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Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson On POTUS, Hillary

Friday, August 29, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson completed Badger week today, talking with me about President Obama’s presser today and Hillary’s memoir.

Audio of interview:

08-28hhs-johnson

Transcript of interview:

HH: Pleased to welcome on Badger week when we’ve had Paul Ryan, Reince Priebus and Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s great Senator, Ron Johnson. Senator Johnson, welcome, good to have you on the program.

RJ: Hello, Hugh, how are you doing?

HH: I’m terrific. I’ve got a lot to cover with you, but I want to start, I haven’t talked to you since Hillary’s memoir came out, Hard Choices. And on Page 412, she writes about her hearing in front of your committee, “Some of the members of Congress asked thoughtful questions aimed at applying the hard lessons we had learned and improving future operations. Others remained fixated on chasing after conspiracy theories that had nothing to do with how we could prevent future tragedies. And some only showed up because of the cameras. They had skipped closed hearings when there wasn’t a chance of being on TV.” Skip a few paragraphs, and she goes, “I was asked about this repeatedly during my Congressional testimony. I personally was not focused on talking points. I was focused on keeping people safe, I responded. At one point during some particularly tendentious questioning, the exchange grew heated. Afterwards, some of my words were taken out of context for political purposes.” She didn’t mention you, Senator Johnson, but do you think you were being tendentious?

RJ: Absolutely not. I was just asking three simple questions. Madame Secretary, why didn’t you just get on the phone and call the survivors. You would have actually found out what happened. You would have found out that there was no protest, that the attack occurred, I think it started at 9:40, and you wouldn’t have had to mislead the American people for two weeks. So no, you know, apparently she just didn’t want to answer that kind of uncomfortable question. But it certainly wasn’t tendentious. Continue Reading

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Scott Walker On His Re-election and MSM Throwing In With His Opponents

Thursday, August 28, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Wisconsin Republican governor Scott Walker file

Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker has had a wildly successful first term by any reasonable measure made by any reasonable man or woman, but that just makes his defeated political opponents and their allies in MSM all the angrier.  He was my guest on today’s show, and while we went over the details of Wisconsin’s great turnaround during his tenure and because of his policies –detailed in the new edition of his book Unintimidated– we also spoke about the complicity of Manhattan-Beltway media elites in trying to assist his political opponents.

You can help Scott Walker win –again– via his website www.ScottWalker.com.

The interview audio:

08-28hhs-walker

The interview transcript:

HH: The Wisconsin week on the Hugh Hewitt Show continues. Joined now by the governor of that wonderful state, Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker. Governor, I’ve had on Reince Priebus and Paul Ryan and Ron Johnson this week. It’s like Badger week.

SW: It is a Cheesehead revolution. Yeah, a bunch of my good friends. Ron and I came in together four years ago, he in the United States Senator, obviously, and me as Governor. And Paul Ryan and I grew up down the way about 50 miles to the west of me, and Reince Priebus was about 20 miles to the east. So there must have been something in the water back then.

HH: I know. And Minnesota must have an inferiority complex, because you’ve got four of the key GOP leaders in the country, and Minnesota’s like a wasteland of GOP talent at this point, although Mike McFadden might turn that around. They’ve got a great governor candidate as well. But let’s turn to your race, Governor Walker. I just finished rereading Unintimidated, along with your new Epilogue. You stand for reelection in like 90 days. I don’t know how anyone can make an argument that what you did isn’t working, but what are the Democrats throwing at you?

SW: Oh, they’ve thrown everything and the kitchen sink. Unlike probably any governor in the country, probably any governor in recent memory, they’ve been attacking us since, well, February of 2011, both on TV, they’ve shipped people in, they’ve brought people around. They’ve tried to throw anything and everything at us. And you’re right, we’ve got a great record. We went from the beginning of 2010, the unemployment rate was 9.2%. Last month, it was down to 5.8%. We took a $3.6 billion dollar budget deficit and turned it into a surplus, gave that surplus back to the taxpayers, so $2 billion dollars in tax cuts, cut property taxes. This December, they’ll be lower than they were four years ago. So we’ve got a tremendous story to tell, but this, as you know, is a tough state. Even with Paul Ryan on the ticket, we didn’t carry it two years ago. In fact, the last time a Republican has carried the state for president was literally 30 years ago when Paul and I were in high school in 1984. So it’s a tough, tough state to win in. We’re going to win, but it’s going to be close. Continue Reading

Memo To Jonathan Garthwaite, Bill Kristol, Rich Lowry, and Mark Tapscott: “Common Core” May Be The Thalidomide of Ed Reform. Cover It.

