Roger Simon: Young Vivek Is Trump Without Any Baggage

Roger Simon: Young Vivek Is Trump Without Any Baggage

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 age and politicians.

Simon:  I am very pro-Trump, but I’m more pro-Vivek because Vivek is Trump without any baggage. And also, he’s more original even than Trump.

Leahy: He is quite original.

Simon: I have to admit a lot of his thinking, mirrors mine. So there is a little bit of arrogance in this because one of the things that he says, and I really believe because I’m a post-sixties guy myself, and he’s much, much younger. He is half my age.

Leahy: He’s 37. Thirty-seven. By the way, the youngest president elected was John Kennedy at the age of 43. Vivek would be 39

Simon: But let me say it, and I pointed this out in The Epoch Times that Thomas Jefferson was 33 when he wrote the Declaration of Independence.

Leahy: Very good point.

Simon: And Alexander Hamilton, when he signed the Constitution, wait for it…was 20. These guys were incredibly, by our terms, precocious.

Leahy: It’s interesting because back to the whole, Trump will and Biden will be 82 versus Kennedy in 1960 at 43 and Nixon at 47, there was a vibrancy to the two of them.

Simon: Yes.

Leahy: Which Trump and Biden don’t have. Let’s be honest at that age.

Simon: I’m closer to Trump and Biden.

Leahy: But you’re pretty vibrant.

Simon: I try to be vibrant. I read this essay recently, don’t let the old man in. And I try not to because I work out and play tennis all the time. Anybody my age, that’s my advice to you. I think it’s necessary right now in our society for younger people to come in.

Leahy: I agree completely.

Simon: We can’t stay here forever, ala Pelosi or these people because no matter who you are, when you reach a certain age, your ideas are formed by what happened a long time ago.

Leahy: I’ve got a phrase for it.

Simon: Go.

Leahy: Ossified. (Chuckles)

Simon: That’s very good.

Leahy: I look at Joe Biden, and that adjective ossified comes to mind.

Simon: He’s ossified in his power.

Leahy: So the thing that’s very impressive about Vivek Ramaswamy is this. Saturday morning Trump comes out and says, I’m gonna be arrested on these trumped-up charges on Tuesday. He’s not been arrested yet.

Lots of things have happened since. But within an hour, Vivek Ramaswamy and his team have a spot on email release and stories come out. He’s the first guy that says this is…

Simon: And he challenged DeSantis and Haley to join him.

Leahy: Exactly.

Simon: And they didn’t. Finally, DeSantis did, but in a very mealy mouth way. And I’ll tell you something. I was sitting in the car when he did this. Right next to him.

Leahy: Were you sitting right next to him when he did that?

Simon: Absolutely.

Leahy: So this was Saturday morning when he wrote it?

Simon: I was riding around.

Leahy: What time did you hook up with him or join the travel team?

Simon: Early, early Saturday morning.

Leahy: This is fascinating. So did he have any advanced notice that Trump was going to make this claim?

Simon: Not as far as I know.

Leahy: So there he is. You’re sitting next to him. He composes a statement, which was spot on while he was in the car with you.

Simon: Yes, he’s also able to flip on his phone and video himself extemporaneously, boom on virtually any subject.

Leahy: Hitting it. So he’s got the advantage of speed and intellect on point.

Simon: That I’ve never seen in politics.

Leahy: That’s a very big comparative advantage because everybody else in politics, what they do as is they bring in the focus groups and they bring in the wordsmiths. And they just agonize over it.

Simon: I wrote in The Epoch Times, this guy’s not gonna need a speech writer. Some people have accused me of being pro-Trump, so I could be his speech writer.

Leahy: This is gonna be great for your book because there you are with him at the first really critical turning point in his campaign, and you see him compose in real-time this statement that boom, gets him out in front.

What’s interesting about this is on Monday night, Donald Trump puts out a social media posting after, in essence, DeSantis criticizes Bragg, the DA, for politicizing and weaponizing his Manhattan DA’s office. But then he throws the shade, he mentions I don’t know anything about paying hush money to a porn star. Obviously bringing up that as an attack point.

Simon: As a ding.

Leahy: As a ding on Trump. Missing the point in terms of winning the primary.

Simon: You could say he’s missing the point.

Leahy: Or you could say his point was he wanted to ding Trump.

Simon: One or the other, or both.

