Republican congressional candidate and former Miss America Erika Harold appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday for a political roundtable.
The Illinois native, who is running for Illinois’ 13th Congressional District, had the chance to voice her opinions during this week’s political discussion alongside EJ Dionne, columnist for The Washington Post, David Brooks of the New York Times and Katty Kay, anchor of BBC World News America.
The first question Harold spoke to was one about a lack of public opinion on U.S. involvement in the crisis in Iraq.
“There is tension where there is not the political will to send combat troops back [to Iraq],” she said. “But I don’t think that Americans feel really comfortable or proud of the notion that we would do nothing. So I think the President’s challenge is finding a way of crafting a solution that does not involve sending troops back in, but gives us a sense that we’re doing something.”
She also went on to talk about how the loss of documents and emails by the I.R.S. with regard to targeting Tea Party groups and how that looks for the President and management in the political system.
“I think that Americans right now have a real sense of cynicism because they feel like there’s a set of rules for the average person and then a set of rules for the powerful and the politically connected,” she said. “And I think a lot of people, those who are being audited by the I.R.S., and they said, ‘I simply lost all the documentation’… I think they would not find a very sympathetic ear.”
One of the more debated topics Harold discussed Sunday was the immigration crisis.
She questioned the definition of the word amnesty and said there needs to be a “practical solution.”
“[The debate] can’t just be bogged down by talking about what these words mean because there’s real consequences,” she said.
Since announcing her campaign to challenge first-term U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis in the 2014 Republican primary, Harold said her priorities would be promoting conservative principles and encouraging economic growth.
She said she believes she can help expand the party’s voting base and reach people who don’t traditionally vote Republican.
Harold was Miss America in 2003. She is a Harvard law graduate and works for a Champaign firm.