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?
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.
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.
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 discuss the cancel cultures looming boomerang effect on Democrats and Trump as the official leader of the Republican Party.
Leahy: We are joined by the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael. Good morning, Crom.
Carmichael: Good morning, Michael.
Leahy: Well over the weekend Donald Trump made a little bit of news. He spoke at CPAC.
Leahy: And by the way, just as an aside. So the Hyatt Hotels hosted CPAC and now all the Democrats are trying to do a boycott of Hyatt Hotels. Hyatt responded, ‘tough!’ (Laughs) I like that. ‘We believe in diversity of thought.’
Carmichael: Which hotel chain is Pritzker’s? The governor of Illinois.
Leahy: I think it might be Hyatt.
Carmichael: Maybe he’s not associated with it anymore.
Leahy: It sold off.
Carmichael: But let me say this you can do something for a certain period of time like this cancel culture. The cancel culture is going to soon come back and bite the people who are trying to run it. It’s going to bite them in the butt because it’s wrong. It is fundamentally wrong. And let me say this. It is anti-American.
Leahy: Totally anti-American.
Carmichael: It is anti-American. Forget the Constitution for a second. I’m talking about our nature. Our nature is to discuss and to disagree and to come to conclusions after a full debate. That’s what our nature is as a country. And the left hates that. They want to be in control. It’s really kind of interesting. And by the way, Biden’s one point nine trillion dollar so-called coronavirus package is exactly what I’m talking about here.
It epitomizes it. Only nine percent of the one point nine trillion, only nine percent is for coronavirus if you expand the definition of helping coronavirus to its extreme. The other 91 percent is for Democrat interests. And so what the Democrats have done is they’ve divided our country. And by the way, it’s not 50 percent of the country that’s going to benefit. It’s like 20 to 25 percent of the country is going to benefit. Everybody else ends up taking a back seat.
Leahy: You are right as always about the ownership of the Hyatt hotel chain. It is the Pritzker family. J.B. Pritzker inherited a lot of money, is part of that family, but it looks like he’s the first cousin or second cousin to the guys that are running it right now. So not involved in the operation of it.
Carmichael: Well, but I mean he may not be involved in it, but financially he is still part of it it sounds like.
Carmichael: So he’s a little conflicted.
Leahy: He’s a conflicted guy.
Carmichael: He’s going to be conflicted. But if we can if we continue on here. You have you had this one point nine trillion dollars and let here’s where the biggest for these. The biggest chunks are going. They’re going to the teachers’ unions who are going to be rewarded ultimately for not doing their job now. Think about that for a second. you’re going to get billions and billions of dollars for not doing your job unless it turns out that your job is to make sure that Black and Hispanic children do not get a quality education.
Leahy: Well the other element of the teachers union jobs is to present and indoctrinate a left-wing anti-American ideology to K-12 students.
Carmichael: Well, yeah, but they’re not doing that because they’re not even in class.
Leahy: When they are in a class that’s one of the things they’re doing.
Carmichael: Yeah, but I’m talking about what they’re actually doing now. Then you had the blue states and their pension plans which are completely underwater. We’re talking hundreds of billions of dollars underwater from irresponsible management and over-generous payouts. And then you have the private sector unions it turns out. Private sector unions have had these industry groups like the Trucker’s Association is actually one giant pension of 400,000 people all across these states and all these different companies.
And so it’s not just one company. and these companies are underfunding their unions. And the reason they’re being underfunded is well, I take that back. They’re not really being underfunded the plans are being mismanaged. The returns on the plans over the last 15 years have been less than five percent a year. They projected to be in the eight to nine percent range if they had hit their projections.
Which they should have by the way if they were properly managed and if they had then they would be funded. You have these cronies who are put in charge of managing the pension funds. And they then abuse that responsibility and then Democrats turn around to the taxpayers the non-union members and say pony up you have to make good for the mistakes of our side.
Leahy: This is basically, you know, class warfare. economic class warfare upon taxpayers, small business people, and middle-class Americans.
Carmichael: Yes. What this is an organized crime done ‘legally’. And I put legally in quotes and it dwarfs it. I mean organized crime is a five billion dollar a year industry maybe. I’m just picking a number here. This is 90 percent of one point nine trillion. And then Biden’s coming in with another package right behind it. Now, here’s why this all ties into Trump’s speech. Trump is now back. There about four or five Democrats in the Senate who know that if they vote for this one-point-nine trillion-dollar package they will likely lose their next election.
Leahy: So we’d say Joe Sinema.
Carmichael: Well no – Joe Manchin.
Leahy: Now you can understand why I said Joe Sinema because we’re in the land of transgender.
Carmichael: Kristen Sinema. Tester. John Tester.
Leahy: He got re-elected though in 2018.
Carmichael: 2018. So he’s going to be running in 2024.
Leahy: I kind of call him a communist with a crew cut. (Chuckles)
Carmichael: But he’s not one of us but he’s going to be stuck. And then Sherrod Brown. Sherrod Brown is a lefty but he’s in a state that’s now pretty solidly red.
Leahy: 2024 he’s up again. Sherrod Brown.
Carmichael: Is that when he’s up.
Leahy: This coming year 2022 remember Rob Portman announced he’s resigning. There’s going to be a big brouhaha for the Republican nomination.
Carmichael: But all of these all of these Senators have to look out. If they just got re-elected in 2020, then they’re not up until 2026.
Carmichael: They have lots of maneuvering lots of wiggle room.
Leahy: There will be a presidential in between.
Carmichael: And Trump is the leader of the Republican Party.
Carmichael: There’s not anyone who’s even in the league.
Leahy: He was very smart. I thought it was a very well-worded speech – a well-crafted speech – right on policy issues. And I thought he was very smart right upfront to say I am not starting a third party. That was very smart.
Carmichael: Yes. Because what the left is trying to do is to divide the Trump supporters which represent 70 to 80 percent of the Republican Party now. And I’m not saying the rest of it is not Trump supporters, but they wouldn’t necessarily leave the Republican Party. If Trump runs for re-election or runs for election. I don’t know if you call it re-election or not.
Leahy: If he runs for a non-consecutive second term. Thank you, Grover Cleveland.
Carmichael: There you are. Here’s what’s interesting about this. Trump is such a leader of the party. And by the way, he will be enormously effective in 2022.
Carmichael: Out campaigning for candidates.
Leahy: Already in Ohio, he’s endorsed a guy who’s running against this squishy Anthony Gonzalez who voted to impeach him. Gonzales is gone. Gonzalez will be defeated in 2022 in the House. And he’s already going to be weighing-in on these issues.
Carmichael: Alright and so has he endorsed somebody in Ohio?
Leahy: Yeah, this Max Miller, who was a former aide to him.
Carmichael: For the Senate?
Leahy: No, no. For the House seat that Gonzales has. He’s not endorsed for the Senate. He probably won’t for a while.
Carmichael: Well at any rate though, what I’m saying is is he’ll be out and he will campaign against those who voted to impeach him. And frankly well he should. And he will be very effective I believe in helping Republicans retake control of the House. And if and if he does do that, then he won’t have to announce that he’s running in 2024.
Leahy: There will be a groundswell for him.
Carmichael: Until he decides that he wants to because you can be an almost candidate and do a whole bunch of things legally that once you announce, it changes.
Leahy: Max Miller is the guy in Ohio that Trump just endorsed.
Listen to the full 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.