Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate state Sen. Frank Wagner. (Steve Helber/AP)

State Sen. Frank Wagner: Okay, I’m ready.

Greg Schneider: You want me to start with sort of just kind of an intro?

Dalton Bennett: Yeah.

Greg Schneider: Okay. We’re here with Sen. Frank Wagner, state senator from Virginia Beach, a longtime legislator. He actually served in the House of Delegates in the early ’90s. Maybe you can tell us a little bit about your career in the General Assembly.

Sen. Frank Wagner: Sure. After I sold my first company, I had a non-compete [agreement] on me for four years, and I think, like most everybody, I was very concerned about what I saw going on in government and said I really have the opportunity to run for office. When will I take that opportunity? That was 1991, and I won that election and I’ve been in the legislature ever since.

Greg Schneider: Of course, you’re a Republican, and you’ve been in the state senate since 2003. Is that —

Sen. Frank Wagner: I’ve been in the senate since 2001.

Greg Schneider: That’s right. And in that time you see a lot of changes in Richmond, I guess.

Sen. Frank Wagner: When I first started serving, it was 25 years ago. Governor Wilder was the governor. I’ve been through Democrat governors, Republican governors, Democrat-controlled legislature with Democrat governor, Republican-controlled legislature. So virtually every combination that you could possibly come up with — Republican control with a Republican governor — and it’s been just tremendous opportunity to work all sides. But I’ve tried to focus on issues that I believe my constituents and really all of Virginia does based on my background, which is going to the Naval Academy, heavily involved in Navy engineering plants. I was a hardhat diver in the Navy, but I was also an engineer and duty officer. So I try to bring the expertise and the skill sets that I learned in the Navy along with my private-sector business experience to bear as I take a look at issues up in Richmond and try to move forward on those issues that actually help promote the economy, grow the economy and diversify the economy in Virginia.

Greg Schneider: And tell us about your business background. You’re in ship-building, right?

Sen. Frank Wagner: Ship repair. When I left naval service, it was 1982. I worked for [a shipyard] for one year and decided this is a great opportunity; why don’t I get into business myself? So I started up a business by myself, worked primarily as a consultant. I was then able to start get industrial work and started hiring some of the people that I work with — welders, shipfitters, pipefitters, really the people that make Virginia run. Brought a crew around that had worked for me in a previous yard and we built that company from scratch up to 100 people and sold that in 1989. Again, I mentioned the non-compete — ran for office, a non-compete came off, I bought another business. Was a small, little ship-repair operation, had about 25 people. I grew that to 140 people. Then, again, electricians, machinists, shipfitters, pipefitters. I’ve worn a hard hat all my life — and not for photo ops … that’s what you wear in shipyards — and worked around some of the finest people that Virginia has to offer, and it really it draws on my experience. But I think more importantly it draws on a lot of what I want to talk about during the campaign.

Greg Schneider: Of course, you’ve got deep roots in Hampton Roads. You’re very well known in that area, and you also have roots in the northern region.

Sen. Frank Wagner: Absolutely. I went to Woodmont Elementary in Arlington. Stratford junior high. I graduated from Washington and Lee High School, so I grew up in Northern Virginia, with the exception of my dad’s one-year military service out in Fort Hood, Tex., before he retired. I’ve been in Virginia all my life.

Greg Schneider: In your work at the shipyard, do you get government work at all, or is it all private sector?

Sen. Frank Wagner: In the last yard that I own, probably 75 percent of it was government-related, either Coast Guard or Army. It has a lot of boats, and the rest of it was private-sector or commercial tugboats, commercial fishing trawlers — those type of vessels.

Greg Schneider: So what’s your window into how the economy is doing these days. Virginia, of course, is very dependent on government spending and defense contracting in particular.

