERCUTT: "Well, my advice is vote down ticket, for sure. I'm a proud Republican, so vote for Republicans. Because that will be a bullwork against a Trump Presidency or a Clinton Presidency."
WHITNEY: "How did we get here?"
NETHERCUTT: "Well, I think most Republicans thought Donald Trump would never survive, given his history and his background, and what he says. But there was a loyal opposition that rejected the establishment candidates, even though tthey were conservatives. And I think that was a less that will be hard-learned by Republicans come this election."
WHITNEY: "Do you miss it, or are you glad that you're not part of it this year?"
NETHERCUTT: "No, I'm glad I'm out of it. I'm glad that I'm not part of it. I loved my 10 years. I loved Eastern Washington. I wanted to help Eastern Washington. But now, it's so partisan, and it's so divided. You can't have Democrats as friends. I had a lot of friends who were Democrats, and I had Republican friends, too. But today, it is very divided. You are either for us, or against us, and I think that is the wrong way to run a country."
(© 2016 KREM)