Friday, January 29, 2010

Duncan Hunter Interview 1-28-2010 On Obama's "Socialism With A Smile" Speech and More

DH: Hey, Jim, go ahead there friend.

AJM: Sounds like you were doing a little banking.

DH: Yeah, I‘m here on good old North Island. I’m getting a little money for my seed here.

AJM: Do you need my address?

DH: (laughs) Like I said it’s seed money, not feed money.

AJM: (laughs) OK. Well I guess since this is still relatively fresh in your mind, do you want to give your two cents on Obama’s speech?

DH: Yeah, I think the speech last night was classic Obama; and that is socialism with a smile. Apparently, he is not going to listen to the American people, including many people who voted for him in the last election, who don’t want to turn healthcare over to the Post Office. And he’s going to continue to try to socialize, basically, one sixth of the economy.

He also spent an inordinate amount of time blaming the previous administration for his problems. He spoke of inheriting the storm and how he’s gotten us through it. But almost every area he went into he compared himself to the previous administration. And I’m reminded of the fact that probably George Washington was the only American president that didn’t blame all of his problems on the previous administration. But this guy went overboard!!

He was fixated on the Bush Administration. And you can tell that the staff folks who wrote his speech for this thing had a few gaps in their research. For example, he said that they’ve killed, America killed, more Al Qaeda in 2009 than we did in 2008, before he came in. He made that point. Well, that’s true, and the reason is that we won the Iraq War that he attempted to retreat from. We won it in 2008, and the attacks on Americans and civilians in Iraq went down over 90%. The Iraq government matured, their military matured, the war is over and we won it! In 2007, we killed an enormous number of Al Qaeda and destroyed their ability there to attack in force. So obviously the number of Al Qaeda went down because there was no longer a center of gravity in the Al Qaeda organization left to confront the Americans in on the battlefield for much of 2008. And now, in 2009, the Al Qaeda in Afghanistan have flared up, and there is more confrontation and there is more fighting. And as a result we are killing more of them.

But the fact that the Al Qaeda numbers, their casualties, went down in 2008 is a direct result of a successful policy, that is the surge, that Obama foolishly opposed. In other words, not something he should brag about!

AJM: It was spin city in that chamber last night.

DH: He’s like a new sheriff in town claiming he’s gunning down more cowboys now than “Bat” Masterson did in his days. Bat Masterson had cleaned out the entire town.

AJM: (laughs)

DH: That’s what we did with Iraq.

Another thing Obama did which I thought really disserved everybody that has worn the uniform for the United States in Iraq, he said: “Make no mistake, we’re coming home”. He refuses to acknowledge that we’ve won, because he was against the war.

That’s a slap in the face to everybody that’s served over there, because we’ve clearly won in Iraq, by any metric. We stood up a government which is a representative form of government. It’s held. The 1st Iraqi Division has not taken a backwards step since before 2008. They went into Basra and soundly defeated Al Sadr’s guys. They then moved into surrounding areas in southern Iraq like Amarah, cleaned him out there. Then they marched on Sadr City, 4 battalions abreast, cleaned out the Mahdi Army that Al Sadr was leading. The Marines in Anbar province, in the big difficult, dangerous western province, cleaned out Al Qaeda and made a partnership with the Sunni community, which turned on Al Qaeda and helped the Americans in cleaning out Al Qaeda in western Iraq.

So the Iraqi military is stood up, the government is stood up. It’s legislating. It’s casting votes and solving their problems with ballots, not bullets. The Americans are packing up and leaving. I’ve got a son in Iraq right now, they are mopping up, they are packing up. US casualties are extremely low. In fact, I’d wager there were more Americans killed in Obama’s hometown in December than were killed in Iraq.

So we’ve won in Iraq, and Obama refused to acknowledge it, because it’s not politically expedient for him to acknowledge that these great young Americans carried the battle to the enemy and produced a victory for the United States! And it is probably, arguably, the most important victory for our country since Korea. And he won’t acknowledge it.

So I thought that that was something that should disturb the entire community of American veterans and their families.

AJM: And he had the gall to preface his remarks on Defense by saying how all Americans should “honor” the troops, not only when they go out to war but when they come home.

DH: Yeah, he used what I call the “Victim Strategy”. That is, all liberals are happy to announce that people who served their country in uniform are “victims”, and that they are going to take care of them.

Alan Cranston, former Senator Alan Cranston - now the late Alan Cranston - who represented California, was a conscientious objector in World War II. And he became, by his leftist notions, the greatest advocate for the veterans. Treating the veterans like victims is the answer for anti-war liberals.

The best thing you could do for veterans is to acknowledge that they’ve won, that they accomplished something, that their lives and sacrifices have value, and what they gave to the United States has great value!

AJM: Yeah, it’s amazing. Did you catch his slap at the Supreme Court over McCain Feingold?

DH: Yeah, I didn’t see it, so I didn’t pay too much attention to that. I thought the other big thing was his announcement that he was going to continue to try to socialize healthcare.

But one other thing on the security front. He gave an extremely weak statement on Iran. Iran is now committed to developing nuclear weapons. And they are refining uranium at the Qoms, at the 2nd site. When they get the uranium refined approximately to the 5 percent level, even though that is far below the 90% that you are supposed to need to make a nuclear weapon, that actually manifests an accomplishment that represents most of the work that goes into refining uranium. You’ve now made it much more difficult for somebody who wants to knock your program out, to eliminate the program, because the large facilities which are big targets, like Natanz, aren’t needed to take the uranium from 5% to 70, 80, or 90%. So the big targets are going by right now. It’s going to be much more difficult in the shooting gallery to find and destroy the small targets, especially if they are deeply buried.

So the President squawked about increasing consequences for Iran, but Iran is not suffering any consequences right now to the degree that they will be deterred from producing a nuclear weapon. So on the Security front, Obama was very, very weak on Iran.

And lastly, he failed to take on China. It’s been a mistake for both Democrat and Republican Administrations. China is still cheating on trade. They are taking the life blood out of the industrial base of this country, which is taking the good wages and good jobs of the middle class that underpins the housing industry in this country, a major segment of our economy.

AJM: One of the reasons he’s not going to be particularly or even mildly bellicose to the Chinese is that he has to fund all of his trillion dollar spending sprees, he needs them to keep buying the securities.

DH: Well, I think that’s the argument made to almost every president. The point is, if you really believe in that argument, and you believe that the red Chinese have an enormous amount of leverage over the United States right now, then by allowing them to continue this drag on the American industrial base you are agreeing to them INCREASING leverage over the United States in the coming decades! Meaning it is going to get much worse, and that China will continue to become an industrial powerhouse, that they will continue to accumulate American assets. And they’ll spend a great deal of those assets on a war machine, which they are building right now!

