Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., was raised in a Democrat household and was on welfare before her journey to becoming a conservative member of Congress.
“I was raised in a Democrat household. I was stuck under failed policies that put us into a cycle of poverty with no incentive to get out. At 11 years old, I stood in bread lines. I waited for government cheese. And that’s not America’s best,” Boebert says.
She’s also a wife, mom, and entrepreneur, with her own restaurant, Shooters Grill. How does she juggle all these different aspects of life, and what’s her advice to other women in similar situations?
Boebert, who is freshman lawmaker, joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” to discuss all this and more, as well as her trip on a recent congressional delegation to the U.S.-Mexico border.
We also cover these stories:
- Security officials testifying before two Senate committees say they believe the riot at the Capitol was a coordinated attack.
- Republican senators grill President Biden’s nominee for secretary of health and human services, Xavier Becerra, on his vote against banning partial-birth abortion.
- The Senate confirms Linda Thomas-Greenfield to the position of ambassador to the United Nations.
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Rachel del Guidice: I’m joined today on “The Daily Signal Podcast” by Congresswoman Lauren Boebert of Colorado. Congresswoman Boebert, it’s great to have you on “The Daily Signal Podcast.”
Rep. Lauren Boebert: Thank you so much for having me, Rachel.
Del Guidice: Thanks for being with us. You and I actually just went on a trip together to the U.S.-Mexico border. Can you share with us just some of the takeaways you got from the trip?
Boebert: Sure. First, I had a wonderful and informative time on the [congressional delegation] trip and I want to thank so much the Freedom Caucus chairman, Andy Biggs, and his team for hosting us. That was really a treat to take us down and see the wall in person and what’s going on.
On the border, it’s really a conflict between the cartels in Mexico and the Border Patrol in the U.S. The cartels send over 90% of the drugs—including heroin, cocaine—that are destroying our communities. That’s a problem.
They also are a large player when it comes to human trafficking and engaging in sex trafficking, which is just horrific. We must put an end to that.
The first day that you and I were there on the border, there were five unaccompanied minors that were apprehended, and that really comes to the heart of the wall.
I believe that building the wall is the most moral and just thing that we can do. It’s shameful, immoral, and disgusting to signal to poor and desperate people that they should risk their lives, that they should break our laws in hopes that they somehow might make it across, might not get caught, and might survive, and then we’ll take care of them with our hard-earned tax dollars.
We could just look to California and see how that’s working for them.
We need a secure border. The Border Patrol officers that you and I met with want the wall. Under this new administration, construction has been halted. We saw the 8-foot gaps where there’s supposed to be a gate to finish securing the border wall, and those are wide open. That’s how the cartel can send folks over.
Del Guidice: Something that really stood out to me that I really hadn’t been aware of until this trip to the border was how the drug cartels affect schools at the border.
When we were there, we got to see Palominas Elementary School in Cochise County, [Arizona,] where … the law enforcement told us that they really routinely have to put the school on lockdown because the drug cartel traffic that is going by the school.
I just wanted to ask you, what was your perspective of this, just seeing how real this becomes for students at the border?
Boebert: Rachel, we have to ask the question, in what other community in America would this be OK, where schools are on lockdown nearly once a day and there’s constant threats to a school where children are being sent?
I certainly would be making changes if that was happening at my children’s school. So why is it OK for Arizonans and folks who are along the border to have to put their children in harm’s way every day?
Under President [Donald] Trump, illegal immigration was the lowest it had been in 17 years. President Trump achieved this because he understood the problem and he addressed it.
So far, under President [Joe] Biden, his actions to protect Americans and secure the border have been to ban federal government from using the term “illegal alien.” That doesn’t protect our children in schools.
It’s almost laughable. But what’s not a laughing matter is the increase of illegal drugs and human trafficking that will occur when the current president isn’t willing to address the crisis on our southern border.
Unfortunately, it’s our children who are harmed by that and it’s the children who are being sent across the border, just like you and I saw that day.
Del Guidice: You’re a freshman member of Congress and I want to talk a little bit more about why you ran. Before we get there, though, you have your own restaurant, Shooters Grill. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Boebert: Sure. I opened my restaurant nearly eight years ago. Eight years ago, I was in the process of opening this restaurant that the city officials told me I shouldn’t open.
They said, “Our restaurants are failing right now. There’s a lot of work that needs [to be] done to your building, but we don’t think that it’s going to be worth it for you to invest in this restaurant and open up right now.”
I wanted to help my community, and so I said, “I’ve prayed about this. I believe that we can be successful.” God said, “Whatever I put my hand to will be prosperous.” And if I commit my actions to him, then they’ll succeed.
We went ahead with faith that if we just took that step it would be successful and we would be able to help community members.
