Live from Memphis Tuesday morning on 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.– Leahy was joined on the newsmakers line by Shelby County resident George Flinn who is seeking to replace Sen. Lamar Alexander in the U.S. Senate.
During the third hour, Flinn described why he was running again for the Senate seat in Tennessee and emphasized the need for a national medical stockpile. He added that China is hostile to the United States and we have outsourced too many of our jobs and needs to foreign countries. Flinn pledged action by initiating legislation that would bring back manufacturing and supplies to being made in America.
Leahy: We are joined now by our good friend U.S. Republican Senate Candidate Dr. George Flinn from Memphis. George welcome to The Tennessee Star Report.
Flinn: Michael Patrick Leahy, its been far too long. And I’ll tell you what, our kids are growing up and everything. Man, the Tea Party movement, we just have a lot of memories, don’t we?
Leahy: You and I were very active at the beginning of the Tea Party Movement back in 2009. We spent many a day and many events in Memphis in 2009. Thank you for all of the things you did to support the Tea Party Movement. Now I’m going to give you a little bit of a hard time. (Chuckles)
Flinn: I know.
Leahy: But we’re friends.
Flinn: Somebody told me that and I said you know, he may give me a hard time but he is fair.
Leahy: (Laughs) But you and I think ideologically we agree with a general Conservative world view. But here’s the thing. By the way congratulations on being a very successful doctor of radiology and the eventer of medical products. You own a number of radio stations down there. You’ve made a lot of money which is fantastic. And came from a very modest background. People admire that.
But, here’s a little rub. You ran for Congress in 2012 against Steve Cohen. Thanks for doing that by the way. But you lost 75% to 25%. You ran for the United States Senate in the Republican nomination of 2014. You got five percent of the vote. Lamar Alexander beat Joe Carr by 49:40 and you were at five percent. 2016, you almost beat David Kustoff for the eighth congressional district here in Tennessee.
You only lost by 3,000 votes. You ran again in the primary against Kustoff in 2018 and you lost by 57,004 votes. And here it is 2020. We already have a Trump-endorsed candidate in former ambassador Bill Hagerty. You’ve got Dr. Manny Sethi with a lot of grassroots support. And you are in this one as well. Why are you running again for public office?
Flinn: Well two or three things. One is I don’t quit. Another one is I’ve got a lot of solutions and what I’m seeing is a lot of people putting out slogans. They are soundbites. They are great for newspapers. They are great for radio and TV, but they don’t fix anything.
And I’ve come up with solution after solution for the problems that we have. That’s just part of my makeup for kids, grandkids, the future, and for the President of the United States of America. We need solutions. We need to fix this thing. Take China for instance. They have us right now to the point they’ve got us in a chokehold.
And without firing a missile or hacking our computer system or our electrical grid, China could take America down just by disrupting our access essential medications. Essential medical equipment. They could take us down just by turning it off. And we see that in the coronavirus epidemic.
We see what’s going on and China has just taken over the United States and they are not necessarily a friendly regime. They are somewhat hostile to us. And to have a hostile nation holding us hostage. Look right there in Franklin you’ve got community health systems and I think about 97 hospitals it was up to 130 at one time and they’re 25% owned by Chinese billionaires. They are taking us over and we are the United States of America. We are a people and we are not going to be bought by China. That’s just not going to happen.
Leahy: What’s your number one solution that Dr. Flinn. What’s your number one solution?
Flinn: The first thing we can do is we can use the power of the United States government. It’s the largest buying population and purchaser of goods and we can say OK, the United States government is only going to buy things made in America. Take for instance penicillin.
When we opened up trade in 2000 the Chinese government flooded the market with penicillin. The American makers of penicillin had to close their doors and the last factory to make penicillin was in 2004. We don’t make antibiotics here anymore. They are all made in China. The 80% to 90% of it is either made in China or you can have over the counter the generics. A lot of them are made in India.
But the key to that is India gets 80%-90% of the raw materials from China. So China holds the key to everything right now. And it was a very good plan on their part and we’ve got to fight back. We can have the right to sue. You know they have sovereign immunity right now? We need to change our treaties and our laws about that and let individuals and let groups let them sue China. Let them sue foreign nations.
Don’t make them immune to being sued by us because they’ve hurt our economy. They’ve hurt our health. They’ve hurt all kinds of things in the United States. They’ve disrupted our lifestyle and we should have the right to sue them for it. It’s just crazy that we’re protecting them. Our laws protect them and they are using our laws against us. And we’ve got to stop this.
Leahy: So you would introduce legislation to that effect?
Flinn: Absolutely. That would be one of the first things I’d do.
Leahy: What else would you do Dr. Flinn?
Flinn: I would support President Trump’s buy American executive order. But what’s happened is loophole after loophole has opened up by special interests. By politicians to where the buy America order really doesn’t have any teeth to it. I think we need a second Declaration of Independence. We had one 224 years ago I believe.
We need a second one now. We need to be independent. We are the United States of America. We need to be manufacturing things here. Remember the oil crisis? We now have oil reserves. We need to have a national medical reserve where somebody can say “Ok, I’m not going to supply you with antibiotics or medications.”
We need to have that reserve where it doesn’t disrupt us. Right now, we are totally beholden to China to furnish us with the proper antibiotics, and it’s very frustrating. That’s why I’m running. I’m so frustrated and I feel like the guy in-network who says I’m mad as blank and I’m not going to take this anymore.
Leahy: (Chuckles) I was just watching that over the weekend by the way George.
Flinn: That will inspire you to do things. And we need to wake up and get mad and angry about this and do something. That movie could have been made yesterday but until we get angry and wake up to what’s happening we won’t do anything. And we just need to fully fund the national medical stock.
You know we have a national stockpile but we found it running low. We used equipment and used equipment and didn’t replenish it. And now we’re found with our gas tank empty and the little orange light on saying, “Oh, you’re about to run out of this and run out of that. We’ve got to replenish it.”
Congress needs to fund replenishing the national stockpile and I think we need to create a national medical stockpile where we can keep a close eye on what we need. This pandemic should be a wake-up call to the United States of America just like the Tea Party was a wake-up call. You and I have been through it.
Leahy: Yes we have.
Flinn: I’m going to quit until we do something. Rather than support our troops or say buy American. We need to do something! We need to have a plan. We need to do something about it. And I won’t quit until we get this right.
Leahy: It sounds like you are very supportive of President Trump’s agenda.
Flinn: I am supportive of his agenda. As long as it’s good for Tennessee. The U.S. Senator is supposed to represent Tennessee through the federal government. And we’ve got to make sure that the agenda is benefiting Tennesseans. I think it is and I just want to make sure it continues to represent and take care of Tennesseans.
We have so many factories that have closed. We have so many small towns that have just been devastated by the closing of factories. And where were the jobs sent? China. India. Malaysia. Japan. I mean come on! We’ve got to stop this. We have paid a large price for a smaller price.
Leahy: Dr. George Flinn our good friend and candidate for the Republican Senate seat here in Tennessee. Thanks for joining us today. I hope you have a great day.
Flinn: I really appreciate being on with you. Good to see you in the trenches again. (Leahy chuckles)
Listen to the full third hour here:
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