Leahy: Then Monday night, I think, changed the VP race, in my view. I don’t know what your thoughts are.

Simon: I definitely, agree.

Leahy: So then Trump goes up and says, oh, DeSantis is dropping in the polls. I think that young Vivek Ramaswamy is going to surpass him.

Simon: So far, he’s only called Vivek young. This is true compared to the rest of him; he’s very young. Vivek thinks that as it goes on, he’s gonna get a nickname now. I don’t know what it’ll be, but maybe he won’t, and if doesn’t, that will be, I think that will be a sign that he’s going up.

Leahy: I’ll tell you the nickname. Young Vivek. If he goes with that, it makes this point back that you and I have been talking about, right? The ossified nature of a 78-year-old versus an 82-year-old running for president in the general election. I think that post by Donald Trump Monday night was a signal.

Simon: Oh, I did too.

Leahy: The signal is, I’m not picking DeSantis as VP. Now, we’re looking at Kari Lake in Arizona, and I’m looking at Vivek. That’s what it looks like to me.

Simon: I had the exact same reaction, and I think that’s good too. Can you imagine Vivek debating Kamala? My piece on The Epoch Times is, oh yeah, that’s the tag to the whole thing. And all the commenters were saying, yay! It would be a donnybrook. It would be really something to see.

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 “Vivek Ramaswamy” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.
















All-Star Panelist Roger Simon on Presidential Candidates: ‘Is 80 the New 45?’

All-Star Panelist Roger Simon on Presidential Candidates: ‘Is 80 the New 45?’

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 average age of presidential candidates and the genius of Vivek Ramaswamy.

Leahy: We are delighted to welcome to our studio, my very good friend, my former boss at PJ TV, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, excellent writer, novelist, mystery writer, and depending on the day, the most popular columnist at The Epoch Times, Mr. Roger Simon.

Simon: I’m happy to be here.

Leahy: I’m delighted to have you here. You’re just finishing up your book, American Refugee, and then you’re starting a new book, The Making of the President 2024.

Simon: Here I go again. (Chuckles)

Leahy: Here you go again. One thing I noticed of course, it’s a modern version of the classic The Making of the President 1960 by Theodore White. This is interesting, Roger to notice the difference in this country over the past 64 years since Kennedy, the Democrat nominee who won in 1960 was 43 years old. Nixon, the GOP nominee, was 47. Their average age was 45. This time around it looks like…

Simon: They’re 106.

Leahy: Yes, this time around, Trump is going to be 78 if he gets the nomination, which it looks like he will at this moment in time. And Biden, if he chooses to run, will be 82. The average age will be 80. What does that say about our country?

Simon: 80 is the new 45? (Leahy laughs) I don’t think so.

Leahy: That’s a great line.

Simon: I would say part of it is you better have a vice presidential candidate who looks capable of taking over. I don’t think Kamala is, Miss Giggler. I think the guy I was traveling around with the last few days in South Carolina is the best possible vice president.

Leahy: He’s 37 years old. He’s our buddy, Vivek Ramaswamy. Tell us how this came about. You’re writing this book about The Making of the President 2024. How did you come to be spending the weekend driving around South Carolina in the same car with Vivek Ramaswamy, the presidential candidate?

Simon: Part of it’s thanks to you, and I tipped the hat. It’s not on now cause of airphones, but I usually wear a hat, and I tip the hat to you because you put me in first contact with him. And then I wrote some things about him and quoted him in The Epoch Times.

I think they liked it. And then is publicist, a bright woman named Trisha McLaughlin, sent me his schedule. He was gonna be in South Carolina, and do you want to come down? And I said, sure. The Epoch Times sent me down there, and that’s what happened.

Leahy: Tell us how the weekend went.

Simon: I ended up sitting in the s u v with him for almost two days.

Leahy: So who’s driving?

Simon: A driver and there were about four people in the car. I got to say, I’ve met a lot of politicians in my life or semi, he’s not really a politician yet, which is probably good, but from Teddy Kennedy onwards. And this is the highest IQ I’ve run into period.

Leahy: Of any political candidate.

Simon: Going away. There’s no question. This is a guy, as I wrote in The Epoch Times, I was sitting next to him while on his laptop as the car was driving, he was writing an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal all about his criticisms of the Federal Reserve.

