Wikinews interviews Andy Martin, U.S. Republican Party presidential candidate

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Monday, August 8, 2011

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Andy Martin
Image: Andy Martin.

U.S. Republican Party presidential candidate Andy Martin of Illinois took some time to answer a few questions from Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn.

Martin has questioned the validity of the birth certificate released by U.S. President Barack Obama, and is best known for his role in the spreading of rumors that Obama is a Muslim. According to CNN, Martin has retracted the Muslim claim and now believes that Obama was fathered by journalist and labor activist Frank Marshall Davis rather than Kenyan economist Barack Obama, Sr.. He also believes that the Obama presidency has been a failure and has asked for Obama to resign.

Martin has run for an assortment of public offices in the past and has previously mounted two presidential campaigns. During the 1988 election, he vied unsuccessfully for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, and in 2000, he again fell short of winning the nomination of the Republican Party.

In other areas, Martin has filed numerous lawsuits, some reportedly with anti-Jewish language. This has caused some commentators such as former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs to label Martin as an anti-Semite. Martin vehemently denies the charge. He has also taken legal action against Wikipedia, which he feels is a propaganda arm of the Obama administration.

While focusing his presidential campaign in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire, Martin has largely emphasized local issues. On national issues, he has taken conservative stances, as documented on his campaign website and blog.

Barack Obama and the birther movement

According to The New York Times, Martin first spread the 'Obama is a Muslim' rumor via press release following then-Senate candidate Obama's 2004 keynote address to the Democratic National Convention. Amid the 2008 presidential election, Martin traveled to Hawaii to investigate Obama, who was at the time, the Democratic Party nominee for president. In October 2008, he filed a lawsuit against the state to release Obama's birth certificate, but it was dismissed by the courts. After returning from the trip, Martin announced that he believed Frank Marshall Davis was Obama's biological father.

Martin has been a fierce critic of the Obama administration and held a press conference on August 5 to call for the resignation of both Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. He proposed that a "caretaker administration" be put in place until the 2012 election, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as president and a Republican as vice president.

Andy Martin: I did indeed found the “Birther” movement questioning Barack Obama’s origins in Hawai’i but because of the need to run a national campaign for president I have not been active in examining Obama’s latest birth certificate. I think it was/is enough that I started the movement that ultimately forced Obama to release a document. I know there has been controversy about the new document but I am not involved in that controversy. It is for others to study and comment on the latest certificate; I am a full-time presidential candidate for the foreseeable future.
  • ((WSS)) : You have stated that it is your personal opinion that Frank Marshall Davis is the father of Barack Obama. What specifically led to this opinion?
Martin: My personal opinion that Frank Marshall Davis is Barack Obama’s biological father is based on my extensive research in Hawai’i.
((WSS)) : Where specifically did you obtain the material for your research and what did it entail?
Martin: Because my Obama research in Hawai’i is ongoing and will be continuing in a research trip later this year I do not discuss my sources or methods of investigation. My writing speaks for itself.
  • ((WSS)) : Since announcing he would not seek the Republican nomination, Donald Trump seems to have toned down his statements on the birth certificate issue. What are your current views on Donald Trump?
Martin: I did not pay a lot of attention to Donald Trump’s “campaign” for president because his behavior seemed to suggest it was a charade. Mr. Trump has destroyed his political viability by saying initially he would only run as a Republican and then repudiating himself and suggesting he might run as an independent. Public leadership is serious business; Mr. Trump has shown he is not serious.
  • ((WSS)) How would [you] assess the Obama presidency?
Martin: The Obama presidency is an abject failure. I predicted Mr. Obama would fail in a Psychological Profile which was the first chapter of my book Obama: The Man Behind The Mask. Obama’s failure is no surprise to me.
  • ((WSS)) Do you believe Obama has done any good things as president?
Martin: I can’t think of any off the top
  • ((WSS)) You ask Barack Obama to resign and want Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to take over. What legal precedent forms the basis of this? And assuming Vice President Biden resigns as well, why should Speaker John Boehner not take over as president?
Martin: The president of the Senate is third, not the speaker, so Reid is a practical choice.[Editor's note 1] Boehner is fourth.[Editor's note 2]

Personal past

Martin was asked several questions about his personal past, which he declined to answer. He refused to discuss his two previous presidential campaigns, his past affiliation with the Democratic Party and would not say which candidates he supported in previous elections. When pressed, Martin stated that the questions were irrelevant.

  • ((William S. Saturn)) : You ran for president in 1988 as a member of the Democratic Party. Why did you choose to become a member of that party, and what caused you to switch to the Republican Party?
Andy Martin: [The late] Congressman Jack Kemp and Rev. Pat Robertson invited me to join the Republican Party and I did.
((WSS)) : Are you still in contact with Pat Robertson?
Martin: No.
  • ((WSS)) : What is your response to the claims from Robert Gibbs and others that you are Anti-Semitic due to the alleged anti-Jewish language used in some of your previous lawsuits?
Martin: Robert Gibbs engaged in a crude political smear based on lies, distortions and misrepresentations. For the past four or five years I have been the victim of a pro-Obama dirty tricks operation orchestrated out of and the Obama campaign apparatus. In one sense, Obama’s use of malicious smears against me shows how desperate he is to discredit my activity. In another sense, the fact that Obama goes to such lengths to attack me is a compliment to the seriousness with which he views both my research and my current presidential campaign. The national media may not yet take my presidential campaign seriously but Mr. Obama and his dirty tricksters very much do. What does Obama know that the media don’t?

