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Senator Tom Cotton On Governor Scott Walker’s Demand That President Obama Cancel President Xi Jinping

Monday, August 24, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Senator Tom Cotton joined me on today:




HH: I’m joined now by United States senator, Tom Cotton. Senator Cotton, welcome. It’s great to have you.

TC: Hey, Hugh. Great to be back on with you.

HH: I want to read to you a statement that was put out a couple of hours ago by Governor Scott Walker ahead of President’s Xi Jinping’s state visit to the Unites States next month. Governor Scott Walker wrote, “Americans are struggling to cope with the fall in today’s markets driven in parts by China’s slowing economy and the fact they actively manipulate their economy. Rather honoring China’s president Xi Jinping with an official state visit next month, President Obama should focus on holding China accountable for its increasing attempts to undermine U.S. interests given China’s massive cyberattacks against America, its militarization of the South China Sea, continued state interference with its economy, and persistent persecution of Christians and humans rights activists. President Obama needs to cancel the state visit. There is serious work to be done rather than pomp and circumstance. We need to see some backbone from President Obama on U.S.- China relations” [end of statement]. What do you think of that, Senator Cotton?

TC:  Hugh, I agree with what Governor Walker said. I’ve been mystified as to why President Obama invited Xi Jinping to the United States. China is an adversary in many ways as Governor Walker said in his statement. They continue to engage in cyberattacks against the United States. They’re building militarized islands out of whole cloth in the South China Sea. They’ve manipulated their currency to promote their own economy to the detriment of ours. They’re oppressing Christians at alarming new levels, and I think Governor Walker even mentioned the New York Times scoop from last week about undeclared Chinese agents in the United States trying to intimidate and harass Chinese Americans into returning to the mainland. So I think we should be inviting more of our allies and our would-be allies in the region to the United States for state visits. I was just in East Asia for ten days actually – South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan – and I went in part because so many countries in East and Southeast Asia are looking for more American leadership to stand up to the alarming and aggressive moves that China has been making in the region.

HH:  Senator Cotton, I got a long list of potential questions to ask these Republican presidential candidates on September 16th at the CNN-Salem debate. One of them is whether or not they would encourage Japan or South Korea to go nuclear given that they’re now surrounded by nuclear states and an aggressive China. Did that come up in the course of your conversations with South Korean and Japanese leaders?

TC: We didn’t get all that specifically, Hugh, and frankly, I think both Japan and South Korea’s leadership would prefer not to see additional nuclear proliferation given the history of the region. But, the fact that North Korea already has nuclear weapons and they use that effectively as a deterrent to do thing like place land mines on the South Korea side of the border and blow the legs off South Korean soldiers – one of whom I’ve had the honor to meet last week – just foretells what would happen if Iran were to get nuclear weapons and the kind of risk that it would pose because North Korea is only bordered by three countries whereas Iran is at the crossroads of the world. So, for seventy years, the United States has been the leader in preventing a second nuclear age after we were compelled to use nuclear weapons to end World War II and to save hundreds of thousands of American lives. I fear the path we’re going down today is only going to make a second nuclear age more likely and the last thing the world needs is more countries who are less committed to the United States, less certain of the United States committment to them developing nuclear weapons of their own. Continue Reading

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Making The World Make Sense

Sunday, August 23, 2015  |  posted by John Schroeder

Victor David Hanson’s National Review piece from early last week says something that pretty much everybody knows, but is often not said as bluntly as VDH puts it – Obama just flat out does not know how the world works.  Hanson’s thesis:

The common bond among the various elements of the failed Obama foreign policy — from reset with Putin to concessions to the Iranians — is a misreading of human nature. [emphasis added]

What about human nature is it that Hanson thinks Obama misreads?

…the autocratic accentuation of the human tendency to interpret concession and empathy not as magnanimity to be reciprocated, but rather as weakness to be exploited or as a confession of culpability worthy of contempt.

Hanson draw a distinction between the “Enlightened mind” which believes that concession and empathy will bring better behavior and the “medieval mind” which understands that somethings simply have to be met with force.  Hanson notes that the tendency to exploit civility as weakness is resident in all of us to one extent or the other.  VDH has a heck of a point here, and provides copious historical evidence.

