Congressman Andy Ogles on Why He Endorsed Donald Trump for President in 2024

May 8, 2023

Live from Music Row, Monday 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 Congressman Andy Ogles on the newsmaker line to talk about his endorsement of former President Trump, legislation, and keeping up with D.C.

Leahy: We are joined on a newsmaker line right now by our good friend, Congressman from the Fifth Congressional District in Tennessee, Andy Ogles.

Good morning, Andy.

Ogles: Good morning. How are you?

Leahy: I’m great. You made a little news on Friday. You endorsed Donald Trump for president. Tell us about that.

Ogles: Yes, I’ve been talking to the former president and his team for a while and we had a nice conversation on Friday. When you look at this state of the country, we need a clear direction and he’s the clear front-runner.

It’s “go time.” Keep in mind it’s May already, the first votes for president will be cast in January and I think Donald Trump is going to be our next president.

Leahy: You, you were for a while thought to possibly be leaning towards Ron DeSantis. What happened there?

Ogles: Yes, I’m a big fan of Ron DeSantis. I was just with him just a couple of weeks ago as a matter of fact. But that being said, we have an opportunity here to have the White House for 12 years.

That’s four years with Donald Trump, and then eight years with Ron DeSantis. And I think that when you look at trying to fix the country, we need to hold all three chambers of government for at least a decade. And this is a clear path to do that.

Leahy: In your conversations with former President Trump, did you offer any suggestions as to who should be his vice presidential pick if he’s the nominee?

Ogles: Actually I didn’t. It’s kind of funny, actually, out of the blue I called him on Friday and he answered. Obviously, he’s very busy and we spent most of the time talking about the TEACH Act.

And it was actually a little bit shocking that he was even up to speed on the TEACH Act, which is the act that I proposed that arms teachers or gives them the opportunity to do it. But that just shows you how engaged he is.

It wasn’t like it was a scheduled call. There wasn’t someone standing right beside him saying, hey, this is Congressman Ogles. Here’s a piece of his legislation. It literally was a spontaneous call and he picked up and that’s what we talked about.

Leahy: So you voted in favor of the bill that nearly passed the House Kevin McCarthy put it through. I guess it was like 217, to 215. You voted in favor of that bill that would raise the debt limit because we are rapidly approaching that debt limit.

It has to be raised again in order for us to pay “all of our bills.” But part of that deal is to raise the debt limit, but promise to cut spending a tad. Where does that all stand now? Will Joe Biden negotiate directly with Kevin McCarthy on that?

Ogles: Yes, they have a meeting scheduled to discuss this. And then over the last, three days Senator Mike Lee and others have been working to build a coalition. I think they’re up to 42 Senators basically saying we support the House plan. And what that does is, in the Senate, they need 60 votes to pass anything.

And so any idea that Biden or Schumer had, that they were going to pass a clean debt ceiling without some sort of tax cuts, that’s dead in the water now. So kudos to Mike Lee and all of those who helped him build that coalition to say, hey, we’ve got to cut spending. Americans want us to tighten our belts. And so we’re in a good position and that’s really what Mike Lee and his colleagues did giving McCarthy a stronger hand when he goes in to negotiate with Biden on the debt ceiling.

Leahy: A couple of things on that, Andy. Did you see the ABC and NBC weekly Sunday programs where they floated the idea that President Biden might on his own, increase the debt, limit the debt ceiling, invoking wait for it, the 14th Amendment? Did you see any of that and what’s your reaction?

Ogles: Yes. This is how absurd we’ve gotten in this country. It is clear that Congress has the power of the purse and anything that deviates from that puts us into a constitutional crisis. And I think at some point it’ll end up in the courts. But we’ve got to reign in this administration. Going through the issue of immigration, under Obama, I’m not talking about a Republican, 1,000 migrant crossings a day was a crisis.

So that’s 30,000 a month. We’re hitting 30,000 a day now. And so under Obama, just 1,000 a day was a crisis and we’re 30 fold that and this administration’s doing nothing. And he is asleep at the. He quite literally wanders off in the rose garden. This is absurd. And the idea that he’s going to go around Congress is absurd.

Leahy: There are reports in the press, Andy, that about 700,000 illegal immigrants are ready and waiting to jump across the border on May the 11th when Title 42 expires. Will this result in an overrunning of our border? What will the Biden administration do? What will Congress do?

Ogles: Unfortunately, our hands are tied as far as taking immediate action in Congress. Obviously, there’s a legislative process. But I would argue that our borders are already overrun.

Now, this would be a surge, an increase in those numbers. But when you have 30,000 people a day crossing the border day in and day out over and over again, we’re at a tipping point in this country. And again, this administration’s doing nothing.

Allegedly, he’s gonna send troops down there to secure the border. Again, the fact that it’s even come to that this guy should be impeached for a whole litany of reasons. One of those is the invasion that he’s allowed to take place under his watch at our southern border.

Leahy: When you say he should be impeached, do you plan on introducing articles of impeachment soon?

Ogles: I don’t plan on introducing articles into impeachment. I’ll leave that to the judiciary, the Oversight Committee Chairman. But I certainly would support going through that process to have that adjudicated and then leave it up to the House and then, of course, push it to the Senate.

Leahy: Last question for you Congressman. Andy, you were sworn in in January. What’s the one biggest thing that surprised you the most during the several months that you’ve been up there?

Ogles: Wow. I think it’s really just the hectic pace of it all. Of course, I signed up for the job. I can’t complain, but, I get up in the morning and I hit the ground at 7 am with my first meetings, and I typically run until 8 pm, 10 pm at night. It’s been hard in finding those brief windows. I’m a homebody. We have three kids and being able to talk to my first grader before he goes to bed is literally a challenge while I’m in D.C.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

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.
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