Clint Brewer: ‘The Culture of Victimhood in This Country Has Seeped into Conservative Politics’

Clint Brewer: ‘The Culture of Victimhood in This Country Has Seeped into Conservative Politics’

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 2024 presidential candidates and the victimhood mentality that is plaguing the conservative movement.

Leahy: In studio Clint Brewer. Clint, I think I mentioned to you that we’ve launched The Iowa Star. Our 12th state-based site. We’re just focused there, really mostly. It’s a special 2024 caucus edition. And you know the road to the 2024 GOP nomination goes through The Iowa Star.

Brewer: Oh, okay.

Leahy: Part of The Star News Network. Okay, we’re gonna say it until it becomes true.

Brewer: Will it into reality.

Leahy: We’re gonna will it into reality. But actually, you know, if somebody’s, if a presidential candidate’s in Iowa we’re covering ’em, we’re there, we’re on site. Matt Kittle, our great reporter, and national political editor is based in Des Moines.

The Democrats, they’re a ballot machine. There’s not gonna be true competition there. The machine is gonna pick the candidate, and that’s why they’re going to go to South Carolina first.

Brewer: Oh, yeah.

Leahy: So that they can put their stamp on the octogenarian, demented, nurse-loving, legal, but not legitimate, a  Grifter-in-Chief Joe Biden.

Brewer: That’s a long title, Mike.

Leahy: I know.

Brewer: I’m gonna have to cut that down a little bit.

Leahy: You think so?

Brewer: You gotta lose part of that somewhere.

Leahy: I just like piling it on for that guy. All right. Donald Trump is headed to Iowa sometime in the middle of this month, and our guy will be there. Our pal, Viva was there, we got exclusives with him. Vivek Ramaswamy, who’s got a very bold anti woke agenda, anti-China agenda. Nikki Haley was there. She’s one of the munchkins and she’s not got a chance. The contrast between Vivek ran a campaign event and how Nicki was like night and day. Vivek was open and anybody could talk to him. Nikki. Control central.

Everything was scripted. It was a town hall, but the only people allowed to ask questions were Nikki Haley supporters. You’ve seen that kind of a play out at events. Trump is gonna be there in mid-March, so that’ll be interesting. And then the other people, Tim Scott, is probably gonna run, um, the other kind of munchkins, Mike Pence, he’s probably gonna run. But it will be embarrassing for him. He’s got no constituency. He also, by the way, said he’s not sure if he will back the GOP nominee if it’s Donald Trump. Bad move.

Brewer: He may not be alone.

Leahy: But it’s a bad move, Mike Pence. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Thinking about it. Governor of New Hampshire, Chris Sununu; Larry Hogan from Maryland. I think Asa Hutchinson, former governor of Arkansas, has thought about it. I don’t think he’s gonna do it.

Brewer: Mike, let’s be fair. Anybody who’s been elected to the State House on up has thought about it.

Leahy: Well, you know, I’m only 68. In eight years I’ll be 76.

Brewer: Every member of every city council’s already there, or even talk show hosts already decided they can be mayor, and every mayor’s already decided they can be governor and every governor’s already decided they can be president.

Leahy: And you know, you see all these national polls, national polls are meaningless. Because the president is selected by the electoral college.

Brewer: State polls.

Leahy: State polls are what matters. If you look at the general matchup.

Brewer: The local snapshot gives you a better picture.

Leahy: As we sit here today since we live in the land of speculation. It’s Trump-DeSantis. I’ll throw in dark horse Vivek because I like him. And then the munchkins. That’s how I look at it. And if you look at it, Trump, for all of his stumbles post-presidency is remarkably resilient in these polls.

Brewer: Let me back up. If Senator Tim Scott gets in, he will not be a munchkin.

Leahy: Okay. We’re told he is gonna announce.

Brewer: If he announces he will not be one of the munchkins that will open the field up.

Leahy: We’ll see. We’ll see. We’ll see what he’s bringing.

Brewer: It’ll be two candidates from South Carolina, but, you know.

