Leahy: Right now we are joined in-studio by our very good friend Michelle with two L’s, Foreman. Good morning, Michelle.
Foreman: Good morning. How are you?
Leahy: We’re doing great. You are a candidate in this August 4th Republican primary.
Leahy: You have an opponent, and it’s a contested race, and you’re running in the 59th House District. This is a new district.
Foreman: This is brand new. So this goes along the southern border of Davidson County, starting over in the far southwest where Highway 98 and 100 meet.
Comes across the lower part of Bellevue and West Meade and Belle Meade, Forest Hills, Oak Hill, all the way over to Cane Ridge.
Leahy: So if we were to say, well, in the boundaries of the new district, I guess currently they’re split up between three Democrat members of the House of Representatives, roughly. Bob Freeman and Jason Potts…
Foreman: And Bo Mitchell. Right.
Leahy: But it’s been split up, and so it’s a new district. There’s no incumbent, I guess none of those guys who will be running on the Democrat side in the general election?
Foreman: Bo Mitchell’s brother-in-law.
Leahy: You kidding me?
Foreman: No. So you take those original districts were pushed upward, which left the bottom portion of the county open, if you will. And so Bo Mitchell’s brother-in-law will be the decision. Right.
Leahy: Trying to keep it all in the Democratic family.
Leahy: So he’s uncontested.
Foreman: He is uncontested. He had no opponent in his primary.
Leahy: But you’ve got an opponent.
Foreman: I do.
Leahy: What’s his name? Wyatt somebody.
Foreman: Wyatt Rampy.
Leahy: Wyatt, I haven’t heard from you, but you’re welcome to come on the show anytime you want and put forward your case. The district, I think, when you look at the redistricting so, of course, the most well-known redistricting in the country, I think, is the Congressional redistricting of the 5th Congressional District.
Foreman: Yes. I think so.
Leahy: Which basically went from a Democrat plus-20 district and was safely Democratic since 1875. Democrats represented the 5th Congressional District. It was called a Dem 20. It was mostly Davidson County with a little bit of Cheatham and Dickson.
Jim Cooper represented the district since before the dawn of time – 2003, I think, but even more. But that district was redesigned, and now it’s an R plus-11, I think, I feel, hotly contested.
Leahy: And that so many people want to get the seat, because if you win the Republican primary on August 4, you’ve got a good chance of, a very good chance you’re likely to be elected in November.
The Democrats do have a candidate running unopposed, Heidi Campbell, State Senator, who is a far-lefty but a tough campaigner.
And not somebody to take lightly if you’re a Republican now. What’s interesting about this is if you look at the likely voters in this new district, does it lean slightly Republican? What is it?
Foreman: It does. It leans a little Republican. R plus-4, I’ve heard R plus-6. That means to me R plus two, maybe four, if we’re lucky.
There is a slight lean, and considering what’s going on in the country today, it does look like the Republicans will be able to take this seat again, working hard and not taking anything for granted.
Leahy: And you want to be that Republican …
Leahy: … who comes in. You want to win the August 4 primary.
Leahy: So we’ll talk about that. And we’ll also talk about what you’re seeing. You’re doing a lot of what, door-to-door out there.
Foreman: A lot of door-to-door.
Leahy: In, like 95-degree heat,
Foreman: I would say 100 degrees, 100 degrees plus easily.
Leahy: 100 degrees plus. Yikes!
Leahy: We’ll talk about that. And, of course, Election Day is three weeks from tomorrow. I know early voting begins Friday, the day after tomorrow. Hey, this election is here. We’ll talk more with Michelle Foreman, one of the candidates for the Republican nomination in the 59th House seat, after this.
Leahy: In-studio, our newest all-star panelist Roger Simon. Roger, you know, Crom and I have been learning how to shoot at the Nashville Glock store.
They have there something called the Shoot 270 Ranges. I’ve been using that, and I’ve learned a lot about shooting in that shoot 270 range.
Simon: I’ll go down there.
Leahy: Have you shot very much yourself?
Simon: Yeah, I have a fantastic shot. The first time I started to shoot was with Rick Perry,
Leahy: Oh yeah. The governor of Texas, I hear he’s a pretty good shot.