The Department of Defense’s publication on China’s military power reflects every year increasing military capability that will make it more and more difficult for the United States to carry out what it considers to be the proper foreign policy options in that part of the world.

So by saying “they’ve have a hold on us, they’ve got us by the shorthairs, they’ve got leverage on us, therefore we’re going to allow them to continue to extract America’s industrial base, and build up theirs while weakening ours” is essentially conceding the future to communist China. That’s what Obama is doing. I reject that. I think that’s a huge mistake.

AJM: I do too. And Congressman this is one of the main reasons, one of many I would say, that you have my support. Because you were the only one, the only one in a long time – I think Henry Hyde was a congressman that sided with you on this issue in terms of the future with China – but you’ve been harping on this for a good fifteen, twenty years. And you were the only one to run on that platform in the 2008 race. What you warned about in the early nineties and mid nineties has come to pass. And you’re right, it’s a situation that we need to extract ourselves from, not exacerbate.

DH: Yeah.

Anyway, that’s my take on the speech. So don’t put me down as “undecided” (laughs)

AJM: (laughing) I certainly won’t. Speaking of China, the Obama administration has agreed to sell Taiwan the package of armaments that the Bush Administration agreed on, with the exception of the advanced F-16 fighters. In the article that I read it said we didn’t want to sell them the advanced F-16 fighters because China said “no”. What is your take on the Taiwan situation, and how would you advise, how would you recommend that we treat Taiwan? It seems like a bastard child right now, and I think that is extremely unwise.

DH: Well I don’t think you need me for that discussion. (laughs)

AJM: (laughing) Well, I want your ideas, that’s my 2 cents on it but I ….

DH: I agree with you! (laughs)

But here’s what I’d say. To effectively blunt a Chinese assault on Taiwan, the Taiwanese department of defense needs what I would call ‘distributive fire’. That means they need to have ability on a sustained basis to take out platforms that are crossing the Taiwan Straights. That is naval platforms. And at the same time to handle incoming medium range ballistic missiles and ship fired missiles.

Now the reason they need to have distributive fires is because China is putting together a fairly effective air force. They’ve been watching the United States ‘knock down the door’ in theatres like Iraq and Afghanistan, but especially Iraq, where you go in and take out the anti-air capabilities of the country you are hitting. Then you can go in and work your will with superior air power. So the Taiwanese need to have survivable, distributive fires, meaning they can handle wave after wave of attacking aircraft coming over from mainland China.

I haven’t looked at the package proposed, to see whether or not that can happen, if they can handle that. They can’t do it simply with fighter aircraft. And China has an anti-air missile capability which is becoming increasingly sophisticated, which will be effective against a lot of the tactical aircraft the world has and the United States has. So without looking at that package, it’s hard to tell whether or not it is essentially symbolism involved. But I would say anything the Taiwanese do to build up their defenses is good. Whether or not it is sufficient to handle growing capability of China to cross the straights of Taiwan is questionable, at best.

AJM: What about this notion of not selling them particular items because of China’s protests?

DH: If we really want to defend Taiwan, obviously we should deliver to them what it takes to defend them. I don’t know what other systems we can give, but we don’t give our most advanced F-16s to anybody. There are some American components of F-16s that we hold back from everybody. There’s some high end equipment that we don’t want anybody to get their hands on. So you have plain vanilla F-16s, you’ve got some that are somewhat sophisticated, and then you’ve got some that are extremely ‘high end’. Without looking at the particular equipment package, I can’t give you a real good answer on whether or not we are giving Taiwan the right thing. Obviously, we need to give to Taiwan what it takes – or we need to sell to Taiwan, they need to pay for it. They haven’t been spending much of their Gross National Product on defense, which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, because they are an industrial powerhouse.

But they need to build the ability to maintain distributive fires that are survivable and effective against aircraft, missiles and naval vessels.

AJM: And are we not, with the Taiwan Relations Act, committed to helping defend them, not only with weapons sales but with our miltary?

DH: Well, certainly. Obviously, the Obama administration is parsing the term ‘defense’. They are giving them something, while trying not to upset the Chinese.

And I simply haven’t looked at the package to be able to tell you that even if they gave them the more sophisticated F-16s, that’s going to do the trick. Because I’ve looked at Taiwan’s armaments and their military force structure, and China is advancing so rapidly. Chins is building roughly 100 medium range ballistic missiles a year, many which are being staged in the Taiwan area. Now whether they get early on, to what I would call the point of being able to overwhelm Taiwan’s defensive systems, that’s a question that requires more analysis.

AJM: But the Hunter Doctrine is: We give them what it takes to beat back the chicoms?

DH: Yes. If we really want to defend Taiwan, and I believe we need to help Taiwan defend itself, they should have the equipment that is necessary to defend against a burgeoning defense capability in communist china.

Listen, I’m just about ready to go into a canyon. So I’ll have to sign off.

And in answer to your question, I think Obama gave a great ‘Socialism with a Smile’ speech. (laughs)

AJM: Good enough. Have a great day.

DH: Same here, Jim. How’s your weather up there, you guys getting any rain?

AJM: It looks like it’s coming in now. We should get some more snow pack in the mountains. We need it.

DH: OK. Looking good. Thanks for calling.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

America Rising Video

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Duncan Hunter Interview – 1/21/2010: Mass. Miracle, Obama, Cheney, Jobs, McCain-Feingold & More!

This is part 10 of an ongoing series of conversations with former Congressman and conservative icon Duncan Hunter. Hunter has agreed to do a series of free wheeling interviews to ensure that the conservative point of view is given voice as we try to move the Republican Party and the country in a pro-American, pro-constitutional direction; a return to our roots, if you will. In addition to being involved in recruiting and fundraising for a number of hawkish, conservative congressional candidates, Hunter is attempting to re-invigorate the GOP and re-establish the Reagan, pro-military, small government ideals.

DH: Hello, Jim you there?

AJM: Yes sir, this is Jim.

DH: OK. Duncan Here. How’s it going?

AJM: Good, Good. We have Gloria from Ohio here on the line.

DH: Good. Hi Gloria.

GW: Hi, how are you?

DH: I’m doing good. I’ve got my two little granddaughters here, they have now got the fire ready to go. They built a little house in the fire place. Now we’re going to light it.

{To his granddaughters: Ok, grab my hand dear. Ok c’mon. No, you light it right there sweetie. Put your hand over here. Grab Grandpa’s hand. Grab grandpa’s hand right there. Ok now we’re going to light it. That’s good}.

OK guys, well listen, what’s new?

AJM: Well, I missed you last week. Of course we are on no particular schedule. But unfortunately I was skiing in Sun Valley, Idaho.

DH: Well that’s not bad. I’m going to do an event up there in Couer d’Alane at the end {throw that in sissy} at the end of February for the Republican Party for Vaughn Ward. He’s the Marine company commander now running for that congressional seat. I think it’s against Minnick.

AJM: Yes, that’s correct.

DH: You might want to run on up there, Jim.

AJM: Couer d’Alene is not that far either, right on the other side of the Washington border. Do you know when that’s going to be?

DH: It’s right at the end of February. You need to talk to the Republicans in Couer d’Alene, they’ll know the date.

AJM: OK. Is your brother involved in this too?

DH: Well, I just called him and told him to try and get up there too. I think he’ll try to get up and make it.

AJM: Well I have no qualms with that whatsoever. I might have to hit a ski area or two on the way back.

DH: Well, we’re thinking about catching some steelhead, so we’re of the same mindset. {drop that sissy, just drop it. You can’t just hold on to it}

AJM: Who joined the call? Is that Lynn?

LD: Yes. Hi Congressman Hunter

DH: Hi, how are you doing?

LD: Good. You?

DH: Doing great. I’ve got two little granddaughters here and they helped grandpa make a fire.

LD: How awesome.

DH: We’re working away {put it right there at the edge there, sis}

So anything new happen?

AJM: Well, we always got to report the news to you, you know that (laughs). I’d like to start off with what your take is on the victory in Massachusetts for Ted Kennedy’s former seat….

DH: It shows that God has a sense of humor!

All: (laughs)

DH: When He was thinking “now which Senate seat shall I give to the Republicans? I think I’ll give them Teddy Kennedy’s seat”.

All: (laughing)

AJM: Were you surprised? What do you think it portends for the upcoming elections?

DH: Well, I think the rule of thumb for politics is that truth is always stranger than fiction. So you have to always expect the unexpected. They have a 3 to 1 democrat versus republican registration, but a ton of independents, which was the key dynamic here.

But I think it shows that even folks from Massachusetts don’t like the idea of socialism! I think they harken back to lots of grim faced old WWII soldiers, Navy personnel, and Marines who fought in some of those horrendous battles, followed by lots of ongoing generations who fought in other tough places around the world to keep this country free. And the idea of giving away that freedom through Obama’s socialistic agenda was repugnant to most Americans, and I think, to a lot of liberals. I think there are a lot of liberals who in their hearts don’t believe in socialism. And they’ve watched the miracle of freedom and capitalism and I think that Americans don’t want to give that up. Even in Massachusetts they don’t want to give that up.

AJM: I think you might be right. Do you watch Glenn Beck’s show much, Congressman?

DH: Not much. Every now and again. But I don’t watch too much TV.

AJM: I don’t blame you.

DH: I like Glenn Beck. He was great to me in the presidential race. I like him. He gave me an hour on his show.

LD: I saw that!

DH: I appreciate Glenn Beck.

AJM: One of the things he likes to mention is the difference between your typical liberal democrats and the ‘progressives’ – the true believers in socialism and Marxism – and he likes to differentiate between those two. What camp do you believe that the Obama folks are in? Are they just typical liberal democrats or are they…..

DH: The latter. I think Obama, because of his background….everything Obama has ever had in life came from government. And I think his experience in life has revolved around radicals and government. And that’s what he believes in. And in the end, people tend to revolve back, to go back to their roots.

And I think Obama is a machine politician. And I think that’s why he had no problems in getting tough with Ben Nelson, and threatening to take things away from him. I think the American people were upset when Nelson, as I understand, it was threatened that the Obama Administration would take away the Strategic Operations Center from Nebraska, which is a national security issue. And that was treated by the Democrat leadership and Obama as a piece of cheese. I think that, to some degree, reflected the character, or lack thereof, of the Administration.

AJM: Yeah. And Nelson, if I’m not mistaken, is one of the more ‘moderate’ Democrats. They had to do some arm twisting somehow, I guess.

DH: My point is, if you really believe in machine politics and machine government, in a leftwing government-heavy administration, that is a classic approach. To simply threaten or cajole people until you get what you want.

AJM: That’s the Chicago way.

DH: There it is.

ALL: (laughs)

DH: I was in congress for 28 years. I never once called up the Whitehouse and told them I wanted something for a vote. Or that I would change my mind if I got something. You need to do what you think is right and let the chips fall where they may. If you are trying to work for a project in your district, you try to work for it on the merits. But the Chicago way is to bully and to intimidate and entreaty until you get your way. And I think that took a little bit of the shine off the Obama Administration’s claim to this “new direction” in American politics.

AJM: Post-partisanship!

DH: In the end, they reverted back to what you do with a ward precinct captain if he doesn’t go along with you. Beat him up. (laughs) They treated Ben Nelson like an expanded version of a recalcitrant Chicago precinct captain.

AJM: That’s great. When you mentioned your record of not bending to the chicanery of whatever administration…

DH: Not necessarily chicanery, but you go to DC to vote for what you think is right for your country, and if you really believe in exercising democracy in its proper way, you vote for things on their merits.

AJM: I agree. But I remember back in 2004, I believe Newsweek wrote an article about you entitled: Duncan Hunter’s Arm Does Not Twist. And it was an article talking about Cheney trying to cajole you into voting for something or another – I can’t even remember what the subject matter was right now….

DH: I think that was the Intel Bill, that tried to take away the assets of Defense related intelligence and move it over into this new intelligence reform package where Department of Defense would be responsible for a lot of our intel apparatus, but wouldn’t have the budget that funds that apparatus. And would not be in control of all of our intelligence assets in a war theatre.

What that means is if you had a rivet joint aircraft or an intelligence aircraft working in the Iraq theatre and the combatant commander said “we need that piece of equipment over Falluja right now because the Marines are in a heavy firefight”, one of our intelligence agencies might control that equipment and they’d have to get the OK from Washington before they could use it to support American soldiers in battle. You can’t do that in a war.

So what I think we did there, I insisted on maintaining the chain of control of our assets in theatre. And I think that accrues to the benefit of our soldiers, not only in Iraq, but in Afghanistan as well.