Sen. Frank Wagner: Having been in the legislature as long as I have, I’ve seen the good times, I’ve seen the bad times. We work through those times in the legislature. Obviously, we have a balanced budget. We have to produce a balanced budget, so revenues are very much driven in our commonwealth by sales taxes and income taxes, which is directly relevant to the state of the economy, really shows up. And government spending is a huge part of Virginia’s economy. Obviously, in my area, defense spending is very, very important. Sixty-five percent of the entire Hampton Roads economy is based around defense spending, where there’s need for new ship-building or the Navy itself, or the Air Force has a huge contingency at Langley. Army has [U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command] down at Fort Eustis, a huge military complex down there, both as contractors as well as active-duty military and the civilian support force. Obviously, Northern Virginia shares much of the same with the Pentagon, Fort Belvoir, all the institutions. And then, of course, the other federal government spending. So we’re very sensitive to federal government spending. The thing that’s concerned me in the entire time that I’ve been there, 25 years, we’ve never taken advantage of the good times. We just kind of relax, and that’s not the time to relax. That’s the time we should have focused on diversifying Virginia’s economy, because the more diverse your economy is, the better you’re able to weather these turndowns and recessions when they come or a Washington-developed recession, if you will, by curtailing government spending. So we have got to build up our industrial base in Virginia, diversify our economy, build up our manufacturing base, and attract more and more high-tech industry, not use what the high tech brings us from the government, to be able to commercialize a lot of that high tech, capture that business in Virginia, continue to grow our economy.

Greg Schneider: It’s interesting that the economy is an issue in this campaign. Governor McAuliffe would argue the unemployment rate is coming down — 3.9 percent. Why is the economy an issue in Virginia when on the surface it appears to be doing pretty well?

Sen. Frank Wagner: Numbers don’t lie, okay. And remember what I just told you: Our revenues are based on income taxes and sales taxes. We walked into this session with a $1.2 billion deficit directly related to income taxes and sales-tax collections in Virginia. The economy is sputtering. In Virginia, at best, you can say, yes, we’re at 3.9 percent. That leaves out the fact that a lot of people gave up looking for work and a lot of people are working at low-paying jobs and those type of skills. So it leaves out that fact, but those numbers, those revenue collections, don’t lie. The $1.2 billion deficit was very, very real, and that’s a reflection of the economy. I think those are gauge statistics. I think we’re [number] 48, 49, in economic growth of any state. . . . That’s not a number that Virginia wants to be at. We continue to look at that, and that’s driven a lot of my campaign, and I’ll talk a little bit about that. I asked Virginians, I asked myself, do we have a transportation system inadequate for the economy we have today? And I walk away saying no, and that applies to all parts of the state, and I’ll get into that in just a second. We do not have a transportation system adequate for the economy today. So how can one talk about growing the economy or diversify an economy without an investment in transportation? Now those in Northern Virginia, in my neck of the woods, we feel it every day with congestion, so they will. What’s going on in Southside Virginia? You know there’s no traffic there. Why do they have a transportation problem? Well they do, because the economy is not sputtering; if you drive down through there, basically it looks like a recession, perhaps depression. Yet you cross the border in North Carolina in Winston-Salem and Greensboro and the economy is on fire. Just 30, 40 miles away, and you ask yourself why? Why is that going on? Well, North Carolina has made the investment in an interstate highway system, and North Carolina has made an investment in broadband and, consequently, their economies. It’s the same people, 30, 40 miles apart. Their economy is on fire. Ours is not. That’s just a classic example. If we looked at Route 58, for instance, which should be I-58, it runs parallel the entire southern border of Virginia, and North Carolina is proposing an interstate parallel to it in North Carolina to come up to the Port of Virginia. Everybody wants access to the Port of Virginia. Now where do you think the economic development will be? It won’t be in Virginia. It will be along that interstate highway system in North Carolina. Route 58 we can turn into interstate quality and capture all that business and keep it in Virginia if we’re prepared and if we have the money to make that investment to diversify the economy. Now, why should people in Northern Virginia care? I’ll tell you why. Eight hundred dollars for every man, woman and child in Fairfax County goes to Richmond and doesn’t come back to Northern Virginia. It goes to treat symptoms of a bad economy. More social programs, more money for education because it reduces class sizes because people are leaving the area. More money that would otherwise be coming to Northern Virginia, it’s going down there to treat symptoms, not the cause of the disease, but the symptoms. I’m here to cure the disease. Let’s make those investments in broadband, let’s make those investments in an interstate highway and transportation network, and let’s return Southside back to the manufacturing base that it was. It used to sustain Northern Virginia with textiles, with furniture, with tobacco. Well, those are gone.

Greg Schneider: Coal.

Sen. Frank Wagner: Yeah. Right in southwest Virginia. Those are gone now. And so let’s recognize that they’re gone and they’re not coming back. So let’s get that high-tech manufacturing. That’s part of diversifying the economic base of Virginia. But I want all parts of Virginia hitting on all eight cylinders.

Greg Schneider: One of your rivals for the Republican nomination, Ed Gillespie, has put out a tax plan that calls for a 10 percent cut in the income tax. Can you talk about that? Do you have thoughts on the tax policy in Virginia?

