Roger Simon: The Challenge for GOP Presidential Candidate Vivek Ramaswamy Is Breaking Through to the Public

Roger Simon: The Challenge for GOP Presidential Candidate Vivek Ramaswamy Is Breaking Through to the Public

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 to discuss Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy’s presidential campaign.

Leahy: In studio all-star panelist Roger Simon. Roger, the way I look at it, we have 20 months left to save our constitutional republic.

Simon: I’m reading David Harowitz’s book last night before I fell asleep, The Final Battle. It’s very good. And he said essentially the same. And I believe it. I’m gonna be doing this thing The Making of the President 2024 versus Theodore White, and make a fool of myself.

Leahy: But you’re not gonna make a fool of yourself. This is gonna be a very good book. And, we talked about how great Theodore White’s 1960 book, published in 1961. The Making of the President 1960. It was written in a first-person journalistic style that changed the way everybody reported on presidential campaigns. It was a fabulous book.

Simon: There you go. I’m nervous. However, that’s the way I write. Just instinctively. Coming from being a detective writer to a journalist. If you can call it that. So I’ll be covering it for The Epoch Times.

Of course, they will be sending me around the country. So on occasion, I’ll probably be calling into this show rather than sitting here. I’ve done it a little bit before in 2016, for PJ Media. I was in New Hampshire and South Carolina, Iowa.

Leahy: All the usual places. I like Iowa, by the way.

Simon: Oh, I do too.

Leahy: By the way, I don’t know if you know this, but we launched The Iowa Star last month.

Simon: I do know.

Leahy: And by the way, I don’t know if you know this, also the path to the 2024 GOP presidential nomination does go through The Iowa Star.

Simon: Okay.

Leahy: (Laughs) We’re gonna say it until it becomes true. I’ll give you a little publicity in the book.

Simon: Alright. On the road there I think. It’ll have an influence. What’s interesting about all these states when you go out and do these things is you realize how big they are.

Leahy: Yes. Geographically big. It’s a big country.

Simon: Yes, it’s a big country and you can’t really cover it all really.

Leahy: No.

Simon: This will be in the book and in my coverage, of course, you, we end up with all the other journalists at some bar that they all selected mysteriously. And then gossiping with each other and you’re looking at your watch, oh, it’s midnight, and that’s it.

And then there’s the other big phony baloney thing that happens is you should go talk to a ‘phony voter.’ So you’re talking to one guy or gal somewhere. It’s some truck stop that’s supposed to represent the state, which is, of course, ludicrous.

Leahy: It’s just one guy or gal at a truck stop.

Simon: One guy you happen to stumble on talking.

Leahy: It’s fun, though to do it in first-person observation.

Simon: Oh, it’s a lot of fun.

Leahy: It’s a lot of fun.

Simon: It’s exhausting, but it’s fun. It is physically exhausting.

Leahy: But what’s interesting about this, Roger, is that I think that, after the Theodore White book in 1960, he followed up with 1964 or 1968 and 1980, and as I’ve said previously, each book got more boring.

But nonetheless, there’s been a lot of others now who will do a what happened in this presidential race. Jack Germond and Jules Whitcover did one in 1976. think in 76. Another guy did on 88, What it Takes. I forget the fellow’s name. He’s passed away. They all tend to be of a certain worldview they tend to be more from inside the Beltway, Washington journalist.

Simon: It’s a New York Times view.

Leahy: You’re not gonna have that at all. You’re gonna have the Roger Simon view which is why I wanna read the book.

Simon: First of all I’d lose my job. No, I wouldn’t. I have no interest in that. But apropos, I think this is gonna be an interesting election to write about because there are various people coming in. One of whom you’ve been talking a lot about.

Leahy: Vivek Ramaswamy, 37-year-old worth half a billion dollars. Harvard undergrad, Yale Law. Great guy.

Simon: Yes, and absolutely brilliant. Now, here’s the problem. He’s got a huge problem, which is breaking through to the public. That doesn’t really know about him and he hasn’t yet registered in the polls that I have seen.

Leahy: You’ve got, if you look at American history, you’ve got names that people recognize, Tippa Canoe and Tyler Two Two. You know that I Like Ike. Yep.

Simon: Those people were well known to the public way before their campaign.

