[Radio Interview] Jim Hagedorn looks to bump Tim Walz from 1st District

By MPR News Staff, MPR News - MPR News with Tom Weber invited each major party candidate in this year's congressional races to participate in a live debate.

Republican Jim Hagedorn is up against incumbent DFLer Tim Walz in the 1st congressional district. Walz declined to appear for a debate, so Hagedorn joined the program for a question-and-answer session.

Below are some of his responses to key topics, and what Walz has said about these topics in the past.

To listen to full radio interview click here

Health care


"I think [the Affordable Care Act] needs to be replaced. I think we should have competition across state lines in order to drive down costs. We should have an expanded use of health savings accounts in order for people to be purchasing routine medical care. That way they'd be out there shopping. They'd also be rewarded for healthy living. We should have direct tax credits to people so they can take their benefits from job to job. We should have pools of people with preexisting conditions, but those pools separate from the 'healthy people' so they don't drive up everyone else's' costs.

Minnesota had a pretty good system in place before Obamacare. This was unnecessary for the people of Minnesota.

Also Obamacare is a big problem for farmers. It's one of their largest line items now in their costs, in their expenses."


The congressman voted for and approves of the Affordable Care Act, but in a recent debate with Hagedorn admitted that there are some aspects of the law that need reform, according to the Star Tribune.

The presidential candidates


"I support the nominee and I'm going to vote for Donald Trump. The difference in the election is this — the country is either going to move further to the left, like we have been with President Obama, and we're going to have a Supreme Court stacked with radicals who will take away our basic rights like the right to keep and bear arms. That's what's going to happen in Hillary Clinton wins.

If Donald Trump wins, on the other side, he has big solutions on the boarder. Big solutions on the economy and he wants to have Supreme Court justices that are going to protect our basic rights.

We have people who are imperfect people, imperfect candidates. But they're vehicles. So their either going to drive the country left or right."


Walz was selected for Hillary Clinton's Minnesota leadership council, and was a superdelegate for her.

EPA and regulation


"I support what is called the REINS Act, and the REINS Act is a bill that the republicans brought up many times that [congressman Walz] has voted against. ... It would allow Congress to affirm major regulations. As far as tiling is concerned. You can go too far. We don't tile in southern Minnesota and be able to properly use our land. We're not going to have production farming as we have it today and we're going to have much higher prices for food and less affluent in our rural communities.

When it comes to waters of the United States, regulation, I believe, is excessive and it goes too far and it would allow the [Environmental Protection Agency] to be in a position of power over agriculture, where they could move in and shut down farm operations and force farmers and agribusiness to spend a lot of money to use their land.

I don't believe the Congress of the United States, when they passed the Clean Water Act many years ago, intended for the EPA to regulate in that way, and so I'm on the side of agriculture and the farm bureau."


Walz was supportive voted for the Clean Water Act, according to PBS.

"If we make rules that impede people's ability to grow food, we're going to deal with that side of this issue. And so this is one of those that it's not my side wins, your side loses. We both have to win."