Obviously, there are a lot of intelligence assets that are key to our war fighting in particular battles. {OK kids that’s enough. No, we have to save the rest of it for the next fire. You’ve got plenty.}

ALL: (Laughing)

DH: They are using up all my fire starting material. They are not that good of Boy Scouts (laughs).

AJM: In that Newsweek piece, I think the author was amazed that you, at the height of Bush and Cheney’s popularity, that you were able to back them down.

DH: Well, I didn’t back them down. I simply refused to do what the Administration wanted. That was signing off on the intelligence bill. General Myers, former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs, has an excerpt about that in his book, Eyes on the Horizon. I just saw it last night, that incident.

AJM: Coincidence. Interesting. I’m kind of going off on a tangent here, but since we brought up Cheney, and he was the one trying to do some of the arm twisting…

DH: Except he wasn’t twisting arms in this sense: Cheney didn’t say “we are going to do this for you if you go along with it”. Cheney argued it on its merits.

AJM: No, but he still obviously didn’t convince you. (laughs)

DH: Yeah.

AJM: But I just wanted to know what your relationship with Dick Cheney is. You’ve known him a long time. What do you think about him, and what do you think about his recent, pretty candid remarks against some of the Obama Administration’s policies?

DH: Yeah. I like Dick Cheney. I think he viewed his role as Vice President as focusing primarily on security issues, which I think is a key thing, especially when you are in an administration which is involved in two wars. So I think Cheney was the right man at the right time. And he’s a good friend, and I think a guy with a realistic and pragmatic view of the world.

And I think the Obama people are beginning to understand the real world to some degree now. Mr. Obama was very popular with the Europeans, but you noticed they haven’t sent a single additional soldier into the battle zones. The Germans still won’t leave the fort at night under their rules in Afghanistan and the French refuse to go where there is any fighting. Outside of that, they are prepared to be with us all the way.

ALL: (Laughing)

LD: Right behind us.

DH: They are right behind us…..about 450 kilometers. (laughs)

AJM: Regarding Cheney’s recent criticisms of Obama…

DH: I think those were very appropriate. In fact, I think it actually helps the country and it may help the Obama Administration to some degree for this reason: The Obama Administration doesn’t have a weather vane, or a compass with respect to national security. Maybe Jim Jones, a former Marine, is going to provide some leadership there. But generally speaking, across the board they have very few people capable of focusing on security, with a background in that important area. So Cheney’s remarks on security issues are a little bit of a compass for the Obama Administration. They are forced to respond to his statements. That makes them think. That makes them consult with each other. It forces an analysis, and I think that’s good.

AJM: Yeah. One of the interesting things that I read about that Massachusetts victory for Mr. Brown, Scott Brown, was that one of the things he focused on quite heavily during his stump speeches was the fact that our tax dollars need to be going to fighting the terrorists as opposed to paying for their lawyers. And that resonated even in Massachusetts.

DH: Yeah. I think that makes some sense. You know, if anything, the fact that we had a number of the people from Guantanamo that we released, the military released, go back to the battleground and take up arms against us is evidence that we have been too lenient.

AJM: It was not just one or two either. It’s been a handful.

DH: Yeah, I think it’s been more than a dozen. A couple of them have been killed. Some have been captured.

AJM: And then what do you do with them again?

LD: For God sakes, don’t give them a bloody nose.

DH: Obviously, they need a new trial according to the liberals.

ALL: (laughing)

AJM: OK, I’m going to switch gears on you. On some other breaking news of the day. That is the Supreme Court today, at least I think it was today, or last night, finally overturned the majority of McCain Feingold, the campaign finance reform. It was a 5-4 vote, nonetheless they gutted the whole idea that corporations and other groups couldn’t spend their money the way they saw fit for elections. I know you opposed it when it came out, and I wonder if you’d like to comment on it now?

DH: I haven’t seen the opinion. And McCain Feingold was pretty complicated. So I’d have to take a look at the written opinion by the Supreme Court. I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet. I at least have to have a chance to look at the summary of their opinion.

AJM: Ok. We’ll get you on that one next time. Regardless, it is at least being reported – and I haven’t read the opinion yet either – as having substantially overturned McCain Feingold. You did oppose it back in its day, I do know that.

DH: One of the many problems with McCain Feingold, aside from its legality, was using 527s, the leftwingers could absolutely inundate conservative candidates. During one election cycle, they spent in excess of 100 million against conservative candidates, and the Republican 527s were something like 20 million. It became a huge funnel for leftwing money to go after Republicans who themselves were somewhat hamstrung by spending limits to individuals. So you ended up with massively financed negative campaigns. And I’m thinking of Richard Pombo’s district that Pombo lost, was one in which I believe the lefty 527s went well over a million bucks against him. You’d have to look up the exact numbers to ascertain that.

AJM: Yeah. Aside from the practical aspects of kind of a unilateral disarmament on the right, it apparently is deemed now at least partially unconstitutional. I think it is always a good thing to review laws such as that, that deal with speech.

DH: Yeah, I think so. But anyway, I’d have to look at the written opinion by the Supreme Court to really have a good take on exactly what they’ve done with McCain-Feingold.

LD: It was bad enough for Pelosi to put out a statement.

DH: (laughs) That’s a good indicator!

LD: Yes it is!

DH: They are coming our way!

ALL: (laughing)

DH: The Democrats fought ferociously to keep 527s at full steam. Anything attempting to reform the 527s, which were literally allowing foreign entities to come in and pump lots of money into the US system.

AJM: And George Soros financed about a dozen of them.

DH: Yeah, and any attempt to reform that was beaten back by the Democrats. In fact those were the days of a Republican majority, the filibuster was threatened in the Senate if we even thought about attaching that to a major bill that was going through.

AJM: Yeah. I believe the first challenge to its constitutionality, before the court was reformed by George W Bush, with Alito and um – what’s his name ---

ALL: Roberts

AJM: Yeah, Roberts – was a 5-4 decision the other way to sustain McCain Feingold. And Mr. Fred Thompson who was very involved in that legislation for many years, actually argued in front of the Supreme Court to keep it, to argue that it was good law. I don’t know if you remember that?

DH: No, I don’t.

AJM: Well he did. I’m glad to see it gone. But we’ll let you get up to speed on the actual verbiage.

DH: Well you ought to also (laughs). It’s probably a 500 page opinion. So get ready, and get your reading glasses on!

AJM: (laughs) Yeah. All I know is that when I read McCain Feingold it was bad law. And anything that goes to the point of overturning it is fine with me.

DH: Yeah.

