The 3rd District candidate once had jailing journalists, wedding gifts, Medicare-for-all on his website until he didn’t. Hear what he has to say. 

Michael Cassidy joined Y’all Politics this week ahead of the 3rd Congressional District Republican Primary Runoff Election to talk about his campaign and to answer questions about both his policy positions and his main points of contention with his opponent, incumbent Congressman Michael Guest.

This interview is part of a Y’all Politics series featuring all six runoff candidates in the June 28th election in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Congressional Districts. Congressman Guest was on with Y’all Politics last week.

RELATED: Fighting back: Guest calls Cassidy’s accusations about his record lies. Watch.

Cassidy’s campaign had largely flown under the radar, that is until he led the three-man Republican Primary on June 7th, pulling in 48% of the vote.  Since then, Cassidy has been under greater scrutiny with voters and the media as they seek to learn more about him and his stated policy positions.

Medicare for All and Wedding Gifts

The day after the primary, 3rd District voters began questioning Cassidy’s platform and beliefs on social media. Cassidy’s campaign hurriedly scrubbed his website, deleting references to his proposals for the government to fund $20,000 wedding gifts, parent stipends for children, and Medicare-for-all.

However, screenshots of his website were readily available through Wayback Machine.

READ MORE: Cassidy scrubs government “wedding gifts,” parent stipends from campaign site

Jailing Journalists

Another of Cassidy’s initial platform positions that has heretofore not received much coverage was a reference to potentially jailing journalists for “knowingly publishing false information or inciting violence.”  This would be done, he stated, by updating libel laws.

But imprisoning “journalists, writers, television personalities, editors and owners” would be a criminal function of the Justice Department.  It is a shockingly cavalier interpretation of the First Amendment, one which Cassidy defended as being aligned with former President Donald Trump.

Cassidy for Congress website, March 2022

Joining the Freedom Caucus

Following the initial primary election, Cassidy announced his intent to align with the House Freedom Caucus but would not reveal whether he has spoken with any of the current members about this prospect.

In the interview, Cassidy offered his thoughts on how being a part of this caucus would benefit the nation and Mississippi.

Will he vote against Nancy Pelosi for Speaker?

Cassidy is uncommitted on whether he will support current House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy for Speaker if the GOP wins the majority in November.

When asked if he would support McCarthy over Democrat Speaker Nancy Pelosi if those were the choices, Cassidy would not fully commit to supporting a Republican speaker nominee at this time.

Mississippians will remember that in 2010, in a similar scenario, short-term Congressman Travis Childers would not fully commit on his vote for or against Nancy Pelosi.

Attacking Guest

Cassidy addressed the three main points his campaign is using to attack Congressman Guest, those being the January 6th Commission, abortion funding, and Ukraine aid. Cassidy did not concede any ground to Guest despite the Congressman’s latest attempts to clarify and explain his position on all three issues.

Resided in Mississippi but voted in Florida

As for his being a newcomer to Mississippi, Cassidy said he has resided in the state since 2016 but changed his voter registration approximately a year ago once he was off active duty from the U.S. Navy.

He said he returned to Pensacola, Florida to vote during those years before changing his voter registration to Mississippi, adding that he voted in both the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections in Florida while residing in Mississippi.

Watch the interview

You can watch the full interview with 3rd District candidate Michael Cassidy below to hear his responses to each of these points and more.