Neil W. McCabe: Chris Christie Has a Lot of Problems as He Reportedly Considers a 2024 Presidential Campaign

Neil W. McCabe: Chris Christie Has a Lot of Problems as He Reportedly Considers a 2024 Presidential Campaign

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.

Leahy: Absolutely.

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: Relaxium.

Leahy: Relaxium!

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:

– – –

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 “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.















Neil W. McCabe: A Lot of 2024 Presidential Candidates Show Up in Florida to Collect Checks

Neil W. McCabe: A Lot of 2024 Presidential Candidates Show Up in Florida to Collect Checks

Live from Music Row, Tuesday 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 top gov tracker and One America News National Political Correspondent, Neil W. McCabe live from Florida to comment on DeSantis’s agenda, new Trump-given nickname, and Nikki Haley’s 2024 bid for president.

Leahy: On the newsmaker line right now, the great Neil W. McCabe, top gov tracker, reporting all things Florida, and Ron DeSantis for One American News Network. Neil, we have a new munchkin in the race. Did you see that? Nikki Haley’s announcement?

McCabe: (Bellows) She’s terrific. (Laughter) I think she’ll do great.

Gulbransen: You know the best part about Neil, hey, it’s Aaron, by the way, is his ability to deadpan, which translates not just audio, it translates onto his Twitter feed. My favorite refrain from Neil is when he retweets or tweets something, and it’s like the worst thing in the world that he’ll tweet. And it goes, finally, some good news.

Leahy: The report, of course, Nikki Haley announced her candidacy. She knows why; I’m not sure. I guess her big pitch is I’m not as old as Donald Trump. Speaking of Donald J. Trump, the big controversy here is the report. He is denying on Truth Social the account that he has come up with a new nickname for Governor Ron DeSantis. Apparently, he’s been kind of focus grouping on the nickname Meatball Ron. Where do you stand on this controversy?

McCabe: I’m shocked and disappointed.

Leahy: What? That he’s denying it or that he came up with it allegedly.

McCabe: Well, listen, I think Ron DeSantis is a terrific guy, and I hope his press staff is listening. (Laughter) 

Leahy: Look, there’s just a report from Donald J. Trump’s very best friend in the media, Maggie Haberman from The New York Times.

McCabe: She’s the Trump whisperer.

Leahy: Yes, the Trump whisperer. Maggie Haberman is claiming that if Ron DeSantis runs for president, he will announce in June. Do you have any inside scoop for us since you’re down there in Tallahassee, right next door to Governor Ron DeSantis?

McCabe: That seems a little late in the game for me. And it makes me wonder what their calculations are. Because the summer before the New Hampshire primary, and you also see it in Iowa, that’s the parade and picnic season, that’s barbecue season, that’s where you show up.

Anywhere in New Hampshire or Iowa during the summer before the primary and the caucuses, you will bump into somebody running for president, and you can just sit at a picnic table with cheeseburgers and fries and talk about trade policy or whatever. It’s an amazing thing that happens every four years.

I guess he would have to have all of his ducks in a row to announce in June to be ready for the summer. The big thing, of course, is, and we’ve talked about this before, is it legal for him to be governor of Florida and a candidate for president?

And so there’s legislation now in the Florida legislature to sort of they’re going to change that law because if you’re the governor and you announce for president, that’s your instant resignation.

This was put in like, 26, 27 because political juggernaut Charlie Crist was the governor of Florida, and they were afraid that he would become President of the United States.

Leahy: That’s a fear. (Laughter) But they’ll work that out, don’t you think?

McCabe: I think that DeSantis has some sway, and if he wants that changed, they’ll get changed. There are also lawyers working on saying that there’s a way of threading the needle so that DeSantis can get around it. But we’ll see.

Leahy: We’ll see how that plays out. I got two words for you. You’re talking about the 2024 campaign. Are you ready? Are you ready?

McCabe: Go ahead. Yes, please.

Leahy: Vivek Ramaswamy. Did you see that report in Politico?

McCabe: Yeah, he’s amazing. And he also was speaking in Florida, and he met with a young conservative, Berny Jacques, who was a state rep from Hillsborough County, who met with him.

And there’s a lot of money down here in Florida. A lot of people talk about California as being sort of this ATM. Florida is also a place where there’s a lot of money. So you see a lot of people show up in Florida to collect checks.

Leahy: Vivek Ramaswamy is the 37-year-old Harvard-educated biotech billionaire, or close to a billionaire.

McCabe: He wrote the book about anti-woke, ESG stuff.

Walker: ESG stuff.

Leahy: You are kind of smiling about Vivek.

Walker: I’ve met him a couple of times. Hi, Neil. It’s Chris Walker, by the way.

McCabe: Good to meet you. I’ve met him at a few conferences and some other stuff.

Walker: He’s very energetic and very dynamic. I’m not sure, kind of going on Fox and talking about ESG is kind of the level of which we’re going to look for from her presidential candidate.

Leahy: I’m glad you mentioned that, Chris, because Neil W. McCabe, as you know, on Saturday we launched The Iowa Star, and of course, our national political editor Matt Kittle, who has big shoes to fill (i.e. those of Neil McCabe).

McCabe: I spoke to Matt the other day. He’s a great guy. He’s in Des Moines. And so we’ve launched The Iowa Star, and we received an invitation from Vivek Ramaswamy’s team.

He’s going to be in Iowa this coming week, so we’re going to have an exclusive interview with Vivek, and he will make his case. You know, Neil, the road to the 2024 GOP nomination goes through The Iowa Star.

McCabe: That’s right. I will say this. When people run for president, they’re not necessarily running for president. Chris Christie is running for president in 2024. He wants to be Secretary of Commerce. Other guys run because they want to sell books. Other guys run because they just want to have an influence on the debate stage.

And a lot of the ideas that the eventual nominee will put in their platform come from some of these minor candidates that people forgot. And so there’s a lot of stuff bubbling up from these different candidates that end up being the program and even legislation of a new president that wasn’t originally their idea, so good. I’m glad he’s in.

Leahy: Chris Christie wants to be Secretary of Commerce. That’s what you call a very low aspiration, isn’t it? (Laughter)

McCabe: There are a lot of donuts. (Laughter)

Gulbransen: Notice my commentary on that was just a sigh, by the way.

Leahy: What is Governor DeSantis doing this week?

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.
Background Photo “Florida Capitol” by Carol M. Highsmith.