Live from Music Row 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. – host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Clint Brewer to the studio.
During the third hour, Brewer gave his analysis of last Thursday night’s presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. He made specific notes on Trump’s composure and the gaffe made by Biden regarding his stance on the gas and oil industries.
(Joe Biden clip plays)
Leahy: Clint Brewer all-star panelist. Clint, that’s Joe Biden apparently somewhere outside of his basement briefly to talk about fracking. You and I have not yet had a chance to talk about the debate on Thursday night here in Nashville. What is your analysis of what happened during that debate? What mistakes were made? What good points were made? And how is it going to impact the rest of the campaign now we have seven days left to go.
Brewer: Well, I think you know in a battle of two remarkably undisciplined candidates (Leahy laughs) possibly the two most undisciplined nominees in the history of American politics outside of maybe the 1800s. You saw a much more disciplined Donald Trump. Almost a surprisingly discipline Donald Trump to the point where I did a lot of debriefing with friends and colleagues after the debate on the phone and I had a lot of progressive friends say, you know if that was the Donald Trump we had been up against the last year we’d be toast. I literally had an activist in this city say it to me, I’m glad he hadn’t been like that all year. So I mean really strong performance from the president. You know in politics a couple of sayings that you know always seem to be true. First of all, if you’re explaining you’re losing.
Leahy: Amen brother to that one.
Brewer: And that clip, you know, the biggest gaffes was you know an unforced error was this oil industry comment.
Leahy: By Joe Biden. He basically I’m going to end the oil industry.
Brewer: I mean clean energy has been a goal of this country for a long time because it keeps us from being beholden to Middle Eastern oligarchies.
Leahy: That’s a polite way to describe it. (Chuckles)
Brewer: I mean and you know, look, we just had a story in the state where the State Department of Economic Community Development made what I think is a very wise investment in the General Motors operation up there to create jobs around electric vehicles. I mean technology is going. It’s clearly where the industry is going. But two to three weeks before a general election you don’t say it. I mean you don’t put up a fine point on it and jam it home. So now he’s scrambling, the former Vice President Biden is scrambling because now Now Pennsylvania and Texas are in play.
Leahy: A lot of people make their living in oil and natural gas in Texas and Pennsylvania.
Brewer: The Trump campaign and the president are just hammering him on it because the other saying that always proves true in politics is your opponent always gives you something you have to take it when they give it to you. And so, you know, that was a gift. The other thing that really hit home with me and you know and one of the things that I despise about politics is this sort of oh, we’re not in office now, everything’s the other guy’s fault. Right? Most of the immigration policies that President Trump has employed in the last four years were created by the Obama administration. I mean, you know, when he said who built the cages?
Leahy: Who built those cages, Joe?
Brewer: I mean it was a good line. It’s a good line. It was a crass line.
Leahy: Yeah, but it wasn’t it wasn’t at the level of where’s the beef?
Brewer: No, but it was pretty good. It sounded pre-planned. I mean he knew something on immigrant was read coming and he was ready and he had the line.
Leahy: By the way just funny. Now for journalists going to all Trump rallies the wi-fi password is, who built the cages, Joe?
Brewer: That’s pretty good. But I think it drives home a point which is despite all of the partisan rancor that we see covered in campaigns, the fact of the matter is every administration has to just as a matter of practicality pick up and carry part of the last administration’s public policy portfolio. In order for governance to happen that continuity takes place. Because you can’t just jump into office and rip up everything and change it in a matter of weeks days or even years.
Leahy: Years even. Yes.
Brewer: You know, I mean President Obama deported a lot of people from this country. At the time more than any other.
Leahy: And built a lot of cages for kids.
Brewer: Yeah. And that’s not me being necessarily pro-Trump on the matter of immigration, it’s just to say that you know much like say our China policy our immigration policy has been failing in this country across both parties for 40 or 50 years.
Leahy: Since 1965 when Senator Edward M. Kennedy put forward that immigration bill that basically opened up the floodgates.
Brewer: So anyway, I could go on about that for a while. But point being I think that the president won that debate pretty clearly. just simply because the bar was so low.
Leahy: It’s a very low bar and it’s one you don’t have to jump over.
Leahy: It’s one you just have to step over.
Brewer: It is. And I think Biden that that clean energy gaffe and the oil gaffe, I mean the fact that you just played that clip and he’s out there on the trail, you know having to explain that is remarkable.
Leahy: And and if you’re in the if you’re out there in Pennsylvania and or Texas and you live your living is made in the oil industry and you hear that you think this guy is talking out of both sides of its mouth.
Brewer: Well, and the correct answer is our car manufactures and our technology are clearly moving towards battery-powered technology. But that is something we as a country have to transition to. Many people rely on oil and natural gas.
Leahy: Yeah, that’s what he would say. Now, I would say, you know, we don’t have to transition to anything let the market develop.
Brewer: Well exactly. And that’s what I mean. I think we’re saying the same thing.
Leahy: And well he could have said it’s a more proactive let me pick which industry should win which is a more Democrat kind of choice. He could say that. That’s a better argument for a Democrat to make other than I’m going to end the oil industry, right? That’s like major league stupid. It’s almost as if I don’t know he was listening to Mark Meadows before he said it. (Chuckles)
Brewer: Well and I know the subsidies he’s talking about. I mean, you know, he also has to remember that there are a lot of people’s 401-K’s who are tied up in stocks.
Leahy: He’s talking about oil depletion allowances, and I think it’s arguable. I mean, I think you could make an argument to get rid of those. But then you could also make an argument to get rid of oh, I don’t know, mortgage deductibility. You can make an argument that anytime federal tax policy benefits an individual or industry you could make an argument to get rid of it.
Brewer: He was part of an administration that rolled out a massive stimulus program that targeted the subsidization of clean energy. In the ARRA Act it pumped, you know, billions of dollars.
Leahy: Lots of fraud in the energy industry. It’s not worked well for those industries. Solar or…
Brewer: It’s not. And he’s explaining and that’s not what you want to be doing in the final weeks.
Leahy: No it’s not.
Listen to the third hour here:
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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.
Photo “President Trump” by The White House. Photo “Joe Biden” by Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “Debate Stage” by Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0.