It has been more than 170 years since the United States last elected a president who was not a Democrat or a Republican. That was Zachary Taylor in 1848.
Alliance Party presidential candidate Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente wants to change that.
De La Fuente ran for president in 2016 as a Democrat but did not win any primaries or delegates. De La Fuente has also run for Senate in several states, as well as running for mayor of New York.
He ran for president in 2020 as a Republican before becoming the Alliance Party’s first-ever presidential nominee. De La Fuente is also the Reform Party’s presidential nominee.
Forgie: “My name is Adam Forgie, I’m with the KUTV web team, and today we’re talking with Rocky De La Fuente, the Alliance Party candidate for president. Mr. De La Fuente, thank you so much for joining us, we appreciate it.”
De La Fuente: “Thank you, Adam.”
Forgie: “Let’s get right into it, you ran for president in 2016 and you’re running again in 2020, why?”
De La Fuente: “In October 2015 I predicted that Donald Trump would be the candidate for the Republican Party and there was a pretty good chance that he could be the next president of the United States.
I thought that was not a real option and Hillary was just as bad, so I saw Trump winning the Republican nomination and I thought I would be winning the Democratic nomination.
I came in third after all the cheating and stealing that was by Debbie Wasserman Schultz and by Hillary. That is when I got upset at the way our system was and that is when I decided to run as an independent in 2016, and the Reform Party, the Ross Perot party, nominated me.
I was very, very proud. In 2020, I have been nominated by the Alliance Party in South Carolina, by the Law Party in Michigan, by the Reform Party in Florida, by the American Independent in California, and by the American Delta. I managed to do a coalition of many, many different parities.
Now it appears that Democrats and Republicans can’t even make up their mind to what’s good for the American People, and in the meantime, I was able to get five different parties to nominate me.”
Forgie: “You’re a third-party candidate and they face challenges that Democrats and Republicans don’t face. What would you say is the biggest challenge you face as a third-party candidate?”
De La Fuente: “It’s two things. One is ballot access, they make it impossible for us to qualify in all the states, but more importantly is they would not allow you to participate in the debates, even if you have all the support and all the rules.
They make it very, very difficult both for the Democratic candidate; they make it impossible as a Republican candidate and as an independent. All we’re trying to make sure that sometime in 2024, 2028, make sure the path eventually leads to a very strong third party, and maybe at that time we can break the duopoly.
It counts as one vote at a time. As most people want to go independent, and they tell the Democrats or tell the Republicans that they’re fed up with their bullshit, the gridlock, maybe at that time, you’ll see a strong third candidate emerge and win the election.”
Forgie: “It’s pretty safe to say that the country is more divided now than it’s been in a generation, at least, what would you do as president to unite the country?”
De La Fuente: “We need to treat immigrants as assets, not liabilities. We can treat our fellow people with respect, in other words, you do not divide to conquer, and you unite.
The commander in chief has to be the person that unites the people, not divide them. In addition, basically, we have been divided since 2016, since the election in 2016. How many people do you think we are happy with the options in 2016? Hillary and Trump. Imagine if 330 million people imagine those are our two options.”
Forgie: “You’re either on the ballot or a write-in candidate in 27 states. How do you win?”
De La Fuente: “Well, it’s not a matter of winning. The only way we can technically win is if the Democrats and Republicans [tie with] 269 electoral votes [each], and I happen to get two, then it goes to Congress, and technically you can win.
However, for me, just being on the ballot in California, 20 million strong, to be on the ballot in Florida, in South Carolina, in Michigan, that is winning.
To be on the ballot in Utah, that is winning. Some states make it very reasonable for me to participate. Other states make it impossible. California requires an independent to get 189,000 petitions. That is $4 million just to get on the California ballot. Do you think that’s fair?”
Forgie: “Let’s get into the issues. The biggest issue right now is COVID-19, which has devastated the economy, it’s killed more than 200,000 Americans, and how would you respond to the pandemic differently than President Trump did?”
De La Fuente: “It’s very simple, we’re not an island. You saw what was happening in China, you saw what was happening in the rest of the world, you saw how different leaders in different parts of the world responded.
Some of them do not have that many infections. I believe that if we tackled it from the beginning, once we understood that it was a real pandemic, and you would have hunkered down for 45 days, we would enjoy the benefits of other countries to not add 210,000 people dying and as many people infected.
I think that was an error. In addition, we have suffered it all this year and we are going to all suffer it next year. We reacted too late.”
