Democrat presidential candidate Tom Steyer was scheduled to be interviewed by Michael Patrick Leahy on The Tennessee Star Report Saturday morning, but when the time came, the liberal billionaire no-showed.
Leahy is the host of The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy, which is broadcast weekday mornings from 5:00 am to 8:00 am on TalkRadio 98.3 FM and 1510 WLAC in Nashville.
The interview was scheduled to be taped on Saturday to air on Monday’s broadcast of The Tennessee Star Report.
The Steyer campaign contacted The Tennessee Star Report on Friday and asked for the Saturday interview. Later that day, The Tennessee Star Report confirmed with the campaign that the candidate would be calling in for a taped interview on Saturday morning at 9:40 a.m. central time.
With the audio rolling, though Steyer was a no-show, Leahy continued with the interview, now known as the “Chicken Tom” interview, the transcript of which appears below.
The “Chicken Tom” interview will be broadcast twice on Monday morning’s edition of The Tennessee Star Report, first at 6:15 a.m., and again at 7:30 a.m. central time.
This is Michael Patrick Leahy. I’m in the studio here on Saturday and it’s 9:47 am. We had scheduled an interview with presidential Candidate Tom Steyer. They called us up and said, ‘we want to be on your program!’ And we made arrangements with his publicity people.
They were supposed to call us at 9:40 am. Well, as our good friend Howie Carr once said, when the phone didn’t ring we knew it was Democratic presidential candidate, Tom Steyer. So just now I got off the line with their communications people and they said they’re not going to do it.
And they might – maybe – come back on Monday.
Well, you know, I sort of rearranged my schedule all day. We brought in a production team and got the studio all ready to go and they stiffed us! I think Tom Steyer is a chicken. He’s afraid to answer the tough questions.
I’ve got the questions that I was going to ask Tom Steyer. Here they are.
Question number one: Tom, President Trump set the annual cap at refugees resettled in the United States in the fiscal year 2020 at 18,000 under the authority of the Refugee Act of 1980. About 400 of them will be resettled in Tennessee.
That was down from 85,000 that arrived in the US in the fiscal year 2016. The last full fiscal year in which President Obama set the refugee resettlement cap. About 2,000 of them were settled in Tennessee. Now you’ve said, and this is quoting from your website Tom. A Steyer administration will restore refugee admissions to the levels maintained under President Obama in the first year.
It will, therefore, increase the number of refugees admitted in line with our international obligations. So my question number one for Tom Steyer. If elected president, at what level will you set the refugee cap in your first fiscal year and how many of those refugees will be resettled in Tennessee. Tom. Tom. Are you there? No Tom Steyer.
He doesn’t want to answer that question. OK.
Question number two for Tom Steyer: Many of the 2,000 or so refugees resettled in Tennessee came from hotbeds of terrorism such as Iraq, Syria, and Somalia. Not so in fiscal year 2000 where the majority of refugees that is the fiscal year of 2020 where the majority of refugees have come from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burma.
Now they are not hotbeds of terrorism but they are high TB burdened countries. If you are elected, Tom Steyer, will you return to the Obama years and have the top origins of refugees resettled in Tennessee come from countries like Iraq, Syria, and Somalia those hotbeds of terrorism? Tom Steyer?
Tom, you don’t want to answer that question? OK. That’s the second question we’re not getting answered, from Tom Steyer who’s basically a chicken. Tom Steyer, you are a chicken.
Question number three: Tom, you’ve also said, per your website, recognizing the devastating impacts of climate change and the need to prepare for global migration as climate crisis escalates Tom Steyer will help people recover from disasters in their communities. He will establish new categories to ensure people that are fleeing from climate-related disasters and conflicts are eligible for legal entry into the United States.
You call this, Tom, a “justice-centered climate plan.: Question number three for Tom Steyer, the presidential candidate, billionaire, and all-around activist, anti-Trumper. Tom, will these so-called climate refugees be in addition to the refugees resettled under the Refugee Act of 1980 under your administration? And if so how many?
Steyer? Steyer? Do we hear Steyer?
No answer to question number three from presidential candidate and billionaire Tom Steyer.
Question number four: Tom, you say you want to increase the minimum wage to $22.00 per hour.
Most conservative economists say that imposing such a ridiculously high minimum wage will have the undesired effect of cutting the number of entry-level jobs available to teenagers. Isn’t’ your proposal just a desperate act of pandering for votes from far-left members of the Democratic party and not something that would have a positive economic effect in the real world? Tom? Tom?
Are you there Tom?
Tom’s not there. He’s still not here! (Leahy laughs) Alright.
Question number five: In a Fox News interview with Bill Hemmer on Friday, he stated that you have already spent 280 million dollars of your personal fortune on your campaign for president.
Can you confirm or deny that you’ve spent about 280 million on your campaign so far? And how much are you willing to spend? Tom? Another question Tom doesn’t want to answer. Wow! OK. Tom, you were one of the first public voices calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
Most Tennesseans consider that a failed witchhunt and an entirely partisan exercise to divide the country. It failed miserably. Most Tennesseans applauded that failure. So they reject your polarizing vision of America and your partisan attacks on the President. Why should they give you any credence as a presidential candidate?
I don’t think he’s going to answer that question either. Alright.
The next question: The only ads I’ve seen you in, Tom, give me the impression that you are a self-important virtue signaler. The ad I’m talking about is the one where you congratulate yourself and your wife for setting up a non-profit financial institution that serves low-income residents of East Palo Alto. But here in Tennessee, many people consider that kind of self-congratulatory public mirror-gazing bad manners.
Why did you think it was a good idea to introduce yourself to people that of whom you’ve never met with that particular message?
Global warming: You seem to eagerly congratulate yourself for funding a variety of projects that advance the questionable position that global warming is a man-made phenomenon caused by too much carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by evil American fossil fuel companies.
Here in Tennessee, we are not buying what you’re selling. In fact, most of us think that you’re the one that’s got the science wrong. How to propose to overcome that perspective on one of your key policy initiatives? Tom? Tom Steyer?
Still not here!
Alright. We’ll close off with a question on education.
Tom Steyer, billionaire running for the Democratic presidential nomination: When it comes to education, Common Core has been a disaster. Test scores around the country have been either flat or on the decline. Conservatives think that bringing more competition to government-run K-12 schools through vouchers and charter schools is a good way to help turn a failing education system around. Do you support or oppose vouchers Tom? Tom Steyer are you there? Not there.
He’s not here.
Final question: Tom Steyer, do you oppose or support charter schools? Tom Steyer? Any answer to that? Nope. Well, there you have it. That is our interview with Tom Steyer. They called us up! They said they wanted to do an interview and they didn’t show up for it.
It was supposed to be a phone interview. I think he’s in Nevada on Saturday. We’ll have the results of the Nevada caucus to report at the Tennessee Star, Sunday, Monday and through the week .
That does it! That’s our interview with Tom Steyer who didn’t show up. As the great Howie Carr said when the phone didn’t ring, we knew it was Tom Steyer.
Listen to the full segment: