Live from Music Row Friday 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 Tennessee Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Manny Sethi.
During the third hour, Sethi discussed his priorities in the wake of COVID and the death of George Floyd. He disagreed with defunding the police and advocated to bring supply chains back to America. He added that in order to defeat Democrats, Republicans need to challenge them at the local level.
Leahy: We are joined now by our very good friend Dr. Manny Sethi. He is running for the Republican nomination for Senate here in Tennessee. Good morning Dr. Sethi.
Sethi: Mike good morning brother! Good to be with you!
Leahy: I’m here with Crom Carmichael and you have quite an interesting new set of commercials out their Dr. Manny. Tell us about them.
Sethi: My heart breaks for what happened to George Floyd. It’s a tragedy. You know we’ve all seen that video and peaceful protests are American but robbing is terrorism. I just believe that the Radical Left and folks like Antifa are trying to rip this country apart and create a race war.
I don’t think we’re perfect but we’re always trying to create a more perfect union. I have lived the American dream. I believe America is the greatest country on earth. My parents are immigrants and they came here with nothing. And that’s why I’m asking folks to send me to the Senate because I think we have to take on these left-wing folks who are all about political correctness and bring us together as Americans. I think that’s what we need at a time like this.
Carmichael: Manny, how are you doing?
Sethi: Hey Crom, how are you doing?
Carmichael: Doing good. Doing good. That’s a great message. And at a time like this, that’s a message that you and Republicans as an organization and as a party needs to have. And then have the ideas to then back it up. What are the policy changes that if you get to Washington, what are the policy changes that you would push?
Sethi: First of all with issues like this … I just think right now we need to support our police force. We need to support our cops across this country. Look, 99% of police are really good people. They put their lives on the line. I have seen them take bullets for white citizens, for black citizens. Everyone.
We just have to really appreciate them. So I would stand directly against anybody trying to defund the police in places like Nashville or Minneapolis or wherever they are trying to do this. And then I just think its really important to protect our law enforcement. If I’m your new U.S. Senator that’s what I’ll do.
Carmichael: Now, you are a trauma surgeon?
Sethi: Yes sir.
Carmichael: So when you say you’ve seen them take bullets, you literally mean that.
Sethi: Yes. Yes, I literally mean it. (Carmichael chuckles)
Sethi: I have taken care of multiple people. One gentleman comes to mind. He ran into a motel and there was a drug deal and someone in the next room an innocent bystander an African American gentleman and he put his body between a drug dealer and that gentleman and saved his life by taking a bullet into his leg which landed about five millimeters from his iliac vein. Which if it wouldn’t gotten in there would have killed him.
Sethi: He had a young baby who was five or six months if I recall and a young wife. And this Crom is what police officers do across this country every single day.
Carmichael: Yes. Yes.
Sethi: And it just frustrates me when I hear these things. Look, everybody, who’s listening to this show you’ve all seen a bad doctor here or there. That doesn’t mean all doctors are bad. And just because one police officer does something that is wrong and immoral it does not mean that 99.9% of these folks are not good people.
And we have to stand with them now. And what we also have to do is we have to stand against this political correctness machine. Opening your business back up is a crime? But burning your business is not? Going to church is wrong? The protesting is not? I mean what is going on in our country?
Carmichael: What about education? What would you do to try and improve the opportunities for black children in particular?
Sethi: I believe first of all education is a local issue. Common core kind of showed you the failure of government when they get between teachers and the kids and when they fund local school boards. I believe in school choice but it should be decided at the local county level and not by the state or federal government. My wife is involved with a national charter school company called Rocketship.
And what they do is they go into schools across the country to compete if a public school is not doing well. And that’s what we need to do. That’s number one. You’re exactly right. You realize that if a child cannot read by third grade their risk of incarceration and going to jail goes way up. And so what we have to do is we have to improve local education. But that’s a local issue.
Carmichael: Manny I love you, but I want to pushback on this.
Carmichael: If you get a Democrat-controlled city with Democrat aldermen or Democrat councilmen and they are supported by teacher unions’ money then they will fight every step of the way to change education to help young black children. And if it’s part of the national government’s role to try to fix the small small number of problems in police departments and they are very very small, the problems in education at the local community are multiple times larger.
Education is the civil rights issue of our time. If you are just as you said if you are black and in the inner city and you don’t learn to read by the time you are three your chances of having a good life are greatly prohibited. Why shouldn’t that be something the Republican Party as a party nationally try to fix?
Sethi: First of all I agree with the sentiment of what you are saying. We have to make it a national issue that we focus on. But Crom I just don’t believe honestly that the federal government has the power to do that. Look, education issues in Shelby County where I have worked in schools doing youth violence work with kids in high-risk schools are different than the challenges in schools like Davidson County or in Washington County or Sullivan County.
What I believe is that yes, you can have some overarching goals and themes in ways the federal government can help. But at the end of the day, we’ve got to fight those Democrats at the school board level. Like they are doing in Chattanooga right now. There is a gentleman named Tom DeCasimo who’s running for the school board for the very issues that you are talking about right now.
He’s a Republican just taking on all these Democrats. But that’s what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to fight them at the local level. I believe that nothing will happen and nothing will change with an overarching large federal bureaucracy.
Leahy: We’ve asked you before the pandemic and before the George Floyd riots what your number one priority would be if you went into Washington, D.C., and you were elected. On your first day and what you would do. Here is my question for you. Has anything changed in terms of your priorities of the first thing you would do based upon the pandemic and the riots and all of the difficulties in the past three months?
Sethi: Yes. Absolutely. And the number one thing that we have to do is we have to de-couple ourselves from the Communist Chinese and figure out our supply chain issues. I was on the front lines of this COVID stuff. Taking care of patients. Watching what happened. 70% of our gowns, gloves, and masks and 20 of our medications are all made in China. We are entirely reliant on our Communist Chinese enemy for these supply chains.
And we have to have what I call a second industrial revolution and bring that back to America. We just announced a 95 county six-week swing and we’re through about half of these counties. This is what I’m talking about everywhere I go because I think it’s really really important. If this thing comes back and we have a second wave, we need to be able to make PPE here in America. PPE here in Tennessee. It’s really important.
Carmichael: Yes. Communist China is an enemy or adversary for sure. So I think that that is your top priority. That’s a good one. No question about that. Are you able now as you go across the state, are you able to now that we are kind of post-COVID, are people coming out and listening to you at your rallies?
Sethi: We are doing these town halls across the state. We had about 150 people in Coffey County yesterday and East Tennessee. In Sevier County we had about 80 people. Crowds are growing to the point where yesterday we had to literally change the rooms that we were in because the room was so small. Everywhere we go people are sick and tired of the same old same old. They want someone outside of the government. They want someone they can trust. Someone they can believe in and carry Conservative values to Washington.
Carmichael: I’m glad your crowds are good because that’s good for Democracy. We wish you well. And as far as I’m concerned when you want to come back on the show and give us updates that would be fantastic.
Leahy: An open invitation to come on anytime Dr. Manny.
Sethi: Well, thank you so much. Things are great and we’re across the state in all 95 counties. drmannyforsenate.com. I need your help and I need your vote.
Leahy: Dr. Manny Sethi, thanks so much for joining us.
Sethi: God bless. I appreciate it.
Listen to the full third hour here:
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