Simon: Oh, he was the first one I ever saw use a laser gun.
Leahy: Oh, wow.
Simon: He refutely shot a coyote running when he was jogging.
Leahy: That’s a great story, even if it’s just a story. But it’s interesting. They’ve got these Shoot 270 ranges. It’s not like just a lane range. When you shoot, do you go into places where they just have one lane?
Leahy: You’ve got to go to the Nashville Glock Store because they don’t just assign a Lane. At Shoot 270 you get trained. There’s a big difference. You should use shoot270.com. Go ahead and book a session. Tell them you’re my friend.
Leahy: They might. I don’t know. Just say, hey, I’m a friend of Michael Patrick Leahy and Crom Carmichael. Go to shoot270.com so you can log in there right now, Roger, and try it.
I know you’re a big fan of the shooting experience. You’re probably more experienced than I am. I’ve had three lessons. They’ve been great there, but I’m just beginning to get a little confidence.
I’m the kind of person Roger, as you probably know, I like to master something, right? I feel confident when I master it. I’m moving up the learning chain on this. Shoot270.com.
Simon: Do you want to hear my shooting story, Michael?
Leahy: I would love to hear about your shooting experience.
Simon: My baptism by shooting some years ago out of nowhere when I was running PJ Media. As you know, I got an email saying, would you like to come shooting with the governor of Texas, then Rick Perry, for who I ended up writing speeches, by the way.
I said well, that’d be a lot of fun. Only I didn’t know how to shoot. And I figured, the governor of Texas, he probably is good at this.
He invited me and the late Andrew Breitbart because we were sort of honchos of Blogdom at that point. So I went down in near LAX there’s a shooting range run by Marines.
And I went in there and I said, I got to go shoot. I didn’t say the governor of Texas, I didn’t want to show off. I just said I got to learn to shoot. I went in the range with a Glock.
And I missed everything in sight. (Leahy laughs) So the guy said, do you play a sport? And I said, yeah, I play tennis. (Chuckles) And he said, well, what do you do in tennis? Do you follow through?
And I said, yeah, I follow through but you don’t follow through with a pistol. I mean, you go, boom, and that’s it. And he said, just try it. And I said, okay, I pretended to follow through and then boom, boom, boom.
Simon: It’s called Shooting With the Governor. I’m going to find that video. And I shot the video myself while in it with a little bit of help.
Leahy: That’s quite a story. Are you ready for a curveball? Because I know you’re a big baseball fan.
Simon: I’m not that big of a baseball fan.
Leahy: You were as a kid.
Simon: I’m a big tennis fan. Which is a very sad moment to see yesterday the great man, Roger Federer lost at Wimbledon for the first time since he was a pup.
Leahy: I did not know that. Well, what’s the tennis term for throwing a curveball?
Simon: Hitting a twist.
Leahy: Okay, I’m gonna hit a twist here. Are you ready? So you might have a little insight into the story. You’re talking about the former governor of Texas, Rick Perry.
Well, there’s a current governor of Texas. His name is Greg Abbott, and he’s been endorsed by President Trump although I’m not sure if there’s necessarily they’re completely aligned.
He has been endorsed by President Trump. President Trump went down to the border with him on June 30th. Now, here’s a question for you. There’s a guy by the name of Allen West.
Simon: I know Allen West. He worked for me at PJTV.
Leahy: Everybody worked for you, me, everybody at some time. I worked for you, Allen West worked for you.
Simon: And now I’m working for no one. (Laughter)
Leahy: But I have to get your insight into this. And I saw this, and I thought hmmm…
Simon: He’s running for governor. He served in the Army. A Lieutenant Colonel. Had some controversy there.
Simon: You shake hands with this man and you know it. I mean, he’s got a right hand on him.
Leahy: Yeah, he’s a wrestler. He focused on being fit. He’s a fit guy. So he served for one term in Congress in Florida. He was defeated for reelection.
Moved to Texas, where he was to head up the National Center for Policy Analysis. And I’m just going to state the facts. About a year after he went to run it, they went bankrupt.
