Ryan Binkley, White House hopeful running in the shadows, vows to head off federal bankruptcy

Ryan Binkley says he felt called to run for president because he is ready to slash federal spending and make tough choices needed to stop the economy from sliding into recession or worse.

A Texas-based businessman and pastor, Mr. Binkley has anchored his longshot bid for president on a bold seven-year plan to balance the federal budget by cutting nondefense domestic programs, overhauling the health care system to reduce costs, freezing Medicare and Medicaid spending and capping the growth of Social Security spending.

“I really see our country broken financially,” the Republican told The Washington Times. “We’re on the verge of a possible bankruptcy in the next few years. I think we’re gonna hit a recession — likely next year.”

“If we don’t fix it quickly we are going to be in a lot of trouble,” he said.

Mr. Binkley launched his presidential bid in the spring, and over the last eight months has led a grassroots candidacy in which he visited all 99 Iowa counties, capping off the campaign milestone weeks before any of his rivals.

But his campaign accomplishments, warning about a recession and pledge to put the nation on a path toward a healthier economy have been drummed out by former President Donald Trump and his other, more high-profile rivals.

“It’s been difficult to break through,” Mr. Binkley said.

Part of the problem is he missed out on the exposure that would have come from appearing on the debate stage.

He failed to win debate invites from the Republican National Committee, which required candidates to meet donor and polling thresholds to qualify.

Mr. Binkley also has been considered such an underdog that his name has not been included in various polls. 

There was a bright spot in September when he registered at 1 percent in a national survey.

Still, he is hopeful that his grassroots bid is resonating and that it will get a boost when he starts hitting the airwaves with ads over the coming weeks.

Mr. Binkley said he hopes to change the trajectory of the race by outperforming expectations with a third or fourth-place finish in an early-voting state.

“I feel like I am supposed to stay in it,” he said. “I can understand why other people have dropped out, but I really feel this message is still burning.”

Part of that message is drawing a contrast with Mr. Trump, who has double-digit polling leads in the early states.

Mr. Binkley said Mr. Trump has failed to offer up proposals to balance the federal budget and curb the rising costs of health care, which he plans to do by loosening the stranglehold Big Pharma has on the health care industry and bringing more transparency and competition to the system

On immigration, Mr. Binkley is seeking to strengthen border security through a mix of physical barriers, technology and manpower.

He wants to require all U.S. businesses to use the E-Verify system to check the legal status of their new hires.

He also wants to give illegal immigrant “Dreamers” a pathway to legal status and create a “Dignity Program” that would also open that door for other illegal immigrants.

“We’re gonna need a bipartisan plan to truly secure the border,” he said. “We can put the military there short-term like other candidates are offering but we are truly offering a long-term plan for the border because we have to.”

Mr. Binkley said that speaks to another difference he sees between himself and Mr. Trump: his leadership style.

“I really want to unify the country,” he said. “We have both parties that are really more interested in seeing the other party fail instead of America succeed.”

“I really have a different vision,” he said. “It’s time to unite our country, and focus on issues that we all share together.”

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