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Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal On 2016, The Same Sex Marriage SCOTUS Cases, And “No-Go” Zones

Thursday, January 22, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was my guest in the first hour of Thursday’s show.

The audio:

01-22hhs-jindal

The transcript:

HH: Joined by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Governor Jindal, I know you want to take the opportunity to congratulate Ohio State on its national championship game, which they began the road in the Sugar Bowl.

BJ: You know, Ohio State fans spent plenty of money in New Orleans. I’m certainly grateful for that. But as a long, longtime LSU fan, you and I have talked college football before. I know you’re a rabid Buckeye fan just like I’m a rabid Tiger fan. And it just, it wasn’t the SEC’s year this year. After so many great years, this just wasn’t our year.

HH: All right, now to the serious stuff. First of all, news report, breaking news, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has died as of five minutes ago. Yemen’s government has collapsed, the Houthis have sort of aligned with Iran are in charge there now. And our ambassador to Iraq said we have killed 6,000 ISIS fighters. Governor Jindal, do you believe that last claim?

BJ: Well look, I don’t have any basis for knowing where they get those numbers. What worries me about this administration, you just identified some very significant voids and potential for instability in a very chaotic region. what worries me about this administration’s foreign policy is that remember, this is the president who said we’re going to lead from behind. This was the president who, which is not leading at all, by the way, this is the president, after ISIS beheaded the first American journalist, came out and said we need to contain and expel them, which is utter nonsense. We need to hunt them down and kill them. This is the president who, under his foreign policy leadership, our friends don’t trust us, our enemies don’t fear us. And what I really worry about, Hugh, what I really worry about in the Middle East is his negotiations with Iran, because if he allows Iran on his watch to become a nuclear power, the Saudis, Turkey and Egypt will be the very next countries. They’ll either purchase it from Pakistan, or otherwise get their hands on nuclear weapons. Think about the threat that poses, the existential threat that poses to Israel, our European allies, and fundamentally to the United States. These are the fruits of a foreign policy that doesn’t believe in American strength and American exceptionalism and American leadership. We’re now reaping the product, the fruits of what he has sown. Continue Reading

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Rick Santorum On 2016, The Debates –And Pope Francis

Tuesday, January 20, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Once and future presidential candidate Rick Santorum joined me on the program Tuesday, and we covered Pope Francis’ comments on the Catholic birth rate as well as the early line on 2016:

Audio:

01-20hhs-santorum

Transcript:

HH: So pleased to welcome back former United States Senator Rick Santorum to the program. Senator Santorum, Happy New Year to you.

RS: Well, and I know it’s a very happy New Year for you. And I just want you to know I tweeted out a congratulations to the Buckeyes on national championship night. I just want you to know that.

HH: I noted that, and I was going to, I didn’t even prompt you. I knew you would start by recognizing that The Ohio State University Buckeyes have won the first ever national championship.

RS: I wanted to preempt any gloating. So…

HH: Okay, now I’ve got to preempt the obvious question. I’ve got to ask you this, because you’re like me, Roman Catholic, Pope Francis flying back from the Philippines today said, “some think, excuse me if I use the word, that in order to be good Catholics, we have to be like rabbits, but no.” People Magazine has run this as Pope – Catholics shouldn’t breed like rabbits. He didn’t actually say breed like rabbits, but he said like rabbits. What do you make of this, Rick Santorum?

RS: Well, I mean, it’s sometimes very difficult to listen to the Pope and some of the things he says off the cuff, and this is one of them. And I just, I keep coming back to the Pope is the leader of the Catholic Church, and when he speaks as the leader of the Catholic Church, I’ll certainly pay attention. But when he speaks in interviews, he’s giving his own opinions, which I certainly will listen to, but from my perspective, that doesn’t reflect the idea that people shouldn’t be fruitful and multiply, and that people should be open to life as something that is a core value of the faith and of the Catholic Church. And I don’t know what the Pope was referring to there. Maybe he’s speaking to people in the third world, but the problem certainly in most of the Catholic world is not procreation. I mean, in Europe in particular, you have birth rates that are only over, just a little over one for every two people. So this isn’t a global problem, and I don’t know what the Pope was referring to. Continue Reading

Mike Huckabee On 2016, The Supreme Court And Same Sex Marriage, And The War Against Radical Islam

Tuesday, January 20, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee joined me at the start of today’s show to discuss his new book God, Guns, Grits and Gravy and the 2016 race and many6 of the issues it will focus on.

Audio:

01-20hhs-huckabee

Transcript:

HH: Two years down the road, we might see a new figure there by the name of Mike Huckabee. The former governor of Arkansas is the author of a brand new book, God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy, and he joins me now on State of the Union night. Governor, welcome back, it’s always a pleasure to talk to you.

MH: Thank you, Hugh, great to be back with you.

