Nighthorse Campbell Says Dems offer Indians “Dependency Programs”

Former US Sen Ben Nighthorse Campbell

Former US Sen Ben Nighthorse Campbell


Former GOP Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell campaigned on behalf of Presidential candidate John McCain in Green Bay, Wisconsin last week.  He acknowledged that McCain has an uphill battle in getting a majority of Native Americans to vote for him, but says the situation is changing:


“There’s this sort of new awakening in the Indian people now that they don’t want to be dependent on anybody, that they want to be self-sufficient,” Campbell said. “But there’s still an awful lot of Indian people who are still kind of, they grew up with that sort of dependency mentality. Any Democratic candidate, they see that: ‘If you elect me, I’ll get you more things from the federal government.’”


Wisconsin is a battleground state in the 2008 presidential election.  Senator John Kerry won the state in 2004 by just over 11,000 votes, a margin of less than one-half of one percent.  Native Americans make up 1.3% of Wisconsin’s population and bring a voting eligible population of nearly 47,000.


Campbell served in the U.S. House of Representatives for six years as a Democrat, won his Senate seat in 1992 as a Democrat, switched to a Republican in 1995, and then won reelection as a Republican Senator in 1998 before retiring in at the end of 2004.


Campbell served as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, from 1997-2001 and from 2003-2004.   He is a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe of Montana.


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