Sen. Frank Wagner: Let’s, first of all, just review what I just said. I think our tax policy is extremely competitive with the rest of the states. Go look and compare state by state by state. I pay a lot of taxes. I would love to have a tax cut. But the reality of what I just told you is we just closed a $1.2 billion deficit. We’re not the federal government. We can’t print money. We can’t go out and borrow money. We have to have a balanced budget. And so that $1.2 billion, we can talk about an income tax cut, which I would love. Flies in the face of that. We have a $6 billion imbalance in our Virginia retirement system. I don’t want us to be like Illinois. I don’t want us to be like New Jersey. I want to make sure that we have the money available to fund that so we don’t lay off a huge, huge problem on the next generation. We have cut funding to higher education, and that’s part of the reason tuitions are going up. It’s nice to say, but it’s a cheap sell. But I’ll tell you something, it’s even more important, because when I read that and I saw some of the senior members that I deal with day in and day out respond to that, I sent them a little message and said, you know, what gives here? And they said, well, I support it for today. In all capital letters. But it hasn’t gone through the legislative process . . . It’s certainly nice, and it’s certainly nice to say on the campaign trail. Now I went to the Naval Academy. I can’t sit there and mislead people about what might happen. I’ve dealt with this for 25 years. I understand the structural balance of what goes on in the state government. I understand just how much that we have cut out of agencies, how much we cut, and it shows up in higher tuitions. It shows up in many things, shows up in the fact that we can’t keep state police on the police force until we just address the pay issue there. These are real problems that we face day in and day out. I can’t mislead people. Now, I think it either shows a lack of understanding of what’s going on — which is to be expected — he doesn’t know anything about what’s going on in state government, or he understands, but he’s going out there and saying, “Well, I’ll say anything, do anything, to try to get elected.” I can’t do that. It’s just not in my makeup to go out there and say anything or try anything to get elected. I want to talk about the real problems and my ideas for real solutions. And that’s who Frank Wagner is. And I feel comfortable very comfortable in my skin. And it served me very, very well in my district and in Virginia Beach. My district voted twice for Barack Obama. And the makeup of the senate, as you know, is 21 Republicans, 19 Democrats. Lieutenant governor was a Democrat. They threw $2.5 million, almost $2.5 million dollars, at me trying to get me out of office in 2015 because they wanted control of the Senate. Two and a half million dollars. I mean, negative TV ads dominated the airwaves, as you might imagine, with that kind of expenditure. The mailboxes of my constituents were full of mail just basically trashing me, which unfortunately is what campaigning has come down to. But my positions and the fact that the constituents that I serve know who I am and know I deal off the top of the deck and tell them straight, I think, won the day because I beat the guy by 10 percentage points. And this was the president of Cox Communications for Virginia. This was not a lightweight candidate they threw against me. And in a very serious election. But I think that speaks miles about what I hope is integrity and honesty with folks, and I think they appreciate that understanding we’re not going to agree and that’s okay. We’re not going to agree on all the issues, and we know I’ll be upfront with you. I’ll tell you why what I did and why I did it and let the chips fall where they may. But I can sit here and look at Virginia now and say if we’re truly going to turn the economy around, I don’t think a proposed tax cut on down the road — two, three years if it hits certain revenue, if you read the fine print of this thing — is going to achieve it. I do think making a bigger investment in transportation — I mean, look at this corridor. You had the Port of Virginia. You have Route 58. You’re going to have a natural gas pipeline parallel to it. A new 1,500-megawatt power plant. Two competing railroads. My god, everything’s there. Everything is there to start a whole huge manufacturing base so that Southside and southwest Virginia can take care of themselves, which is what they want to do. And then we can return more money to Northern Virginia. We have more money to spend around Virginia. That’s economic diversification, that’s economic growth in my area. And I’ll tell you one more thing, and you see it every day, and the more I travel around the state and talk to people, this is a problem we have in our education system that I believe is nationwide. We have put together a system in Virginia called the Standards of Learning, which is wonderful if you want to go to college. And we’ve done it at the expense of career technical education. And so what I’m proposing and made a major part of my campaign is around sixth grade, seventh grade. We make parents and the students aware of the opportunities and career technical education and we provide the resources and the instructors. So if a student wants to pursue career technical education as opposed to a traditional college-bound [education], we have the groundwork, we have the basis for them to start down that road to pursue a career technical education. We make that fundamental change in education in Virginia. We’re going to grow like you’ve never believe. We’re going to turn out students. And I know many many, many of my friends that I would have to phrase as — it is not a knock; this is of respect, of admiration — I call them blue-collar millionaires. These are people that work with their hands that have started their own business because they had the technical skills to put together a business and grow a business and employ more and more Virginians. But I talked to folks right out here in Loudon County who cut the glass to hang the glass on these high-rise buildings. … He said, “I could double the work. I’m turning away work. I could double the employment of my company if I just had the trained people to do it.” I hear that story; that’s consistent everywhere I go, and it’s not necessarily low tech. I mean, obviously, I worked in a shipyard, so I’ve worked around welders, shipfitters, pipefitters. I have the deepest respect for these people. They do things I cannot do. I’m pretty good at telling them when to start and stop, but they do things I can’t do. We need a whole lot more of those people if we’re going to rebuild Virginia’s economy and grow Virginia’s economy. And it’s certainly not a dead end if you have an entrepreneurial spirit. Now you’ve got a skill set. But I’ll tell you another secret: Those with a good career technical education are making more money than a college graduate is today. And one more thing. They have jobs, and a lot of college graduates can’t find jobs right now, and they don’t carry student loans that the college graduates have. And that’s going to be a huge national problem. The amount of student loans on the books and the amount of nonperforming student loans is an issue that Washington, D.C., is going to have to deal with. But I want to see Virginia start making and recognizing where the jobs are. You talked about, well, there’s unemployment at 3.9 percent, and I just said because people gave up looking for work. . . . That’s how we turn it around, with a good career technical education. So I think that’s a fundamental change in the approach that we look at things.

