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Alaska GOP candidate maintains jobless benefits are unconstitutional

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Joe Miller isn’t moving to the middle following his nomination as Alaska Republican candidate for Senate.

Appearing on Fox News Sunday, the Tea Party favorite stuck to his position that unemployment benefits aren’t constitutional.

“Why are unemployment benefits unconstitutional?” Fox News’ Chris Wallace asked Miller.

“The Constitution provides enumerated powers,” answered Miller. “I guess my challenge is to anybody that asks, show me the enumerated power. And then look at the 10th Amendment that says if it’s not done in the Constitution, it’s a power that belongs to the state and the people.”

Miller said, “I think we as a people need to stop being disingenuous about what the Constitution provides for. It does not provide for this all-encompassing power that we’ve seen exercised for last several decades.”

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When pressed on what he would do for the poor if elected, Miller struggled to provide details.

“I think what you need to look at is the context. We had an extension of unemployment benefits several weeks ago, which is beyond what we had in the past in this country. What we have in this country is an entitlement mentality. Entitlement, not just as individual but even at the state level,” he said.

Many credit Sarah Palin’s endorsement as being key in Miller’s primary win against the establishment candidate, Sen. Lisa Murkowski. But when asked, the candidate wouldn’t commit to supporting Palin if she decided to run for president in 2012.

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“You know, I’m running a US Senate race right now in the state of Alaska, that’s what I’m focused on,” he told Wallace.

“I’ve been asked about various candidates throughout the country during this race, that’s not my role to comment on those candidacies.”

Miller’s opponent in the Republican primary, Murkowski, has signaled she will run as a write-in candidate in November, a move Republican strategist Karl Rove described as “sad and sorry.” Rove said Murkowski’s write-in bid could end up splitting the conservative vote, allowing the Democratic challenger to win.

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This video is from Fox’s Fox News Sunday, broadcast Sept. 19, 2010.


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