You know that story. So that is first a little bit of a question mark to me. And they’d been around for, like, 35 years.
Then he decides, having lived for all of a couple of years in Texas, that he’s going to run for chairman of the Texas GOP.
Simon: I think it was even in one year or something like that.
Leahy: So he runs. He wins. He defeats my friend James Dicky, who was an early Tea Party guy. And he serves as the chairman of the GOP for about a year. When you are the chairman of the party, your job is to build up the party.
Leahy: You’re not supposed to advance your own interest. Well, magically, he resigns as chairman of the party and then announces last week he’s going to challenge Greg Abbott in the Republican primary for governor. Do you have any thoughts on this, Roger?
Simon: Yeah, I read the same thing, and I’ve known Allen for a while. I haven’t seen him in a long time. My thoughts, I think, are not dissimilar to what you’re implying.
And your thoughts here, (Leahy laughs) I think enough already. I mean, Abbot has been maybe mediocre.
Simon: Mediocre to mildly disappointing. On the other hand, he seems to be getting it somewhat better.
Leahy: That’s my take, too.
Simon: And I think that that’s what I think is Trump’s take too.
Leahy: Trump’s endorsed him.
Simon: Yeah, I know. And I think he does that strategically.
Leahy: Oh, yeah.
Simon: And therefore, at this point, there are so many more important gubernatorial primaries coming up, like here in Tennessee, that we should be focusing on and changing the governor.
I think that’s a sidebar. And I think it’s a little bit of ego coming in there. Maybe a lot of ego.
Leahy: Let me just say the phrase you use was a little bit of ego. Or maybe a lot of ego. I’m kind of looking at this, and I’m thinking, so you lived in the state for a couple of years.
You’re the chairman of the party for a year. You resign midterm two weeks later. You announced you’re running for the party nomination for governor. It just strikes me as a little bit like…
Simon: Like Hillary Clinton?
Leahy: It just strikes me as a little bit opportunistic.
Simon: Yeah, right. I think so. Opportunistic. Plus, you know, power-hungry. (Laughter)
Leahy: Your words, not mine. I’m not gonna necessarily take issue with that characterization, Roger.
Simon: And I have to add, my dealings with him is that he was a nice guy. We got along fine.
Leahy: I have a similar reaction. I sat next to him at an event in D.C. to chat.
Simon: He takes up a lot of space when you sit next to him. (Chuckles)
Leahy: He does.
Simon: He’s got the biggest shoulders than 14 states.
Leahy: We are joined on our newsmaker line by the very best Washington correspondent in the country. The Washington Correspondent for The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network, Neil McCabe. Good morning, Neil.
McCabe: Good morning, Michael. A pleasure to be with you.
McCabe: Well, Kevin Brady is the ranking Republican on Ways and Means. He was the chairman from November of 2015 until the Republicans lost control of the Chamber after the 2018 midterms. He was the key guy writing the 2017 tax bill. Kevin Brady is from Texas.
He has a personal and emotionally vested interest in the state tax because his father was an attorney who was shot and killed in a courtroom when Brady was 12 years old. And he watched what the estate text did to his mother and his family.
And he became sensitive to how it was affecting other people in his area because there are a lot of people with small businesses, small farms, and ranches in his district. And in the 2017 tax bill, the House bill eliminated the estate tax.
The estate tax or death tax is you pay taxes all your life and whatever is left over when you die, the government wants to tax it again. That’s why it’s called a death tax. It is opposed by the life insurance lobby. And when that 20 17 House bill went to the Senate, the state tax was put back in by Senator Mike Rounds from South Dakota with the help of John Coon.
John Coon, who ran I don’t know if you remember this, Mike, but John Coon defeated Tom Daschle, who was the majority leader. He was a Democratic leader in the Senate. He defeated the sitting majority leader of the Senate. And his campaign pledge 12 years ago was he would eliminate the estate tax.
But when the Republicans had the chance to get rid of the estate tax in the 2017 bill, Coon and Rounds put it back in. And they were able to raise the caps so that going into this tax year and the state tax doesn’t affect you unless you have an estate over 11 million for an individual and over 20 million for a couple.
