HH: Joined now by United States Senator Orrin Hatch from the great state of Utah. Senator, I was just playing excerpts of Mitt Romney’s speech at the University of Michigan today on Obamacare, and how Massachusettscare differentiates from that. Do you think that Mitt Romney can overcome this Obamacare/Massachusettscare charge?
OH: Oh, yeah, I do. You know, there’s no doubt the states could do the approach, but my personal hope was that he would pretty well disassociate himself from that and admit that it’s not the best way to go. But you know, the states can do an individual mandate, but the federal government can’t.
HH: He made a pretty vigorous defense of the need to get people covered in Massachusetts, and of federalism generally. Do you think that resonates with Tea Party voters?
OH: No, but that is true of Massachusetts. Massachusetts is a very liberal state. They weren’t going to do anything less. It could have been a much worse program than that turned out to be. But I would have, you know, I personally believe that it’s not going to work, it’s more expensive, more costly. But keep in mind, Mitt Romney had a state legislature that was 85% opposed to everything he did. So there’s part of that in there, too. So it’s not as simple as people might think.
HH: Now in terms of what you guys are going to do in the Senate and the Congress, I know Jon Kyl was at the White House yesterday, he’s an old pal of yours.
OH: Oh, yeah.
HH: Are the Senate Republicans going to stand firm on serious cuts?
OH: You’re doggone right we are. I’ll tell you, it’s hard to believe that the Democrats, their answer to everything is let’s raise taxes. And I guarantee you, you raise any taxes, they’ll spend every dime of it. The worst thing right now is that, you know, they finally came to the conclusion, and I’ve been saying this for two years, ever since President Obama got in, when President Obama became president, the bottom 40% of all taxpayers did not pay any income taxes. Now that’s up to 51% in just two years. And by the way, then they’ll say well, but they pay payroll taxes. Well, we all do. That’s Social Security. But 24 million of them get more subsidies from the government than they pay in payroll taxes. So not only do they not pay income taxes, they don’t pay payroll taxes. And we’re getting a country where I think the Democrats are trying to take that to 60% of people who just don’t have any skin in the game, and really don’t do anything as far as helping to support the country, and think that the almighty federal government is the last answer to everything. This is, I hate to think that that’s their legitimate scheme, and that they’re really doing this out of the goodness of their hearts. They’re not. They’re doing it for control, in my opinion.
HH: Will the Republicans, though, risk the market chaos that a debt ceiling crisis could trigger?
OH: I think we have to. And I think the American people are starting to come to the conclusion that hey, something drastic has to be done. I’m not going to vote for that debt ceiling lift off. But I’ve got to tell you, with Democrats controlling the Senate, and the President controlling the White House, it’s very difficult to get anything done, and they are brazen, and they personally believe that their friends in the liberal media, which is the bulk of the media in this country, are going to back them, not Republicans, and that we’ll have a situation like when the government was shut down during the Newt Gingrich years, even though it was Democrats who basically shut it down, but Republicans got the blame for it.
HH: Now one of the things that Romney began his speech today blasting, Orrin Hatch, was the NLRB’s attack on Boeing’s decision to open a Dreamliner plant in South Carolina. And I applauded him doing that. Your assessment of what the NLRB and Team Obama is up to there, and can it be stopped?
OH: One of the great things about Romney is that Romney is a very, very smart businessman. And out there in Utah when we were in real trouble on the 2002 Olympics, there was fraud, there was waste, and there was mismanagement, some people thought criminal activity, we brought him in and he straightened that out almost overnight. And we wound up with a $100 million dollar surplus. This guy really knows what he’s doing, and that’s one reason why I support him. But when it comes to this Boeing matter, you know, here’s an acting general counsel to the NLRB. And this man just of his own accord, because they can’t get the Card Check bill through, they’re going to do by regulation what they could never get through the Congress of the United States. And the most important factor about them…and keep in mind, they knew since 2009 that Boeing was going to build this plant in a right to work state. And they didn’t do a thing until two months before the plant was to be fully under operation. In other words, it’s supposed to be under operation this July. And after the company had spent somewhere between $1 and $2 billion dollars building it, and the most important factor is that the work in South Carolina is new work, which Boeing was not obligated to perform in the state of Washington under its collective bargaining agreement. Boeing simply decided, for sound business reasons, to open up a facility to perform new work in a business-friendly state. Now that’s something businesses do all the time, it’s something they should be able to do all the time, and this is outrageous what is going on at the National Labor Relations Board. It shows what you get when you get a President – you get bad judges in the case of Democrats, you’re going to get bad judges that are partisan, that’ll go basically the union and liberal way, and in this particular case, you get the National Labor Relations Board stacked where they can cost these businesses millions, hundreds of millions of dollars. Now not a single job, union or non-union, was lost in the state of Washington as a result of Boeing’s decision. In fact, over 2,000 new jobs were created during this period in Puget Sound since the company’s announcement to begin new work at this new facility. Now this is not to mention South Carolina, where hundreds of new jobs were created. And the added jobs in Washington, plus added jobs in South Carolina, sounds like a win-win for American workers to me.
HH: Do you think you can get the NLRB…I mean, do you hear from your Democratic colleagues that the President has overreached, and that Obama has to back of the attack on Boeing?
OH: I think they’re blatant. I think they figure they can do anything they want to, and they’re doing anything they want to up to these next two years, figuring that they’ll get away with it. And even though they know it’s wrong, you know, it’ll help them shore up their liberal base all over the country.
HH: Wow. And the executive order on the Disclose Act, do you expect that to issue as well, Senator Hatch, 30 seconds?
OH: Well, that’s what they want to do. They want to intimidate all of the corporations in this country and other businesses from giving money that might help Republicans. And they know it’s unconstitutional what they’re doing, they know it’s wrong, but they’re going to go do it anyway, because it’s political time to them. And frankly, it’s been political time from Day One with this president. They play politics very, very tough, they play it well, and they don’t give a damn about what’s right and what’s wrong.
HH: Senator Orrin Hatch of the great state of Utah, thank you, Senator. I appreciate you taking the time. I’ll be right back, America.
End of interview.