November 20, 2015

Nevada Democratic Hopeful Has No Plan To Combat ISIS

Last night, 4th District Democratic candidate John Oceguera sat down with Jon Ralston, Nevada’s famed political reporter,  for the first time since his disastrous 2012 talk with Ralston. As bad as his 2012 interview was, this one was even worse, as Oceguera offered only incoherent and vague platitudes when asked about ISIS. When pressed by Ralston,  Oceguera continued stumbling around about “building coalitions” and using all “resources that are at your disposal.”

During the interview, Ralston asked Oceguera what he would do to combat ISIS. Oceguera, who appeared to have no coherent answer, began to ask rhetorical questions until Ralston called him out on it. Oceguera eventually vaguely answered the question by saying after “building coalitions” and using all “resources that are at your disposal,” he would use ground troops as a last resort.

RALSTON: “Let’s talk about something else that people are fearful for. Not just from Paris, but because of what’s happened overseas and that’s ISIS. … Where do you come down on this?” OCEGUERA: “So a couple of things, Jon. One, I think this is different, right? This is a different kind of war, if you will. We are not fighting a state or a country, so you have to rethink your way of attacking this, right? So is it infiltration, is it getting more intelligence, is it learning the culture, is it learning the religion?” RALSTON: “You’re supposed to be giving answers. Not asking questions. What are your answers to this?” OCEGUERA: “I’m getting there Jon. I just think you have to look at it in a different way, right? You have to attack this problem differently. And I’m not opposed to putting troops on the ground as a last resort. So -” RALSTON: “As a last resort after what? After there’s another terrorist attack? When do you put the troops in there?” OCEGUERA: “Well after you built coalitions. Like I think we’re heading down the right path. As we put all these coalitions together and we try to use all our resources to do the things I just mentioned, which you said were questions but were actually answers.” RALSTON: “They were answers in the form of questions. We’re on Jeopardy. I thought we were on Ralston Live. Go on. I’m kidding.” OCEGUERA: “It’s your show. I’m just a guest. So you do that with your coalitions. You use all those resources that are at your disposal. But I think your next question was would you use troops on the ground. And I wouldn’t rule that out.”


At other points during the interview, Oceguera faltered when trying to answer Ralston’s questions.

When Ralston asked Oceguera if his lobbying career would be an albatross in his Congressional bid, Oceguera implied he was proud of his career and said he is in a position to “selectively work for the people that I want to work for.” Constituents of the 4th District take note…

RALSTON: “Did it offend you when I called you a lobbyist?” OCEGUERA: “It did not.” RALSTON: “You don’t think that’s going to be used against you, that you were a lobbyist for a variety of special interests… Do you think being a lobbyist is a negative, because probably some people who are watching think it is.” OCEGUERA: “Jon, yes, I work for a firm that’s in multiple states. We’re in ten states, we do government affairs – lobbying work – there’s no doubt about it. We do a lot of other things, but let’s set that aside because you want to talk about the lobbying.” RALSTON: “Not for very long, I’m just curious if you think that it’s something that’s going to be an albatross for you.” OCEGUERA: “Well I’ll just say this, I’m in a position now in my career – as you noted I’ve retired from the fire department, I work for a firm now – so I’m in a position to be able to, you know, selectively work for the people that I want to work for.”


Ralston also pressed Oceguera about Climate Change and what policies he would pursue in Congress. When Oceguera mentioned reducing emissions, Ralston pressed him on whether he supports new emissions standards on businesses. Oceguera conceded that he in fact does.

RALSTON: “You talked about, you wanted to know whether people are for fighting climate change, implying that you are for fighting climate change. How? … You think that it’s man-made, you think its natural – what do you think? … But how do you fight it? What do you do, as a Congressman, when you go there what would you advocate for?” OCEGUERA: “Well look, I think we take a leadership role and we take a leadership role in showing, like ‘these are our policies in the United States.'” RALSTON: “But what policies?” OCEGUERA: “Reduce emissions, you know, things like that, things that we know cause global warming.” RALSTON: “So you would mandate a new emissions standards for certain businesses? Is that what you would do?” OCEGUERA: “As an example, I think we have to look at that kind of stuff, look at the science and see, is that something that’s causing it, and I think it is, then, you know, we might have to tighten that up.”