Presidential campaign

Martin has centered his campaign in the state of New Hampshire and has discussed local issues. For environmental reasons, he opposes the Northern Pass transmission line, an energy project slated to connect New England to the hydroelectric resources of Hydro-Québec. When asked if the project was under the purview of the office of the presidency, he replied that it requires a presidential finding. On July 28, Martin released a press release that described a planned march against the Northern Pass as "what could be the largest campaign event generated by any presidential candidate in New Hampshire during the 2012 election cycle." When asked to go into detail about the event, Martin responded that it was "too time consuming" to provide "personalized analysis" but remarked that "I'd say we are surprising a lot of people and we have many more rabbits to pull out of the hat as the campaign progresses."

Martin has not been invited to any Republican primary presidential debates and has not been included in any presidential preference polls.

  • ((William S. Saturn)) : Why did you decide to run for president in 2012?
Andy Martin: I did not think and still do not believe that any of the “leading” Republican candidates are capable of waging an effective campaign against Barack Obama. I believe I could do a better job because of my extensive understanding and study of Obama’s character and personality. I predicted his ineffectiveness as a president in my Psychological Study which was published as a chapter in my bestselling book Obama: The Man Behind The Mask in 2008. I understood Obama before the American electorate did. They were not listening to me in 2008; maybe they will listen in 2012. To paraphrase former New York Mayor Ed Koch, the American people did not listen to me in 2008 and they are suffering for it. Now I’m running formally as a candidate to take my case against Obama to the American people.
  • ((WSS)) : Individually, what is your opinion of some of your fellow candidates for the Republican Party presidential nomination, notably Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and Herman Cain? Why do you feel you would be a better nominee for the party than any of them?
Martin: I have occasionally written brief profiles and short commentaries on some of my opponents. Those columns are posted on my blogs. I refer you to those comments and any that appear in the future (as no doubt they will).
  • ((WSS)) : How often do you campaign, and how has the campaign been received by people you meet?
Martin: I campaign every day. I would say I have received an extraordinarily warm and positive response wherever I have campaigned. I place my campaign in the top 10, i.e. among the top 10 Republican presidential candidates nationally. While most of the media attention is focused on the top 5, some of the top 5 are tottering and will not survive.
((WSS)) : Which other candidates would you also place in the top 10?
Martin: the usual ones, so long as they have actually announced. I don’t count unannounced ones.
  • ((WSS)) : Have you received any notable endorsements?
Martin: I receive the “endorsement” of ordinary Americans every day in my campaign. That is the only endorsement that counts.
  • ((WSS)) : Do you feel you can still win the nomination despite not receiving an invitation to any of the presidential debates?
Martin: I have a game plan and strategy to try to win, and we are executing that game plan well. I am very satisfied with the progress of the campaign. Actually, by excluding me from some of the debates to date, the media have been the losers. Some of the candidates they are showcasing are imploding, thereby brightening my prospects to move up on the presidential leader board.
((WSS)) : In your estimation approximately how many supporters does your campaign have?
Martin: I can’t give an exact number, nor would I if we tallied supporters that way. But it clear my campaign is gaining altitude and other candidates are faltering. We are executing our game plan; others rather obviously are not.
  • ((WSS)) : If you do not win the Republican nomination, would you consider running for a third party's nomination?
Martin: No.

Political views

On his campaign website, Martin describes himself as a supporter of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution in opposition to stringent gun control. He opposes Cap and Trade legislation and mandated health care coverage. He identifies himself as a proponent of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and a "corruption fighter". He writes about his issue positions on his personal blog.

Martin was asked to elaborate his answers on some of the questions, but did not respond. He labeled certain questions as "bizarre".

Andy Martin: I am a “full spectrum” conservative with an emphasis on national security and economic issues. These are the areas in which I have the greatest expertise.
  • ((WSS)) Which historical or contemporary figures serve as your political role models?
Martin: President Ronald Reagan, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, President Dwight Eisenhower
Martin: I have my own Medicare and Social Security plans.
Martin: Yes
  • ((WSS)) Do you oppose any parts of the current U.S. Constitution?
Martin: This is a strange question
  • ((WSS)) What necessary freedoms are currently lacking in America?
Martin: Good question
Martin: I have supported limited involvement in Libya, primarily limited to support and special operations; we should not have a ground presence.
Martin: I have an open mind
  • ((WSS)) What would be your first actions as president?
Martin: Jump-start the economy by encouraging the private sector to revitalize manufacturing and create immediate jobs.


This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Editor's notes

  1. According to Article I, Section III of the United States Constitution, "The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate". Therefore, Vice President Joe Biden is President of the Senate, not Harry Reid. Reid serves as Senate Majority Leader, which is a strictly partisan position.
  2. According to the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, "if, by reason of death, resignation, removal from office, inability, or failure to qualify, there is neither a President nor Vice President to discharge the powers and duties of the office of President, then the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall, upon his resignation as Speaker and as Representative in Congress, act as President." Therefore, John Boehner, as the speaker of the House of Representatives, follows the vice president as second in the line of succession. In the event of Boehner's inability to assume the office, the act specifies that "the President pro tempore of the Senate shall, upon his resignation as President pro tempore and as Senator, act as President." Therefore, President pro tempore of the United States Senate Daniel Inouye follows the speaker as third in the line of succession.