CJ: Joining me now from Cleveland, Hugh Hewitt, host of the Hugh Hewitt Show on the Salem Radio Network, and an MSNBC political analyst. Good to see you, Hugh. What are you looking for this week?
HH: Well, I am very happy with the Tim Kaine selection. I think that the Bernie Sanders people have to feel punked this morning by Hillary Clinton. You couldn’t get closer to Goldman-Sachs if you were built-in furniture than Tim Kaine. So it’s a huge head fake that Secretary Clinton has pulled off on the left. She met with Cory Booker, she met with Elizabeth Warren, she pretended to be a progressive throughout the campaign. She’s in fact an insider’s insider, as is Tim Kaine. He’s very affable, a very nice man. Everybody likes Tim Kaine. He has some assets. He’s fluent in Spanish. But in terms of those progressives, those hard left members of the Bernie Sanders coalition, the Woodstock generation, meaning the millennials, Chris, they’re not happy. And Donald Trump made an explicit appeal to them, especially on TPP, and Tim Kaine, like Hillary Clinton, is a big supporter of TPP. I’m a supporter of TPP. But the Bernie Sanders people are not. And so Donald Trump said come join us.
CJ: Well, Hugh, are you one of those people, are you one of those people, though, who think that a VP matters? Sort of the conventional wisdom is do no harm. Do you really think that Tim Kaine is somebody who is going to do harm to Hillary Clinton?
HH: Mike Pence did a lot of good for Donald Trump, an enormous amount of good as we saw here in Cleveland, the wonderful, with the exception of the Cruz speech, a wonderful sense of okay, Trump’s our guy. His line on the Supreme Court got the biggest applause line in the room all week long, and it was the Baja 500 convention. Don’t get me wrong. At times, it felt like you know, Yosemite Sam was driving. But Priebus and Sean Spicer and others would get it back on the road. So we ended up having a fine time. Trump had a great speech. The kids were four for four. At the end of the week, they’re unified with Pence adding. Tim Kaine doesn’t do that for her, because the wing of the party she needed to satisfy with her vice president, the way that Trump had to reassure conservatives as he did with Mike Pence, she needed to reassure progressives that she wasn’t faking it. And she has an inauthenticity problem. Nobody believes her. She has this huge, long record of not only failure in Egypt and Libya and Syria, with the Russian reset button, but of lying repeatedly to Congress, and now to her Democratic wing. So Chris, I come out of Ohio happy. In fact, like you, I’m a Buckeye. I used to summer down in Saybrook, not far from your hometown. I now want the Ohio Olympics, I was so happy at the end of the week here in Cleveland. I don’t think the Democrats are going to leave Philadelphia happy.
CJ: Hugh, I just wonder if you’re, obviously you’re putting a positive spin on this, but don’t you think that what Ted Cruz pointed to, what, frankly, the first two appearances between Donald Trump and Mike Pence pointed to, was an essential disorganization within a campaign, an inability to get their act together by a guy whose, one of his central selling points is that he is organized, that he does have his act together. Do you really think that the, I’m not talking about the Republican voter who was in that audience, who cheered him on, and everybody, Ivanka did an amazing job, but for the swing voter out there, they watched that campaign and thought, oh, yeah, they had their act together there and this is somebody I can get behind?
HH: Oh, Chris, absolutely. I think he reassured people like me, who are traditional party people, conservatives, people who care about the Supreme Court and the American military, he got us back, happy, and generally accepting of his, and I’m not an anti-free trade guy in the way that Donald Trump is, but nevertheless, I’m okay with the ticket. And he reached out to the unemployed union worker in Warren, Ohio, my hometown. He reached out to Southern Pennsylvania to the coal country in Pennsylvania. He went up to Michigan to the unemployed car worker. He built his coalition, and he went to the Bernie Sanders people who were waiting for Elizabeth Warren, waiting for Cory Booker, and who got Tim Kaine. Now Senator Kaine is a wonderful guy. Everybody likes him. I wouldn’t deny that for a moment. But he is corporate. And I was reading the Washington Post story this morning. The progressives, you know, the Bernie-back-to-Woodstock people, are outraged at this choice, and I don’t think he makes a lick of difference to Black Lives Matter. So if you’re a social justice activist, if you’re an anti-big banks activist in the Democratic Party, you’re already mad at Hillary Clinton. He doesn’t help her on the authenticity. He doesn’t do anything to reassure as Admiral Stavridis would have done, he was on the short list, about her chronic inability to tell the truth. And so when you run down her failures and her character problems, she didn’t do much with a Tim Kaine pick.
CJ: I’ve got to tell you, I was with, out on the trail with Bernie for a month or more. I’ve talked to hundreds of Bernie voters. I’ve not really found many of them who are ready to go for Donald Trump, but we shall see. It will be an interesting set of coming months. Hugh Hewitt, thanks so much.
HH: Thanks, Chris.
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