Bill Hagerty: ‘We Need Business People Like Me to Stand Up to These Radical Socialists’


Former Ambassador to Japan and TN Republican Senate Candidate Bill Hagerty joined The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Tuesday morning on the newsmakers line.

During the third hour of the show, Hagerty discussed his role on President Donald Trump’s Economic Advisory Board and stressed the economic and human damage that China has brought upon the globe. He advocated for bringing our supply chains back to America because we can no longer be dependent on China.

Leahy: We are joined now by our good friend, former ambassador to Japan and current candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, Bill Hagerty. Good morning Bill.

Hagerty: Good morning Mike. How are you doing?

Leahy: I’m delighted to have someone who’s actually physically been in North Korea here this morning to talk to us about what is going on in North Korea. Reports late last night that CNN said that the dictator Kim Jong-Un was brain dead. Then there is some equivocation of whether or not he is gravely ill or not. What do you make of all that ambassador?

Hagerty: I’m very accustomed to the difficulty of getting accurate information from North Korea. (Leahy chuckles) It’s a hermit kingdom and very very difficult to trust anything that comes from their news media. But its something we’re going to watch very closely I can assure you.

Leahy: Its something where you get an initial report like this and you say, hmm, is that true? And the follow up is, maybe not. Maybe. I suppose if he were to not be around any longer that would be a huge transition issue involved in North Korea I guess right?

Hagerty: It’s going to be very challenging. You know the story about me taking my wife and family there in the midst of all the heat just to demonstrate the fact that I have complete confidence in the military strength to protect us, to protect the Korean peninsula, Japan, and the region. I don’t know if we’d be vacationing in North Korea if we saw a collapse in their government though.

Leahy: (Chuckles) Good point.

Hagerty: There’s a lot of challenges there.

Leahy: Speaking of government, you have a very important job now. You are on the president’s economic advisory board as we start to reopen America. When did you learn you’d be on that board? And what does that entail?

Hagerty: The president put me on that board for the same reason that he’s endorsed me for the United States Senate here in Tennessee. Because he knows I’ve got the courage to stand up to China and the experience to do something about it. I’ve been focused on this before he named the board. I’ve been working with the White House staff.

In fact, I was on the phone with them more than half the day yesterday putting together a plan to bring back these strategic supply chains from China. We’ve got to stand up to China, Mike. They have been cheating and unfairly competing for far too long and the cover-up that they’ve attempted. You’ve heard me say it before. It’s the greatest cover-up in human history. I’ve called it the crime of the century.

I call it the crime of the century in terms of the amount of economic and human damage that they’ve brought all across the world. We’ve got to get our supply chains back. We can no longer be dependent on China. It’s about our American economy.

It’s about our national security. And that’s why the president has brought me on board to have me do and drive us in that direction and our team to start to win again. The president certainly wants to see our economy revive. I applaud Governor Lee too for taking steps to get us working again here in Tennessee.

Leahy: What would be step one for us to take back control of our supply chain with China?

Hagerty: It’s already started, Mike. The president began early in his administration with a massive effort to go through and clear out the regulations in Washington. He’s trying to make America a place that’s more friendly to business. That was a big help and a big step in the right direction.

But even more important was when the corporate tax rate was reduced from the highest in the world, 35%. Down to something more competitive at 21%. I’d like to see that 21% made permanent. It’s not today. I’d like to see it lowered that would make America more attractive. Our problem with China is that they’ve been cheaper.

It’s been a cheaper location for companies to produce. We’ve got to wipe out that advantage. We also have several other steps that I’m working on with a team at the White House to make America more competitive. I think what’s happened that in the minds of the CEOs and boards of directors in America, I can’t imagine them watching this cover-up in China right now over the virus and think that China is a good place to do business right now.

Leahy: That’s a very good point.

Hagerty: American leaders are waking up if they haven’t already. And certainly, the American public realizes that this is a strategic vulnerability that we need to avoid and need to address.

Leahy: The president made other news last night. You go to sleep early and you wake up to a lot of changes in the world. The other news that he made is that he will be signing today an executive order temporarily suspending all immigration. There will be a few exemptions apparently. What can you tell us about that executive order?

Hagerty: The president’s goal is to put America first, again this is why he’s endorsed me. I see it the same way that he does. We have got to put the American economy. We’ve had a massive decimation of the United States economy right now. The highest rate of unemployment that we’ve seen in America right now. The president is doing this to protect American jobs.

This is not a point in time when we need to be bringing in more immigrants to work here in America. We need to be putting Americans back to work. You see it right here in Tennessee, people want to get back to work. With unemployment record highs, this is not the time to have an immigration policy that doesn’t take into account this sort of unemployment. So that’s what the president is doing. He’s putting our economy first. He’s protecting us.

