Roger Simon: Young Vivek Is Trump Without Any Baggage

Mar 23, 2023

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 all-star panelist Roger Simon in studio to discuss age and politicians.

Simon:  I am very pro-Trump, but I’m more pro-Vivek because Vivek is Trump without any baggage. And also, he’s more original even than Trump.

Leahy: He is quite original.

Simon: I have to admit a lot of his thinking, mirrors mine. So there is a little bit of arrogance in this because one of the things that he says, and I really believe because I’m a post-sixties guy myself, and he’s much, much younger. He is half my age.

Leahy: He’s 37. Thirty-seven. By the way, the youngest president elected was John Kennedy at the age of 43. Vivek would be 39

Simon: But let me say it, and I pointed this out in The Epoch Times that Thomas Jefferson was 33 when he wrote the Declaration of Independence.

Leahy: Very good point.

Simon: And Alexander Hamilton, when he signed the Constitution, wait for it…was 20. These guys were incredibly, by our terms, precocious.

Leahy: It’s interesting because back to the whole, Trump will and Biden will be 82 versus Kennedy in 1960 at 43 and Nixon at 47, there was a vibrancy to the two of them.

Simon: Yes.

Leahy: Which Trump and Biden don’t have. Let’s be honest at that age.

Simon: I’m closer to Trump and Biden.

Leahy: But you’re pretty vibrant.

Simon: I try to be vibrant. I read this essay recently, don’t let the old man in. And I try not to because I work out and play tennis all the time. Anybody my age, that’s my advice to you. I think it’s necessary right now in our society for younger people to come in.

Leahy: I agree completely.

Simon: We can’t stay here forever, ala Pelosi or these people because no matter who you are, when you reach a certain age, your ideas are formed by what happened a long time ago.

Leahy: I’ve got a phrase for it.

Simon: Go.

Leahy: Ossified. (Chuckles)

Simon: That’s very good.

Leahy: I look at Joe Biden, and that adjective ossified comes to mind.

Simon: He’s ossified in his power.

Leahy: So the thing that’s very impressive about Vivek Ramaswamy is this. Saturday morning Trump comes out and says, I’m gonna be arrested on these trumped-up charges on Tuesday. He’s not been arrested yet.

Lots of things have happened since. But within an hour, Vivek Ramaswamy and his team have a spot on email release and stories come out. He’s the first guy that says this is…

Simon: And he challenged DeSantis and Haley to join him.

Leahy: Exactly.

Simon: And they didn’t. Finally, DeSantis did, but in a very mealy mouth way. And I’ll tell you something. I was sitting in the car when he did this. Right next to him.

Leahy: Were you sitting right next to him when he did that?

Simon: Absolutely.

Leahy: So this was Saturday morning when he wrote it?

Simon: I was riding around.

Leahy: What time did you hook up with him or join the travel team?

Simon: Early, early Saturday morning.

Leahy: This is fascinating. So did he have any advanced notice that Trump was going to make this claim?

Simon: Not as far as I know.

Leahy: So there he is. You’re sitting next to him. He composes a statement, which was spot on while he was in the car with you.

Simon: Yes, he’s also able to flip on his phone and video himself extemporaneously, boom on virtually any subject.

Leahy: Hitting it. So he’s got the advantage of speed and intellect on point.

Simon: That I’ve never seen in politics.

Leahy: That’s a very big comparative advantage because everybody else in politics, what they do as is they bring in the focus groups and they bring in the wordsmiths. And they just agonize over it.

Simon: I wrote in The Epoch Times, this guy’s not gonna need a speech writer. Some people have accused me of being pro-Trump, so I could be his speech writer.

Leahy: This is gonna be great for your book because there you are with him at the first really critical turning point in his campaign, and you see him compose in real-time this statement that boom, gets him out in front.

What’s interesting about this is on Monday night, Donald Trump puts out a social media posting after, in essence, DeSantis criticizes Bragg, the DA, for politicizing and weaponizing his Manhattan DA’s office. But then he throws the shade, he mentions I don’t know anything about paying hush money to a porn star. Obviously bringing up that as an attack point.

Simon: As a ding.

Leahy: As a ding on Trump. Missing the point in terms of winning the primary.

Simon: You could say he’s missing the point.

Leahy: Or you could say his point was he wanted to ding Trump.

Simon: One or the other, or both.

Leahy: Then Monday night, I think, changed the VP race, in my view. I don’t know what your thoughts are.

Simon: I definitely, agree.

Leahy: So then Trump goes up and says, oh, DeSantis is dropping in the polls. I think that young Vivek Ramaswamy is going to surpass him.

Simon: So far, he’s only called Vivek young. This is true compared to the rest of him; he’s very young. Vivek thinks that as it goes on, he’s gonna get a nickname now. I don’t know what it’ll be, but maybe he won’t, and if doesn’t, that will be, I think that will be a sign that he’s going up.

Leahy: I’ll tell you the nickname. Young Vivek. If he goes with that, it makes this point back that you and I have been talking about, right? The ossified nature of a 78-year-old versus an 82-year-old running for president in the general election. I think that post by Donald Trump Monday night was a signal.

Simon: Oh, I did too.

Leahy: The signal is, I’m not picking DeSantis as VP. Now, we’re looking at Kari Lake in Arizona, and I’m looking at Vivek. That’s what it looks like to me.

Simon: I had the exact same reaction, and I think that’s good too. Can you imagine Vivek debating Kamala? My piece on The Epoch Times is, oh yeah, that’s the tag to the whole thing. And all the commenters were saying, yay! It would be a donnybrook. It would be really something to see.

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 “Vivek Ramaswamy” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.