AJM: OK. Another thing that happened in the news today, the jobless claims rose, quote-unquote,“unexpectedly”, to the highest level in several months. New jobless claims. Indicating even to the liberal press that this so-called recovery is a lot less than meets the eye.

What would you do, what would you recommend to the Republicans to campaign upon, or even to the Obama Administration to push, to actually turn this economy around? Right now it does not look like it is turning very fast, if at all.

DH: Retrieve at least a small part of the production lines that served this country’s consumers to our own country. Make a few things in America. We’ve moved our assembly lines off shore. The base of this economy is a middle class guy who can make enough money - and manufacturing has always been a high wage industry – who can make enough money to make that mortgage payment, to buy that car, and to do the other things that are part of the American Dream. We’ve allowed China to cheat on trade, along with a lot of other countries, with their Value Added Tax, which for practical purposes is a de facto tariff on American products and an illegal subsidy to foreign made products.

And we’ve allowed that dynamic to maintain in such a way that a large part of the American manufacturing base has gone off shore.

So the American that drives his Toyota to his house, watches his Sony television, puts on his Malaysian made clothes, then wonders why his kid doesn’t have a job, doesn’t have to look to far. And that’s’ why the housing was the last – you know ‘housing’ is manufacturing, writ large. In fact a house is referred to by national homebuilders – they call their houses “products”, they don’t call them homes. They are a big manufactured product which is still made mostly in this country and that’s why the housing boom carried the economy, the US economy, for as long as it did. It’s big manufacturing. One of the last segments of manufacturing that other countries haven’t learned to exploit. China hasn’t learned yet how to make a home in such a way that they can ship it over to the US and crane it onto a lot.

But the ripples, the economic ripples, that a healthy manufacturing, a healthy homebuilding industry sends to the economy of the community that it is sited in is evidence of how important manufacturing is to this country. And how much of it we let slip away. So until we make our own products, and retrieve some of that manufacturing base, the jobs that millions of Americans have depended on in the past to be able to afford that mortgage and afford those other things we provide for them, it’s a grim picture.

AJM: Yeah, and during the campaign…

DH: And it’s been an Achilles heel for the Republican Party. But it seems the Democrats have drunk the ‘free trade’ kool-aid also. The Hunter-Ryan bill was a bill that would have punished China or at least given the President the ability to punish China for illegal devaluation of its currency. It was promised by the Democrat leadership to be front and center when they took control. After a couple of Wall Street fundraisers, it seems to have faded into oblivion.

It’s because there are a lot of companies, which are American companies, whose manufacturing is now sited in China, who appreciate the benefit of the subsidies that China’s currency devaluation and their VAT rebate gives to them.

AJM: And during the campaign, if I’m not mistaken – obviously it’s tough to browbeat other countries into doing something – you had solutions for what we could do on our side. One of them as I recall was the elimination of taxes on US manufacturers. You still believe in that? And what other things can we do internally to stimulate….

DH: Eliminating taxes on manufacturing would actually create substantially more tax receipts, more revenue for the American government because workers would be making more wages and pay withholding tax, and economies would be stimulated and jobs and communities would be roaring back.

What we ought to have with respect to trade, one thing I offered is what I call “mirror trade”. For example, China has a 17% Value Added Tax. That means if the telephone you’re holding right now and talking into cost $100 to make and its made in China, that company in China, instead of paying corporate taxes and income taxes and other business taxes, pays the government of China 17% Value Added Tax. A hundred dollar cost of that phone you are talking into includes $17 paid to the Chinese government. When that phone is taken down to the docks to be shipped to Washington State, to be sold in one of your stores, the Chinese government rebates $17. That is they give the tax money back to the exporter, because they are sending it to America. So they subsidize it to the tune of 17 bucks. So they now have only $83 in that 100 dollar phone. And if you make that same phone in Washington State, and export it to China, when that phone hits their docks, the Chinese government charges you a penalty of $17, 17 percent. The Washington State manufactured phone is now $117, while the one made in China and sent to you has now gone down to $83. So you’ve got a 34 point spread and the opening kickoff hasn’t even taken place yet in this international competition.

That Value Added Tax rebate was a loophole. It was described by one Senate Staff report, back in the old days when we agreed to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, as one of the biggest blunders in American negotiating history! There was only a few countries in the world at that time that had VAT taxes. Now, 132 of them have VAT taxes and they are upwards of 12 to 20 percent. And that amounts to an illegal subsidy for foreign based manufacturing, and a penalty, a de facto tariff on every product the United States manufactures and sells abroad. That’s why even countries that have higher labor rates than the United States, like Germany, have a trade surplus over the US.

AJM. Yeah. And for a country like China, which has a much, much lower labor rate, that’s even more poison in the well.

DH: You’d think the country with the highest labor rate, ie the US vis a vis China, would have the tax advantage. But interestingly, China has the lower labor rate, but they also scratched out this tax advantage, the VAT, and they manipulate their currency. So they have a triple play going in their direction.

Along with that you have US governments which do not understand that it is important to be friendly to business! In some of these States, the policy seems to be the ‘the beatings will continue until moral improves’.

ALL: (laughing)

DH: So you have…I remember when one of our big companies left San Diego and went to Arizona and the Democrat Mayor of San Diego told them that she was going to sue them if they left. And they said “you’ve now just explained why we are leaving”, and they left.

ALL: (laughing)

DH: And so being friendly to business, having low taxes, and doing everything you can to allow business to come in and operate, not overlaying the business structure with a punitive legal and regulatory system that is predicated on a massive extraction of dollars; those things are important in maintaining an economy where the average guy, without a PHD, can get a job that allows him to make mortgage payments, send his kids to college, buy a car, and do the things that constitute the American Dream.

And we are pushing manufacturing offshore. With that we are pushing off the dreams of the next generation.

AJM: I hear you. Obviously, it would take some time to adjust the WTO or get out of the WTO, don’t you think just in taxes and regulations, as you just described, we can make a big dent in the exodus of manufacturing?

DH: Absolutely. And it’s been proiven over and over and over. As I recall, but you’d have to check the facts on this, Ireland at one point decided to attract manufacturing, and eased up on their tax code and did things that made them much more business friendly, and was able to attract and revitalize their manufacturing industries.

This in not a secret. But it is something that the nature of government is to extend its power through its programs and bureaucracies, with its deliverance of so-called benefits to people. And by extracting money from the producers to finance those benefits. And it is very difficult to make some of these salmon swim upstream. Because the current of big government is always to accumulate power and that is manifested in its attempts to increase revenues.

LD: Up to a point. There comes a point where it all collapses, I would think.

