All Star Panelist Clint Brewer Ponders the Fate of the Republican Party

All Star Panelist Clint Brewer Ponders the Fate of the Republican Party

 

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 all-star panelist Clint Brewer to the studio to discuss the replacement of Liz Cheney and the mechanics of a Republican Party destiny.

(Rep. Elise Stefanik clip plays)

Leahy: And that is Elise Stefanik who is the Congresswoman representing the congressional district in far Northern New York, where I used to live as a kid. And now last week, the big news, the political news in Washington, they threw Liz Cheney out of the conference chair position.

The number three position in the House of Representatives and replaced her with Elise Stefanik. Now, I think from a messaging point of view, Stefanik is absolutely on point. And Cheney was absolutely off point. What does this mean for the Republican Party’s future, Clint?

Brewer: Well, I mean, it’s a gamble, right? You could say that about anything in politics. But for this moment in time right now, I think she’s more on message for that House caucus. And I think the move was made because the House members who always have to seek reelection every two years, I think they’re looking to talk more about Democrats going into the midterms than they are a person in their own caucus. It had to do more fundraising in taking the House back than it did anybody’s ideology.

Leahy: Liz Cheney is the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney under George W. Bush. She kind of got handed that seat in Wyoming. She’s not really from Wyoming.

Brewer: I think a lot of people get handed their seats in politics. (Laughs)

Leahy: I don’t disagree.

Brewer: That’s not unusual.

Leahy: We can’t criticize her too much about that. What was her thinking to go so far in attacking President Trump, and do we counter to the leadership, why did she think that was a good idea that would have a good outcome for her?

Brewer: I’m not sure she cared. I don’t think she did it because she thought it was politically savvy or a good idea. I think she did because it was her conviction. I think she believes it, and it’s her honest viewpoint. I know that’s an outlier in politics to actually share your honest viewpoint, but I think she’s just being honest with people about what she thought because it certainly didn’t help her any. So she wasn’t doing some desire to get ahead politically. I think she’s just telling what she felt like to be the truth.

Leahy: I think her duty, though, to me, if you’re going to be the number three person in the House, you should follow the party line. I think she probably should have resigned and then criticized Trump. But then she wouldn’t have got the visibility.

Brewer: That’s the gamble. So you see Cheney on one end of it, you see Stefanik and McCarthy on the other end of it. The gamble is you’re going to double down on your position. And there’s a fight for the party right now and which way it’s going to break. The House is a what have you done for me lately environment. They got to run.

Leahy: They’re running all the time.

Brewer: They are always running. They never start running.

Leahy: My hats off to all of the Republican members of the House of Representatives serving now because it’s a very frustrating job because it’s all being run dictatorially by Nancy Pelosi. They can’t get anything accomplished.

The only thing they can really do is to try to help in a year and a half, turn the House over and get Republicans in control. I think it’s a tough job. A frustrating job.

Brewer: Look, it’s a tough job if you’re in the majority. I mean, you’re always running. I think the standard stat that’s out there is in order to get re-elected to the House, you have to raise about $10,000 a day.

Leahy: That is a miserable existence.

Brewer: Yes it is.

Leahy: It really is.

Brewer: But, I mean, look, to your point about the party, the party right now is fractured. It’s trying to decide what the long-term prospects of the Donald Trump worldview are. And I think there are some people in the party, like Cheney, who disagree with it vehemently.

I think that every day that passes that former President Trump’s out of power and I think that worldview probably has a little less impact.

Leahy: I disagree. I think it’s gotten even more. I look at the polls in terms of Republicans and his support is as high as it’s ever been. Number one. Number two. Did you notice this? He’s going to start doing his rallies again.

Brewer: I did. And it’s going to be interesting to see how they go. I think early on, they’ll go really well, I just don’t believe it’s sustainable. I mean, you saw Reverend Franklin Graham come out and say, I don’t know if he’s going to be well enough health-wise and have the energy and the vigor needed to run again.

Leahy: Really? I missed that part of it. I’ve not heard that there are any health problems.

