In an extended interview, South Carolina Democratic Senate candidate Alvin Greene discussed his shocking primary win on the The Hutchinson Report. Greene spoke about the impact of his win on state and national politics, his campaign plans, his relations with the Democratic party, charges that he’s a GOP plant, and calls for him to drop out of the race because of felony obscenity charges.
Greene’s controversial campaign and primary win has stirred national attention and sent shock waves through the Democratic party. This Saturday, he spoke with Earl Ofari Hutchinson along with contributing host Pedro Baez, in one of his most lengthy live interviews to date. Here are some excerpts from the conversation.
EARL OFARI HUTCHINSON: Some have said, “Where did Alvin Greene come from? Is Alvin Greene is a put up by the GOP?” How do you respond to those who say that?
Alvin Greene: I’ve always been a Democrat. I’m a Democrat, and I’ve always been a Democrat.
HUTCHINSON: Jim Clyburn, the first thing he said is, “I want a federal investigation.” When you heard Jim Clyburn say that, what was your response?
GREENE: I don’t have anything to say about that. My campaign is about jobs, education and justice. We want better education. We want justice in the judicial system.
HUTCHINSON: Tell us a little bit about … your background, yourself, on a personal level?
GREENE: I’m 32 years old. I was born in Florence, South Carolina. I grew up in Manning, South Carolina, where I currently live now. I’m a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political science. I’m an Air Force and Army veteran. In the Air Force, I was stationed at Shaw Air Force base in South Carolina. And I’m nine months out of the United States Army. And I’m the best candidate for the United States Senate in South Carolina.
HUTCHINSON: Why did you decide to run?
GREENE: To make a difference.
HUTCHINSON: Let’s discuss your campaign platform … The justice system. Why was that one of the areas you chose to emphasize as part of your platform and campaign?
GREENE: We want the punishment to fit the crime and we spend more than two times of our taxpayer dollars on inmates than students. We just have to get our priorities in order here in South Carolina and across the country.
PEDRO BAEZ: Alvin you’ve indicated on another part of your platform that you want lower gas prices. If elected, how would you propose to do this?
GREENE: We could have an energy bill. What we can do is we can look at alternative forms of energy. Wind. Solar. We can explore our resources on earth for energy.
HUTCHINSON: Carol Fowler, chair of the South Carolina Democratic party has said you should withdraw … Your response to that, Alvin?
GREENE: The election was certified as of 3pm Eastern Standard time as of Friday, June 11, So that’s old business … I’m in for it all the way now.
HUTCHINSON: Have you reached out to the state Democrats for support? Have they reached out to you>
GREENE: I’m still trying to seeking state and national and support that I need and am entitled to. I’m the party’s nominee.
BAEZ: Has there been any word from President Obama about your victory?
GREENE: None that I know of.
HUTCHINSON: The prospects of knocking out Jim DeMint — and also debating him, engaging him — how are you gearing up for that, Alvin?
GREENE: I’m trying to get a September debate. One hour on a major network, live. Focusing on the issues is how I’m going to run the campaign. Jobs. Education.
HUTCHINSON: Do you now have a campaign committee are you soliciting endorsements?
GREENE: I’m organizing my campaign now for the general election. I used my personal money during the primary. And I was self-managed during the primary. But I’m still organizing for the general election and trying to find people.
HUTCHINSON: There is a considerable African-American press and also a number of African-American elected officials in South Carolna. Have they come forth and offered any support so far?
GREENE: I’ve heard from a few organizations. Paper organizations. Not much. I haven’t heard much.
BAEZ: Young adults, between the ages of 18 and 26, have they started to rally to your candidacy?
GREENE: Yes, I get a lot of calls every day from across the country, all over the world. About how inspired they are about their campaign. They want to do anything they can to help.
HUTCHINSON: Do you feel that you really made a statement to the establishment: I can in fact win, I can in fact run a campaign without millions and millions (of dollars).
GREENE: Yes it did. That’s what I heard entering the primary, going into it. They were like: How are you going to do it, you don’t have a hundred million dollars … I’m hearing that right now in the general election. In the end, we don’t add up the money in the bank. It’s votes that count. It’s not about money in the bank. It’s votes and issues.