FIRST ON FOX: House Republican Conference chairwoman Elise Stefanik of New York predicted a “big Republican year” in the 2022 midterm elections, saying inflation is the “top reason” behind the projected gains.
During a video interview with Fox News Digital, Stefanik said the “energy and enthusiasm” for Republicans is “contagious” and pointed to key issues such as inflation and crime as drivers of people backing the GOP.
“People want safety and security. They want to change,” Stefanik said. “They want a check and balance on Joe Biden. So I think Republicans are going to have a big year.”
“We need to win back five seats, and we retake the majority. If we win 35, that will be the largest majority since the Great Depression. And I think we could achieve that,” Stefanik continued, adding the decision came down to the American people and called on people to vote Republican in the midterm elections.
Stefanik also said during the interview that “Bidenflation has been a tax on every American” and “painful” for individuals and families, requiring people to have to “make really tough decisions for their budgets” like choosing between food and heating their home during the winter.
“So people are feeling it. It’s more than just numbers. It’s impacting the bottom line. It’s a pay cut on every American,” Stefanik said. “It’s incredibly painful, and shame on Joe Biden, shame on his entire administration that said, you know, either they said inflation wasn’t a big issue or it’s not here to stay.”
“It continues to go up and up and up. And the people who are suffering are the American people,” Stefanik continued. “And it’s one of, it’s the top reason why I believe that we’re going to have a big Republican year because people want to stop the trillions of reckless spending that has happened under a single-party Democrat rule.”
Stefanik said there are “races all over the country” that could be potential GOP upset pickups, pointing to several Empire State candidates including Rep. Lee Zeldin — who is running for governor as a Republican against incumbent Governor Kathy Hochul — and Assemblyman Mike Lawler, who is giving Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., a run for his money.
“That’s just New York alone, traditionally a blue state where we have a huge opportunity to pick up those seats,” the New York Republican said, pointing to new Texas Rep. Mayra Flores’ race as well as the race for New Hampshire’s First District where Republican Karoline Leavitt is neck and neck with her Democrat opponent, Rep. Chris Pappas.
Stefanik said Leavitt was one of her E-PAC-endorsed candidates, with the congresswoman expanding on her PAC’s work electing Republican women.
The New York congresswoman said her PAC does not support their candidates “just because they’re women,” but “because they’re the strongest candidates to win both the primary and general election, and they’ll be the strongest members of Congress going into 2022.”
Stefanik also pointed to the increased number of Republican women elected during the 2020 election, when the GOP was expected to lose more seats than they did.
“This will be the year of the Republican woman again, and specifically the year of the Latina Republican woman with the amazing Hispanic women Republican candidates we have running in these races that are going to flip these seats,” she said.
The New York Republican also told Fox News Digital the House Republicans’ Commitment to America policy package has been “embraced” by Americans going into the midterms and that they understand that the Democrats’ “agenda has failed.”
When asked how the GOP will win over moderate voters on the Democrat wedge issue of abortion, Stefanik said that voters are not aligned with where the blue party is on abortion and that the party’s platform has radically shifted to the left.
“I am proudly pro-life with exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother. I also strongly support the Hyde Amendment, which makes sure that taxpayer dollars don’t go to fund abortions,” Stefanik said. “Every single Democrat across this country who is on the ballot this November, they support taxpayer funded abortions, late-term abortions up until the moment of birth or after birth in states like New York state.”
“That means those Democrats want to withhold health care for those babies that are born after a potential abortion. That is not where the majority of American people are, and Democrats, including my opponent, want to make sure they want to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which has been strongly bipartisan for decades. That’s how radical their position is, and that’s how far the Democrat Party has moved.”
“Their platform used to say not that long ago that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare,” Stefanik added. “That no longer is in their platform because it’s abortion on demand, late-term, paid for by the taxpayers.”