Yesterday on MBNBC's "Morning Joe," financial advisor Peter Schiff formally announced that he is running for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut. Schiff developed something of a cult following as one of the most prominent investment gurus that predicted the financial crisis. His entrance into the race is particularly interesting because, if he gets the Republican nomination, then he would be up against Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd. Watch the announcement after the break.
He decided to enter the Senate race due to an outpouring of local support. He explains in the clip:
What I think that shows me is that there's a growing number of Americans out there who are fed up with what's going on, who understand that Washington does not represent the solution to our problems, but the source of our problems.
According to Schiff, he's already raised over $1 million for his campaign.
His main talking point as a candidate is obviously his background in finance and economics. His philosophy sounds a lot like Ron Paul's. That shouldn't be surprising, since he worked as Ron Paul's economic advisor during his 2008 presidential campaign.
If he gets the nomination, it will certainly be a fun battle to watch. He and Dodd are kind of polar opposites. Schiff has a mostly libertarian view of the proper interaction for government and business. Dodd, of course, was involved in several controversies involving government and business, most notably one involving Countrywide and another involving Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac. In the interview Schiff said Dodd represents all that is wrong with Congress and is the "poster boy" for the economic crisis.
Among other things, MSNBC asked Schiff his view on the topic du jour -- health care. Schiff explains where he stands:
I think what the government has done is a disgrace to health care in this country. They've driven up the cost with government subsidies and with excess government involvement. The solution to health care is the same solution to anything -- the same way we have a solution to clothing or food. It's the free market; it' individual entrepreneurs; it's competition; it's the profit motive; it's the invisible hand; it's everything that made this country great. We need to get government out of health care so we can bring private market forces back into it, and we can have individuals empowered to make their own choices, let doctors compete on quality and on price. And we can do that if we roll back government. But if we go in the direction of the Obama administration, we're gonna compound the problem. We'll gonna drive health care costs even higher, and we're gonna drive quality lower.
He also responded to the criticism that he doesn't have any political experience:
I think that's my greatest attribute -- the fact that I haven't had experience ruining the country, that I haven't brought the banking system to its knees (and) helped destroy the health care system.