But I see this phenomena in different terms – theological terms. Continue Reading

Meet The Press’ Chuck Todd On The Wild Week In Politics

Friday, August 21, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Meet The Press host Chuck Todd joined me to discuss the wild week in U.S. politics:




HH: I’m joined by NBC’s Meet the Press host, Chuck Todd. Hello Chuck. I could watch your interview with the Donald from last week in an endless loop it was so entertaining.

CT: Well. . . I think I’ll take that as a compliment and leave it at that.

HH: It was. Now, give me the run-down on the plane and where you did that, and how long you actually talked to him for.

CT: Well, just so you know, so I’ll give you a little background like I did somebody who was asking me about this. I don’t saying this publically. So when I get there, we’re all set up for the interview, and he wants to talk to me and before the interviews. So I go on the plane and he hands me his immigration plan, and I’m sitting there going, “Great.” Three minutes before the interview – well, he’s not the first to do this, right? You have somebody on an interview to interview and they will control – you know, they want to be able to control the topic and all this and I’ll take a look at it. We don’t set an opportunity to on the plane. We were originally going to do the whole interview on the plane and just timing of logistics we would have been willing to make that work. Just because when he landed, having the time to set up and all that stuff, so we didn’t. So instead we still conducted the first part of the interview, so the first sort of thirty, thirty-five minutes sit-down happened first, and I essentially decided I needed more time with it. I need as much time to read his plan if I could to question, so I said “Hey, it’s a little bit of the immigration stuff on your plan.” So that’s what we did. We were maybe five, ten minutes on the plane where we went through his plan and we did the immigration part, so that’s – I literally did that, honestly, by myself, four times so even in the extra five-ten minutes in between pausing after the first part of the interview while we the cameras set up and all that, I could digest more of the plan as best I could to do the plane – and look, the plane is something else.

HH: (laughs)

CT: It is something else.

HH: Forty-thousand people are going to this rally, Chuck Todd in Mobile, Alabama. What do you put that down to?

CT:  Look, I think, first of all, I think this is a reminder that this is a more sophisticated – the Trump operation – look, everybody has their own thoughts kind of how sophisticated it is – this is a pretty smart place to do this. It’s like Bernie Sanders going to court with Oregon or Seattle, Washington and to go show what kind of crowds he can draw. Bernie Sanders can’t get that crowd in Brier County, but he can in Seattle, right? Well, Donald Trump may not be able to get a crowd like that in a De Moine, but he can in a Mobile. He’s picking his spots. He’s borrowed Jeff Sessions’ immigration plan and now he’s going to Jeff Sessions’ home state where he knows that his stance on immigration is going to be extremely popular. So look, I think this is smart theater. Continue Reading

Ohio Governor John Kasich On His Pro-Life Credentials, The Growing Threat Of Radicalization Of Young Muslims, And Picking Judges

Friday, August 21, 2015  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Ohio Governor John Kasich began Friday’s show with me:




HH: I begin today with a guest who has confounded the Wall Street Journal. Peggy Noonan writing about my guest, praising him for “being alive and responsive to actual crises in American society,” for having “an unembarrassed heart,” and at the same time, the Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel today called his policies a “bastardized version of compassionate conservatism,” saying he’s a “happy-in-life-and-God conservative” that “makes him seem optimistic.” She also said that John Kasich is not of the Jack Kemp and Paul Ryan school of opportunity conservative, which surprised me. Governor Kasich, welcome back to the Hugh Hewitt Show.

JK: Hi, Hugh, I mean, they’re all still trying to figure out who I am, aren’t they?

HH: Well, they are. I always kind of figured you for a Jack Kemp-Paul Ryan conservative.

JK: Well, I am. I’ve been a pro-growth guy. Look, we cut, we balanced budgets and we cut taxes, and we deregulate. And Hugh, we’ve had great success in Ohio. And remember, back when I was chairman of the Budget Committee in Washington, we not only balanced the budget, but we cut the capital gains tax, and we had phenomenal economic growth. And here in Ohio, I’ve had the largest amount of tax cuts among any sitting governor in the country. And as you know, we’ve had a significant growth in the state of Ohio while we balanced budgets. So I don’t quite know, I didn’t read the column, but I don’t quite know what the problem is, but I think even, you know, frankly, I’m going to be on a radio show tomorrow with Larry Kudlow, who says I’m the only guy who’s promoting growth among the people running for president. So just to be clear… Continue Reading

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