He’s also got our health and safety in mind too. This goes back to January when he stepped up and put the travel ban on China. He took a ton of criticism from people like what I call Beijing Biden. (Leahy laughs) He called the president xenophobic. Now everybody looks back and says it was a brilliant move. The president has our health and safety in mind. He’s also got the economy in mind. The economy is perceptive of the order that’s going to be signed today.

Leahy: Exactly. In your work with the president’s executive advisory board, do you do that mostly over the phone or do you travel to D.C? How does that happen?

Hagerty: The answer is both. I’ve been up to the White House and its sort of eery going up there, Mike. You’ve got to have your temperature checked. There are very few people. I saw Kellyanne Conway the last time I was there and she said Bill, I think you’re the only visitor on campus right now. Very few people are coming in from the outside.

But this task force is very critical to what the president wants to see happen. He wants to see us get our economy back going. As he said, the cure need not be worse than the disease. We have got a huge challenge ahead of us.

Again, my focus is longer-term on getting these strategic supply chains back to America. Standing up to China and putting in place the right policies that will make American companies see that clearly the United States is where they need to be locating. It’s already happening as I said but we need to accelerate that.

Leahy: When you look at the economic recovery, some commentators have said it’s going to be like a deep V going down deeply and going up sharply. Do you see it going up sharply or do you see it moving perhaps more steadily upward as we start to reopen?

Hagerty: I would say that the V will be more dramatic the sooner we get back to work. If this think is aloud to drag out longer which I  know some folks want to see this drag out past the November election. If it were aloud to drag out longer it would go into a full-on depression making it much harder to recover. The V is possible if we can begin to open the economy safely but soon.

What the president has done, we put it out last week and created a three-tier program. It’s a very logical structure that has certain gates that are based on health and the safety and capacity of our healthcare system. But once those gates are crossed, it’s an orderly process of beginning to reopen our economy. You’ll see Governor Lee and several other governors’ have already begun to move through that process now.

What the consumer needs to know is that their health and safety are first and foremost. And the president has made that clear. But there are ways to reopen the economy by taking that into account. And I’m glad to see us begin to make progress there. That’s a way we make this a sharp V.

That’s the way the economic recovery package works too. This is not a long term package. The rescue package that is caught up in Congress right now is not aimed to be a long term stimulus. It’s a rescue package to hold companies together over a short period of time while we get our hospital capacity in order. While we get new health and safety protocols in place so when we get back to work those jobs will be there for our workers.

Leahy: Speaking of getting the economy back up and running. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell late last night said, “Hey we’re ready to pass this paycheck protection program of additional funding of 250 billion dollars. It’s time for the Democrats to come together.” Do you see that bill of additional funding for small businesses passing in the next week or so? Or will the Democrats try and hold it up with a Christmas tree of goodies for the left?

Hagerty: Mike, this bill should have been passed a week ago. Leader McConnell put this forward just as a clean bill. Let’s just reload it. They’ve already gone through this ridiculous negotiating process with Nancy Pelosi. You remember, she flew back from San Francisco and held the bill up for five days so she could get as you say a complete Christmas tree list and a laundry list of socialism put into the bill.

And she went through that process. We had to give on things like the Kennedy Center. It’s unbelievable. We’ve been through this negotiation. Now they come and try to reload because it was hit very hard. The companies need these funds and they’ve held it up again. It’s unbelievable what they want to do. This is socialism.

They are pushing us in a direction where they want to go by loading more big government onto the backs of our economy. We need to get people back to work. And we need business people like me to stand up to these radical socialists and explain how the economy works and put our citizens back to work again. That’s what we want and that’s what we need to be.

Leahy: Former Ambassador to Bill Hagerty and candidate for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate, thanks so much for joining us today. Come back with us anytime.

Hagerty: Great to be with you again. Thanks so much.

Listen to the full third hour:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.







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5 Thoughts to “Bill Hagerty: ‘We Need Business People Like Me to Stand Up to These Radical Socialists’”

  1. Traditional Thinker

    What we dont need are idiots like Sanders or Warren running the country. Move to Cuba if you desire socialism.

  2. William Delzell

    We need people like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to stand up to mindless xenophobes like Haggerty!

  3. 83ragtop50

    SO I can blame Mr. Hargerty for the stupid decisions coming out of Washington?

  4. Kevin

    What a narcissist!

    What we need are political outsiders, not retread Mitt Romneys, or Jeb Bushes! Right now, Hagerty is a “tick on a coonhound” with President Trump. Once elected for 6 years, he’ll dismount Trump and continue sucking the blood from all is little people.

  5. Julie

    Wasn’t it Obama’s medical device tax as a component of Obamacare that drove some of these supply chains overseas?