Leahy: FDR. Yeah. Now that’s a good point. FDR, JFK, LBJ. All of the other people have been in the public arena for 20 years.

Simon: And so has Trump been.

Leahy: Even longer for Trump. But Vivek Ramaswamy is 37 years old.

Simon: But he’s done interesting things.

Leahy: Oh, he’s done very interesting things.

Simon: He’s trying to attract attention smartly. Yesterday on Twitter, he complained that they were gonna hide the rules for getting on the debates, which is usually what percentage you’re getting in wet poles or whatever. Simultaneously, I think it’s very interesting. We don’t know this time who is going to be asking the questions at the debate.

Leahy: That’s another interesting angle on it.

Simon: Because the last time around we had the horrible story of Chris Wallace who will go into journalistic infamy for having guided the discussion, shall we say, away from the center of and away from the Hunter Biden laptop. That was probably the worst moment in debate history that I can ever think of.

Leahy: It was, yes. Worse than Candy Crowley in 2012 when she misstated something.

Simon: Now, who’s gonna do it?

Leahy: Are you available?

Simon: I am, but I don’t think I’ll be it, but I’ll tell you that when The Epoch Times here did that primary debate in the TN-5, we used experts rather than journalists.

Leahy: That was a great debate, by the way. I think it was groundbreaking in terms of the way it framed the debate.

Simon: It was groundbreaking, but it has not been picked up the way we were hoping it would as a new style of debate.

Leahy: That’s because The Epoch Times is gonna have to do it. Now the first debate on the Republican side, it’s gonna be in August in Milwaukee. And I think Vivek Ramaswamy is putting out a warning shot that says hey look, I need to be on that stage.

Simon: Yes. That’s what he’s doing.

Leahy: That’s what he’s doing.

Simon: And smartly. That’s his job. He’s smart and he’s running for office. He should also get into that thing, and I’m talking about who gonna be asking the questions of this thing. Is it gonna be MSM people?

Leahy: I’ll give you some names.

Simon: Jake Tapper?

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.










Clint Brewer: The Super Donors Are Not Going to Go with Nikki Haley

Clint Brewer: The Super Donors Are Not Going to Go with Nikki Haley

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 public affairs specialist Clint Brewer in studio to discuss the candidacy of GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley.

Leahy: Back in the saddle again Clint! It looks like all the little gremlins out there, all the little Chinese balloon problems, have been cleared up.

Brewer: I think so. Maybe smoke on the water. (Leahy laughs) I’m not sure.

Leahy: Clint, it’s so much fun having you in here every Thursday at 6:00 a.m. Clint, let’s shift gears. Nikki Haley announced her candidacy for president yesterday, and she’ll be in Dallas County, Iowa on Monday. We’re going to be there. The Iowa Star will be there.

Brewer: Nice!

Leahy: By the way, I don’t know if you noticed. We launched The Iowa Star.

Brewer: Congratulations. It’s fabulous.

Leahy: We broke some news about Kari Lake when she was out there.

Brewer: Saw that.

Leahy: And it turns out that there was a crazy man out there who wanted to drive his Jeep into the venue. There was a police report on that.

Brewer: I saw that. Interesting.

Leahy: And by the way, the road to the 2024 GOP nomination goes through The Iowa Star. Because obviously, Vivek Ramaswamy is clearly going to be out there. We’re going to be with him, and we’ll be at the Dallas County event in suburban Des Moines.

On Monday, Matt Kittle will be there interviewing Nikki Haley. Your take. Now, we have two announced candidates. Donald J. Trump and Nikki Haley. Now, I’ve seen some people describe Nikki Haley as George Bush in heels.

Brewer: Oh, I don’t think that’s fair.

Leahy: It’s not fair to George Bush?

Brewer: No. (Leahy laughs) It’s not fair to George Bush. She was somebody whose star was pretty high towards the end of the Trump administration.

Leahy: She was the governor of South Carolina.

Brewer: She’s been off the scene.

Leahy: And when she was the U.S. ambassador before she resigned early, her star was up. She did a good job in her speeches there.

Brewer: She did.

Leahy: I thought.

Brewer: I thought she did a good job as ambassador.

Leahy: But she had no foreign policy experience until Donald J. Trump gave her that job, in essence. So that gave her the foreign policy cred. In 2021, she said, I will not run for president if Donald J. Trump is running for president. Well, Donald J. Trump is running for president, and this will shock you. Shock you. She’s a politician. Did she break her word or change her mind? How would you describe it?

