Live from Music Row Thursday 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 and The Epoch Times Senior Editor-at-Large Roger Simon in-studio to recap the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas.
Leahy: We are broadcasting live from two studios today from The Star News Network studio in Washington, D.C, where I’m joined by Neil McCabe and from the iHeart Studios in Nashville, Tennessee, on Music Row, where we’re joined by Grant Henry and Roger Simon. Roger, the editor at large for The Epoch Times.
Roger, you are going to tell us about your experiences out in Las Vegas at the Republican Jewish Coalition, and you are about to give us a summary of the speeches.
Simon: It’s funny. Ari Fleischer is a big deal at that event. You know, that the old White House press secretary. And he calls it the Kosher cattle call. What the Kosher cattle call is that historically, this particular event has been a kind of preview of everyone who is going to run for president on the Republican side. So everybody gets an early look.
We had all of them except for the elephant, not in the room, Donald J. Trump, who had previously lectured this whole group by himself as he does. He doesn’t want to share and for good reason. I wouldn’t if I were in his shoes either, because chances are he’s going to be the nominee.
But all the rest of them, including, I would say, the number two consensus front runner Ron DeSantis of Florida where they’re talking and they were all greeted very politely. Although the person I think people wanted off stage quick enough was Chris Christie. The feeling about Christie was, he’s still here?
Leahy: Why is this guy here, right?
Simon: Also, I’m going to be kind of unfair here, but not politically correct. But I never am, because that’s politely correct is like a euphemism for fascists. So I’m not going to use that. But what I am going to say is that Christie is still of a certain girth, so he was going on and on making jokes about that.
(Leahy chuckles) But the point is in this day and age, being of a certain girth means you’re number one on the list for COVID. To be honest, the number one correlated danger for COVID is being overweight.
Leahy: I love that phrase, Roger. You’re so good with phrases. Chris Christie is of a certain girth. (Laughter)
Simon: It’s the old thing that people like me are called of a certain age, so we can avoid seeing what our real age is. (Chuckles) But I don’t know what Christie’s real weight is. I don’t want to know. More than 115.
Leahy: How many total speakers were there at the event?
Simon: I think there were six or seven. I mean, they were all the major ones, the ones that you would think of like Ted Cruz, who did a really good job. He’s a hot-headed speaker. He’s good. Also good is someone I have very mixed feelings about as I wrote in The Epoch Times was Nikki Haley.
But she did a good job speaking and talking a lot about her work at the UN, which was her best stuff. And she was good at attacking. And Kristi Noem also spoke.
So the people who you would think weren’t any surprises, it’s a conservative group in more ways than one. They weren’t bringing in outliers. What about Harry from the Fifth District of North Carolina did not speak.
Leahy: I want to go back to this Chris Christie thing. First, Why would anybody invite Chris Christie to that event?
Simon: Good question. I know Matt Brooks, who’s led that group for as long as I can remember, 15-20 years. He does a good job. I think he’s very conventional, though. And bringing Christie, as we know, has made attempts into trying to get to be President unsuccessfully.
But I don’t know. Also, Nikki Haley to some degree is what you would call disingenuous Never Trumpers. They pretend to love Trump, and then they whisper, he stinks. Several of them have that going because they all want to be president. And guess who stands in a way.
Leahy: Let’s talk about Chris Christie because in February 2016, I was in New Hampshire and I covered the primary for Breitbart. And I went to what was called a Chris Christie event. It was less interesting than any other event I went to. He was very much a deadpan speaker.
He didn’t have very much to say. The only candidate up there who was worse than that was an event with Jeb Bush, who was literally at the event. I was there at the event where Jeb Bush said, please clap here.
Simon: I was covering it at the same time for PJ Media. I was at one Jeb Bush event that was very small, which I will never forget. What Jeb Bush didn’t know at this particular point was that there were some alleys in Minnesota.
Leahy: How do you miss that? All I’m thinking is I was there with a very small group, including Byron York and somebody from Fox.
I forget and somebody from Real Clear Politics. And we’re like, we don’t know what to do when he shows he’s that ignorant. (Chuckles) We were all looking at the floor. It was a strange situation.
Leahy: A precursor to Joe Biden’s lack of connection to reality.
Simon: Well, not that bad.
Leahy: Nothing is that bad.
Simon: I mean, he could speak by himself.
Henry: Roger, you eluded a minute ago to the idea that Trump is likely going to be the Republican candidate for presidency going into this next one around. Can I get you to expand upon that a little bit more?
That perked my ear up. And the follow-up to that is, do you think if Trump is the one running as President, do we see Ron DeSantis as his VP pick or is DeSantis going to stay in Florida?
Simon: To answer your last question first, I’m not sure about that because there are arguments on both sides. DeSantis is a young man. At the RJC event the best speech because he’s really substantive.
He’s not a firebrand speaker, but he knows the facts. And people in the audience there we’re very appreciative of that because we’re sick of the baloney.
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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 “Roger Simon” by Roger Simon. Background Photo “Mike Pence” by Republican Jewish Coalition.