He took on the Taliban as a clandestine C.I.A. officer, and was one of the first into Kabul during the American invasion in 2001.
Veteran C.I.A. officer Gary Berntsen gained prominence as one of the covert operatives who hunted Osama Bin Laden and spent years going after Al Qaeda terrorists.
Now he has set his sights on a different foe: New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer.
"This is as much of an insurrection against Chuck Schumer in New York as it is an election," says Berntsen, who announced his candidacy as a Republican this weekend.
Berntsen accuses the two term Schumer of supporting policies that have hurt the economy, made America's national security weaker, and believes he is in lock-step with the Obama administration.
"Schumer is a major part of the problem," he says. "He's a force in the Democratic party, he is President Obama's man in the Senate, he is someone who hopes to become the new majority leader."
Berntsen is especially critical of Democratic spending policies.
"The U.S. government owes $14 trillion dollars. Senator Schumer was part of this. The U.S. government has been borrowing money recklessly. By the year 2015 we will owe $20 trillion. Senator Schumer and his peers are passing on a debt not only to our children, but to our grand children. It's complete irresponsibility."
For his part, Schumer doesn't seem worried. He refused to respond to a Fox News request about Berntsen's candidacy, when he held a news conference on a local issue on Long Island, on Friday.
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Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Taking on Senator Schumer
Taking on Senator Schumer; Live Shots; FOXNews