NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — He is considered an impactful intellectual leader in conservative politics, but he has also been criticized for abandoning traditional conservatism for a kind of counter-revolution.

KX News’ Josh Meny sat down with Dr. Rick Becker to discuss his independent bid for U.S. Senate, running against incumbent Senator John Hoeven and Democratic-NPL candidate Katrina Christiansen.

Why do you consider yourself the true conservatives in this race? And where does Senator Hoeven fall short?

“Well, you know, the word conservative means something. And people who, I guess think of Republicans as conservative just automatically assume they go together, and they don’t. Republican is simply a political party. Now, it’s supposed to be adhering to conservative principles. It’s in the platform, but there are a lot of elected officials who don’t hold those principles true. And so it’s not that I want to say true and not true. It’s just who espouses those principles, who really believes in those principles of limited government, and limited taxation, maximizing freedom, you know, all of these types of things that are so critical to making society and in our communities prosperous and healthy. And so yeah, I think I have 10 years of history of voting on bills, and I have been stopped. And I think that’s why how I get separated out is that I stand by those principles 100% of the time, and I have viewed the other Republicans as being on my team, and I hold myself and I hold them to a higher standard. I expect them to follow those principles, that platform. Many of them don’t, I hold them accountable. And I’m not afraid to, you know, call things out. So when we look at John Hoeven, the incumbent, he has a long track record; 12 years now in the Senate 10 years before that, as governor. A long track record, yes as a Republican, however, not as a conservative, and his voting record shows that he has been huge on government spending on subsidies, cronyism, and corporate welfare government. I’ll put it this way to you, government in his eyes is the solution to many, many, if not all problems. In my eyes, I’ll borrow from Ronald Reagan, government is many, many times the problem,” explained Independent for U.S. Senate, Dr. Rick Becker.

You’ve been characterized as using smash-mouth, bare-knuckle politics. You’ve called on conservative leaders to be uncompromising with the left. What do you say to the claim that you’re a counter-revolutionary threat to the establishment conservative movement in North Dakota?

“Well, I am a threat to the establishment movement because I hold these principles firm and I hold those people accountable. They don’t like that they like to play within their country club type of atmosphere. They like to play the good old boy game. It’s the same thing that goes on in Washington, DC. I have no part of that. I call it out. People in North Dakota, people across the United States appreciate that. That’s what they’re looking for. The establishment whether it’s in North Dakota, the rest of the country can’t stand that because that shows them for who they are,” Becker said.

Now, will you call on Hoeven to debate?

“100%. Well, I think it’s good for North Dakota. He is a long-standing incumbent, but people rarely hear from him. And I think it’s only good for the electorate to be informed and they have three candidates in this race. They should hear from all of them. They should hear the differences and when they go to the polling booth, know who it is that the right person is for them,” said Becker.