Leahy: It’s all right. As we look at this right now, Trump is remarkably resilient in the polls despite all of the stumbles post-presidency. My theory is that it’s because people know who he is and they know how he would handle foreign policy, and it’s the exact opposite of Joe Biden. People don’t like what Joe Biden’s doing in foreign policy.

Brewer: I don’t even think it’s that. I think he has a brand that people know. I don’t think there’s any particular part of the portfolio that people are clinging to. I just think that they like the general idea of Trump.

Leahy: And so that’s what, 35 percent of the Republican Party? 40 percent maybe?

Brewer: Yes, maybe something like that.

Leahy: Ron DeSantis got his book.

Brewer: Just kind of getting geared up at the national level. About to go on a book tour, doing his book tour instead of CPAC the Florida Yes.

Leahy: And going to The Breakers with the Club for Growth. But not going to CPAC, which is not such a big deal. They’re taking the Florida blueprint to America. He’s lost 20 pounds. Probably in June, he announces. It seems to me one of his great lanes to go after would be, I opened up during COVID and everybody else was closing down.

Brewer: I completely agree. I think that’s a great line for him. I think it runs very counter to what President Biden will have to stand by.

Leahy: President Trump. I mean, if you look at it, he was the president when all of these lockdowns took place and he let Anthony Fauci run the show. It was kind of a disaster. But he let that happen.

Brewer: You know, conservatives have a big decision to make this time around. You look at DeSantis and you look at a guy like Senator Scott from South Carolina, who’s just a total rising star like DeSantis is in conservative politics.

Then you look at former President Trump. My concern is that in some way, some warped way, the culture of victimhood in this country has seeped into conservative politics.

Leahy: They like to be aggrieved.

Brewer: There’s a slice of the party and the broader conservative movement that, in their hearts would rather be perpetually aggrieved and victimized. And they’re more comfortable not winning these elections and complaining about it for another two to four years. Then just saying okay, this is the person that can win. Let’s go with this person.

Leahy: I’m afraid there’s some truth to what you’re saying. This is anecdotal. And I know this from the people that I talk to. I, I hear, well, this is bad. This is bad. Well, what are you gonna do about it?

Brewer: Or, or, we can’t win. We can’t win. They’ve fixed it. We can’t win, which is just not true.

Leahy: It’s not true. However, where we stand, March 2nd, 2023. We are 16 months away from the nominee. That’ll be July of 2024.

Brewer: And there are people who’ve been conditioned under former President Trump to accept failure.

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.
















Simon and Leahy: The Race for the 2024 GOP Presidential Nomination Is Now Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Dark Horse Vivek, and the Munchkins

Simon and Leahy: The Race for the 2024 GOP Presidential Nomination Is Now Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Dark Horse Vivek, and the Munchkins

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 in studio to discuss the 2024 GOP presidential nomination race.

Leahy: Roger Simon is in the studio with us. Roger is our all-star panelist. Roger, I recently turned 68 years old.

Simon: A kid!

Leahy: A kid! A real spring chicken. I have never in my life been more concerned that we are on the brink of World War III…

Simon: With good reason.

Leahy: Than I am today. My take on this is we have as our leader, our legal but not legitimate commander in chief, perhaps the worst foreign policy decision-maker ever.

Simon: I’ll tell you when it started.

Leahy: When did this start?

Simon: There’s an absolutely easy way to say it. On day one of the Biden administration, when he put the brakes on the Keystone Two pipeline, Vladimir Putin went, yay! Because that changed the whole global picture of energy.

The United States, which formally could have been giving all the energy that Europe needed to provide it in a war against Putin, was over. And Putin said to himself, oh, boy, we got an idiot in the White House and I’m on the move. And that’s when it happened.

Leahy: When you put it that way, Roger, I think you’re probably right. That was the beginning of it.

Simon: And during the Trump administration, the media was complaining, oh, Trump loves Putin, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But Putin didn’t do anything. All of sudden day one, it’s all over.

Leahy: And let’s come back a little bit back to the 2020 election. The reason that Trump and so many others fought so hard against the way the election irregularities went through the process, the reason that they fought so hard against that is because they knew that Biden’s weakness would lead to a decline in American interest in a big way.

