Live from Music Row, Wednesday 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 the national political correspondent for One America News, Neil W. McCabe to the newsmaker line to comment on the widening field of presidential candidates for the 2024 election.
Leahy: On the newsmaker line, our very good friend with One America News Network, we call him, top gov tracker, Neil W. McCabe. Good morning, Neil.
McCabe: Michael, Crom. Very good to be with you, gentlemen.
Leahy: Neil, I saw last night and the night before, former President Trump was on the Sean Hannity program. If you watched that, how did you think former President Trump did in those interviews?
McCabe: I think it’s hard to interview Trump because he goes where he wants to go. But I give him credit for getting out there. And I think it’s interesting that Hannity has him back on again.
For a while, he wasn’t appearing on Fox. I think the previous interview that Hannity did with Trump was hyping the interview with Trump and it was actually a phone-in from Hannity’s radio show that they just played. I think that the president is engaged. People in his campaign tell me that he’s engaged and they’re enthusiastic.
The problem is that it’s not the walk in the park that he had in 2020 for the nomination where he missed some opportunities during the primaries in 2020, especially going to the northeast in some of these blue areas where he just lit them on fire in 2016. I don’t know if you remember this, Mike, but I grew up in Massachusetts.
Leahy: Oh, of course! Neil W McCabe, the man from the Boston area. From Franklin, Massachusetts, right?
McCabe: (Chuckles) That’s right. Franklin, Massachusetts. Hartford, Worcester, and Providence are places where Trump absolutely packed in these arenas. The people are craving that working-class conservatism that Trump brings that I saw when I cover the campaign places like Syracuse and Bridgeport, and he missed out on that in 2020. I think it would’ve helped him out in the general.
I’ve been told by the Trump people that they’re going make those forays into the north again, because there’s a guy, Ron DeSantis, that I follow closely being here in Tallahassee. Thursday and tomorrow, he’s gonna be in Georgia going to a gun store.
He’s gonna tour a gun store in Georgia the same day that the legislature’s going to be voting on the constitutional carry bill here in Tallahassee. Holy Thursday, he’ll be at Hillsdale College in Michigan. And I know you’re very familiar with Hillsdale.
McCabe: He’ll be going to Ohio, and he’s gonna be going to New Hampshire. And then, of course, he’s traveling to Israel on April 27th. So some of these things are going to be covered up as a book tour. They’ll do round tables. But you can see that he’s relying on his new political action committee, Never Back Down.
He just hired Erin Perrine, who worked for Kevin McCarthy. I knew her when she worked for Kevin McCarthy. I didn’t really bump into her at the White House, but she was at the Trump White House. She worked on the Oz campaign.
She was part of the crew since Oz won the primary. Stripped all mentions of Trump from the campaign. We can talk about that. But Perrine is now giving interviews on Fox blasting Trump. And that’s something that the DeSantis movement really didn’t have before.
Leahy: Interesting. So now this is the sort of breaking news. There is a big, emphasis on big, potential challenger to Donald Trump. Perhaps a legend in his own mind. Drudge at the Drudge Report, who made a left turn about four years ago, or five years ago is promoting this guy’s potential ability to defeat Donald Trump. I’d love to get your reaction to it. It’s the former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. What do you think the odds are?
McCabe: Wow! What time does the stock market open? I’m going to buy some shares Dunkin Donuts.
Leahy: Boom! It’s interesting as we cover this, and of course, we have The Iowa Star, our great reporter, Matt Kittle out there. And as you know, the road to the 2024 GOP nomination goes through The Iowa Star. We’ve had terrific communication with Vivek Ramaswamy who’s running a different kind of campaign, very connected.
We’ve got connections with the Trump campaign. We’re getting nothing from the DeSantis campaign and nothing from the Haley campaign. And then, of course, Mike Pence is going to be out there. We don’t know why he’s going out there.
Carmichael: Sleep tour.
Leahy: He’s going on the Mike Pence sleep tour.
Carmichael: Sleep tour.
Leahy: He’s doing his impression of Mike Lindell.
Carmichael: He wants to rival Governor Huckabee for Nexium.
McCabe: Crom, shots fired. (Leahy laughs)
Carmichael: He wants to be the next spokesperson. (Laughs)
Leahy: Your thoughts about Iowa and the possibility of a Christie campaign?
McCabe: Chris Christie has a lot of problems. I remember very well in 2012 as Romney was closing in on Obama because Republicans always surge late, and the polls missed that movement. But in the last days of a campaign, there’s always a surge when Republicans come. A lot of that movement was hurt when Chris Christie went on a play date with Obama walking along the beaches, holding hands, and making hearts after Hurricane Sandy.
Leahy: (Laughs) I recall that. It was bizarre.
McCabe: And of course, you know who’s the genius who stacked the Trump administration with people who hate Trump. Oh, that would be Chris Christie. He ran the transition. Now Chris Christie was on the list for VP with Trump.
He was also on the list for VP for Romney in 2012, and the Romney people were so angry that they dumped their oppo file on Chris Christie right after the election. It’s one of the things I love.
At the end of a presidential election when people just dump their oppo files. And we know that Chris Christie’s brother was a stockbroker and was involved with Bernie Madoff.
There are all these things going on with Chris Christie that the Romney people, if he becomes a serious candidate, all that stuff will come back. And he’s also the guy who shut down George Washington Bridge.
Leahy: Exactly. The old Bridgegate. Neil, Crom wants to add something here.
Carmichael: This is March Madness. And Michael said, what do you think Chris Christie’s chances are? I’m going to use the fact that we’re in March Madness. I would say that Chris Christie’s chances are about as good as all of the 16 seeds beating the number one seed in the same tournament. That’s about where I put him.
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 “Ron DeSantis” by Ron DeSantis. Photo “Vivek Ramaswamy” by Vivek Ramaswamy. Photo “Mike Pence” by Mike Pence. Photo “Chris Christie” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.