Brewer: I mean, he’s just his age. He’s reaching into advanced age.

Leahy: He’ll be about Joe Biden’s age in 2024.

Brewer: And look at what everybody says about Biden. I mean, it’s not a dissimilar situation.

Leahy: But they are just so different in terms of energy levels, don’t you think?

Brewer: In a gentleman of that age, a couple of years can make a big difference.

Leahy: That’s absolutely true.

Brewer: From 74 on every year, you’re looking for diminished capacity. We’re witnessing it with Joe Biden. And I think the party has to decide if that’s really the direction it wants to go. I mean, you’ve got a lot of people stepping up.

We talked about it in the studio during the Georgia run-offs. You had a host of characters headed down there. (Leahy laughs)

Leahy: A host of characters. I like that. The usual suspects.

Brewer: The usual traditional displaying of plumage and ceremonial dances (Leahy laughs) that go along with sidling up to running for a major political office.

Leahy: That’s very good.

Brewer: And that’s what you saw. So I think you’ve got a number of U.S. senators interested in running. I think you’ve got members of his former cabinet who are interested in running.

Leahy: Mike Pompeo.

Brewer: Pompeo. Nikki Haley.

Leahy: She kind of self-destructed back there a little bit. Didn’t she?

Brewer: I think she’s probably more attuned to Liz Cheney than she is to Donald Trump in terms of her values. I think Stefanik and McCarthy. I mean, look at McCarthy before Trump, he was just kind of a templated neocon.

Leahy: A templated neocon. That’s very good.

Brewer: He was not a Trump populist, but he got on the bandwagon, and that’s what it is. It’s a bandwagon and bandwagons run out of steam and they run out of gas. They stop eventually.

Leahy: Now you talked about governors and we have some governors coming to Nashville in a couple of weeks. The Republican Governors Association.

Brewer: Big event.

Leahy: That we’re trying to get a ticket to for interviews. The leadership now in the Republican Party of action is at the level of governors. And, of course, the number one guy people think of Ron DeSantis in Florida.

Brewer: Well, I agree. And I think DeSantis is an interesting position. A lot of the knocks on Republicans have been how we’ve comported ourselves during the pandemic, and Florida has done really well. He’s made all the right moves. He managed it very well at the state level.

Leahy: By the way, the legacy media in Florida hate his guts.

Brewer: Oh yeah.

Leahy: Totally hate him. That’s one of the reasons why we started as our seventh title at the Star News Network. We started The Florida Capital Star and getting great stories out of there. A big story today, Jeb “low energy” Bush former governor there, that guy. He has come out and criticized Governor DeSantis for his support of online gambling for the Seminole Nation.

That’s become a bill down there, sports betting. And Jeb Bush has come out vigorously opposing that. I don’t think that helps. I don’t know why Jeb is doing that. But I think it’s popular, frankly, down there. DeSantis is doing a lot of popular things.

Brewer: Well, it’s popular everywhere. Human beings like to gamble. I think that’s something you can say pretty affirmatively no matter where you are, people find a way to gamble. Is it the best thing for society? I don’t know. But not entirely. But is it something we really have a right to tell people no on? Not really. Can the government regulate it and tax it so it’s not completely destructive. I mean, there’s a role there.

Leahy: And it’s online all kinds of gambling, not just sports doing down there. Well, it’s very interesting. We’re going to try to get Governor DeSantis in studio here in the next couple of weeks. Maybe Kristi Noem and a few others.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Star News Network Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe on the Ouster of Liz Cheney and Her Replacement

Star News Network Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe on the Ouster of Liz Cheney and Her Replacement

 

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 Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmakers line to predict the fate of Liz Cheney being removed from her post as House Republican Conference Chair and her possible replacement.

Leahy: Joining us on the newsmaker line, the very best Washington Correspondent in the country, representing The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network, Neil McCabe. Good morning, Neil.

McCabe: Good morning, Michael. Good morning Crom. We’re all very excited about today’s big showdown.

Leahy: The big showdown of Liz Cheney, who’s been promoting herself so much, it even has irritated the minority leader, Kevin McCarthy. He’s sick of dealing with her. He wants to get her out of the House conference leadership position which is the number three position there. What’s going to happen today?