At the same time, he is talking to someone on the phone and to the four of us in the car about all different matters and did it in five minutes. Now I’m a fast writer. And then he read the thing back to us and it was superb. There aren’t too many people who can do that on planet Earth. And also, his wife is equally brilliant.

Leahy: She’s a medical doctor, surgeon.

Simon: Yes. A laryngologist. It’s a hard word to pronounce, coming from the throat, which it does. And she’s one of the world’s experts in swallow problems. And a very attractive couple with kids that are eight months and three years.

Leahy: We’ve got a 37-year-old multimillionaire entrepreneur.

Simon: From biotech research into Alzheimer’s, among other things.

Leahy: He is a very intelligent and honest guy. No blemishes on his record that we know of. And very personable. And, speaking personally, because I’m a tennis nut, as and it’s probably in some of the audience, you know, he’s also an avid tennis player. And I found out subsequently because I said, hey, let’s play. And we were joking about it that he was number one in Ohio in the juniors. (Chuckles) 

Leahy: That’s pretty good.

Simon: As well as valedictorian.

Leahy: But wait, there’s more!

Simon: I don’t know what could be more. He is also a bestselling author.

Leahy: He also plays the piano. He’s a classical pianist. How about that? (Chuckles) He’s a pretty good guy.

Simon: Yes.

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 “Joe Biden” by Joe Biden.













Neil W. McCabe: DeSantis Recognizes the Trump Dichotomy of Personality and Issues

Neil W. McCabe: DeSantis Recognizes the Trump Dichotomy of Personality and Issues

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 One America News political correspondent Neil W McCabe to the newsmaker line to breakdown the 2024 Republican presidential candidates.

Leahy: On the newsmaker line, top gov tracker, our very good friend Neil W. McCabe, with One America News Network. Good morning, Neil.

McCabe: Michael, Crom, very good to be with you, man.

Leahy: So Neil, Saturday morning former President Trump puts out this tweet: I expect to be arrested by the left-wing district attorney in Manhattan on Tuesday on these trumped-up charges. Almost immediately, our buddy, Vivek Ramaswamy put out a tweet calling on the DA in New York to not make these charges because they were in fact, trumped up.

The Trump campaign made this a litmus test for the other candidates. Some of them ultimately came in and backed him but others didn’t. And your buddy Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida had a, oh, I don’t know, a weak defense of Trump, wouldn’t you say?

McCabe: (Chuckles) He checked the box.

Leahy: He checked the box. But what he didn’t say was that Donald Trump was unhappy with that response. And then he had this social media posting on Truth Social late Monday night where he said DeSantis is struggling. He’s probably gonna be behind young Vivek Ramaswamy in the polls when they come up. What do you make of that?

McCabe: Michael, we learned when we were doing the Breitbart polls together in 2016, and this is from the words of Pat Caddell, Trump wins on the issues, Trump does not win on personality. And Pat, I don’t know if he had this rant with you, but he had a rant one night and basically told me, I’m going to Trump Tower to meet with Bannon and tell Bannon that if Trump keeps making it a personality contest between him and Hillary, he will lose.

He needs to talk about Syrian refugees. He needs to talk about building a wall. He needs to talk about defending gun rights. And I think this is the problem with Trump because more than any other politician around today, it’s personality and issues. And there are a lot of politicians who have no personality, but they’re all issues. And there are some guys who are all personality.

But with Trump, it’s this constant battle. And I think the real sort of subtext of what’s happened in the last month with Trump versus DeSantis is that for the first time, DeSantis is reacting to Trump, not the other way around. I think the DeSantis people have had to move up their timetable to respond to this thing in Manhattan.

And you also saw DeSantis, a week or so ago basically responding to Trump’s criticism where he never really did it before. He basically ignored him. And Monday he had a thing in Panama City and the DeSantis people were calling around telling people, hey you might want to cover this thing in Panama City because there’ll be some availability for questions.

I think that the DeSantis people were shocked that it turned so badly against them. What regular Republicans want is, they just want everybody to rally around a Republican who’s getting sniped at.

The last thing I’ll say about this, Mike I guess on this rant though, is that in the midterms for 2022, we saw the breakup of the marriage inside the Republican Party between the staffers, the consultants, the leaders, and the conservatives because you had the staffers, the consultants, and the leadership working against conservatives who were the nominees. And on Wednesday morning, they were ecstatic.