Greg Schneider: It seems like a centerpiece of your case for running for governor is your experience, 25 years in the legislature. You know how Richmond works. It seems a little at odds with what we saw last year, where there was this success of the outsider, both for Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, who, of course, won. Do you feel that that’s your case of experiences is out of step at all with what Virginia’s for now? Is there groundswell of wanting to elect an outsider to come in and shake things up?

Sen. Frank Wagner: I’ll compare this. I think, obviously, a whole lot of people around the country thought Washington, D.C., was heading in the wrong direction, okay? I think people in Virginia think Virginia is okay but needs to be set in the right direction. And let me say one more thing, my principal opponent, Ed Gillespie, is a D.C. lobbyist. I mean, he is the ultimate Washington insider — his record of lobbying for Enron and doing those things and using his power in relation with the White House to profit and make money on the outside. Donald Trump talked about draining the swamp. That is the swamp, and that’s what a lot of people rebelled against. I’m sitting here looking at it, and I’m going — regardless of that, regardless of the inside-outside 3 I think most people are looking to recognize that we’ve got intrinsic problems in Virginia that are preventing us from going. And I think transportation is key, and one of those is, you follow me for the last three or four years, there has been no one who has fought harder to bring additional transportation dollars into Richmond. I brokered the transportation deal. I got Democrats and Republicans to agree. . . . We got them to agree; we created a billion dollars in new funding for transportation, and we set up a regional component. We enhanced the regional component in Northern Virginia and set up one in Hampton Roads because the rest of the state just is not going to go as far as we have to go in our two regions to support our transportation networks. So we took that on. We took that on prior to the election . . . so the citizens understand; they’re ready to hear it. It comes down to a thing. Gillespie’s proposal of more [public-private partnerships . . . and, look, they play a role, okay — but understand you’re going to pay $2 for a dollar worth of road construction. You’re going to pay a dollar to get the road built. You’re going to pay a dollar to that private firm for financing, probably more than a dollar for financing and profit that that firm is going to make to build that same highway. Whatever happened to “Let’s take a dollar out of the taxpayers’ pocket and let’s build a dollar’s worth of the highway”? Whatever happened to that philosophy? Why are we laying and more and more debt on our children? And I looked at the folks here in Loudon County because we didn’t put the money forward to build a highway network. They now pay $9 to go from Loudoun County and in the Beltway and $9 to go back home again in the evening. It’s $20 now. For very wealthy people, it’s a drop in the bucket. But for the average hard-working Virginian, that’s $20 times 300 days a year. Before you know, that’s $6,000 after taxes out of their income just to go back and forth to work. That’s ridiculous. And that’s got to end. If we just made the effort now — I tried to put the floors in, and it’s difficult to explain in a video, but we put a floor in just in case gas prices fell on the statewide tax. Which, of course, everybody said, “No, gas prices will never fall.” Well, certainly they did — dropped from four-something a gallon down to two-something we pay now. We didn’t put floors in on the regional taxes. So what’s happened is our regional tax in Hampton Roads has created a situation where we now have regionally enough to get the six projects we’re looking at but no more new projects being planned. Had we put the floors in Northern Virginia, we would now be planning the next things we need in Hampton Roads with that regional money, and Northern Virginia would be amassing the capital to start to address the real problems going on here in Northern Virginia. And once we restructure WMATA, once we restructure the Metro system and the management, then you would have the money available to start on the maintenance. Let’s make Metro safe again, first of all, and then start planning for the future to move people out of here in Northern Virginia. And nobody’s talking about it. And you know the Democrats aren’t talking about it; the Republicans aren’t talking. I’m the only one out there saying, look, let’s put the money together to do this. These problems aren’t going away. You might try to dust them under . . . I want to talk about them during a campaign. But in my mind, that’s what a campaign is all about. Let’s talk about the hard issues. I’m willing to talk about it. I’m going to talk about, yes, we’ve got to do more effort. We’ve got to look at the fuels tax. And what I propose, and I put legislation in two years ago, is when we converted our tax mechanism — and I didn’t agree with this, but everything is a compromise, and you never get the bill you want — we converted from a per-gallon tax to a percentage tax. And that’s why we needed the floor, because the prices drop, the percentage drop, and the revenues collected would drop correspondingly. We failed to put that floor in on the regional taxes and it was just really an oversight on the part of those of us in conference. But I’m proposing let’s go back to a per-gallon tax and while gas is cheap let’s make that money that North Carolina is bringing in so we can compete with them and let’s make the money that Maryland’s bringing in so we can compete with them and get those taxes up. But it slides back down, so when prices, if they ever get back to $4 and $5 a gallon, you’ll actually pay less tax when you can least afford to pay the tax because the scale per gallon will drop down, whereas a percentage tax, you’ll pay more and more when you can least afford to pay it as the prices go up. So, yeah, it’s a tax increase, but it’s also a tax decrease. The bill I proposed, and it recognizes that fuel prices fluctuate, but the revenues will be able to create the type of revenues that I’m talking about to be able to do many of the fixes we talked about.

