Former Del. Congressman Mike Castle talks political party ideologies
Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 19:04
Former Delaware Congressman Mike Castle said he has managed to maintain his political ideologies, despite politics becoming more polarized when he spoke to students last week in Kirkbride Hall.
Castle served in the House of Representatives from 1993 to 2011and said he never denied the fact that he is a moderate Republican. He said his political position hurt him in the 2010 primary.
“I was elected as a Republican and I was tossed out as a Republican,” Castle said.
Castle, who also served as the Delaware governor from 1985 to 1992, talked to an introductory journalism class on last week about his politics and the media.
He said when he first chose his party, Republicans were not as conservative. Castle said he is an environmentalist, and back then, most republicans were as well. He said now, both parties lean to more extreme sides.
There used to be 30 to 40 moderates in the House of Representatives, now there are about 15, according to Castle. There are fewer conservative democrats and moderate republicans, he said.
“It becomes harder and harder for somebody who’s sort of a middle of the road politician either way to be able to get nominated and to get elected, because you’re starting from scratch,” Castle said.
He lost to Christine O’Donnell in the primary, who eventually lost to Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) in the election. He said the media found out she was involved in witchcraft, so her first advertisements denied she was a witch.
“I thought it was the worst start of a campaign I’d ever seen, I wish she started the primary that way,” he said.
Senior John Useller, who came to the speech for class, said he was impressed with how Castle talked about his loss. He said he was surprised the politician did not sound more annoyed.
“I guess since he’s a public figure he can’t be publically pissed off about it,” Useller said. “I liked how he kept his composure about how he talked about how lost to her. I did like how he criticized her commercial where she started off with, ‘I am not a witch.’”
Senior Erin Dodd, who is also in the class, said she liked that Castle admitted his failures and showed that he was human.
“I liked that he talked about that so we didn’t think that he was perfect,” Dodd said.
Castle said he was surprised the Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney received the nomination from his party. Romney had to act more conservative before he received the nomination, but now he is leaning more moderate and softening his positions, which he said has upset some Republicans.
Castle said he can embrace Romney because he is intelligent and seems like he will be trustworthy and able to deal with Congress and the public. He said that during the presidential debate last week, Romney did an effective job.
President Barack Obama was probably “rusty” because he had not debated in four years, Castle said. He predicted that Obama would probably perform better in the next debate.