Live from Music Row Wednesday 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. – host Leahy welcomed Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil W. McCabe to the newsmakers line to discuss his recent story at The Virginia Star about how Congressman Denver Riggleman has shocked the Virginia GOP.
Leahy: We are joined now by our Washington and National Correspondent for the Star News Network. My good friend and former colleague at Breitbart News, Neil W. McCabe. Good morning, Neal.
Leahy: You have a great story today. I love the headline (McCabe laughs) at The Virginia Star our affiliate in Virginia. I’m going to read the headline and then you can add context to the headline. Bitter-Biden Curious Representative Denver Riggleman Shocks Virginia GOP. Now for our listening audience. Crom is sitting here saying what bitter Biden curious means. Explain first explain why he’s bitter. And then explain why he’s Biden curious this GOP congressman.
McCabe: Denver Riggleman should be the most grateful man on earth because there’s a great congressman from Virginia five who had a drinking problem that was sort of exploited and his staffers went after him. And basically, they created a situation where this congressman had to resign so close to the election that there was no time for a primary or anything. So basically the Republicans in the district, the district committee had a quick vote and they nominated Denver Riggleman to replace this congressman. And so at the last minute, he jumps on and he gets onto the ballot. And this is a very Republican part of Virginia. And he becomes a congressman.
Leahy: This is when 2016 or 2018?
McCabe: 2018. So the guy wins, you know a seat where there’s some controversy because of what happened with his predecessor for the nomination. But basically in a Democratic year, Riggleman is elected to Congress and he spends the next two years annoying and angering his constituents to the point where a guy named Bob Good. So Bob Good is the former athletic director of Liberty University down in Virginia. He runs against him and beats him in the primary.
Leahy: Beats him like a drum.
McCabe: And Riggleman is bitter
Leahy: He’s bitter because he lost the primary because he wasn’t really a conservative Republican. So that’s why he’s bitter. And why is it so funny to use the phrase that he’s Biden curious?
McCabe: I talk to people in Virginia for this story. often, you know, some of them talk to me off the record some of them in the article obviously talk to me for the record. Rick Anderson the chairman of the Republican Party in the Virginia primary and Amanda Chase who is a state senator running for governor. He basically did not accept his loss and campaign for Bob Good.
Now, you know in the old school what you’re supposed to do is if you lose the nomination you’re supposed to take your licks and take your medicine, and you’re supposed to campaign for the guy who won the nomination. And then it will be your turn next time and people will respect what you did. Instead, what this guy does is he said that he invited the Cameron.
Leahy: Yeah, he worked for the other side.
McCabe: So the guy who’s running against a Democrat who’s running against Bob Good has an appearance at Riggleman family distillery where he basically says nice things about him. And then he says on CNN that the president is wrong to not condemn QAnon which is basically from what I can gather it’s like because of this is just a gossip site that they’re making the equivalent of Antifa.
And then he goes on CNN again and the host Anna Cabrera says, would you consider voting for Joe Biden? The guy says yes! and it’s like what? So he’s making makes an appearance with the Democrat running to take his seat. He goes on CNN to say that he’s considering voting against the president of the United States. And frankly, Donald Trump endorsed the guy and helped him win.
Leahy: Oh Donald Trump was big-time helping this guy.
McCabe: In the primary Mike. In the primary that he lost Trump was with him. And so there it is. It’s an unfortunate thing in one way because you know you like to see party loyalty. You like your integrity. You like to see people who are part of the process and who will be loyal to a process. But at the same time in these sorts of political seasons, you also see people’s true colors just as I look at the foliage. True colors are coming out.
Carmichael: Will Good win?
McCabe: Oh yes.
Leahy: Good’s going to win in that district.
McCabe: So this is one of the oldest congressional districts in the United States. The first race for this set of this house seat was between James Madison and James Monroe. And James Monroe won because he has the backing of the Patrick Henry machine.
Leahy: Oh James Madison one that one James Madison won that. On that particular one, James James Monroe could have won it. He did have the backing of Patrick Henry but Madison came back, he didn’t want to run. But Madison came back and ran and during that campaign as I’m sure you know, he was a new originally opposed to the Bill of Rights. Right?
Monroe said I will be for a Bill of Rights. And Madison during that trip said yeah, I will be for a Bill of Rights if you’ll elect me. That’s one of the reasons we have a Bill of Rights. And it comes from that congressional district. But the put your point is this it’s an oft-told tale I think isn’t it Neil? An off told tale of the lack of gratitude and selfishness that we’re seeing here with this Denver Riggleman character.
McCabe: Riggleman is not really a conservative. He didn’t want to get into public life to achieve an agenda or to represent, you know people who he thought needed a voice or a platform. He’s one of these wealthy guys who just wanted, you know, he wanted his name in lights. He wanted the cachet of being a congressman and you know, it takes a while. Sometimes it takes a little longer for someone to be seduced by Washington. But didn’t take this guy long at all. And you know, and he paid the price in the primary.
Leahy: Now he wants to run for governor there in 2021.
McCabe: People have told me that on back channels. I didn’t put it in the article because you know, nobody’s really announced or whatnot. But as you know, there is a governor’s race in 2021. Virginia’s one of those off-cycle elections. And so we’ll see what happens in 2021.
Carmichael: And the current governor can’t run for re-election. Is that correct?
McCabe: That’s it’s one of the weird quirks of Virginia that being the governor is a one-off. and you know, of course, Ralph Northam has a great future ahead of him in the Democratic Party because of his support of abortion and his war against gun rights.
Leahy: And his hypocrisy.
McCabe: And nobody’s really sure if he was wearing blackface or Ku Klux Klan costume. But either way, it seems fine with the Democrats because he’ll strangle a fetus with his own hands.
Leahy: Well, the other part about that Neil is when you look at Virginia, the 2021 gubernatorial race, there will be a bellwether for whoever wins the presidential election. It always is. and you remember when Bob McConnell won, right? That was a bellwether victory in 2009 indicating a precursor of the Tea Party success in taking of the House in 2010. You may have elements of that this time around. In Virginia, you can serve as governor for one term take a term off, and run again. The Clinton bag man known as former Governor McAuliffe, is he going to consider running?
McCabe: I don’t know that. but certainly, Justin Fairfax the lieutenant governor should be a strong candidate for governor unless the McAuliffe machine can somehow, you know keep Fairfax down. There’s a lot of people who think that McAuliffe was behind some of those stories about Fairfax. Of course, he was credibly accused of sexual assault.
Listen to the third hour here:
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Photo “Denver Riggleman” by Denver Riggleman.