Greg Schneider: [00:24:00] Just quickly, your other opponent for the Republican nomination, Corey Stewart, said that the fate of Confederate statues in cities in Virginia is one of the central issues of the campaign. Do you agree with that?

Sen. Frank Wagner: [00:24:06] I think our heritage and our history is very important, and you can’t rewrite history. In fact, you learn from history, and I think it was [George] Santayana said those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat the mistakes in the future. So I think our heritage is very important, and certainly Virginia has a heritage, and I think the more people learn, you know, we’ve had some great leaders. But like most great leaders, they have had flaws, and we need to learn from that. But I think an attempt to do away with these things to pretend they never happened to hide them is a mistake. I really truly believe that’s a mistake. And I can understand the sensitivity of the issue. I understand the sensitivity, but if we learn from history, then maybe we won’t make the same mistakes that were made before. And we have to recognize that great leaders have flaws. They have flaws.

Greg Schneider: Stewart, of course, was affiliated with the Trump in Virginia for much of the race last year. What’s your feeling about the Trump administration and its start so far and what that means for Virginia. Would you be looking as governor to work with the Trump administration to further some things that have already started, such as the immigration tightening, looking at federal spending cuts and that kind of thing?

Sen. Frank Wagner: Let me just say a few things. First of all, jobs and the economy — let’s focus on that. If the defense spending comes through, obviously, it will be a boon for my area down in Hampton Roads, but it’ll be a boon for Northern Virginia as well. Will the boon be big enough to offset perhaps some of the layoffs in some of the other agencies that that represent many folks in Northern Virginia? Until Congress passes a budget, I don’t think we’ll have those answers. There are some things in there that he proposed [that] obviously I don’t agree with him. I’m on the Chesapeake Bay Commission. We’ve made huge strides in cleaning up the bay. We need to keep the momentum going. We are really turning the corner in the Chesapeake Bay. I feel very strongly about the efforts we made. Virginia has contributed literally billions of dollars over the years in terms of upgrading our sewage-treatment plants. In terms of working with our farmers to keep livestock out of our streams and working with our farmers to put in buffer zones around the field so that the fields don’t run right into the stream. Many things. And we’re seeing the results of that. We need to keep that momentum going. So there’s certainly things in every budget I can pick apart. Even a state budget, I can say, “Hey, I voted for it, but there’s a lot of stuff in there I don’t like.” But it’s part of the budget, and it’s part of the compromise and part of the deal. In terms of the policy . . . look, those immigrants that commit crimes and they’re here illegally need to go. Period. Okay? Illegal immigration means you’re here illegally. Now I believe that a vibrant guest-worker program where we invite people — I’m not just talking guest Mexican, I’m talking guest Indian, guest Filipino, guest Korean, guests all over the world. Come to our country, do the things that perhaps Americans are not there. . . . We need your help to fill in that workload whether it’s whether it’s harvesting crops or finishing cement or so many of the things that the immigrants do. Make your money; go home. If you do that, you’re welcome back, another trip to come back and do work. I think a vibrant guest-worker program would solve a lot of the problems of people wanting to come here illegally if they knew they could come here, work and go back home again and bring their money with them. It’s the best foreign aid that I can ever think of. You know, if you’re taking money back to a country that may be impoverished, and you’re spending that money in your country, and we’re getting work out of it, that’s great foreign aid, as