HH: Governor, the last time I saw you, you were exiting the Fox building with your instrument. And I’m wondering if you ever do give the state of the union, would you consider taking it along and playing a riff up there?

MH: You know, given what we’re probably going to hear tonight, I think it would be better if we substituted the State of the Union for any piece of music, even if it was bad, because I don’t have a lot of optimism about the President’s State of the Union. He’s clearly going to ask for more money, which is the last thing these people need. It’s like thinking that a 16 year old needs more of his daddy’s liquor. It’s just the worst message at the worst time. And I don’t even know why he’s proposing it. He knows the Republicans are not going to give him a $320 billion dollar tax increase. Continue Reading

A SOTU Over Before It Is Begun

Tuesday, January 20, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

When George W. Bush and the GOP got “thumped” over the conduct of the war in Iraq in November 2006, 43 responded to the will of the people, made changes, announced the Surge, and graciously welcomed Nancy Pelosi as the first woman Speaker at the start of his 2007 State of the Union Address.  Not much else is remembered from the next two years, except victory in Iraq and a market panic in the fall of 2008 brought about by the popping of the housing bubble.  That panic brought us President Obama.

Tonight President Obama will give a speech few Americans will watch much less remember, and it will lack even a gracious gesture such as Bush’s appreciation of Pelosi.  “Petulant” has been the tone of the past ten weeks, and while Bush acted within his constitutional authorities to dispatch troops to Iraq in 2007 in sufficient numbers to secure victory in Iraq, and while President Obama has acted within his constitutional authority to begin the return of those troops after his withdrawal of them gave terrorism new life and force can in the rise of ISIS, most of the news now is about a president acting domestically far beyond any established precedent in order to try desperately to stay relevant even as his Class D set of advisors manage to miss the moments –like the march in France– that could make extend President Obama’s shelf life as a force on the world and national stage.

In truth –the hard, cold political truth– President Obama is a spent force in American politics.  Capable, of course, of creating more mischief and of obstructing urgently needed repairs brought about by his epic incompetence, but spent.  Like a zoning board packed with no-growthers after an earthquake, President Obama can veto rebuilding, for a time.  His inactivity and inane decrees can make a terrible situation worse on the health care front, and can accelerate the collapse of care even as meaningless numbers march out of the mouths of his advisors.  His EPA can continue its job killing assault on every industry that employs high wage blue collar workers.  He can continue to deliver nonsense speeches about his Harvey-the-rabbit programs he expects Congress to pass.

President Obama can, in short, pretend all is well and major initiatives are afoot.  But Washington is a hard place for such posing.  Everybody knows, and increasingly, everyone is laughing out loud.

Valerie Jarrett is the president’s closest advisor, and appears set upon enjoying her last two years of giving extraordinarily bad advice, aware she is doomed to rough treatment by the waterfall of memoirs that will spill out and by historian’s judgments.  Her appearance last week on CNN with Wolf Blitzer was, well, a bit other-worldly as Blitzer tried to get her to say something relevant about terrorist arrests and gun battles in Belgium while Jarrett clung to talking points about paid sick leave. The most powerful woman in America turns out to be, well, vacuous.  Rasputin, without an idea of what to do other than be Rasputin and dine out.

So watch if you will, and pity the poor network anchors who are going to have to try and fill a couple of hours after Senator Ernst finishes up with talk about what the president can and cannot do via executive order, all the while knowing that any executive order can be undone on the first day of the next presidency.  Mitt Romney’s 15 minutes on the Midway Friday night had more relevance to the next 24 months than the president’s hour plus tonight.

The president might have been relevant to the next two years had he signaled anything except contempt for the people’s decisions this past November.  Perhaps he will turn towards engagement still, but the slight rise in his polling probably looks to him like an oasis rather than the mirage it is.  Expect instead of engagement more pettiness mixed with promises he cannot deliver, and the steady deterioration in conditions abroad.  We already know that these two years could be as bad as Bush’s last six months because the crises ahead are with killers, not share prices.

He is out of ideas and out of gas, and the country is out of patience with the in-over-his-head president and his D Team of short-timers, already pocketing matchbooks and other souvenirs.  A lock to finish last in presidential polls for the balance of his life, his name anchored to a law that is sinking the health care realities of millions, and the man who threw not just his allies under political buses, but millions into the hands of ISIS, The Taliban and Boko Haram while systematically undermining constitutional government –this is the president as he begins his last lap.  Perhaps he has some kick left and won’t just limp on in, but that kick could only come from working with the very people he has spent ten weeks insulting, and by appealing earnestly to voters to whom he has been messaging indifference since they pummeled him in the fall.

Don’t expect much from tonight, or from all of 2015 and 2016 except one grand GOP nomination scramble.  Put your hope in the French and the Israelis, and a veto-proof majority in favor of imposing sanctions on Iran, and watch as the country experiments with an all-but empty Oval Office for two years.

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