We named our restaurant Shooters Grill because we’re in the only city in America named after a gun, Rifle, Colorado. We just wanted to serve people with excellence, we wanted to connect with people, we wanted to create opportunities for people in our community.
Shortly after we opened our restaurant there was an altercation that changed the entire outlook of our restaurant. There was a man who was, unfortunately, beat to death outside of my restaurant. He lost his life from this altercation and I immediately needed a way to protect the people that were around me.
I took advantage of Colorado’s open carry laws and I began to open carry in my restaurant. Soon after that, my waitresses began to carry guns in the restaurant. Before we knew it, “Nightline,” “20/20” was in our restaurant doing a story, and Shooters Grill was being called the safest restaurant in America.
Del Guidice: Wow. What has it been like being a female entrepreneur? You mentioned the pushback you got from the city, but now that you’ve had this restaurant under your belt for quite a while now, what has it been like looking back on where you started from to where you’re at right now?
Boebert: It’s been an amazing journey. I have met with people that I would have never had the opportunity to meet. I’ve experienced so many different things with people who have come in from all across the world. They want to see the waitresses with guns, but they leave with a real experience. They come in empty and we fill them up.
It just shows that, in America, this truly is the land of opportunity. It’s not the land of guaranteed outcome, but we have an opportunity to put our hand to something and be successful.
I was raised in a Democrat household. I was stuck under failed policies that put us into a cycle of poverty with no incentive to get out. At 11 years old, I stood in bread lines. I waited for government cheese. And that’s not America’s best.
At a very young age when we moved to the Western Slope of Colorado, I started working and I saw with that first paycheck that I brought home to mom that I can put my hand to something and create wealth. I could do a better job taking care of myself than government ever could.
I didn’t have a silver spoon in my mouth, I didn’t have every privileged blessing coming my way, but I had opportunity because America is exceptional and I was able to put one foot in front of the other and keep on trying until I was able to have the influence and the connections that I wanted in my community to make many lives better, not just my own.
Del Guidice: You mentioned that you were raised in a Democrat household and the impact that that first paycheck had. What was that transition like?
Or, I guess, can you tell us a little bit more about your story from being raised in a Democrat household to now being a conservative member of Congress, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, how that journey progressed?
Boebert: I was being exposed to the truth. I was being exposed that these policies that we lived under weren’t the best for anyone in America. It was just a way for government to have control of our lives.
I mentioned that cycle of poverty. They wanted us stuck in that. My mom just believed that if you go out and try to make it on your own, it will never be enough, and then you will fail everyone around you because government can take care of you better than you can.
I just saw firsthand at 15 years old that that wasn’t true. I actually left high school my senior year of high school, I was offered a great position at McDonald’s, and I had had my first son by then, and I said, “I’ve been on welfare before, I’ve been stuck in that before. I don’t ever want to go back to that.”
So I took a great job opportunity that was worth more to me than my last two months of high school sitting in biology class, and that really changed my life.
I had ownership in my position. It was a great building of work ethics, and it’s something that’s never left me.
I’ve taken the same message of freedom and personal responsibility to women at my local jail, and that was just as much of a blessing and a learning experience for me as it was for them.
I was able to go into this jail and have these personal connections with these women and let them know that their life wasn’t ruined. They still had an opportunity to have a successful future no matter what their past had looked like.
Being a Christian, I was able to go into this jail and personally introduce these women to the God who turns shame into glory, who could restore whatever their past looked like. All those broken pieces, he could put them together and lead and guide and launch them into a successful future.
I was able to offer these women jobs at my restaurant. I was able to create opportunities for them. That was far more powerful than any government program could ever be.
I saw that in the Republican Party, limited government empowers we the people, and that’s what I wanted to be a part of.
My mom, who was a staunch Democrat, actually voted for her first Republican candidate in 2016. That was President Donald Trump.
Now she is a staunch Republican, conservative, and she understands that all of those policies were hogwash and she was lied to, she was deceived. Now she’s been enlightened and she understands that she can have control of her own life and her own future.
She actually is a server in my restaurant and I’ve never seen my mom with so much joy. She enjoys serving people, she enjoys connecting with people, she enjoys taking care of herself.
Del Guidice: Now, I’m getting back to Congress. Can you tell us a little bit about why you decided to run?
Boebert: I was really frustrated. Rachel, I’m not a politician. I was frustrated with politicians. I was frustrated with people who promise us one thing on the campaign trail, but then they get to Washington, D.C., they get to their state capitals, and they forget who they work for.
They forget about the people who sent them there. They overregulate, overtax, overspend, and ultimately, destroy everything that we are working so hard to build at home.
