Hagedorn responds to Daily Globe editor's column

Ryan McGaughey’s recent commentary, “Encouraging diversity vs. angry rhetoric,” seems to have missed the point of my recent press statement that exposed the ‘soft on terrorism’ record of incumbent Congressman Tim Walz.

My press release was crafted to highlight the deep paradox of how Rep. Walz, who for 10 years in Congress has failed to identify our enemy as “radical Islam” or champion legislation to keep Islamic terrorists out of the United States, has become emboldened to label constituents as “anti-Muslim” and “un-Minnesotan” for supporting conservative immigration policies intended to protect America.

It was probably not the editor’s intent, but Mr. McGaughey’s column reinforced how Rep. Walz is using his time in Congress to issue political correctness and diversity lectures, whereas, I am focused on the policy changes needed to defend the American homeland from radical Islamic terrorism.

Sadly, our country is not being properly defended. The national politicians of both political parties, my opponent included, have failed to address the systemic border security and immigration failures that have created a terrorist recruiting problem in Minnesota and nationally.

Last September, well before the Paris and San Bernardino attacks, I penned a column calling for the U.S. to take a refugee program “timeout.” My proposal is based upon Minnesota’s ongoing experience with east African refugees, scores of which have been arrested, convicted or are under FBI investigation for conspiring to assist radical groups like ISIS or engage in Jihadist acts of terrorism in the United States and abroad.

Does Congressman Walz, who refuses to acknowledge Minnesota’s terrorist recruiting problem, consider my “timeout” proposal to be “racist” or “anti-Muslim”? Is Mr. Walz prepared to brand southern Minnesotans who support my proposal, or similar ideas, as “bigots” and “un-Minnesotan”?

Unlike my opponent, I am not afraid to identify radical Islam as our enemy or stand for policies to secure America’s borders, deport those who overstay U.S. visas and keep people with radical attitudes who hate America as far away from our country and communities as possible.

I believe voters want a congressman who will say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done to defend the United States and protect the American people.