GP: The 13th Congressional District is made up of 11 cities and Detroit is one of them. So we’ve got to embrace a larger perspective. It’s not just the city council.
MC: Are you running because incumbent Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick is seemingly vulnerable given what has happened in the last two years?
GP: No I think that is one of a multitude of reasons. The community is looking for a change. It is not a motivation on my part to come against Kilpatrick. In fact, it is my very strong belief that Ms. Kilpatrick will not be in the race.
MC: Why are you saying that?
GP: Let me finish. I actually think that when this primary is completed in August she would not have been in it. And if she does get in it she would not remain in it. So my motivation is not against Kilpatrick. I come from the perspective that I don’t even belief that she is even going to be in the race. She hasn’t filed and she has a variety of other challenges that she is going through right now. So I don’t even think she’s going to be in the race. So the issue is not Kilpatrick. During our exploratory phase I personally talked to a lot of people. I’ve gotten a very consistent response. Young and old, Black and White, have said she really needs to go. There have been polls that more formalize that.
MC: One would say that’s because of the era of anti-incumbency in Washington.
GP: Let me add one more thing to that. The Kilpatrick family saga is not a former mayoral saga. It is actually the Kilpatrick family saga. So it’s not just an anti-incumbent. So her problems are multiplying.
MC: Where do you stand on the current health care legislation that passed in Congress?
GP: I think that’s a good thing.
MC: You support it?
GP: I do.
MC: You’ve always been a registered Democrat?
GP: Let me say it this way. The bigger question is, “Aren’t you a Republican?”
MC: No I’ll come to that. I’m asking you. Are you a registered Democrat?
GP: When you say registered Democrat, define that?
MC: Have you always been a Democrat because you are going to be running in a Democratic district?
GP: I don’t know how….let me define it this way. I am a Democrat. I joined the party. I pay the dues. Now to some people that say they are Democrats, they don’t pay the dues and are not part of the party. There are other people that say they are Democrats, pay the dues and vote as an independent. Since I started voting — I will be 55 next week — I voted for Democrats. I voted for President Obama, I voted for President Clinton. During the Bush time there was a shift in my thinking. First as a pastor and as a Christian. And I was really challenged with some real social issues. But there have been times where I voted for both Democrats and Republicans.
MC: So you voted for both Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush?
GP: Well no I didn’t vote for the first Bush.
MC: But you voted for the son?
GP: I did the second time.
MC: Your critics say you are active in the Republican Party and you introduced President George W. Bush when he was here for a meeting.
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