Simon: His weakness plus greed. Anybody with IQ over 100 should be able to tell that the Biden family was totally corrupt with not only Russia but China. Now we have Xi making an alliance with Putin. Nothing could be worse than that.

Leahy: I agree completely. I had the opportunity to talk to somebody over the weekend who is a Navy pilot, and I’d ask him, what happens if there’s a war with China? And he had a three-word answer to that. We all die.

Simon: What else could it be?

Leahy: That’s not good. I don’t want to die.

Simon: It might be good for space aliens to come and take over the planet or something, but that’s about the only person they could be for whatever they’re called.

Leahy: I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die. Our children don’t want to die.

Simon: No. Who does? But if there’s a single Democrat out there listening to this, I would review how you make your decisions. I really would seriously do that. I used to be a Democrat.

Leahy: I was, too, until 1984.

Simon: You are a victim of hypnosis now of the worst sort, and because this is so clear and so evident that it’s almost tragic. And I don’t even know how these people do it. Have you all had a lobotomy? What’s going on?

Leahy: Well, there’s some of that. I do think, though, that combination of the worst possible commander-in-chief for this moment in history, because he has a combination of greed, arrogance…

Simon: Stupidity.

Leahy: Unwarranted stupidity, and unwarranted aggressiveness. And you put them all together, and you are moving toward World War III.

Simon: Now, let’s hope it won’t happen.

Leahy: No, I agree.

Simon: Let’s hope and pray, but also pay real attention at the ballot box because this ain’t going away.

Leahy: So here’s the thing. We are now in February of 2023.

Simon: You had to check your phone for that?

Leahy: Yes. February 2023. And, Roger, the next president will not be inaugurated until January 2025.

Simon: This is a long while.

Leahy: This is a year and 10 months. What I am concerned about is, first, it is going to be a huge battle and an uphill battle, I believe, for whoever the Republican nominee is to win the Electoral College and become president. It’s going to be a huge battle. It’s winnable.

Simon: Yes. But it will be a huge battle. It is winnable. And I think they really have to concentrate on what has gone wrong and really explain it to people in very clear teams. We need a really articulate person. Watching Hannity last night, I don’t believe any of the ones.

So far, there are only three people who I think are articulate enough to explain it. One is Trump. He’s very good at that. And the other is DeSantis. And the third one is Vivek. Vivek. I think the rest of them forget it. They shouldn’t even be there.

Leahy: You would then agree with me, and my new characterization of the 2024 race for the GOP nomination is Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, dark horse Vivek, and the Munchkins.

Simon: Absolutely agree.

Leahy: I think that’s a good way to describe it.

Simon: Also elevates Vivek, which will elevate the discussion. The best part about his running, I think he is a dark horse and is unlikely to win, although anything is possible. But on the debate stage, he is going to make this thing much more interesting.

Leahy: And he will advance an agenda that needs to be discussed.

Simon: Exactly.

Leahy: And that is going to be very important.

Simon: The rest of them are just cliche-ridden. Same old, same old.

Leahy: I listened to Pence the other night, and I thought, which cliche are we going to throw out now?

Simon: (Chuckles) It’s quite amazing.

Leahy: What a snore fest he is.

Simon: They don’t realize it. And even Haley’s very old-fashioned. And listening to Tim Scott last night on the Hannity show, my eyes were rolling backward. What is that guy doing? Nothing of importance.

Leahy: So let’s talk about this. Let’s assume that we are able to win the presidency back for Republicans and how we’re going to make it through the next year and 10 months. I’m very worried about that.

Simon: Prayer helps.

Leahy: Yes, that’s good. Is there anything that can be done given the current structure of our military decision-making and the woke military? It seems like a very bad formula.

Simon: People like us have a big contribution to make, which is to point it out.

Leahy: Keep talking.

Simon: Writing and talking and getting the information out there. One of the real problems and I hope the listeners can help with this, is that we are preaching to the choir most of the time.

Leahy: And we got to get it out to the other folks.

