Joe Miller is back in the fray.
The Tea Party Republican, who made a name for himself by beating incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska’s Republican primary in 2010, now has his sights set on another Alaska challenge in 2014. This time, he’ll be trying to defeat Democratic Sen. Mark Begich.
“The reason why I'm at it again, despite the punishment that brutal campaign up in Alaska has for us, the fact is, we can only do the fight,” said Miller, who ultimately lost to Murkowski in the 2010 general election after she ran a successful write-in campaign.
Miller praised the recent efforts of Sens. Ted Cruz, R- Texas, and Mike Lee, R- Utah, to stall the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and told “Top Line” he would join forces with them on future efforts if he makes it to the Senate.
“I would absolutely be hand-in-hand with both he and Mike Lee, Rand Paul and the work that they're doing,” Miller said. “And I think we're going to have greater numbers than just Joe Miller added to that liberty caucus, if you will.”
Miller’s 2010 campaign was aided by the high-profile support of Tea Party star Sarah Palin, and he said he’s hoping to gain her backing again in 2014.
“Of course, we'd love to have her support,” Miller said. “She's a bastion of freedom; she's out there working the same sort of message that we are, and that is that we've got to get back to free enterprise, get government out of the way so that we can build up the middle class again.”
Miller said he’s confident he could win in a general election against Begich, who he believes is politically vulnerable in Alaska.
“Our dream, which has actually come true, is of course he was the 60th vote for Obamacare, and so that's the political noose that's around his neck,” Miller said. “We think that he, it's a very doable race, and keep in mind that when we beat the sitting incumbent senator in the primary, she was at 70 points approval rating, he's at about 39 right now.”
But before the general election, Miller will likely have to face off against a couple of formidable opponents in the primary, including the state’s Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and former Alaska Attorney General Daniel Sullivan.
For more of the interview with Miller, including why he predicts that 2014 is the year Republicans claim a majority in the Senate, check out this episode of “Top Line.”
ABC News’ Alexandra Dukakis, Tom Thornton, Dick Norling and JP Whiteside contributed to this episode.
- Politics & Government
- Lisa Murkowski
- Joe Miller
- Mark Begich