far as I can see and doing that, I think, is an immigration policy. I want the best and brightest, wherever you live in the world. I want the best and brightest to come and call America home. That’s what’s going to generate our economy and grow our economy. Now if you’re a criminal, you’re out of here. You’re gone. And if you’re part of a gang, you’re out of here, you’re gone. And we need control of our borders, absolutely. And so I support him, and I think a lot of what I see in the media probably overhyped what’s really going on in terms of that, and I think the Trump administration understands that there’s a lot of law-abiding immigrants here that perhaps might be here illegally, and we need to address those in some way. Perhaps come out, try it again under a guest-worker program, or perhaps we put a guest-worker program and come join the guest-worker program. But you’re going to go back home for a month, two months, and then you come back in and work some more and do that and have a program. . . . But unfortunately polarized media tends to polarize it even further. But there’s a happy medium in there, I think, we can go, but you know illegal is illegal, and I will tell you that within the past eight years, there was a Democrat president and a Democrat House and a Democrat Senate. That never changed what an illegal immigrant was. So clearly that’s the law of the land, and I think it needs to be enforced.

Greg Schneider: Before we wrap up, let me just throw out a couple off-speed pitches.

Sen. Frank Wagner: Sure.

Greg Schneider: When you were growing up, other than become governor one day, what was your dream job?

Sen. Frank Wagner: I had my dream job. I was a Navy hardhat diver. It was fascinating. I got a chance to go underwater, some not so nice. A lot of work underneath ships, a lot of cold water, a lot of dirty water. Naples harbor, a few other places that strike my mind. But just the opportunity to go underwater, serve your country, but work around some of the best professionals I’ve ever worked around, the other divers I worked around. I was an officer. We had on our salvage ship probably 18 divers. We had two officers and 16 enlisted divers and just the salt of the earth. True professionals in every stretch of the imagination. There was no margin for error in Navy Diving, none whatsoever.

Greg Schneider: Do you still dive today?

Sen. Frank Wagner: I still dive today. Yes, my wife and I are both certified scuba divers. Now I’m done with cold water. I’m done with dirty water, but I love the reefs. I love the warm water and still fascinated, and to me, it’s a giant sense of calm to go underwater, where nobody can talk to you and you’re literally weightless in that environment. And you know the fish, the fascination, the nature around you is to me one of the most calming aspects, and I can just sit there and float around until I burn up a tank of air.

Greg Schneider: Is that your preferred way to unwind when you’re not in Richmond?

Sen. Frank Wagner: Oh, my preferred way of unwinding is playing golf. I mean I’m not sure I unwind when I play it. I certainly am frustrated, but every once in a while you make that good shot and you think, I’ll be on the Seniors golf tour. You know they’re going to be calling me any minute now to put me on the Seniors. And then back to reality on the next hole. But it’s fun, and I enjoy the camaraderie with the other golfers, and it’s a chance to not feel like you’re on stage as a senator but it’s a chance to relax. And I think, certainly, President Trump enjoys golfing, and I know President Obama also set some standard, a record, and as far as I know, I could remember my parents are members of Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, and I can remember going in there and seeing Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s golf bag in there. And so, so clearly something that presidents have enjoyed. I’m not suggesting I’m a president by any stretch of the imagination, but I share the same enjoyment and relaxation.

Greg Schneider: Well thank you very much for talking with us today. Really appreciate.

Sen. Frank Wagner: It’s been wonderful. Thank you so much.