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 Vivek Ramaswamy. 














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:

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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 “Nikki Haley” by Nikki Haley.













Aaron Gulbransen: GOP Presidential Candidate Nikki Haley Has a Formidable Resume But No Political Base

Aaron Gulbransen: GOP Presidential Candidate Nikki Haley Has a Formidable Resume But No Political Base

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 Aaron Gulbransen, director of Tennessee’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, in studio to comment upon the recent announcement by former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley to run for president in the 2024 election.

Leahy: In studio, the official guest host of The Tennessee Star Report, all-around good guy, all-star panelist, formerly our lead political reporter here in Tennessee, he was, of course, stolen from us by the Faith and Freedom Coalition.

Gulbransen: Did you give grief for that in the previous segment?

Leahy: I should have.

Gulbransen: I got to hear part of it.

Leahy: But I should have. But because I’m so polite, because I’m always nice to everybody who’s on the show, asterisk.

Gulbransen: I was going to say, who’s on the show?

Leahy: You are now the Tennessee state director for the Faith and Freedom Coalition. Welcome, Aaron.

Gulbransen: Good morning. How are you?

Leahy: Well, the first Munchkin has announced, and so just, you know, for our listeners, the way I’ve described the race for the GOP nomination in 2024, Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, and the Munchkins. Now, Trump has announced. And by the way, a listener called in and said that President Trump has denied calling Ron DeSantis a meatball. That’s on the record.

Gulbransen: That’s what he denies calling him?

Leahy: I mean, come on.

Gulbransen: To some people, meatball could be a term of endearment. It’s better than Santimonius as an insult. I mean, distinctive Monius is not up to Donald Trump’s level. I’m not even talking about the contest between the two for the presidential level, but you’re going to raise the Trump insults.

President Trump, if you’re listening, or people who have a pipeline that is not sitting in the studio. I mean, I have one, too, but you got to come up with better insults. This is below the standards of 2016 and 2020.

Leahy: Here’s a clue, though. This is not 2015 or 2016.

Gulbransen: That is correct.

Leahy: This is a longer discussion. As I’ve told you, the way I’ve described the 2024 race for the GOP nomination, it’s Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, and the Munchkins. John Bolton, he didn’t even rise to the level of Munchkin, I don’t think. The former National Security Adviser said a month ago he’s going to run for president.

But I don’t think he’s mounted a campaign. Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and also the former UN ambassador, appointed thereby Donald J. Trump, announced just today that she is running for the 2024 presidential nomination. I have met Nikki Haley, and she is a very effective communicator in person.

She’s very articulate. But the complaint with Nikki Haley is she really doesn’t stand for much ideologically. First of all, to say the nice things about actually, I know you’re going to get mad at me for doing this.

Leahy: I never get mad at you.

Gulbransen: But I do want to announce to our audience, as the Gadfly candidates are starting to come out, that I have declined to seek the Republican nomination for President of the United States. And I know you’re not running either, Michael. So just to get that out of the way.

Leahy: So you’re not running?

Gulbransen: No.

Leahy: If we’re going to ask about political campaigns, I got to ask you this. Are you running for mayor of Nashville?

Gulbransen: (Laughs) No, I don’t live in Nashville. Nikki Haley does have a formidable resume, and there are plenty of people that have formidable resumes. But this is one of those situations where I’ve had conversations with a number of candidates who run for president that fit what I call the “what the heck lane.”

I can’t imagine she thinks that she’s going to win. She’s probably at the point, and with her and her team’s calculus, that if 45 different things happen perfectly, she could potentially have a shot at getting in the top three in her campaign calculus. The time she served with President Trump and then…

Leahy: She gave a couple of good speeches. But then she kind of left quickly.

Gulbransen: And then turning on him, essentially. This is a lot different.

Leahy: Do we have a Trump nickname in the waiting? I won’t volunteer it.

Gulbransen: I don’t know. I’m not going to begin to fathom it because I can think of about 15. (Leahy laughs) But Trump, we’ll see if he returns to four. But this is a tactic of the former president. He may say something that we can’t repeat. Who knows? But she doesn’t really have a true political core.