They were cheering that so many conservatives and MAGA candidates lost and for good or for bad, right? If you have a party, everybody has a primary, and then everyone supports the nominee. If people in your party are actively working against your nominee, that is not a party anymore.

Leahy: You’re down there in Tallahassee?

McCabe: Yes.

Leahy: You’ve been down there for several months, and I think you’re still working on that exclusive interview with Ron DeSantis. I see that your buddy Piers Morgan…

McCabe: Wait a minute. I spoke to him. I spoke to him for eight minutes about Hurricane Ian. So there you go.

Leahy: You got the eight minutes. Your buddy Piers Morgan went down and spent an hour with him in the mansion there and had an interview that’s gonna air on Fox Nation Thursday. DeSantis is trying to distinguish himself from Trump and criticized Trump’s style. Is that a winning approach for DeSantis?

McCabe: It’s the only lane available to him because he recognizes the Trump dichotomy, which is personality and issues. So he can’t go after Trump on issues. He has to go after Trump on personality, which is a mistake. If you attack Trump on personality, you will lose.

The guy has to make a case so he agrees with Trump on all the issues. Trump endorsed him and made him the governor of Florida. Trump was nice to him and considerate to him after he was the governor of Florida and did whatever he could for him.

And even after DeSantis’s people started sniping at Trump, he continued to be nice to him. And so you have to ask Governor DeSantis, why are you working so hard to block Trump from being president of the United States just so you can be president of the United States?

Leahy: I think the argument would be DeSantis would have a better chance of beating Joe Biden. What are your thoughts on that?

McCabe: People tell me, we’re really tired of all this Trump static and it’s just too much. There’s just too much noise. He jumbles everything up and makes everything crazy. And we need a guy who’s calm. A calm conservative.

I can tell you, DeSantis is not the guy who calms the water. (Leahy chuckles) He banned black studies from AP black studies in high schools. He’s going after the drag queens.

Leahy: He didn’t ban it. He said that version of it wasn’t gonna work

McCabe: The AP course is banned. And he said, you know what, when AP said, hey, we don’t think the governor’s right about this. The governor says we might just throw out the SAT too. The governor has said he will throw out the SAT if the college board doesn’t behave itself.

He also took 50 homeless migrants from Texas and told them they were gonna have paradise in Martha’s Vineyard. He videotaped it so he could use it in campaign commercials and give it to Fox. I’m not saying it wasn’t a funny prank. Don’t tell me he’s the guy who’s going to calm everything down and not have static.

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.












Roger Simon: The Challenge for GOP Presidential Candidate Vivek Ramaswamy Is Breaking Through to the Public

Roger Simon: The Challenge for GOP Presidential Candidate Vivek Ramaswamy Is Breaking Through to the Public

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 to discuss Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy’s presidential campaign.

Leahy: In studio all-star panelist Roger Simon. Roger, the way I look at it, we have 20 months left to save our constitutional republic.

Simon: I’m reading David Harowitz’s book last night before I fell asleep, The Final Battle. It’s very good. And he said essentially the same. And I believe it. I’m gonna be doing this thing The Making of the President 2024 versus Theodore White, and make a fool of myself.

Leahy: But you’re not gonna make a fool of yourself. This is gonna be a very good book. And, we talked about how great Theodore White’s 1960 book, published in 1961. The Making of the President 1960. It was written in a first-person journalistic style that changed the way everybody reported on presidential campaigns. It was a fabulous book.

Simon: There you go. I’m nervous. However, that’s the way I write. Just instinctively. Coming from being a detective writer to a journalist. If you can call it that. So I’ll be covering it for The Epoch Times.

Of course, they will be sending me around the country. So on occasion, I’ll probably be calling into this show rather than sitting here. I’ve done it a little bit before in 2016, for PJ Media. I was in New Hampshire and South Carolina, Iowa.

Leahy: All the usual places. I like Iowa, by the way.

Simon: Oh, I do too.

Leahy: By the way, I don’t know if you know this, but we launched The Iowa Star last month.

Simon: I do know.

Leahy: And by the way, I don’t know if you know this, also the path to the 2024 GOP presidential nomination does go through The Iowa Star.

Simon: Okay.

Leahy: (Laughs) We’re gonna say it until it becomes true. I’ll give you a little publicity in the book.

Simon: Alright. On the road there I think. It’ll have an influence. What’s interesting about all these states when you go out and do these things is you realize how big they are.

