Live from Virginia Tuesday morning on The John Fredericks Show – weekdays on WNTW AM 820/ FM 92.7 – Richmond, WJFN FM 100.5 – Central Virginia, WMPH AM 1010 / FM 100.1 / FM 96.9 (7-9 PM) Hampton Roads, WBRG AM 1050 / FM 105.1 – Lynchburg/Roanoke and Weekdays 6-10 am and 24/7 Stream – host Fredericks welcomed former Virginia Speaker of the House, Kirk Cox to the show to formally announce his run for governor of Virginia and how he plans to win it.
Fredericks: Former Speaker of the House. Former basketball coach. And unrepentant Yankees fan Speaker Kirk Cox with us announcing his run for governor today. Speaker Cox, great to have you.
Cox: John it’s great to be with you. So let me throw out a quick baseball analogy. It’s opening day. You’re throwing out the first pitch and so I’m honored to have my first interview with the Godzilla of the Truth. You’re right, it’ll be a long season but in November I plan on winning in 2021 and celebrating my three along with the Yankees 28th world series. (Fredericks chuckles) That’s how it’s going to go down.
Fredericks: Know what? I think the Astros have beaten the Yankees now we guess you beat by Tampa Bay so that’s a whole separate story. We got beat by them also. And it’s kind of ridiculous. I mean they just didn’t have that good of a team but look, I want to get to your race for governor. First of all, thank you for coming on my show today. And thank you for basically announcing here on The John Fredericks Radio Network your run for governor. But let’s get to some real issues right off the bat.
And I’m gonna go to politics and then we’ll go to policy. So let’s start with politics. You looked at the results here in 2020. The Republicans now losing everything. We lost the seventh again. We lost the second again. And Biden won the state by the commonwealth by over 350,000 votes. Almost 400,000. This was a dramatic increase from the vote count in 2016. So more and more Democrats are turning out. My target was two million. I hit that and still got blown out as Trump chairman. So just politics aside if you’re the nominee how on earth does a Republican win state-wide?
Cox: Well there are some interesting things in the numbers you just quoted. You did hit your targets and so you got a tremendous amount of votes over Ralph Northam. So the Republican votes are there. And I think that’s the first thing we need to look at. The second thing is I would say I’m very unique. I come from the bluest district in the state. And my district is over 30 percent you know obviously Hispanic, Black, etc. and everyone thought I would lose last time.
I’ve said repeatedly that my opponents never conceded. I ran against an African-American woman that had 1.5 million dollars which is equivalent to what Biden had if you look on that level. And so you know the proof is in the pudding. I feel very strongly that I can win in this state for a whole host of reasons. And John I mean you look at the president for example. I mean he did incredibly well in states we’ve never done well in. Pennsylvania, Michigan, et cetera. Virginia is probably the exception.
And you know I think what we’ll see is you’ll have back in the summer there’ll be a lot of people that will look at the democratic agenda and once again that collectivist agenda which certainly leans towards socialism. The government can do everything. Remember they’re in charge of everything lock stock and barrel in Virginia.
We’ve seen the effect of that. And if it is President Obama and I’m like you, we need to count the vote. So I’m certainly not considering that. But if it is him that will not be a good administration. So the Democrats will have a lot to own up for in the summer. I’ve said repeatedly we killed all their bad bills for years in committee. And so they would go back and say how reasonable they were in their districts. The argument’s not there anymore.
Cox: And so I can tap into a few things the President did that I think are just beginning that we can really build on. The one that I really saw that I think I’ve been very successful at is that his vote with communities of color which I think is historic. And what he did was fascinating and I was talking to a prominent Democrat the other day that said something really interesting to me.
She says we have lost the ability to be the party of the working class. Sort of the beer-drinking party after the last. And the President to some degree took that from us. that’s just beginning. and we saw that with his vote. But they care more about to me you know what you’re going to do in their communities on public safety. In K12 etc then to me an east coast, west coast elite philosophy which the Democrats have really become.
There are opportunities there. It won’t be easy. I’m the first person to tell you that. You better raise a lot of money. I’ve done that as Speaker. You better have both a fighting attitude and a vision going forward. I think I’ve always had that. I think there’s a real opportunity there. I’m too competitive to run if I didn’t think I could win. I mean I’m not in that mood so I do think it’s there to win.
Fredericks: We’re with former speaker Kirk Cox who officially announced his campaign for governor today likely to take on uh Terry McAuliffe we’ll get to that in a minute. But let’s get back to the 2020 results here. Trump got two million votes in Virginia. That’s 800,000 as you say more votes than Gillespie got in 2017. What we found though is we really couldn’t turn the Trump voters out in 2017, 2018, or 2019.
We turned them on again into 2020 bigger than ever, how are we going to get those out again? What is your message to Trump voters? And I agree with you on all this stuff. So I’m not being combative but both agreed on the biggest transportation tax ever back in whenever it was 2013. And now we’ve got Rhodes since the best decision he has ever been made. In fact, I didn’t think it was big enough that’s why you can’t fix 81. I thought voters should have been bigger.
Both of us agreed on expanding Medicaid in the state, Medicare in the state because that’s for Trump voters and people that were falling in the cracks, and the money was there. So I was a big advocate of that. You did that. But I’m not running for governor. And so Amanda Chase who’s the favorite right now is going to hammer you on that with her base. How do you reconcile that and then how do you translate to getting out those 800,000 Trump voters that Ed couldn’t get in 2017?
Cox: So I’ll match my conservative record with anyone. Once again let’s talk about who’s actually in a leadership position to do something and not just scream and yell. If you look at the second amendment which to me so many people in the conservative movement Republican party probably isn’t the issue. As Speaker of the House Kirk Cox and his intention to run through gun control bills. And we did that very smartly.
That was to me the signature piece from the second amendment. So once we’re out of power we’ll see what happens in January. And that’s a tremendously big issue for those folks and they want to know someone who’s been consistent for 30 years over that and who’s actually done something. Number two, I think the other big big issue for so many of our base is that the President’s done a great job on is the life issue.
Once again I was the majority leader pushing through those bills. Once again not a back venture. And number three which I thought was you know because of my heart for that issue and boldness I stepped off the roster in the Speaker. I’ve never seen that done in 31 years. I not sure it’s been done in the last 50 or 60 years. Gave an impassioned speech pro-life and once again blocked all of those bills. And we got that done.
The Kathy Tran bill would have called for abortion after birth. What people are looking for is someone who can win. I’m absolutely convinced of that. George Allen a few years ago and Bob McDonnell which I think I’m very much in that strain if you look. And they are going to curl up. They’re going to be tired of losing.
And once again, I’ve said this repeatedly I certainly hope it doesn’t happen. But if you do have a president Biden and once again a Democratic majority people are really going to coalesce. I have no doubt about that. And they are going to turn out. And the key is I will tell you I think I can very much get votes that Republicans have not gotten. I’ve proven that in suburban districts. And that’s what you’re going to need.
Listen to the full show here:
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Background Photo “Virginia Capitol” by Anderskev. CC BY 3.0.