Leahy: She doesn’t have a base either.

Gulbransen: She doesn’t have a base. Foreign ambassadors don’t tend to do too well in these things. She and Bolton can go up on a stage and talk about their hawkish foreign policy views.

Leahy: If you listen to Stephen K. Bannon on WarRoom, he is no fan of Nikki Haley. He calls her a neocon, kind of a pro-American intervention all over the world, not focused on American security, but the projection of American power in places where probably others ought to be involved. She seems to me to be likable personally, but not particularly outstanding in terms of what she stands for.

Gulbransen: I’ve followed her for a long time, and I can’t tell you what she’s for.

Leahy: I think she’s for Nikki Haley. (Laughs)

Gulbransen: And famously, she defended, for example, the former flag of the state of South Carolina until she didn’t and thought it was politically expedient.

Leahy: Because it had a Confederate symbol.

Gulbransen: And let’s be very clear, she defended it when it was popular in South Carolina, and then she abandoned her position when she thought it was a safe political stance to have. That’s the kind of politician she is.

Leahy: By the way, Nikki, former ambassador, former governor, you’re welcome to come on The Tennessee Star Report. We’re happy to talk to you. I think the odds are that our Iowa Star reporter Matt Kittle is more likely to get an interview with her.

She’s going to be out in Iowa shortly. And of course, Aaron, as you know, we launched The Iowa Star just over the weekend, and now it’s quite clear. The road to the GOP nomination in 2024 goes through The Iowa Star.

Oh, you didn’t hear this, but Tim Head, who’s the executive director and your boss at the Faith and Freedom Coalition, I gave him an invitation that The Iowa Star would be delighted to co-sponsor any Faith and Freedom Coalition forums out there in Iowa. So we’ll see what happens with that!

Gulbransen: Many things are possible. That’s a very cool scenario.

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. Background Photo “The White House” by Ken Lund. CC BY-SA 2.0.


One America News National Correspondent Neil W. McCabe Says DeSantis Has No Path to the 2024 Presidency

One America News National Correspondent Neil W. McCabe Says DeSantis Has No Path to the 2024 Presidency

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 top gov tracker Neil W. McCabe of One America News to the newsmaker line to talk about an unlikely path of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to win the 2024 presidency.

Leahy: On the newsmaker line right now, top gov tracker, national political correspondent for One America News Network. Neil W. McCabe, based in Florida. Neil, What is Governor Ron DeSantis up to this week?

McCabe: Hey. Good morning, Mike. Good morning, Carol. You know, Carol, since the last time I spoke, I understand your mother passed, and I’m very sorry that you and your family are going through that.

Swain: Thank you. She was 92 and a half, and she lived with me for the last 13 years of her life, and we had some great times together. I was with her when she drew her last breath. And so this is part of life. We will all have an appointment with death at some point.

McCabe: So at 92, I think you could say she had a good run.

Swain: She did. (Chuckles) Thank you.

Leahy: Neil, what kind of run are you having today, and what’s going on with Governor Ron DeSantis?

McCabe: Ron DeSantis won by 20 points, as he said at a press conference yesterday when he ran for re-election. And everybody focuses and gossips mercilessly about his possible run for president. Right now, he’s just worried about being the governor of Florida. What he announced yesterday at that press conference was that he was axing all of the diversity bureaucracy in higher education at Florida state colleges and universities. That’s kind of a big deal.

Leahy: And pearls were clutched all over liberal media.

McCabe: Some leftists were blinking away the tears, Michael.

McCabe: I want to make this one point. If you look at sort of the MO as I’ve studied this man, it’s an MO of DeSantis, where he’ll have a press conference for one topic, but in the Q and A, he’ll have a zinger ready. Two months ago, he was giving $5 million, so some guys could build a rail line and some industrial park. But in the Q and A, he blasted China, so that set up his Tucker Carlson hit. Anyway, I just want to point that out. I’m sorry to cut you off, Carol.