McCabe: They’re going to have the vote today and then they’re going to sort of have a round of sort of candidate events and people will have a chance to sort of lobby with their colleagues. Then they’ll have a vote to fill the position if it is vacated on Friday. And I think it’s interesting that one, it really has to have been irritating to McCarthy because the disposition is towards reaction, not action.

You’ve noticed this is a guy who has, I think, with vacancies he’s within three votes of taking over this Chamber. If he was to flip over, say, five to 10 conservative Democrats, he would be Speaker the House. He’s done nothing to present a positive agenda. He’s done nothing to sort of assuming that he’s that close. And he’s a very passive guy.

And basically, he just waits for Democrats to make a mistake. For him to actually stand up and say he’s going up against Cheney, that’s a big deal. And the other point is this is not a small office. She has a staff, about 50 people, and has her own sort of suite of offices associated with the Republican conference.

This is not just a token position or symbolic position. She is actively involved in running the Republican program in the House of Representatives, which makes it so galling that she’s come out against Trump. And, frankly, against the vast majority of House Republicans who not only support Trump but love him.

Leahy: What is Liz Cheney’s endgame? Why is she doing this?

McCabe: Well, as I wrote in The Tennessee Star for the Star News Network, Cheney is being backed by Team Ryan. Paul Ryan’s organization is backing her. His top aid and former chief of staff and someone who’s a senior advisor at his nonprofit called the American Idea Foundation, Kevin Seaford. He’s her senior advisor. Her fundraiser is a guy named Jeff Livingston, who’s been raising money for Paul Ryan, going back to 2004.

And other members of sort of Team Ryan and, of course, the Bush family and Mitt Romney have been sort of egging her on. I would say that Paul Ryan is the one who’s running this thing from the shadows. If she’s following his advice, she is a fool because Paul Ryan has never demonstrated any political acumen or skill, or competence.

This is the guy who was handed a 50 in-seat majority and did absolutely nothing with it. He was handed the largest House majority going back to 1928. More than 80 years and he torched it. Paul Ryan had 20 more seats than Newt Gingrich. And the fact that Liz Cheney is marching into the Valley of Death with Paul Ryan as the sort of coach and mentor is absurd.

Leahy: In the vote today, is she removed? Yes or no?

McCabe: Yes.

Carmichael: Will it be close?

McCabe: No. These people voted to oust her last time. 140 people voted to keep her and 60 said to get rid of her. They are going to flip that. She might get 60 saying ok. Look for Nancy Mace the freshman congresswoman from South Carolina who worked in the Trump campaign in 2016. She is also part of this Team Ryan political organization.

She didn’t vote to impeach but she’s been very negative of the President and presenting herself as the new face of the sort of post-Trump Republican Party. Watch Nancy Mace to see what she does. And if she votes against Cheney, then, you know it’s pathetic because Mace and Cheney are supposed to do a fundraiser in June.

Carmichael: Now, question, assuming that she does get beat, will she run for reelection?

McCabe: Oh, absolutely.

Carmichael: Really?

McCabe: She’s raised millions of dollars to her first quarter. She raised $1.5 million dollars, and she’ll keep raising money. There’s no reason. I mean, look at Andrew Cuomo in this political era, you don’t quit. She’s going to keep it going and she’s motivated by this belief that she is correct. And she really believed that there was nothing wrong with the way this election in 2020 was handled.

And she calls anyone who questions it, she says they are part of the big lie. And that’s absolutely galling. It’s galling to people who saw things with their own eyes.

Carmichael: I think that she wants to become the next Nicole Wallace. I think she’s applying for a gig. I’m predicting that if she loses, that she’ll put feelers out to join one of the networks in the news area so that she can have a much bigger platform than she’s going to have if she were to lose. And if she were to lose an election in Wyoming in the primary, then her value to a news network drops dramatically.