DH: Listen, at one time – this is legendary – but legend has it that at one time Great Britain had a 95% tax bracket for some people. And the key is that those people simply left the country. And legend further says that they never actually collected a single dime under the 95% tax bracket. So you can pluck the golden goose til there’s no feathers left.

And that was the whole point of the Laffer Curve; it was the idea that if you continue to beat the prisoner – business – at some point they are going to stop producing.

GW: Yes, yes.

AJM: And you see that in the United States, where the low regulation – some of the southern states that have much lower regulation or regulatory burden compared to some of the more “enlightened” states.

DH: Yeah. That’s right. Well now listen, my little granddaughters – we’ve now built a fire. One of them has a shield and a sword, and the other one wants me to make Indian moccasins. I’m going to have to sign off here. (laughs)

ALL: (laughing)

AJM: OK, can I ask you one last quick question?

DH: Absolutely. Here we go.

AJM: This one’s quick. You have a Senate race, a Senate primary out there in California with Chuck DeVore versus Carly Fiorina. And I’m wondering, have you made an endorsement, and are you planning on making an endorsement??

DH: No. I haven’t made any endorsement. I haven’t even looked at the race. But we’ll do that and try to get up to speed on it. But, I haven’t yet, no. We got a long time before the California primary. {no, don’t draw on that}. I’ve got a granddaughter who is drawing on the wrong side of this leather.

LD: They’ll burn the house down while they are at it too. (laughs)

DH: (laughing) He, this is great time. I’m in my elk room right now. We’ve got these big elk heads on the wall. And they’ve represented a lot of meat, let me tell you.

AJM: Hey, when you went up to Idaho, or was it Colorado, where you got your elk, did you bring that home?

DH: Oh yeah. Yeah. We brought home the meat and we brought home the horns. So the Hunters will continue to eat well this winter.

ALL: (laughing)

AJM: OK. We’ll let you go. Take care of those kids. Are you doing duty by yourself or is Lynne home too?

DH: OK, great. Right now I think I’m isolated with a couple of wild Indians.

ALL: (Laughing)

AJM: OK, thank you very much.

DH: Great talking to you guys. Hope you are all doing well. Hope your families are doing well.

ALL: Thank you!

DH: OK. And God Bless Massachussetts!!

ALL: (Laughing) Amen!


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Duncan Hunter Interview 1-8-2010

Duncan Hunter Interview 1-8-2010: GOP Congressional Politics, JD Hayworth, Panty Bomber and FOOTBALL