Thursday, August 28, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Dear Big Foot Center-Right Conservative Editors:

I have spent most of the summer traveling the center-right circuit and have figured out that the advance of “Common Core” across the land is an enormous issue for  parents, whatever their ideological leanings on other issues.  It is widely and correctly understood to be disruptive by all and ruinous by many, and it is not believed to be remotely in the tradition of “local control” of American education.

As for its results, well, many fear it is the thalidomide of ed reform.  Early results are not promising, as confusion about what it is and how it is to be implemented reign everywhere.  Ask even a seasoned education professional and you will be greeted with a barrage of cliches and catch-phrases, and no one can point to a concise summary of what “Common Core” means and how and when it is to be introduced.  It has now entered the teacher hiring process, and “familiarity with Common Core concepts and transition” is a hiring criteria which, given its opaque  nature, is a cloak for any decision, whether hiring, firing, promotion, tenure or transfer.

In short, many across the political spectrum fear that Common Core is to education reform what Obamacare has become to health care reform, a vast, slow moving train wreck with enormous costs and many casualties, mostly unseen but with the body count rising.

So cover it.  Extensively.  Assign a team.  Dedicate a section of your website to Common Core stories and stats.  Credential experts.  It is big.  Get ahead of the story, and don’t be worried about offending early supporters like Governor Jeb Bush and the Chamber of Commerce.  Most of them have already seen the derailment and are heading towards the Jindal position of “not in my state, Arne Duncan,” and more state AGs and governors will follow Jindal’s lead and file suit to halt the advance of Big Brother from the Department of Education using the Spending Clause in ways prohibited by the Supreme Court in the Obamacare decision.

Most local school boards are going to have to figure out how to extricate themselves from this mess and to do so without hurting their finances or their collective bargaining agreements.  College admissions offices have got to gear up to decipher the mess that is headed their way as the new curriculums crash into the old and testing both changes and suffers a period of prolonged incoherence.  Parents especially are going to have to show up at school boards and demand answers and accountability.

And somewhere in California and Colorado and other initiative-happy states, some enterprising billionaire is figuring out that he or she can become an instant hero to millions by sponsoring a Common Core ban on the ballot.  That person –well, he or she is going to ride very high in the esteem of parents and teachers across the country.

GOTV: The Latest “Reince Reform”

Thursday, August 28, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

As I have discussed with Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Bobby Jindal and even Reince Priebus himself this week (and will do so today with Governor Scott Walker and Senator Ron Johnson –it is Wisconsin week, with Walker, Johnson, Ryan and Priebus all being Badgers) RNC Chair Priebus and the Committee he leads have imposed order and introduced sanity into the 2016 GOP presidential nominating process via a compacted debate schedule which will feature not only MSMers by center-right pundits and reporters, an orderly schedule for caucuses and primaries beginning in February 2016 and an early GOP Convention in Cleveland, probably beginning July 18 because of the expected dominance of the Cleveland Cavaliers and their anticipated five-peat.

All good, great even.  But how about the GOTV –”get-out-the-vote” operation?  RNC deputy chief of staff and chief technology officer Chuck Defeo –full disclosure, an old colleague of mine from Salem– tells the Washington Examiner’s David Drucker today that all systems are go for a massive and effective GOTV effort in the fall Senate races which will be a dry run for the November 2016 main event.

“I’m never satisfied with where we’re at,” DeFeo told Drucker, while adding, “I have confidence in the products we’ve put out.”

If the GOP takes the Senate with a net of six pick-ups or more –and three are already  “in the bag” in Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia– confidence will be very high in the new GOTV program.  If not, panic will set in, as well as another host of Obama appointees in the post-filibuster world.  The stakes couldn’t be higher.

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