Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed public affairs specialist Clint Brewer in studio to discuss the 2024 presidential candidates and the victimhood mentality that is plaguing the conservative movement.
Leahy: In studio Clint Brewer. Clint, I think I mentioned to you that we’ve launched The Iowa Star. Our 12th state-based site. We’re just focused there, really mostly. It’s a special 2024 caucus edition. And you know the road to the 2024 GOP nomination goes through The Iowa Star.
Brewer: Oh, okay.
Leahy: Part of The Star News Network. Okay, we’re gonna say it until it becomes true.
Brewer: Will it into reality.
Leahy: We’re gonna will it into reality. But actually, you know, if somebody’s, if a presidential candidate’s in Iowa we’re covering ’em, we’re there, we’re on site. Matt Kittle, our great reporter, and national political editor is based in Des Moines.
The Democrats, they’re a ballot machine. There’s not gonna be true competition there. The machine is gonna pick the candidate, and that’s why they’re going to go to South Carolina first.
Brewer: Oh, yeah.
Leahy: So that they can put their stamp on the octogenarian, demented, nurse-loving, legal, but not legitimate, a Grifter-in-Chief Joe Biden.
Brewer: That’s a long title, Mike.
Leahy: I know.
Brewer: I’m gonna have to cut that down a little bit.
Leahy: You think so?
Brewer: You gotta lose part of that somewhere.
Leahy: I just like piling it on for that guy. All right. Donald Trump is headed to Iowa sometime in the middle of this month, and our guy will be there. Our pal, Viva was there, we got exclusives with him. Vivek Ramaswamy, who’s got a very bold anti woke agenda, anti-China agenda. Nikki Haley was there. She’s one of the munchkins and she’s not got a chance. The contrast between Vivek ran a campaign event and how Nicki was like night and day. Vivek was open and anybody could talk to him. Nikki. Control central.
Everything was scripted. It was a town hall, but the only people allowed to ask questions were Nikki Haley supporters. You’ve seen that kind of a play out at events. Trump is gonna be there in mid-March, so that’ll be interesting. And then the other people, Tim Scott, is probably gonna run, um, the other kind of munchkins, Mike Pence, he’s probably gonna run. But it will be embarrassing for him. He’s got no constituency. He also, by the way, said he’s not sure if he will back the GOP nominee if it’s Donald Trump. Bad move.
Brewer: He may not be alone.
Leahy: But it’s a bad move, Mike Pence. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Thinking about it. Governor of New Hampshire, Chris Sununu; Larry Hogan from Maryland. I think Asa Hutchinson, former governor of Arkansas, has thought about it. I don’t think he’s gonna do it.
Brewer: Mike, let’s be fair. Anybody who’s been elected to the State House on up has thought about it.
Leahy: Well, you know, I’m only 68. In eight years I’ll be 76.
Brewer: Every member of every city council’s already there, or even talk show hosts already decided they can be mayor, and every mayor’s already decided they can be governor and every governor’s already decided they can be president.
Leahy: And you know, you see all these national polls, national polls are meaningless. Because the president is selected by the electoral college.
Brewer: State polls.
Leahy: State polls are what matters. If you look at the general matchup.
Brewer: The local snapshot gives you a better picture.
Leahy: As we sit here today since we live in the land of speculation. It’s Trump-DeSantis. I’ll throw in dark horse Vivek because I like him. And then the munchkins. That’s how I look at it. And if you look at it, Trump, for all of his stumbles post-presidency is remarkably resilient in these polls.
Brewer: Let me back up. If Senator Tim Scott gets in, he will not be a munchkin.
Leahy: Okay. We’re told he is gonna announce.
Brewer: If he announces he will not be one of the munchkins that will open the field up.
Leahy: We’ll see. We’ll see. We’ll see what he’s bringing.
Brewer: It’ll be two candidates from South Carolina, but, you know.
Leahy: It’s all right. As we look at this right now, Trump is remarkably resilient in the polls despite all of the stumbles post-presidency. My theory is that it’s because people know who he is and they know how he would handle foreign policy, and it’s the exact opposite of Joe Biden. People don’t like what Joe Biden’s doing in foreign policy.
Brewer: I don’t even think it’s that. I think he has a brand that people know. I don’t think there’s any particular part of the portfolio that people are clinging to. I just think that they like the general idea of Trump.
Leahy: And so that’s what, 35 percent of the Republican Party? 40 percent maybe?
Brewer: Yes, maybe something like that.
Leahy: Ron DeSantis got his book.
Brewer: Just kind of getting geared up at the national level. About to go on a book tour, doing his book tour instead of CPAC the Florida Yes.
Leahy: And going to The Breakers with the Club for Growth. But not going to CPAC, which is not such a big deal. They’re taking the Florida blueprint to America. He’s lost 20 pounds. Probably in June, he announces. It seems to me one of his great lanes to go after would be, I opened up during COVID and everybody else was closing down.
Brewer: I completely agree. I think that’s a great line for him. I think it runs very counter to what President Biden will have to stand by.
Leahy: President Trump. I mean, if you look at it, he was the president when all of these lockdowns took place and he let Anthony Fauci run the show. It was kind of a disaster. But he let that happen.
Brewer: You know, conservatives have a big decision to make this time around. You look at DeSantis and you look at a guy like Senator Scott from South Carolina, who’s just a total rising star like DeSantis is in conservative politics.
Then you look at former President Trump. My concern is that in some way, some warped way, the culture of victimhood in this country has seeped into conservative politics.
Leahy: They like to be aggrieved.
Brewer: There’s a slice of the party and the broader conservative movement that, in their hearts would rather be perpetually aggrieved and victimized. And they’re more comfortable not winning these elections and complaining about it for another two to four years. Then just saying okay, this is the person that can win. Let’s go with this person.
Leahy: I’m afraid there’s some truth to what you’re saying. This is anecdotal. And I know this from the people that I talk to. I, I hear, well, this is bad. This is bad. Well, what are you gonna do about it?
Brewer: Or, or, we can’t win. We can’t win. They’ve fixed it. We can’t win, which is just not true.
Leahy: It’s not true. However, where we stand, March 2nd, 2023. We are 16 months away from the nominee. That’ll be July of 2024.
Brewer: And there are people who’ve been conditioned under former President Trump to accept failure.
Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.