Leahy: Yes. Geographically big. It’s a big country.

Simon: Yes, it’s a big country and you can’t really cover it all really.

Leahy: No.

Simon: This will be in the book and in my coverage, of course, you, we end up with all the other journalists at some bar that they all selected mysteriously. And then gossiping with each other and you’re looking at your watch, oh, it’s midnight, and that’s it.

And then there’s the other big phony baloney thing that happens is you should go talk to a ‘phony voter.’ So you’re talking to one guy or gal somewhere. It’s some truck stop that’s supposed to represent the state, which is, of course, ludicrous.

Leahy: It’s just one guy or gal at a truck stop.

Simon: One guy you happen to stumble on talking.

Leahy: It’s fun, though to do it in first-person observation.

Simon: Oh, it’s a lot of fun.

Leahy: It’s a lot of fun.

Simon: It’s exhausting, but it’s fun. It is physically exhausting.

Leahy: But what’s interesting about this, Roger, is that I think that, after the Theodore White book in 1960, he followed up with 1964 or 1968 and 1980, and as I’ve said previously, each book got more boring.

But nonetheless, there’s been a lot of others now who will do a what happened in this presidential race. Jack Germond and Jules Whitcover did one in 1976. think in 76. Another guy did on 88, What it Takes. I forget the fellow’s name. He’s passed away. They all tend to be of a certain worldview they tend to be more from inside the Beltway, Washington journalist.

Simon: It’s a New York Times view.

Leahy: You’re not gonna have that at all. You’re gonna have the Roger Simon view which is why I wanna read the book.

Simon: First of all I’d lose my job. No, I wouldn’t. I have no interest in that. But apropos, I think this is gonna be an interesting election to write about because there are various people coming in. One of whom you’ve been talking a lot about.

Leahy: Vivek Ramaswamy, 37-year-old worth half a billion dollars. Harvard undergrad, Yale Law. Great guy.

Simon: Yes, and absolutely brilliant. Now, here’s the problem. He’s got a huge problem, which is breaking through to the public. That doesn’t really know about him and he hasn’t yet registered in the polls that I have seen.

Leahy: You’ve got, if you look at American history, you’ve got names that people recognize, Tippa Canoe and Tyler Two Two. You know that I Like Ike. Yep.

Simon: Those people were well known to the public way before their campaign.

Leahy: FDR. Yeah. Now that’s a good point. FDR, JFK, LBJ. All of the other people have been in the public arena for 20 years.

Simon: And so has Trump been.

Leahy: Even longer for Trump. But Vivek Ramaswamy is 37 years old.

Simon: But he’s done interesting things.

Leahy: Oh, he’s done very interesting things.

Simon: He’s trying to attract attention smartly. Yesterday on Twitter, he complained that they were gonna hide the rules for getting on the debates, which is usually what percentage you’re getting in wet poles or whatever. Simultaneously, I think it’s very interesting. We don’t know this time who is going to be asking the questions at the debate.

Leahy: That’s another interesting angle on it.

Simon: Because the last time around we had the horrible story of Chris Wallace who will go into journalistic infamy for having guided the discussion, shall we say, away from the center of and away from the Hunter Biden laptop. That was probably the worst moment in debate history that I can ever think of.

Leahy: It was, yes. Worse than Candy Crowley in 2012 when she misstated something.

Simon: Now, who’s gonna do it?

Leahy: Are you available?

Simon: I am, but I don’t think I’ll be it, but I’ll tell you that when The Epoch Times here did that primary debate in the TN-5, we used experts rather than journalists.

Leahy: That was a great debate, by the way. I think it was groundbreaking in terms of the way it framed the debate.

Simon: It was groundbreaking, but it has not been picked up the way we were hoping it would as a new style of debate.

Leahy: That’s because The Epoch Times is gonna have to do it. Now the first debate on the Republican side, it’s gonna be in August in Milwaukee. And I think Vivek Ramaswamy is putting out a warning shot that says hey look, I need to be on that stage.

Simon: Yes. That’s what he’s doing.

Leahy: That’s what he’s doing.

Simon: And smartly. That’s his job. He’s smart and he’s running for office. He should also get into that thing, and I’m talking about who gonna be asking the questions of this thing. Is it gonna be MSM people?

Leahy: I’ll give you some names.

Simon: Jake Tapper?

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 “Vivek Ramaswamy” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.










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.