So for most people, it isn’t really an issue. But because it’s still on the books, you can always tamper with the rates. If it’s been eliminated, trying to put it back in the tax soda is a much more difficult thing. And even at $20 million, which seems like a lot of money, if you own a farm and you have three combines that you paid $600,000 for and then you have some land and then you have a barn and then you have a house and then you have a shed and then you have some trucks.
All of a sudden, it’s very easy to get to $20 million, but it’s not in cash. So what ends up happening to family-owned businesses and farms and ranches is you have to sell the farm to save the farm. It’s just ridiculous.
Leahy: It’s crazy. What’s interesting here is how anti-small business and anti-middle-class American the Biden administration is. Crom Carmichael has some overall questions for you on what’s going on with that tax legislation.
Carmichael: Neil, there are three big pieces of legislation. The great big giant tax bill, and then two great big spending bills. The so-called infrastructure bill and the so-called family bill. What I see from where I’m looking is I don’t think the infrastructure bill will pass with anything more than what Republicans are willing to agree to. And I think the family bills dead to water and the tax bill is dead in the water. What are you hearing?
McCabe: I’ll tell you right now, everybody’s talking about how Biden is going to have trouble getting things through the Senate. I’m telling you right now that Biden is going to have trouble getting things through the House. And Kevin McCarthy is restoring the Whip.
It’s something he never did when he was the Whip. (Leahy chuckles) But as a majority leader, he’s finally putting the stick to these Republicans. And the Republicans stay firm. They’re only down something like three seats. If McCarthy convinced four Democrats to flip parties, he’s the Speaker of the House.
That’s how close this thing is. And you have a number of House Democrats who are frightened about what’s coming at them in 2022. This state tax thing is very dangerous because Brady told me that if this thing goes through, it’s 800,000 jobs out the window.
There’s no greater destroyer of family-owned farms and ranches and businesses than the state tax. And it’s insane how it’s just wiped out. When you look at the Midwest or these great farm areas and you wonder why do we have all these corporate farms and we no longer have family farms, it’s because of the estate tax.
And there are companies that suck up all of these farms at the estate sale. Going back to Biden’s program, what I think you’re really asking is have the wheels fallen off the cart for Biden? Yes. Biden has completely run out of time. I’ve said this over and over again. He has no more runway.
He just announced he was going to take the sanctions off of that German pipeline to Russia, the Nord Stream Two. Well, do we have an ambassador to Germany? No. Do we have an ambassador in the UK? No. We don’t have ambassadors in Canada, Afghanistan.
Japan we just nominated Rahm Emanuel. But South Korea, England, France, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Ireland, the Vatican, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Australia, we don’t even have ambassadors nominated. Those are the easiest things to do.
Leahy: And he’s not doing it.
McCabe: There just isn’t time to get things done.
Leahy: Speaking of time, Neil, we have one political question for you. If you could wrap your mind around this one for us.
Leahy: In the Senate in 2022, the Republicans have a disadvantage in terms of the way the seats play out. But if you look at key states that are currently represented by Democrats, one state is New Hampshire. The incumbent is Margaret Hassan.
I think that’s how you pronounce it. H-A-S-S-A-N. Apparently, the Republicans there are trying to get the very popular governor, John Sununu Jr. to run for governor. The polls show him with a five or six-point lead. Will he run for the Senate in New Hampshire? Will he beat Margaret Hassan?
McCabe: Yes. And I wrote about this for The Tennessee Star. This is one of the three seats that the Republicans can flip to take back the Chamber. And Hassan, she barely beat Kelly Ayotte. And that’s only because the Democrats bussed thousands of students from Massachusetts who pretended that they had moved to Massachusetts and they did same-day registration and they lied and said that they were residents of New Hampshire.
They had just moved there that day. And pretended they were going to spend the rest of their lives in New Hampshire. And as soon as they voted, they went back to take their midterms.
Carmichael: Has New Hampshire changed that law?
McCabe: They have changed that law. A student ID is no longer accepted as part of their voter ID law.
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.
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.
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.