Posted by Kristin McCarthy on July 19, 2016 in Blog


Sam LaHood is an Arab American Republican attending the 2016 Convention. Mr. LaHood serves at the International Republican Institute as the Deputy Director of the Asia division. Mr. LaHood supported Marco Rubio in the primary; this interview reflects his personal views and not that of his employer.

slahood.jpgQ: What has been your history with the Republican Party?

I was a full time staff for Senator John McCain's presidential campaign in 2008 and had worked as a volunteer in almost every election cycle before then.  In this current cycle I was extensively involved with Senator Rubio.  Additionally,  I worked as a political appointee for President Bush in the State Department and Department of Energy. 

Q: What are you expecting going in to the convention?

I am pleased to be in Cleveland for events that highlight Republican leadership in foreign policy on constructive engagement in the world that includes trade, international alliances, and advancing American values.

Q: What are your thoughts about the many Republican leaders who are skipping the convention? Do you understand or agree with their decisions?

Many people have been rightly turned off by how our primary has unfolded and I get that.  I am happy to be here advocating for the values that are important to me as a Republican.

Q: Why did you ultimately decide to attend the Convention? What will your role be? 

I am here to support several events on behalf of the International Republican Institute that relate to Republican leadership on foreign policy, communication with young voters, and on the transatlantic relationship.  These events highlight many of the traditional bedrock views that have guided American foreign policy.