McCabe: She doesn’t want to give up this job. I mean, this is a great job. When you have a staff of 15, 20 people, you have your own offices, you have on your own agenda, and you have so much control over what the Republicans are up to znd plus her fundraising and leadership PAC and everything else, she doesn’t want to be deposed.

Carmichael: I know that but if she is deposed, then she loses all of that and becomes just a low-level member of the House and chairman of no positions that matter. If she loses in the primary, then she kind of becomes irrelevant.

McCabe: They really believe that Trump is finished. The Republican establishment has always believed that if we could just get rid of Trump, then people will be quiet. And then we can go along to get along. We can do business with China. We can bring in all the cheap labor. We can do the amnesty. President Romney would have given us amnesty. He would have given us an assault weapons ban and we’d be speaking Chinese right now.

Leahy: (Chuckles) That’s a good one. She’s going to be deposed today. When they vote for her replacement on Friday will Elise Stefanik be selected or somebody else?

McCabe: Well, there’s a lot of early momentum for Stefanik which surprised me because Jim Banks from Indiana, who’s the head of the Republican Study Committee, kind of had the inside position. It just seems like events unfolded and Banks wasn’t ready. And people are sort of mounting some rearguard actions against Stefanik because she has a pretty left-wing voting record.

But to her credit, she went after the Russian collusion hoax. She defended the President left, right, and center during the 2020 campaign. And that’s what people want right now. People want someone who’s willing to fight for this party, either you are in the party or your not.

Leahy: Because she represents the district of upstate New York where I grew up until I was, like, 12 years old, very far North. She’s a very clever person. She came in sort of under the wing of John Boehner. So she’s kind of a middle-of-the-road Republican. But she seems to understand power. She seems to understand the public, which is why, even though she’s got a very middle-of-the-road voting record, she’s defended Trump very very successfully. So bottom line, do you think she has it?

McCabe: Yeah. She was very close to Ryan until she figured out she could raise five million dollars ‘defending Trump.’ If she can raise money, she’ll defend Trump. She wins.

Leahy: I think you’re exactly right in that.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carmichael Suggests a Plan for Republicans to Inflict Pressure on the Billionaire and CEO Class of Democrats

Carmichael Suggests a Plan for Republicans to Inflict Pressure on the Billionaire and CEO Class of Democrats

 

Live from Music Row Monday 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 original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio to weigh in on the effort to replace Liz Cheney with Elise Stefanick on the GOP House Conference Committee and reveals his plan to put pressure on the elite classes of Democrats.

(Congressman Jim Banks clip plays)

Leahy: Crom that is Congressman Jim Banks, a conservative Republican from Indiana. He said, really, that his view of the Republican Party is the Trump view of the Republican Party and has become the party of the working class and not the elites. And that is the message that a Liz Cheney should be putting out there. It’s not the message Liz Cheney is putting out there. She’s the number three leader in the House Conference committee in the GOP. Now she’s about to lose that position it looks like.

Carmichael: Right. I think that Kevin McCarthy was on with Maria Bartiromo and they brought this question up. And she asked Kevin McCarthy point-blank whether or not he supported the Congresswoman from New York.

Leahy: Elise Stefanik from upstate New York, my old stomping ground.

Carmichael: Yes. She’s terrific. And he said, Yes, I do. In other words, he didn’t equivocate at all. He said, Yes, I do. There will be a vote to remove Liz Cheney.

Leahy: As the number three in the hierarchy.

Carmichael: To replace her. That’s who Kevin McCarthy says he’s supporting now.

Leahy: Elise Stefanik is a Harvard graduate, and she was born and raised in a suburb of Albany. The district she represents actually is in the northernmost part of New York States, where I grew up as a kid. Spent many years there. But it’s a conservative district. It became the big district in the big fight in 2010.

The Tea Party fight with Independent guy Doug Hoffman barely lost because the RINO Republican there dropped out and backed the Democrat. Very heated. After four years, six years, that person was out. Elise Stefanik has done a very good job winning that district. She’s moved up to the Northern part of upstate New York from Albany. She’s not exactly a hardcore conservative in her voting record. But on the big issues, she’s been 100 percent behind them.