AJM: Hello Congressman, how are you today?
DH: Very good.
AJM: How did your speech go?
DH: Good. It was a great event. It was for a guy named Lew Meyer. He was guy who was in Hue City when the NVA came and took Hue City, which our Marines then retook. He was badly hurt and was then in a POW camp. We got him a POW medal and a purple heart.
AJM: That’s great. Did you say it was on the Midway?
DH: Yeah, the ceremony was on the Midway. I’ve got about 20 minutes here, so let’s roll.
AJM: OK, let me close my office door so I don’t disturb the neighbors.
AJM: OK. Happy New Year to you first of all. I guess what I’d like to know, what we’d like to know is what are your plans for 2010 in terms of helping move the country, move the ball in our direction? I know you’ve been very involved through 2009 , so what are your plans going into 2010?
DH: Well, I think the best efforts of all Republicans and all conservatives is to try to get good guys to run for office, particularly in seats in what I would call swing districts, where we can take a big step, a giant step towards taking congress back. And to those ends, what I’ve been doing is trying to help a few good candidates. One of whom is Gunnery Sergeant Nick Popaditch who is running for Congress here in San Diego against a long term liberal incumbent Bob Filner. Popaditch is a Silver Star winner who was in that famous picture as the statue of Saddam came down, when Baghdad fell. He was a tanker and was thereafter injured pretty badly in a tough firefight, won the Silver Star, came back to the States and is now running for that congressional seat.
We have a number of other good guys who are running fresh out of the Service. One is Vaughn Ward, a rifle company commander in Iraq and he is running for the seat in Boise, one of the two house seats there. Then we have Jesse Kelly who is running for what should be a Republican seat in Tucson. That is a seat that has a 20,000 vote Republican plurality, yet the seat is held by a democrat.
So helping with these – what I would call these “takeback” congressional districts, helping good, conservative candidates win in those districts should be the agenda for all Republicans and all conservatives this year.
AJM: Sounds like a good agenda.
DH: You win these things by winning seats and that’s how we’ll take away this “do anything I want to do” program that the Obama Administration has embarked upon. They aren’t held back now, they are filibuster proof in the Senate, and as the Health Care vote demonstrated, they have enough votes to override a filibuster attempt. And that means essentially they can do whatever they want to do. That’s not balance, that’s not checks and balances, but rather it is the pathway for a socialist agenda this next year.
AJM: Yes sir! This next question is related and it is a little bit touchier. And that is what about conservatives challenging established moderates in the party for their seats?
DH: It depends. I’ve always been cool to that approach, because we end up with a limited number of bullets and we end up shooting each other. Republicans can’t afford to do that, generally. So if you’ve got some fairly scarce ammunition and you can use it in a district where $50 thousand or $75 thousand might mean a 2% win for a Republican, like the Nick Popaditch district, why would you go over and spend a million trying to knock out a Republican in a safe Republican seat?
That approach has always left me a little cool. And behind that approach, to some degree, is of course the self interest of folks who want to take a Republican seat, that want to get a political seat for themselves, so they end up stirring up a fight with a Republican incumbent who at least makes that first vote in the right column. And that is the vote for Speaker. And if you have a Republican majority, you should always have a conservative speaker, because the majority of the Republican Party is conservative. So if you have a Connecticut liberal like Nancy Johnson or a social liberal like Rob Simmons, who is otherwise good on defense, and that person would vote for, say, a Newt Gingrich for Speaker of the House. So it’s much more worthwhile to expend your ammunition trying to take back a district that is held by a Democrat then shooting at each other – and I say that as a staunch conservative – shooting at other republicans when your ammunition is scarce when it’s going to take an all out effort to simply win a majority.
AJM: I understand that position, and that is the good Republican position. Now I’m going to ask you to put on your conservative hat. What happens in the instances when a moderate IS challenged by a conservative? Obviously certain moderates, oh I would say like a Lincoln Chafee, is really quite left actually as opposed to moderate. But in this case specifically, I heard today that JD Hayworth, your old buddy from Congress, is going to challenge John McCain for his Senate seat.
DH: Yeah? I haven’t heard that. But I’m going to see JD I think in a couple of weeks. He’s going to be out helping Jesse Kelly. I’m sure if that’s what he’s going to do, I’m sure he’ll call me about it. You know, everybody is an ‘independent contractor’ so you can’t say you don’t have the right to run in a district – whether it’s for a Senate seat or a House seat – and go up against a member of your own party.
What you were asking me about, though, was the practicality of using scarce ammunition to shoot our own soldiers. And my answer to that is, that it is not a practical thing to do.
Now, you called me with a lot of enthusiasm about having a 3rd candidate when we had a Republican candidate and had a democrat candidate in that NY district 23. I think that, wasn’t that the McHugh district?
AJM: Yes. McHugh moved onto the Administration…
DH: What I told you probably would happen, or had a chance of happening, occurred. That is, we ended up having a split. From a Democrat’s strategy point of view, they loved it when the Republicans basically had a split. Then the Republican nominee, who did something entirely inappropriate, which is to endorse the democrat. So the one thing that could keep the democrats in control of that particular seat occurred.
So at some point, here’s what you have: You have to win! Winning is important. So when you only have so much ammo, you want to ensure every bullet is expended to achieve maximum leverage.
The district next door to my seat, which I won in 1980, I ran against an 18 year Democrat, liberal incumbent, I couldn’t raise a dime from the Republicans. In fact, I had to sell my house to run. Which I did. But I couldn’t raise any money from the so-called Republican establishment. That same establishment put about 3 million dollars into the primary contest in the Republican district next door. The money I got from selling my house, which I could not raise from the Republicans, put me over the top and I was able to win that 2 to 1 democrat seat by 53% to 47%. So I learned first hand that, in terms of numbers, I gave the Republican party a seat that they otherwise would not have had. So it’s much more effective to use your ammunition shooting at the other side than shooting at your own troops.
AJM: I generally agree. I don’t anticipate that JD Haworth will get much support from the Party. He’s going to have to raise his money on his own.
DH: I want to be clear. I’m not talking about JD. JD hasn’t said anything to me, so I don’t want to personalize or speculate about what your friends are going to do. I like JD, he’s a great friend of mine. And what you do in a case when you have a personal friendship, is very often you throw all the rules aside. Personal friendships are still important in this world, and they are important to me.
But you asked me a general question about Republicans using their resources to shoot their own guys in primaries, and I said it’s not a practical strategy, and it’s not. I mean look at the national numbers. The democrats are below 50% approval for the first time. We have to strike hard.
If you ask me whether I would take a liberal Republican in a seat where his first vote would be for John Boehner for Speaker of the House, rather than Nancy Pelosi; or you are going to have a lefty in that seat who votes for Nancy Pelosi, my preference is always going to be the former.
AJM: I understand that, and I think most conservatives do. But the environment, especially with the Tea Parties, has kind of changed the outlook on Republicans as well as Democrats.. …
DH: Yes it has. But I’m reminded of another thing. You know Bob Dornan lost to Loretta Sanchez here in Orange County…
AJM: Uhhhggggg…
DH: And Bob Dornan was one of the great conservatives in our party. Dornan was beaten by a couple of hundred votes. I think 224 votes, arguably a number of them cast by illegal aliens. The democrats played the race card and the republicans folded. Nonetheless, he only lost by about 200 votes. The libertarian candidate got about 5000 votes, as I recall. And probably a lot of those people who voted libertarian, said ‘well I’m going to vote Libertarian because I think the Republicans haven’t done enough to cut taxes, they don’t do enough for freedom’. So by voting libertarian, they helped to elect a liberal over a real conservative. That’s what I call the practical aspects of dividing your votes and dividing your resources.
AJM: Yeah, I understand the third party notion and what it can do. I think you explained it well regarding that seat in NY. But when we talk in terms of Republican primary I think it’s been your practice, in fact I know you’ve actually recruited conservative candidates in the past to run against more liberal republicans. And I think we are going to see a fairly decent groundswell of that this time, within the Republican Party, not necessarily third party.
DH: Yeah. People I’ve recruited in the past, like Gunny Nick Popaditch – though I’m not the only person to have encouraged him to run, I don’t want to give myself all the credit – I think he’s a great candidate. But I asked him if he’s interested in running against an extremely liberal Democrat. And that’s the reason I wanted Nick to run.