Forgie: “Another aspect of COVID is that it has devastated the economy, it’s forced millions of people out of works, what do you think needs to be done to fix the economy and get people back to work?”
De La Fuente: “The first thing is they need another stimulus package, and they’re playing politics. Between Nancy [Pelosi] and Donald [Trump], they cannot make up their mind on what is good for the American people; they are just making sure that this is not passed until sometime after the election.
Many American people do not have money to buy food, pay the rent, or survive. This whole mess is a snowball. You people understand what snowballs are there in Utah. Once you have one of those catastrophes, you try to anticipate [it] so it won’t happen.”
Forgie: “Let’s talk about healthcare. You propose a publicly funded, single-payer healthcare plan. Explain what you would do to fix healthcare in America.”
De La Fuente: “It’s very, very simple. There are medicines all over the world that cost one-tenth, or one one-hundredth of what they cost in the United States. If you go to countries like Uruguay, and they are saying this particular medicine can only be sold for so much, and in the United States, it is being sold 100 times more.
So, if all you need to do is to take the top 100 medicines, and you price them correctly, even if we as Americans have to buy those patents from those companies, and by basically reducing the cost of medicine by 100 times, that would make a huge difference. The other part of the equation is we need to have tort reform.
There is so much tort that it makes it impossible for doctors to make the right decisions when one-third of the compensation is insurance. Therefore, you reform tort, together with the cost of medicine, then you have something that within the current budget, we can make it work.
Today is my birthday, it is a beautiful birthday, 10-10-2020, and I’m sitting in Maine, I have this beautiful view where I am.
Forgie: “Happy birthday, thank you for joining me on your birthday. So, let us talk about climate change. You say the fight against climate change is to save us from ourselves.’ What do you mean by that and how would you battle climate change?”
De La Fuente: “If you take a look, for example, Utah. I have been going to Utah for the last 40 years, two to three times a year; I love to ski there in Park City and Deer Valley. When I used to go, the snow would arrive in October. Now, sometimes, it’s January and it has not arrived.
There is no question that the whole thing is shifting in the snow. When you go to South America and the sun used to be there in November and December, and now the sun does not arrive until February.
Therefore, the weather has shifted throughout the whole world. The best way I would tackle it is very simple. I would start a program where every country would be responsible for planting one billion trees.
If can have China, India, and we can save the American forest in Brazil, and if the United States plants one billion trees, that would be a good effort. And to make sure that we plant them in a way that we do not create a natural catastrophe with more fires.”
Forgie: “You’ve been critical of how President Trump is handling illegal immigration and immigrants in general. How would you address the current border crisis, and what’s your plan for immigration?”
De La Fuente: “First of all there is no border crisis. Mr. Trump, his parents were immigrants, his wife is an immigrant, and so it is amazing when he attacks immigrants when he married an immigrant, his parents are immigrants.
This country is so great for our 230-year history, because of immigrants. The only ones who were here [before] were American Indians. Immigrants are what made this country. I do not know how many generations ago, but you were an immigrant, or your family was an immigrant. I would treat immigrants as assets, not liabilities.
We need to recognize that if we bring the best talent from India and the best talent from China, and the best talent from all over the world that is why we have been able to grow as we have done for the past 230 years. One country, history will teach us what to do.
China decided to put [up] the Chinese wall. All they did was they blocked themselves from being the number one country in the world at that time they suffered because basically, they did not allow progress to come into their borders. Therefore, the answer is I would create enough jobs and opportunities. In Latin America,
I could create a free trade agreement from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. I would create the largest economic bloc and I would make sure that we generate growing at 7-8% national product, therefore, being able to create more jobs both in the United States and abroad so we do not have an immigration problem. The way we solve it is by creating jobs.”
Forgie: “Your website says you want the US to stop trying to impose democracy on countries that don’t want it or are not ready for it. What’s your plan when it comes to the military and troops overseas?”
De La Fuente: “We cannot be the policeman for the world unless it’s 100% necessary. It’s necessary in preventing people from getting nuclear weapons so there are not going to be more superpowers out there. However, at the same token, if you look at what happened, we have created a nightmare in the Middle East.
We decided to overthrow the shah and look at the nightmare we created there since 1980. In 40 years, it is a complete disaster.
Take a look at what we’ve created everywhere, in Panama, in Nicaragua, we go there and remove one dictator and put in another dictator, one that serves our economic interests and it might be the economic interests of a few, not for the people there. We continue to try to run the politics of the world.