Carmichael: And she’s also a Donald Trump supporter.

Leahy: Yes. That’s very clear.

Carmichael: Very clear. And your point about the RINO Republican, I think, is interesting. The party is slowly but surely getting rid of the RINO Republicans. And the freshman class that came in 2020 on the Republican side is a very very solid class of Republicans who stand up for the working people. Liz Cheney doesn’t care about the working people. I’m not sure exactly what she does care about other than herself.

Leahy: She cares about Liz Cheney.

Carmichael: That’s what I just said.

Leahy: I don’t think she’s been back into Wyoming very much at all.

Carmichael: I said other than caring about herself, I don’t know what she cares about. So I’ve figured out what her game plan is.

Leahy: What is that?

Carmichael: She’s now tired of being in Congress. She’s not exactly a Democrat. She doesn’t see a path to winning elections as a Democrat, especially out of Wyoming.

Leahy: That’s not going to happen.

Carmichael: She doesn’t see that. She has recognized that she’s not going to be able to retain her seat. So if you’re not going to be involved in politics…

Leahy: In 2022 in Wyoming.

Carmichael: Yes. If you’re not going to be a politician and you still want to be a power person, what are you doing?

Leahy: She’s going to go be a CNN commentator.

Carmichael: Yes. She is now grooming herself to be the next Nicole Wallace so that she can go on TV. It might even be a network. It might not be a cable company. It might be a network where she then becomes a big wig.

Leahy: The conscience of the Republican Party.

Carmichael: Exactly. And so this is what she’s up to now. This has nothing to do with principle. It has everything to do, though, with her maintaining a position of influence and power. Whoever the nominee is in 2024 of the Republican Party if it’s Trump or Trumpian then she’ll be trashing them just like Nicole Wallace.

Leahy: Absolutely.

Carmichael: That’s what she’s hoping.

Leahy: And for our listeners, Nicole Wallace was a former Republican consultant.

Carmichael: Well, she was a spokesperson for the Bush administration.

Leahy: Well, of course, the Bush administration.

Carmichael: I’m just saying that’s what she was. And so when people say that the people who were in the George Bush administration opinions are that of Republicans, that’s just false. George Bush is kind of the Don Sunquist of the country.

Leahy: Oh, yeah.

Carmichael: Nobody invites him to speak to a group of Republicans. He will get invited to speak to some international group or maybe some group of Fortune 1,000 executives. But he doesn’t get invited to Lincoln Day dinners.

Leahy: No.

Carmichael: He doesn’t invite the things that are the Republican hardcore and the political class. I’m talking about the state-level political class. And I think that there are other Republicans who are slowly but surely being weeded from the party. But I want to go back to when Paul Ryan as Speaker. He passed a lot of bills out of the House that died in the Senate because of the filibuster.

I’m not trashing Mitch McConnell. I’m saying the institution. Part of what Republicans need to figure out is strategic. If keeping the filibuster is important and I think it is, then they need to come up with ways of putting pressure on Democratic constituents to have to pick between two things they don’t want. They have to figure out how to put pressure.

And I’ve got some ideas on how to put pressure on Democrats to pick one or the other. Because you still can pass things through reconciliation. And that doesn’t require budget reconciliation. and that includes spinning bills and taxing bills. And Republicans can pass bills out of the House and send those bills to the Senate.

And then send a bill to the Senate that requires 60 votes. And make the first vote to be so incredibly upsetting to the billionaire class of the Democrat Party and the CEO class of the Democrat Party. And right now, the CEOs in this country, many of them are woke because they don’t want to be canceled. They don’t want to lose their job.

Leahy: So your suggestion is to inflict crumbs House of Pain on CEOs,

Carmichael: House of Pain on CEOs and House of Pain on billionaires. And then say, which one do you want? Do you want this bill passed over here? In which case, you need to get your Democrat senators on board so we beat the filibuster, or do you want this pain? It’s up to you.

Listen to the second hour here:

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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 “American flag on Capitol Building” by House Republicans and photo “Crom Carmichael” by Crom Carmichael.