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Senator Ted Cruz On Speaker Contest, Dealing With POTUS

Thursday, October 8, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Senator Ted Cruz joined me on the show today:

Audio: 10-08hhs-cruz


HH: Joined now by United States Senator Ted Cruz. Senator Cruz, welcome, it’s good to speak with you.

TC: Hugh, thank you for having me. It’s always a pleasure to be with you.

HH: Quite an amazing day in Washington, D.C.

TC: Yes.

HH: You have an extraordinary amount of influence on the House of Representatives. What do you think they ought to do?

TC: Well, it has been an extraordinary day. Kevin McCarthy’s dropping out, I think, surprised everybody. And you know, what I think they should do is what I have both publicly and privately urged members of the House to do from the very beginning, which is that they should select as Speaker a strong conservative who will actually honor the promises that we made to the men and women who elected us. There is right now this incredible divide between Washington and the American people, between career politicians in Washington who routinely ignore the promises we made to the American people. And Republican leadership has been doing that over and over again. We need a change.

HH: Senator Cruz, two names have emerged from an afternoon of phoning around. One of them is your colleague from Texas, Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. The other is Pete Roskam, sub-committee chairman on Ways and Means. Both are able men. Would you rather either of them over an interim or a long period of uncertainty, because it seems to me the House would be crippled that way?

TC: You know, Hugh, I have long said that I’m going to stay out of House leadership fights, and that’s a decision for the House Republican Conference, so I’m not going to endorse any particular individual. But I will describe the characteristics that I think are important for the next Speaker to have. And the most important characteristic is a fidelity to the promises that were made to give us the majority. Continue Reading

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Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush On The House GOP, Marco Rubio’s Vote On Syria, Defense Spending Deal

Thursday, October 8, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush joined me on the show today:

Audio: 10-08hhs-bush


HH: I’m joined by former Florida Governor, Jeb Bush. Governor Bush, the media tends to overplay D.C. stories a little bit, don’t you think? Chaos is a little bit strong compared to real chaos like 9/11.

JB: Absolutely, it’s not chaotic, just dysfunctional.

HH: (Laughs)

JB: It just doesn’t work. The big argument about the Washington Redskins, the Redskins being a pejorative term, I think Washington is a pejorative term, not the Redskins, so they’ll get through it, they’ll figure it out. Kevin was a good man and he still is. I don’t understand why all this happens, but they’ll find a leader and they’ll unite and they’ll move forward. They need a president that will work with them and they need a Senate that has a president that will get them through their process as well. The complete dysfunction needs to change for our democracy to work.

HH: Now Governor Bush, one of the stories out this afternoon from Fox, from Brett Baier, good reporter, is that Speaker Boehner has agreed to stay on as long as it takes even if that’s through the end of the year. I think that’s a disaster for Republicans. What do you think?

JB: Look I think they need to find a leader and I’m sure they’re going to work on it. It will be resolved in a few days. The political world we live in, it’s better to create the crisis and the tension, more people watch and all that, but this is a dysfunctional time in Washington’s history. We’ve had 240 years of existence as a republic and most of the time, it’s worked extraordinarily well, we led the world right now. It’s dysfunctional, but it’ll get fixed.

HH: Governor Bush, I have floated the idea that we need a big deal through September of 17 right now because the military is in such dire shape and continuing resolutions don’t allow Joe Dunford, the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs or Ash Carter who’s a well-respected Secretary of Defense to rebuild the military. What would you think about a deal where the President got some new domestic spending, some sugar candy, in exchange for blowing the sequester off the Pentagon and starting the rebuild soon rather than after the next president takes office?

JB: How about this? How about having the Senate say if you want a filibuster because you’re opposed to providing support for the men and women in the military because if you’re correct, this one-off kind of continuation budget does not allow for the kind of strategic planning that’s necessary. Let’s have a real filibuster. Make the Democrats filibuster until over the weekend and as long as it takes to break the filibuster because I think a majority do want to fund the military budget. We spend a lot on domestic spending because of the so-called entitlements which grow at a far faster rate than everything else. I don’t think we have a spending problem in Washington, we have resolve problem, and this is a first priority. So force the hand of the Democrats that are saying they are filibustering for more spending. Make them explain why they want to gut the military.

HH: Well, I’m all for that, but they are pretty good at avoiding the spotlight when they want to and we have an international crisis. I’m sure you saw that Russian missiles hit Iran today because they don’t how to fire them. Who knows when they are going to start hitting Israel because they don’t how to fire them. But we have Russian troops and tanks and now so-called volunteers flooding into Syria. Can we really stand around and watch Washington play its games instead of getting real military spending to the Pentagon, Governor?

