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 2024 GOP presidential candidate Larry Elder to the newsmaker line to talk about why he’s running and carrying the America First agenda forward.
Leahy: On the newsmaker line right now, Larry Elder, who’s running for president. Good morning, Larry.
Elder: Gentlemen, thank you so much for having me! I appreciate it.
Simon: Hey Larry, how’s it going?
Elder: Roger, it’s going well!
Leahy: Larry first you, let me just say you are a fabulous radio show host, just fabulous. Great time.
Simon: Don’t over-flatter him.
Leahy: No. He’s really great.
Simon: He is.
Elder: But I’m a mediocre presidential candidate. Is that what you’re saying?
Leahy: Not yet. I’m not saying that yet. Actually, Roger has a question for you.
Simon: Why haven’t you left California already?
Elder: Now somebody’s got to turn out the light. No, seriously, I’m born and raised here. And frankly, I think sooner or later, the state’s going to hit rock bottom. And some of these voters who’ve been consistently pulling that lever for the Democrats are going to have to rethink their assumptions.
People are leaving the state, as Roger, for the first time in 170 years; 500,000 people have left. The schools are lousy. Crime is up. The budget is a disaster. And I think sooner or later people are going to go, you know what? Maybe just, maybe we’ve been pulling the lever for the wrong people. That’s got to happen at some point, and I want to be here when it happens.
Simon: I hope you will.
Leahy: You are a brave man.
Simon: There are some very nice houses here in Tennessee waiting for you and some good friends. So there you have it.
Elder: I love Tennessee. That’s where my mother and father met and got married. They met and got married in Chattanooga.
Leahy: We would be delighted to have you here. Let’s get back to that first question, Larry. Why are you running for president and for the Republican nomination, and why do you think you have a chance?
Elder: I think that there are two minds regarding 45 in the Republican Party. There are those who love him, and there are those who love what he did as president but fear that for reasons that are almost entirely unfair, the so-called swing voters, primarily suburban women, would not vote for him if he walked on water.
They feel that if he did they would accuse him of not being able to swim. Now, I’m not sure what to do about Trump Derangement Syndrome. Maybe someday they’ll develop a vaccine for it.
But until they do, people that feel that Donald Trump cannot win for the reasons I just now mentioned need a candidate who will pursue the America First agenda and will do what Donald Trump did on the borders, do what he did on the economy, support school choice whose pro-life, but for whom the swing voters won’t have to hold their nose and vote for. And I’m that kind of guy, somebody who’s relatable.
I’ve got a great story. My dad as, Roger, left home when he was 13 years old, literally without a nickel in his pocket. Got thrown out of his house by his irresponsible mother. And he cleaned toilets until I was 10 years old. Then he started a little restaurant and ran it until his early 80s. Retired, owning the property where the restaurant was.
The property next door and the home we still have in our family. But my dad, when he retired, was a little bit under a net worth of a million dollars. This is what can happen in America. And one of the reasons I’m running is because this lie that America is systemically racist needs to be refuted forcefully.
I think the reason that Obama was so popular when they first walked into the Oval Office in the third week of 2009 is that even those people that didn’t vote for him said, you know what? I don’t want my taxes raised. I don’t agree with Obamacare, but for crying out loud, he’ll stop this nonsense about America being systemically racist.
And for eight years he did the opposite. From the Cambridge Police acted stupidly to if I had a son he’d look like Trayvon. To saying that racism is in America’s DNA to embracing our Al Sharpton, to embracing Black Lives Matter.
I want to undo the damage that he did. The other real reason I’m running is because, our side gentlemen, does not talk enough about the 10,000-pound elephant in the room, which is the epidemic of fatherlessness.
70 percent of black kids entered the world without a father in the home, married to the mother, and 25 percent in the white community. 40 percent of all American kids enter the world without a father in the home, married to the mother. And we don’t talk enough about it.
I believe that the welfare state has incentivized women to marry the government and incentivized men to abandon their financial and moral responsibility. And I want to get on the debate stage and say just that.
Simon: That’s true because you, no one says that better than you do. It is certainly the secret behind all of the violence that is going on in all the big cities of America.
Elder: Absolutely. You look at what happened in Chicago, where hundreds of teens were out there riding and smashing into stores. I bet you virtually all of them had no father in the home. Who comes from a home with a mother and a father and goes out there and thinks you can go into a store and just loot it? Who does that?
Leahy: Larry, I think that’s a fabulous message, but let’s talk about some practical elements here. Are you going to be able to raise enough money to even show up at the polls?
Elder: God, such negativity gentlemen. My goodness! I’m going to slash my wrists. I, I ran for governor within eight weeks left in the campaign, and I raised $27 million in eight weeks from 150,000 individual donors, half of whom came from outside of California. Now, in order to make the first debate in Milwaukee in August, it looks like I’m going to have to raise about $2 million. I’m on track to exceed that. I’m not worried about that at all.
Simon: Are you going to do any traveling in the near future? I know you can be on the radio or call across the country, but any in-person movement plans?
Elder: Oh, just a little bit. I haven’t been on the radio since I announced it on April 20th. By the way, I announced on what turned out to be Tucker Carlson’s next to the last show. Talk about timing. I don’t think I had anything to do with him not being on anymore. (Laughter)
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.
Photo “Larry Elder” by Larry Elder.