In a conference call with pastors and conservative leaders on Tuesday, U.S. Rep. David Brat (R-Va.) said Washington insiders are "quaking" at the rise of outsider candidates, such as Donald Trump - but these same outsiders need to find a way to become "yes" candidates if they are going to win elections.
"Outsiders are rising because of the President's foreign policy failures" in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia, Brat said. Of particular concern for Brat, and another reason he sees outsiders gaining traction in the polls, is the growing threat of the Islamic State.
"We did nothing in the federal budget to control immigration or on border security," he said.
Brat charged that ISIS has threatened to enter the United States through the border with Mexico as well as use the Syrian refugee crisis as a means of cover for its operations. He also pointed to an incident from last Friday, when two Virginia men were arrested at the Richmond International Airport.
Prosecutors allege that one of the men, 28-year-old Joseph Hassan Farrokh, of Woodbridge, Virginia, was trying to reach Syria, where he planned to join the terrorist organization. The second man, 25 year-old Mahmoud Amin Mohamed Elhassan, also of Woodbridge, drove Farrokh to the airport.
"I was on the money," about this threat, Brat said. "The people who saw ISIS coming, the people who brought that possibility up, were scorned for it."
Brat suggested, though, that anger was not the best way for outsiders to get their concerns across to voters.
"We need a positive message," he said. "I want to be the yes guy. Yes for a balanced budget. Yes for reducing our debt. We have to find a way to move the message that way."
The conference call, organized by Bishop E.W. Jackson of the National Emergency Coalition, began with a prayer from Jackson, the Virginia GOP's 2013 nominee for lieutenant governor.
In it, Jackson praised Brat for his willingness to "stand in the gap," and said he was "thankful for his victory" over former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the 2014 Republican primary.
Brat gave what he called a "liberal arts version" of the foundations of the Republican Party, stating that supporters of Judeo-Christian values, the rule of law and free markets are "openly ridiculed" in today's society. "Natural law will get you laughed at," he said. "The free market system is ridiculed on the left."
Outsider candidates for political office, Brat contended, understand the price for abandoning these "pillars of our society."
His own political future faces hurdles. He is being challenged for the Republican nomination by Henrico County Sheriff Mike Wade, who has loose ties to Cantor.
A three judge panel also redrew Brat's congressional district, removing Hanover County, where his political support has been strongest, and New Kent County.
Added to the district are the more southern counties of Amelia, Nottoway and Powhatan, which had been part of the 4th congressional district represented by Republican Randy Forbes.
Forbes has yet to make a decision on whether he will run for re-election in his redrawn district, or seek nomination in an neighboring district.