JB: That’s exactly I think we need to force the hands of the Democrats. I think the majority of them want to be able to support the military. They realize that the sequester has put us in a weakened position. This has lot to do with we have strong military compared to other places even today. This has a lot to do with a lack of leadership in the White House more than anything else. Think about it, as we pull back, we signed an agreement with Iran and the leader of the Quds Forces goes to Moscow. He negotiates the deal for Iran’s significant engagement in Syria as well as the Russian engagement and we have not responded in kind, and it is creating a significant problem and we have the resources, we just don’t have the will.

HH: Now Governor Bush, at the debate, I got to ask Donald Trump and then Senator Rubio about the refusal of the United States Congress to support President Obama’s request to strike Syria two years ago. You did not get a chance to respond to that.

JB: Right.

HH: What was your opinion of the rejection of the Congress of the President’s appeal two years ago?

JB: Well, I think the appeal was pretty tepid, but he did make the appeal and I think at that point it wasn’t popular amongst some parts of the Republican Party, so I think people were sticking their fingers in the breeze. And that’s wrong. Look, being popular is not we’re talking about. Being President of the United States requires having clear vision, having a backbone, and I thought that that vote was uncalled vote. We should support the president because that was better than inaction. No action at all, we see what happens. The lack of action now creates chaos and meanwhile, Assad continues barrel-bomb the innocent civilians, we have a refugee crisis, Russia’s on the march, our allies don’t know where we stand. Our support for the remnants of Free Syrian Army is tepid at best. People are looking for American leadership and they’re not getting and I think the Congress should show support at that point.

HH: Was Senator Rubio wrong not to do that? His answer was that it would been a pinprick, it would have been worse than nothing.

JB: Then their responsibility, having oversight responsibility of the executive branch should have been brought to bear. And of course, the president is not firm on these things, but asking for the authorization I think was appropriate thing to do and he should have gotten it. And then a strategy should have been forthcoming which he hasn’t done. I agree with Senator Rubio that the president has not been forthcoming with a strategy, but when had a chance to show support for the creation of one, he didn’t do it, and I think that turned out to be a bad decision.

HH: Now I want to turn to bigger thing, are you a movie guy, GOernor Bush? Do you go to money movies?

JB: I used to (laughs). I don’t anymore.

HH: There are two out now, “Sicario” and the “Martian.” And “Sicario” is about the drug trafficking and “Martian” is about space exploration like the depravity of human kind and the highest stuff that we do. Which way are we going? Are we going to “Sicario” vision of the future or ware we going towards the “Martian” vision of the future?

JB: I think we’re temporarily not as aspirational as we need to be. We are aspiring to the big things. We could be the world’s economic superpower if we were serious about forging consensus on how to tax and regulate the race in the energy revolution and fixing our broken immigration system. All those things are holding us back and I think as people don’t think the system works them, they get more depressed, more pessimistic, they fall prey to the appeals of negativity and frankly, we do have a problem of an epidemic of heroin use and other things like that, but we can turn this around. This is not the worst time in American history. With the proper leadership, I think we can be inspired to be dynamic again and aspire to dream bigger dreams and so my hope is that we move towards the aspirational side of our thinking.

HH: Should the Senate support the Trans-Pacific Partnership as you’ve seen it outlines as part of that move free trade and a booming world economy?

JB: I think they should, but I haven’t the specifics of the agreement and so I’m a little cautious of coming out forthright and say that I’m for it. My instincts are to support free and fair trade, and in the case of Asia particularly, which has non-tariff barriers and tariff barriers which are pretty high and we don’t, my expectation is that when we look into this agreement we’ll find that they’re tearing down barriers more, so that’s one point, second, if we don’t participate in the Asian trade, the void will be field by China and the standards for trade, all of the things that we respect in terms of the rule of law will be a totally different approach and our allies, the best way to show Japan that we got their back, that our treaty obligations are important to us, is to work with them on a free trade agreement. So I think it’s the right approach, I haven’t seen the specifics. I found it interesting that Hilary Clinton in her book that she apparently sent me talks ebulliently about supporting the Trans-Pacific Trade agreement and now has come out four-squared against it because [of] again popular sentiment of the here and now apparently on the left as opposed to this, and that kind of leadership is exactly what we don’t need anymore. We need people that have thought it through, have backbone, persuade people towards their cause, whether it’s popular or not, stick with it, and make things happen.

HH: It’s not popular right now to say, “Do a deal with the president to get defense spending.” I’m going to finish where I began Governor Bush. We’re in the sequester. It’s a nightmare. You know it’s a nightmare. If he said, “I’ll give you three bucks for every buck of domestic,” would you urge Republicans to do that deal?

JB: I always talk to the other side, but I think it’s time now to test the will of Democrats because I think they will break, and I think that’s the first step. It is clear to me that you’re absolutely correct that the sequester is creating so much uncertainty that is putting our troops in harm’s way, and in a time of great of uncertainty, Russia and other countries don’t believe we have the resolve, and they look at our budget, and they don’t think we’re totally committed to maintaining our obligations in the world. And we should lead the world. So how we get to that point, we may have a different tactic Hugh, but I think the objective is the right one.

