Neil W. McCabe: The Undeclared War Between Ron Desantis and Former President Donald Trump

Mar 15, 2023

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 national political correspondent for One America News, Neil W. McCabe to the newsmaker line to comment on the undeclared war between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump.

Leahy: On the newsmaker line, right now, our very good friend, the great top gov tracker, the national political correspondent with One American News Network, my former colleague at Breitbart, and also formerly our national political editor here at The Star News Network. Good morning, Neil W. McCabe.

McCabe: Michael, good morning. Very good to be with you, sir.

Leahy: Your pal, the top gov, Ron DeSantis is on a quote “book tour.” (Chuckles) 

McCabe: Is that what they call it now?

Leahy: He just happened to take that book tour to the first caucus state in the country, Iowa, on Friday. Our man, Matt Kittle, was there and filed the report from a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa. Huge lines to get in to see Ron DeSantis. But he and former President Trump, there’s some back and forth more, mostly Trump going after DeSantis. What do you make of that back-and-forth between those two?

McCabe: It’s this undeclared war, right? DeSantis has decided that he’s going to try to block Trump from the White House, and Trump is angry about it. And then DeSantis says, I’m not running for president. What do you mean? (Leahy laughs)

Just because I’ve raised $300 million and I’ve hired a presidential staff and I’m visiting Iowa, that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m running for president. I’m focused on Florida and saving the Everglades. And I’m worried about these poles being too high on Florida highways. And this is where I’m focused.

Of course, when Tucker Carlson put out a questionnaire on Ukraine to the presidential candidates, Ron DeSantis responded. I don’t know. Is that a declaration for president? I don’t know. The real problem that DeSantis has is that there is this law in the books saying that if he runs for president, he has to resign.

There are legal scholars saying that this law doesn’t apply to him. Some are reinterpreting the law. The law was written in 2007 when everybody thought that fair-haired boy Charlie Crist was going to run who was then the Republican governor of Florida.

Everybody thought Crist was gonna run for president, so they passed a law saying, hey, if you’re gonna run for president, you’re going to have to resign from governor of Florida. So this is where we’re at. Will he stop by New Hampshire? Sure. (Leahy chuckles)

And I think the des the DeSantis candidacy offers a lot of neat things for conservatives and Republican voters because right now the national press is giving DeSantis a hall pass because they need him to take down Trump.

Leahy: Ah, that’s a very good point.

McCabe: To be a conservative and not have people make fun of you is very enchanting for many people.

Leahy: If he were to become the nominee over Trump, that would evaporate in about two seconds.

McCabe: I am old enough to remember when George H.W. Bush was called a racist, a fascist, and everything else in the book. And then I sat there and watched his funeral, and everybody said all the same. People said, what a great guy he was.

Leahy: Speaking of presidential funerals, (McCabe laughs) Joe Biden’s already said he is gonna give the eulogy for former President Carter. The only problem is that former President Carter is still alive. That was a little Biden misstep, wouldn’t you say?

McCabe: The guy is an empty vessel, and it’s really sad. They wheeled him out. Remember how they used to wheel around Merovingian kings just so the peasants could see them? They wheeled this guy out at nine o’clock in the morning on Monday to say, don’t worry, my people, because of our quick action, we have solved the bank crisis. And then he shuffled back to the door before the reporters could ask questions.

Leahy: I saw that. And literally, he couldn’t even open the door and he was shuffling. It was bad. Crom has a question for you.

McCabe: Hey Crom.

Carmichael: Hey, Neil. How are you, sir?

McCabe: Good. The one thing that I have learned about presidents when they pass away is I believe that the wives or somebody, assuming the wife is alive, that the funeral and everything that’s going to go into the funeral is down to the last detail. In other words, they don’t make it up.

Leahy: There’s a protocol.

Carmichael: There’s a protocol, and it’s not the same for every president. So my question is, has Rosalyn Carter asked Biden to give the eulogy or did Biden just say he’s going to? And unless Rosylyn Carter has asked for that, that won’t necessarily happen. It’s not his eulogy to give.

Leahy: Unless asked.

McCabe: I’m pretty sure that the Carter people and the Biden people have worked this all out. And for the status of having a current president speak at your funeral, regardless of the politics of it, this is something that you want to check that box.

Leahy: So just let me go on the record. If something unfortunate were to happen, I do not want Biden to give my eulogy. Period.

Carmichael: There is a certain irony in Biden giving Carter’s eulogy because, given Biden’s policies, it’s possible that historians will say that Biden surpassed Carter as being the worst president in the last 100 years.

Leahy: That’s exactly true.

McCabe: It’s very unfortunate. But Biden does not have the revolt that Carter had to deal with because Carter tried to straddle the fence between conservatives and liberals. But in the end, the reality of the world vis-a-vis the Soviet Union and the reality of the economy forced Carter to attack the right in the second half of his term, which basically meant that the left, led by Tip O’Neal and Ted Kennedy and the rest of them, basically stirred up a lot of trouble. And so in the end, he had that primary with Edward Kennedy and actually sided with the left.

Leahy: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has said he’s thinking of primarying Joe Biden.

Carmichael: Now that would be interesting. Would it not?

Leahy: No. (Laughter) Tell us why. I don’t disagree with you Neil, but tell us why.

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 Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis” by Ron DeSantis.‏