Andy Caldwell has always been loud about wanting to steer America in the right direction, while also representing the Central Coast out in Washington D.C.
The republican challenger to Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, for the 24th district congressional seat held a virtual town hall Saturday morning, where he continued to emphasize to his supporters how committed he still is, especially with the current state of the country.
“Right now America’s divided. We want America to be united. I still believe in the concept of the melting pot. I believe the emphasis on multiculturalism actually helps to stratify America and I want to unite it. And that’s one of the reasons I’m running for office,” Mr. Caldwell said.
A stream of Mr. Caldwell’s town hall is available at his Facebook page.
Mr. Caldwell began his live stream by showing a new campaign video where he addressed the ongoing protests and riots in response to the recent death of George Floyd at the hand of former police officer Derek Chauvin.
The incident was captured on video and shared through various social media platforms sparking outrage.
Mr. Chauvin has since been taken into custody on second-degree murder charges, while three other officers at the scene have also been fired and arrested.
In the video, Mr. Caldwell said he “supports bringing the cops involved to trial” but also “avoiding trying them in the court of public opinion.”
Mr. Caldwell also hoped people would peacefully protest “in respect for all the good cops.”
Later, Mr. Caldwell spoke about former NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who knelt during the National Anthem in 2016, and said “his protest did not and will not produce any more change than will looting and rioting.
“These protests fail to focus on the core problems affecting inner cities including a never-ending cycle of poverty, fail schools and abortion,” Mr. Caldwell said.
Mr. Caldwell also condemned ANTIFA, calling the group “an armed militia of mostly caucasiuan anarchists in training.”
He condemned them for exploiting Mr. Floyd’s passing and hijacking the tragedy of his death.
After showcasing the video, which was met with positive response on both Facebook and YouTube, Mr. Caldwell spoke about the shutdown, the mistakes made surrounding the coronavirus and what should be done going forward.
“The virus was not America’s or the world’s Black Swan event, the shutdown was,” Mr. Caldwell said.
Mr. Caldwell began his speech by criticizing the models that showed COVID-19 would cause much more destruction than it did.
“The truth of the matter is the models are wrong. The institutions have admitted they’re wrong, but we’re still left with the policies (being shutdown),” Mr. Caldwell said.
“Even Gov. Cuomo said, all the models were wrong, they were all wrong. All of them are wrong, but they didn’t change the policies.”
Going through a powerpoint presentation, which will be made available to the public as well, he also condemned China for its role in spreading the novel coronavirus by “trying to destroy the evidence which would have helped us diagnose and evaluate the virus.”
He then applauded President Donald Trump for shutting down domestic flights from China into the United States when he did.
“President Trump deserves all the credit for shutting down that travel or would have been worse,” Mr. Caldwell said.
Mr. Caldwell did make it clear he understands the coronavirus is a real threat, but the shutdown has caused more damage.
“I’m 62 and I have asthma. I’ve got a target on my back from coronavirus. I do not downplay the dangers of this virus because if I got it, I’d probably be dead. So I’ve actually been careful, but I’ve not been paranoid and I’m not being hysterical,” Mr. Caldwell said.
“Bottom line is the coronavirus and the shutdown are legitimate crises but they’re not the only crises. There’s a heck of a lot of other things that we still need to be focusing on,” Mr. Caldwell said.
Mr. Caldwell also said Mr. Carbajal just follows the lead of Nancy Pelosi and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“I’ve actually told him this because I’ve known him for over 20 years. I’ve actually told him you forgot where you came from. I didn’t forget where I came from. My dad who was a veteran, a prisoner of war, my mom was an immigrant. My dad died from associated traumas of the war. I grew up poor, a single parent family household. I have not forgotten where I came from. He forgot where he came from. I want to lead by serving based on facts, truth, and the Constitution and the needs of the Central Coast, not the whims, desires or agenda of Nancy Pelosi and AOC who Salud’s following like a puppy dog,” Mr. Caldwell said.
“I don’t have a bully pulpit. You get me elected to Congress, I’ll have a bully pulpit in Congress and more importantly, I’ll have one back here at home.”
Andy Caldwell is a News-Press columnist