HH: But we see Russian troops, so-called “volunteers.” They are the black-men that invaded Ukraine. They are now in Syria. Do we really have time to screw around a $100 billion in domestic spending if they need $300 billion in defense spending?

JB: We have the flexibility to put the resources on the ground to push back against Russia and to create a strategy to deal with ISIS both in Iraq and in Syria. We need to the warriors on the sorties, we need to have a strategy, we need to listen to the commanders in the field and we need to act. And we have those resources right now. You’re correct, though, in the long-term, with the sequester, we won’t have that capability, and that’s the issue going forward.

HH: Governor Jeb Bush, always great to talk to you. Thank you, Governor.

End of Transcript

On Being Really, Really Ticked Off

Thursday, October 8, 2015  |  posted by John Schroeder

I am by nature a hot head.  I get angry first and ask question later.  It has been my life long struggle to overcome this trait.  My parents helped me with this trait by asking me repeatedly, “What are you accomplishing by being so angry?”  The answer was, of course, nothing.  My anger was, and still is, at its worst in the face of the unsolvable problem.  It is more an expression of sheer frustration than it is actual anger.  But the fundamental question my parents always threw at me still applies.  Does my frustration/anger move me any closer to a solution of the unsolvable problems that set it off?  The answer again is, no it does not, it just feels good.  Regardless, the problem remains.

The Obama administration is the ultimate unsolvable problem.  Their disregard for tradition, convention, and the Constitution renders the situation such that the only way to effectively oppose them is to be willing to break tradition, convention and the Constitution more than they already have.  In other words, the only way to “win” the issue at hand is to concede on issues far more important and far more fundamental than the issue at hand.  Frustration and anger in the face of the Obama administration is a perfectly natural and understandable feeling.

But if we make decisions based on our anger and frustration rather than principle, values and the politics of the moment – if we make decisions just to vent and feel good – we are no different than the liberals that frustrate us so.  Worse, as Jim Geraghty pointed out yesterday Obama wants us angry and frustrated:

Mickey Kaus characterizes the approach as “gaslighting” — giving your opponent a legitimate reason to get angry, then turning around and pointing to their anger as evidence they’re unhinged, obsessed, incapable of governing responsibly, et cetera.

Worst of all, as Daniel Henninger pointed out this morning, this may very well be an electoral strategy on the part of Obama.  Six months ago we had 2016 in the bag.  But now, “…politics looks a lot like ancient Rome—bloodlettings, betrayals and mass spectacle.”  And he said that BEFORE today’s bombshell from Kevin McCarthy. Continue Reading

Mike Pompeo on the Upcoming House Select Committee on Benghazi Hearing with Hilary Clinton

Wednesday, October 7, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Congressman Mike Pompeo gave us a preview of the October 22nd House Select Committee on Benghazi hearing with Hilary Clinton on today’s show.

The audio: 10-07hhs-pompeo

The transcript:

HH: I’m joined now by Congressman Mike Pompeo who is on the Intelligence Committee [and] on the House Select Committee on Benghazi. Congressman Pompeo, welcome back, it’s great to see you again.

MP: It’s great to be with you, Hugh.

HH: I got to start with a Washington Examiner story which was published literally an hour ago. Representative Louise Slaughter, the top Democrat on the House Rules Committee was expected to try tonight to disband the House Select Committee amid backlash over comments by majority leader, Kevin McCarthy. Her effort was almost certain to fail. First of all, has it failed? Secondly, I don’t think there’s a backlash. I think there’s actually intensity of focus after the revelations yesterday of another server company. What’s the situation, Congressman Pompeo?

MP: In fact, it has failed. She made her effort just a little bit ago, and it failed on the House floor as it was destined to. From my perspective, as someone who’s now been at this for almost two and half years, we are bound and determined led by Chairman Gowdy to do our best to get the answers about how it was the case that under Secretary Clinton’s leadership in the State Department, we had four Americans killed at a facility she was responsible for. And the aftermath of this incident, in order to A, hold folks accountable, and B, do our best to make sure something like this never happens again.

HH: Now I do not believe Kevin McCarthy meant anything that was attributed to him, I’ve listened to the statement over and over again. he was talking about the effect of the Benghazi hearing, not their motivation. nevertheless, it’s caused him quite a lot of controversy and promised today the Freedom Caucus endorsed Daniel Webster which has got ot also create a lot of consternation. does that necessarily procure him from becoming Speaker on the ballot as expected on Thursday?

MP: My guess is that tomorrow and Thursday, Mr. McCarthy is ultimately selected as our nominee and then on the 29th, I believe, we’ll go to the House floor and there will be lots of discussion between now and then about how that will proceed. Continue Reading

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