I, as a business owner, see how those overregulations affect us. I see how the overregulations of our industries around us affect small communities.
In my district, energy is a big issue. Because of government overreach, we hardly have any energy jobs in our district anymore. I want to be on the front lines of those issues and communicate why America needs to be energy independent. We need to be pursuing energy dominance.
We’re seeing the freezing temperatures down in Texas and how the grids couldn’t supply enough energy because they had largely gone to renewable energy resources that are unreliable.
I want to promote good, clean energy. I want a good, clean environment. That means we need to be extracting those resources here at home in America, creating American jobs.
Because if we’re not extracting these resources, China will do it, Saudi Arabia will do it, Africa will do it. Child and slave labor will be used in these countries. I don’t want to see that for anyone. We need to bring that back here to home.
I saw a lot of politicians who had given up on securing the rights of the American people. To me, that’s the first thing any elected official needs to do. That’s your oath of office, to secure and defend the Constitution of the United States.
I saw a lot of people who quit standing for freedom, and that’s why I’m honored to be a member of the Freedom Caucus. There’s so many members of Congress in the Freedom Caucus who are here for the right reasons, they’re principled.
In the Freedom Caucus, we don’t go to the fancy dinners with champagne flowing. We order pizza and we debate the constitutionality of a bill before it’s ever voted on. In my opinion, that’s what all of Congress should be doing. My motivation is giving power back to the people and limiting government overreach.
Del Guidice: Something that you are busy on right now, actually, Congress is talking about, is this $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill that the Democrats are pushing. I’m just curious, there’s a lot in this bill, what’s your perspective of it?
Boebert: There is a lot in this bill and there have been more than 100 hours of debate.
It’s interesting because I’m seeing in real time Democrats, they’re not concerned or affected by the conversations that we’re bringing to the table. They’ve made up their mind that they want to just keep creating money and throwing us further into debt, affecting our children and our children’s children. This debt is going to them.
Congress has already provided nearly $360 billion for state and local governments through five different COVID bills. Much of the relief was unregulated and benefited states like New York and counties like Boulder in my state of Colorado that didn’t need or deserve the funding.
These are areas that have done nothing to tighten their belt when it comes to spending. Most still have rainy day funds that have not been exhausted.
Boulder County spends $6 million a year on climate change initiatives. They shouldn’t have a bailout from the federal government when it was their draconian measures that destroyed their local economies, it destroyed their businesses.
This $1.9 trillion, it’s a Democrat wish list and I’m tired of the Biden blue state bailouts that have just been flowing from Congress and this administration, and it’s time now to put a stop to it.
Rachel, you know that we have nearly $1 trillion that’s already been approved by Congress that’s unspent? They’re using the excuse of reopening schools. Well, there’s no proof that this will even be spent in 2021 or that schools will reopen.
I think this is a great opportunity to push forward the school choice message and have those dollars truly follow the student.
If we’re going to be giving federal bailouts to schools, it doesn’t need to go to the teachers unions, it needs to go to the students, and the parents need to have the choice to send their children to a school that’s actually open and will provide accurate and sustainable learning.
Del Guidice: Finally, so, you’re not only a member of Congress and a small business owner, but you’re a wife and a mom. I wanted to hear from you, and just for all the other moms that listen to this podcast, what would your words of encouragement be to other moms in similar situations where there’s a lot going on? What would your advice and words of encouragement be to them?
Boebert: For me, it was my children that sent me to Washington, D.C. It’s their future. I felt that it was selfish of me to sit at home and just complain about what was going on.
My boys, my four boys, they are my motivation. My husband is my rock. We spend a lot of time on the phone together now more than we do in person, but I let my children know that their future is worth it, our country is worth it.
I encourage everyone to just get involved at whatever level works for you and your family. If that’s making phone calls to your representatives, making phone calls to your senators, those calls matter, those emails and letters, they matter. At least in my office, they’re received, they’re seen, and responded to. We hear the messages that are coming in.
Get involved in your local governments, the school boards, the city councils. This stuff matters and this is how we will begin to transform our nation and really get back on course to what our Founding Fathers intended our country to look like.
Pray for our country and don’t be afraid to voice your opinion in the midst of this cancel culture.
I, for one, refuse to bow down to the cancel mob, and I am proud to have a voice and be in Washington, D.C., doing exactly what I promised the voters I would do—I would be their voice representing the issues that matter most to them and standing strong on the principles that they know that I have and they have back at home.
I would just encourage everyone, don’t lose hope. Don’t give up on America, God certainly hasn’t.
Del Guidice: Congresswoman Boebert, thank you so much for joining us on “The Daily Signal Podcast.” It’s been great having you with us.
Boebert: Thanks so much, Rachel.