Star News Network Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe on Trump Move to New Jersey and Next House Freedom Caucus Speaker
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 who speculated Donald Trump’s move to New Jersey, a Ron DeSantis VP ticket, and his recent article about the choice for House Freedom Caucus Speaker.
Leahy: On the newsmaker line, 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: How you doing, Michael? Very good to be with you.
Leahy: Well, you have a great story on Mark Meadows. But before I get to that, here’s the big question for you today. A report in The Daily Caller that President Trump is moving his residence from Florida to New Jersey. Former President Trump. Does that have any possible implications for 2024 Neil McCabe?
McCabe: Well, I think as a practical matter with his location in Bedminster, New Jersey basically puts him an hour from Manhattan and three hours from D.C. So it just facilitates moving, meeting with people. Whether it’s fundraisers or operatives or even members of Congress and being able for him to reach out to people or people being able to reach him within a three-hour drive.
Or if you take a private jet or even if you drove from D.C. all of a sudden, meeting with Trump is a day trip. It’s not an overnight stay or something like that, which is what’s going down at Mar-a-Lago. But the second thing is that it is just practical. I lived in Tampa, Florida, for two years. I thought the summers were going to kill me.
To survive in Florida you basically move from one air-conditioned space to another air-conditioned space. And there are moments when you leave the car and in between leaving the car and getting into the Starbucks, you’re attacked by the heat down there. And if it wasn’t for air conditioning, you wouldn’t even have Florida. (Laughter) Seriously, the heat there will kill you.
Leahy: So let me tell you what I read into this. If Donald Trump is a resident of New Jersey and not Florida, that means there is no political penalty to him if he runs in 2024 in a ticket that he heads as president and Ron DeSantis the governor, Florida as vice president. What do you think of that?
McCabe: Well, I think that that is very much in play. And I think you saw the same pictures that I saw of President Trump talking with De Santis at that fundraiser for the National Republican Senate Committee. And there’s definitely a primary going on for vice president. I think Pompeo is very excited about that. And it’s like in NASCAR, you ride behind another car. Basically, he’s breaking through the wind and you’re just sort of hiding behind it.
Leahy: Drafting off them.
McCabe: Right. This is what Ted Cruz tried to do in the 2016 campaign, but just Trump got too far ahead and Cruz could never pull the move that he wanted to pull. I think that definitely, that’s what Pompeo is doing. I think DeSantis is very busy being the governor of Florida right now. But there are some other people in the veep sweepstakes. But I think that definitely, that is in play, Mike. But I think transferring your residence from Florida, which has no income tax, to New Jersey, which has nothing but tax, he may put that off for a year or two.
McCabe: And keep some money in his pocket.
Leahy: Your story at the tenesseestar.com and throughout our constellation of Star News Network sites now in seven States, Mark Meadows Vows: ‘The House Freedom Caucus Is Choosing the Next Speaker.‘ Tell us about that story.
McCabe: So Saturday, there was a fundraiser for the House Freedom Fund, which is the political action committee associated with the House Freedom Caucus. And so Trump was there and Meadows was there who spoke after Trump. And as he was walking off the platform, it wasn’t really a stage, but there was a platform set up.
And as he was walking back to his seat, he told people within earshot that the Freedom Caucus is choosing the next Speaker. This is not an idle boast because Mark Meadows is the guy who took down John Boehner. And Mark Meadows was also working behind the scenes to block Kevin McCarthy from becoming Speaker. Unfortunately, as things were moving around and our dear friend Matt Boyle was covering this at Breitbart, Boyle told me that Marsha Blackburn was going to be set up to be the conservative candidate for Speaker.
And they scrambled to get Paul Ryan before Blackburn could put things together. When Mark Meadows says he’s going to choose the next Speaker, there’s a very good chance he is going to choose the next Speaker. And what it means is that Kevin McCarthy does not have the confidence of Meadows or Trump or Jim DeMint, who was also at that fundraiser Saturday. And remember that the House Republicans at their annual retreat in Orlando, which is about two and a half hours up the street from Palm Beach, didn’t invite Trump.
Liz Cheney, as the head of the Republican Conference, she owns that retreat. That’s run by her staff. That’s like her event every year. So obviously, Liz Cheney, who basically tells anyone who will listen that Trump is a criminal and a traitor, didn’t want him there. But the fact that McCarthy would not insist on bringing Trump tells you that McCarthy is afraid of his own shadow and he’s always going to take the coward’s choice.
Leahy: I think you’re probably right on that. Ben Cunningham has a question for you.
Cunningham: Hey, Neil.
Cunningham: James Carville has been getting a lot of press with his critique of Democrats and the threat of wokeness to their 2022 prospects. Is that reflective of the Democrats in general? Do they understand this as a real threat or is Carville just kind of trying to get back into the news cycle now?
McCabe: No. He’s correct. Everyone understands that this is not a mystery. It’s just that you have to choose. Are you going to play the long game or you’re going to play the short con? And right now, Biden is playing the short con. He is playing smash and grab.
Cunningham: That’s a great point.
McCabe: And this is typical that all of the consequential Democratic presidents. If you look at what Barack Obama did in his first two years, Dodd Frank, ObamaCare is the law of the land. Obama may have lost the Senate and he may have lost the House and he may have been embarrassed, but his priorities and his legislation are the law of the land.
What Johnson did in his first two years, Medicare and all that other stuff, that’s the law of the land. And it’s been 60 years. In the first two years, the Democrats have learned to just go for it. Smash and grab. And if they lose the House and they lose the Senate, who cares? Democrats are worried about the agenda. Republicans are like, oh, no, we’ll lose our majority.
Republicans would prefer to have a majority and do nothing with it because they’re afraid of losing a majority. This is the problem that Conservatives have because we’re stuck with the Republican Party. But the Republican Party has no interest in advancing our concerns.
Leahy: What is the impact, Neil, of the redistricting now with the census? Texas picks up two seats. Florida picks up a seat. New York loses one. California loses one. Michigan loses one. We got one minute left, Neil.
McCabe: I was surprised that Florida didn’t pick up an extra one. But what you’re seeing is that old blue States are losing out, and it’s going to be critical in their culturally conservative States where the unions are very strong. And that’s why Biden is pushing this pro-union legislation because States like Kentucky, Colorado, or Montana have active Democratic parties even though they’re conservative States because of the union.
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