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Michigan Matters: Businessman Nasser Beydoun on his Senate race, Biden and politics

Michigan Matters: Businessman Nasser Beydoun on his Senate race, Biden and politics
Michigan Matters: Businessman Nasser Beydoun on his Senate race, Biden and politics 24:14

(CBS DETROIT) - Dearborn businessman and Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Nasser Beydoun talked about what inspired him to run, as well as President Joe Biden and his handling of the Israel-Gaza conflict and how he won't be supporting the incumbent president who visited Michigan on Thursday to drum up support for his re-election bid.

An activist who served as executive director of the Arab American Chamber of Commerce, Beydoun, a first-time political candidate, told me he had met with Biden three times in Metro Detroit during earlier trips the president made to Michigan but couldn't bring himself to vote for him now because of his support of Israel in the crisis as thousands of Palestinians have lost their lives.

Nasser Beydoun with host Carol Cain.  Tim Lawlis/CBS Detroit

"I want him to call for a cease-fire," Beydoun said.

Beydoun, the 59-year-old owner of four restaurants and a gas station in Metro Detroit, also said he would not be voting for Donald Trump, the former president, who is leading the charge for the Republican nomination in the likely rematch of 2020.

He wasn't sure about supporting a possible third-party candidate.

Beydoun, who is married with three children, said his family is supportive of his decision to run for the open seat as Democrat Debbie Stabenow announced she would not seek re-election in 2024.

"I'm sick and tired of politics in the U.S. as politicians are being controlled by the lobbyists," Beydoun said.

He also talked about the state of public education and how it needs more attention, and he mentioned health care as another area he would focus on in his campaign.

Beydoun said he is still learning the ropes about running for office as he maps out his campaign strategy.

Also on the show is the roundtable of Susy Avery, former chair of the Michigan Republican Party, John C. Stewart, Trustee at Plymouth Township and former member of Michigan's House of Representatives, and Terry Barclay, President/CEO of Inforum.

Tim Lawlis/CBS Detroit

They talked about that red-hot Senate race as actor/author Hill Harper and Rep. Elissa Slotkin are other Democrats running, and on the GOP side are former Rep. Mike Rogers, former Rep. Peter Meijer, former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, businessman Sandy Pensler and Nikki Snyder.

"This Senate race is going to be the most expensive ever in Michigan," said Avery.

Stewart talked about the Michigan Republican Party leadership battle between Kristina Karamo and former Rep. Pete Hoekstra, who have each staked a claim to the job.

Trump endorsed Hoekstra, who served as his Ambassador to the Netherlands during his presidency, for the state's top GOP post.

Barclay talked about women in politics, something her organization has advocated for and helped guide potential female candidates.

Inforum released its latest report this week about women in Michigan corporations and how they are faring, which Barclay also discussed.

Watch Michigan Matters at its new time: 5:30 a.m. Sundays on CBS Detroit, noon Sundays on Detroit 50 WKBD, and also streaming 8 p.m. weeknights on CBS Detroit's website, CBS Detroit's app and Pluto TV.         

(Carol Cain is the 13-time Emmy-winning senior producer and host of Michigan Matters)

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