That is not our job, our job is to make sure Americans are fed, make sure we are in good spirits, make sure we are employed, and enjoy our quality of life. Not basically pay 50% of our taxes when we try to ruin other people’s countries.”
Forgie: “Protests regarding police brutality have been going on since George Floyd’s death in May. Many of those protests turned into riots, and it has been chaotic ever since. What would you do anything, on a federal level to address race and policing?”
De La Fuente: “First of all, I’m a minority so I understand that issue. In addition, the question is if you happen to have a president or commander in chief that keeps promoting unrest, I think most people feel entitled.
You cannot have a commander in chief who keeps dividing this country. He keeps dividing the different states, he is trying to penalize California and New York for not voting for him and making sure that we pay double taxes, it’s amazing, and the guy is treating this very, very wrongly.”
Forgie: “A lot of the division we’re seeing right now is fueled by social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you name it. What effect is social media having on our country?”
De La Fuente: “It completely changes the whole thing. One thing, it allows us to express and allows other people [to have] a ground game, but the other thing is it gives a lot of power to Facebook. If you happen to have one million followers, now they are charging you to communicate with your followers.
Therefore, all of a sudden, you cannot communicate with the people who want to communicate with you unless you pay Facebook a fee. That’s wrong; the airwaves belong to us, not to Facebook.”
Forgie: “The DEA lists marijuana as a schedule 1 drug. What would you do regarding marijuana legalization on a federal level, and in the broader picture what would you do about the War on Drugs?”
De La Fuente: Well, unbelievably, I was the first person to come up with, in 1978, with ‘say no to drugs.’ Then Nancy Reagan, three months later, used the same slogan, I was very proud that somebody took my slogan.
As far as marijuana, first, I would not make it criminal to have marijuana, but more importantly, I would educate the people of the long-term consequences of marijuana.
I believe that if people want to use it for medical purposes, that is fine, if they want to use it for recreational purposes, that is fine, but they just need to be warned of the effects it has immediate too long term. I do not believe that has been addressed.
It’s up to the states to determine what happens to marijuana, but on a federal level, we need to make sure that it’s not a criminal offense and to make sure we educate people on the effects of it.”
Forgie: “What are the most important issues you see facing the country right now?”
De La Fuente: “We need to unite, not divide. We need to treat immigrants as assets, not liabilities. We need to treat our fellow politicians with respect. Not nickname everybody with a different nickname and we need to respect the flag.
We need to change the rules that if people burn the flag, there is where the respect starts if you respect the flag and the commander in chief. Now, to be able to respect the commander in chief, he needs to become respectable.
When he was elected, I told him I wish him the good news, and I told him let’s see if he can lead. I gave him a two-year lead to see what he can show us as commander in chief. What he has shown us is he does not know how to lead; all he knows how to do is to fire people.
He does not know how to create consensus and he is not able to reach to the other side of the aisle to make things safer for the American people.”
Forgie: “You mentioned reaching across the aisle, how important is bipartisanship and what would you do to end partisanship?”
De La Fuente: “How strong is a chain? A chain is as strong as its weakest link. With the power of the presidency, with having so many Democrats out there. Just because they are Democrats, they are first Americans.
We first have to do what is best for the country, not what is best for the party. That’s what’s wrong, they feel that the only way they’re going to get reelected, we need election reform because the party feels that if they decide not to help one of those people get reelected, then they don’t give them money for reelection, then they feel loyalty to the party.
Therefore, we need to change the rules on how people are elected. How can you believe, let me put it this way, that we are going to spend over $4 billion in this election? $4 billion. What does that do to your vote? We’re being told how to vote, and we’re being told how to think.”
Forgie: “Is there anything else you want to add?”
De La Fuente: “I just hope that everyone does their civic duty and go vote. And even though I’m not going to win in Utah, the more votes I get in Utah, the most votes I get in California, Florida, etc., or even the most votes independent candidates get, especially in the two-party system, people are getting fed up and they’re not going to put up with it anymore. You have a beautiful state. I love Utah.”
Forgie: “Well, happy birthday Mr. De La Fuente, thank you so much for joining us, I hope you enjoy the rest of your special day.” “Well, happy birthday Mr. De La Fuente, thank you so much for joining us, I hope you enjoy the rest of your special day.”
De La Fuente: “Thank you, Adam, thank you very much.”