Swain: Oh, no, that’s fine. But I have forgotten what I was going to say. (Laughter)

Leahy: It was very important, and it will come to you in a moment. Has he gotten rid of the president of New College down there? I saw a report that maybe did that as well.

McCabe: Yes, there’s been a coup. There’s been a coup at New College. The thing I’m really interested in is nobody’s really talking about it, but Ben Sasse was always kind of a squishy, kind of Paul Ryan, kind of hip, young senator guy from Nebraska. And he actually voted to convict Donald Trump for basically as if Trump had anything to do with January 6 people crashing the Capitol in two years.

No one’s proved this, but Ben Sasse, like, two weeks after the event, voted to convict in that second impeachment. He was always one of these senators who was throwing sand in the gears for President Trump. And so Trump has punished a lot of these guys who voted against him.

Primary voters and other Republicans have punished these guys. What Ron DeSantis did is he hired him to be the president of the University of Florida at a million a year. So there you go.

Leahy: Yes. And I think, though, that the board of trustees had some influence on that hiring process. There were a lot of protests.

McCabe: Yes, I think the governor had some influence too.

Leahy: I think you’re probably right. Carol has a question for you.

Swain: I remembered what I wanted to say. I believe secretly, progressives around the country are cheering DeSantis on because they know that DEI is destructive and that the woke mob is coming after them. And so no one is safe. And the kind of leadership that he has been providing on that particular issue resonates with the American people.

McCabe: I think he absolutely has a finger on the pulse. And it’s interesting; he doesn’t really employ, like, pollsters and consultants. He has pollsters; he has consultants. But what he really relies on is the America he grew up in. And he talks about this in speeches all the time.

He’ll make this sort of side comment where he’ll basically say, you know when I was growing up, we never heard of this kind of thing. This is ridiculous. (Swain chuckles) And so basically, if what he’s talking about did not exist when he was in, like, high school, it’s out.

Leahy: The 2024 GOP primary fight has begun. The only announced candidate to date is former President Donald Trump. He’s already been attacking Ron DeSantis. If DeSantis were to run, President Trump said it would be a sign of disloyalty. I made him governor! I made him governor! Has he forgotten that? Guess what?

There are reports that former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, also the former ambassador to the United Nations, is going to announce her candidacy on Sunday, February 5th. How will former President Donald Trump react to that?

McCabe: He’ll be heartbroken but not surprised. And I think that it’s pretty clear in my study of presidential politics through the decades that if the money is there for you to run for president, you will run for president. And you never know. It’s like a scratch ticket, and you might catch on.

Swain: Nikki Haley would not catch on.

McCabe: But who knew that Rick Santorum had a shot at being President of the United States? (Laughter) These guys, you know, you’re in the game, you get momentum, and things happen. Nobody in 1974, nobody was saying, what this country needs is Jimmy Carter.

Leahy: That’s a very good point. That’s a very good point. And I refer to the GOP race as Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, and the Munchkins. We’re going to invite Nikki Haley to come in and talk about it. Will she take offense at being called one of the Munchkins? (Swain laughs)

Swain: You didn’t mention Pence. You didn’t mention Pence.

McCabe: We’ll see how Pence is doing. I think that what’s going to happen is that Trump is going to get primary opponents. And the problem for DeSantis is that if it looks like DeSantis is going to take a chunk out of Trump and make Trump vulnerable, it’s only going to invite more people in.

Tom Cotton is not going to stand there and watch Ron DeSantis become president for eight years. There’s a bunch of people who are not just not going to allow it to happen. And so the problem with DeSantis is it can only be a kamikaze mission because there’s still going to be millions and tens of millions of Trump loyalists who will never forgive him because everyone knows that if Ron DeSantis endorsed Trump and campaigned for Trump in 2024, DeSantis could help put Trump over the top.

Trump’s a one-term president, and it basically tees up DeSantis for 2028. And so this is the problem. He doesn’t want to wait. And so, because he doesn’t want to wait, he can’t win.

There’s no path for DeSantis because as soon as DeSantis starts making serious progress, all the other people rush in with their money and their friends, and their coalitions to take him out.

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 “Ron DeSantis” by Ron DeSantis.