AJM: Yeah, that’s a seat held by a democrat. In the past, with the Conservative Opportunity Society, you were trying to identify conservatives to run, not just Republicans.
DH: Oh that’s true. I still do. But all the conservatives I recruited to run, I recruited to run as Republicans during my tenure at COS. (Laughing) I don’t recall ever asking anyone to run on the Libertarian ticket.
AJM: (laughs) Oh, no, no, no.
DH: (laughing) That’d have been a real trick if I had!
AJM: OK. Well good. I’m sure you’ll be hearing from JD in the weeks to come. It will be interesting to see what happens there.
DH: Yeah. JD is a great guy and he’s a great friend.
AJM: Yeah, I noticed also, you told me you endorsed Mr. Bob Smith for Senate down there in Florida, not the moderate NRSC’s Charlie….
DH: Yeah. Bob Smith helped me in my presidential race. He supported me. Plus, he’s an old time friend of 30 years. That’s important.
AJM: Plus he’s an old cold warrior too. We don’t seem to have too many anti-communists around anymore. We need a few more of them, I’ll tell ya.
DH: Yes, we do. Bob Smith’s a great guy and I would do the same thing again.
AJM: Well good. There you go, you’re stirring the pot.
DH: (laughs) That’s not so. You have a general practical rule which is when you divide votes, you divide resources, that hurts you in terms of the general election. But against that rule, you’ve got exceptions. One exception is old friends who have known you for a long time, who have helped you. There’s a certain reciprocity involved. And also, going out and recruiting candidates as I’ve done. When you go out and recruit a conservative candidate and you ask them to run, because you think they are just a tremendous candidate that would do great things for the country, you don’t have a crystal ball that tells you that 3 weeks from now you’re going to have a state senator get into the race who has got good poll numbers. So you understand, once you go out and recruit that good candidate to run, then you have to stick with him. There’s a certain loyalty factor involved. So overlay that loyalty factor, that conservative factor, and the recruitment factor against the practical rule that you want to use your scarce ammunition in the real battle (general election), not against fellow republicans. I think that is an important thing.
AJM: OK, very good.
Now on to our Christmas underwear bomber. I’m sure you are quite aware of that story, about the guy getting on the airplane with the bomb planted in his skivvies. They did not ‘connect the dots’ on this guy and I’m wondering if it’s because of their attitude that this is not really a WAR on terrorists we’re engaged in. They changed it to an “Overseas Contingency Operation”, and they don’t use the words “terrorism” or “jihadists”, so I think political correctness has slipped back into this fight, especially with the idea we are going to prosecute these guys in court. What is your message to the Obama Administration about how we need to keep these folks off of airplanes and out of our country?
DH: The Obama Administration, I hope, has learned the lesson that you can’t eliminate the war by changing your vocabulary. You can’t do that anymore than they could have in 1942 by declaring that World War II was over. That is essentially what the Obama Administration tried to do. They thought that by changing their vocabulary, they could somehow stop these jihadists from attacking us. That is a rather naïve point of view. And if that is representative of their strategic thinking, I think the country is in for real trouble.
AJM: I’ve seen nothing from these guys that tells me it’s not. That is why this 2010 election we just talked about it is one of the most crucial in our modern history. We’ve had others, but this one’s a biggie.
DH: Oh yeah! That’s why I’m doing…..let me again make a pitch for 3 guys. You’ve got 3 military guys who went out there and fought for this country in Iraq and understand what it takes to defeat an enemy. One of the guys is Gunnery Sergeant Nick Popaditch, the “cigar marine”. He was the guy that was sitting in the turret of an M1 tank as the statue of Saddam came down. He later won the Silver Star in heavy combat. A great, great speaker, very eloquent; running against liberal Bob Filner here. We’ve got to help him. Also, Jesse Kelly, who was a Corporal who went over the line in the initial push towards Baghdad. He comes from a business family, and could have easily avoided service. In fact, everyone that serves today serves as a volunteer. He went into the combat arms as an infantryman and served in that first Iraq push. He’s running in Tucson. And lastly, Vaughn Ward, who served in both the CIA and as a Marine rifle company commander in Iraq, running in the Boise district of Idaho. These are three guys who served our country and want to serve again in the Congress. I’ve backed them up. If I did nothing else, I’d cut three checks and send them to those guys.
AJM: Well, you’re definitely going to get checks coming for all those guys. Plus there are another couple of gentlemen, like the guy out in Iowa, Chris Reed, who I believe you’ve campaigned for as well.
DH: Yes, absolutely. While he didn’t serve in a combat unit in Iraq or Afghanistan, he nonetheless was in the Navy, a servant of our country. He’s running against the liberal, Mr. Loebsack out there in Iowa. Great candidate. So I went out there to do a small event for him. We’ve got to help him out. That seat is representative of the kind of swing district that we need to get back if we are going to win majority. We can’t just win the solid Republican districts. We’ve got to win some tough ones. That seats in the same position, I think, as Mr. Filner’s here in San Diego. It’s a Democrat seat, a district that is marginally Democrat, but populated by a conservative constituency and voter base. We can win these with good candidates. Chris is an example of one of those good candidates.
AJM: And you are going to stay involved in these campaigns and other campaigns of up and coming conservatives throughout the year?
DH: Absolutely. Yes.
AJM: Well your 20 minutes is up, I hate to tell you (laughs). I know you have limited time, but I have to ask you this. Are you a San Diego Chargers fan by chance?
DH: Uh, yes.
AJM: And you think their chances this year are???
DH: Listen. I always think the Chargers are going to win every game. (laughs). With respect to other facets of life, we can be practical, we must be practical. But with the Chargers, I’m always for the Chargers whether they are up or down or indifferent, and I always think they are going to win every game. In this case they’ve won what? The last eleven?
AJM: Yes. I think.
DH: And Phillip Rivers has never lost a game in December, he’s 18-0 for December. And I hope that carries into this month! But I think we’ve got a great chance of winning everything.
AJM: They are looking good. I just filled out a football pool, I’m still picking the Vikings to win the Super Bowl – they’ve been my team since I was a kid – but in terms of who looks the scariest right now, I’d say it’s San Diego.
DH: San Diego’s looking good. Incidentally, on the college level, Vaughn Ward, the guy who is running for Congress in Boise Idaho, his team Boise State has done well. They just won the Fiesta Bowl.
AJM: Is Vaughn a Boise State grad?
DH: No, I don’t think he’s a Boise State grad, but he’s a Boise State aficionado at this point.
AJM: (Laughs) After last night’s National Championship game, Boise State ended up in the final polling, the AP and the Coaches Poll, as number 4 in the nation. That’s pretty impressive, because I think they have all but one of their starters is coming back next year. Can you believe that?
DH: Yeah. They ought to be a little higher. What they did was simply let them replace TCU who they beat.
AJM: Pretty much.
DH: They beat Oklahoma, they beat Oregon.
AJM: They should be number 2.
DH: I think they are the number 1 team in the nation! Who do they have ranked right now as number 1?
AJM: Alabama, of course.
DH: Yeah. But you know, TCU was number 4 ranked, right?
AJM: Uh huh.
DH: What did they get? 45 yards on the ground against Boise State?
AJM: That was an impressive defensive display.
DH: I think they have definitely got the best defense in the nation. And I think they’ve got the best team.
AJM: Well next year, because they should start the year highly ranked, if they go undefeated again, they should get a chance to play for the national championship this time, even though they are in the WAC. So we’ll see.
Final question for you. Michael Steele. Have you been paying attention to this guy the last few days?
DH: I haven’t been following Michael, but I know him.
AJM: He managed to put his foot in his mouth one more time. Yesterday, talking to Sean Hannity, Hannity asked him if he thought we had enough to take back the House, and he answered “no”. So he’s been scrambling trying to do damage control. But there have been a lot of calls for his head. Do you think it is beneficial at this point to call for this guy’s head?
DH: No. What I think Michael’s got to do, is redouble his efforts to take back the house. He can always make up by action for what faux pas have been wrought by speech. If he just works real hard and helps us raise money and goes into those districts – he’s a good speaker – and just does everything he can for us to win…
AJM: He needs to watch his language or something. He’s very good at shooting himself in the feet.
DH: Well, I’m not good at un-ringing bells. So it sounds like that bell’s been rung. (laughing)
AJM: (laughs) Well listen, I’ll let you go. And I’m going to be bugging you once JD gets a hold of you, and I’m going to ask you if you’ll be supported him over McCain.
DH: OK. Good
AJM: I have a sneaking suspicion you’re going to.
DH: (laughs) Well, thanks for calling up and….
AJM: No more Amnesty Queens. Have a good day.
DH: OK. Goodbye.