Brewer: I think Trump’s cachet has diminished significantly, so maybe the calculus isn’t the same there. She’s not pledging not to run against the same guy she was when she made the pledge. He’s a very different political commodity.

Leahy: He’s the same guy. It’s going to hurt her. I will say this.

Brewer: Look, I don’t know that she’s she is not, I mean, there a lot would have to happen in the world, and a lot would have to happen in politics for her to be a top three candidate.

For her to be a competitive candidate, she’s going to have to catch fire in a primary in a state like Iowa or South Carolina. Of course, it’s her home state. She’s going to have to place.  Her path is to overperform in a primary in a key state.

Leahy: A caucus like in Iowa.

Brewer: A caucus and come in second or third.

Leahy: Did I mention that the road to the GOP nomination goes through The Iowa Star?

Brewer: The Iowa Star. Absolutely. Maybe she gets the endorsement of The Iowa Star, I don’t know.

Leahy: We will not be endorsing anybody. But we will take all their advertising dollars.

Brewer: My point is, she’s going to have to have she’s going to have to create for herself a moment, and it’s going to have to be through real retail politics because she’s not going to have the donors. She’s not going to have the super donors are not going to go with her. She’s not going to have that kind of money. So can she catch fire?

It’s kind of like what Huckabee did that first time he ran. And so she’s going to have to do that. I think she positions herself for a vice presidential slot, maybe, although Kari Lake or somebody like that might be or Kristi Noem, might be more in that role and bring more to a ticket. Maybe she’s jockeying for a cabinet member position I’m sure if you ask.

Leahy: I’m told Chris Christie aspires to be Secretary of Commerce.  That’s a very low objective.

Brewer: I’m sure if you asked the former governor, she’d say, no, I’m in it to win it because that’s what they have to say. But I think she’s trying to bring her political career back.

Leahy: Speaking of bringing political careers back. So, Donald J. Trump, we say it’s Trump, DeSantis, and the Munchkins. DeSantis has not yet announced. I have to say, as many mistakes as the former president has made in his post-presidency, he’s still actually performing fairly well in the polls. Relatively. I’m surprised at how well he’s performing. I think he’s going to be in this game to the very end. Your thoughts on Donald J. Trump?

Brewer: No, I think he is, too. I think he’s going to take it to the edge of the cliff. (Leahy laughs) I think he’ll run it out. That’s what he is. That’s what he does. We don’t know the field yet. There’s a lot that needs to happen. You’ve got Governor Youngkin in Virginia out there. You’ve got Senator Tim Scott in South Carolina.

Leahy: Now there is a name that I think, if I had to guess, the political person from South Carolina who would go further in this race than Nikki Haley is Tim Scott. I think Tim Scott will play better with GOP voters than Nikki Haley if Tim Scott runs. And I’m hearing that he’s thinking of running.

Brewer: Yes, same. I think he’s a compelling choice for Republican primary voters. He’s done very well for himself in his time in the Senate.

Leahy: He’s an extremely very nice fellow.

Brewer: People love him.

Leahy: People like him a lot. But does he have the policy chops? Does he have the leadership chops?

Brewer: None of these guys do or ladies do before they get there. Being President of the United States is the biggest on-the-job training experience in history. No one’s really prepared for it. If you look at the pedigrees and the resumes of people who’ve done it, there are only a handful in history who were truly prepared, and they didn’t even necessarily do a good job.

Leahy: Who would there be?

Brewer: I think probably if you just look at the pedigree of George W. Bush, he was really well prepared to be President of the United States.

Leahy: And even his dad, George H. W.

Brewer: Well, that’s what I meant, George. I didn’t mean to say W. I meant to say H. W. I think you’re right. First, Bush, I mean, he’d been director of the CIA.

Leahy: And he was a below-average president.

Brewer: But he had been director of the CIA. Being a senator. He’d been an ambassador to China. So, I mean, you don’t get more prepared for that than that. Nixon was pretty well prepared. You just look at that and you go, well, okay, so you have all this policy experience. You get in there, and you’re not a very good president.

Leahy: Boom.

Brewer: And Nixon was good until he was corrupt.

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

– – –

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 “Nikki Haley” by Nikki Haley.