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 public affairs specialist Clint Brewer in the studio to comment upon GOP momentum heading into the midterm elections and Pennsylvania U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman’s cognitive performance Tuesday evening.
Leahy: In the studio with us, our very good friend, recovering journalist, public affairs specialist Clint Brewer. Clint, Big Mo is turning, it appears to me.
Brewer: Big Mo has turned.
Leahy: One week and five days from midterm elections. By the way, we have our special election night coverage here in-studio. You’ll be with us. Crom Carmichael will be with us and Aaron Gulbransen.
And it will be from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 8th. That’s Election Day. Everything everywhere seems to be turning GOP – your thoughts.
Brewer: The polls have shifted pretty significantly. The margin is growing. It hasn’t grown out of the margin of error, but it’s growing, you know, and it’s a very simple thing. It’s as the late Tim Russert once said, it’s the economy, stupid.
People don’t like inflation, people don’t like higher gas prices, people don’t like higher interest rates, and people don’t like paying more for their homes with higher mortgage rates.
That’s all there is to it. And this is a vote about economic discomfort. It’s turned the bums out. That’s what we’re feeling in this country right now. It’s not complicated. It’s not complicated at all.
The question will be, if the Republicans prevail, will they actually do something about the issues that people care about, or are they going to go off on a tangent?
Leahy: Let’s not start measuring the drapes for the office yet.
Brewer: Yes. If the win happens, it needs to be put into a very heavy context.
Leahy: Yes. I think when we’re here, Tuesday, November 8th in the evening, and we start getting the early returns back, I think the first thing we’re going to see is that in Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis will win easily, probably by double digits.
Brewer: No question.
Leahy: I think Marco Rubio gets re-elected in Florida.
Leahy: And we’ll probably only have the early results since we’re only here from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. But I think J.D. Vance is going to win in Ohio.
Brewer: It’s going to be neck and neck.
Leahy: Neck and neck. We’ll get to the Fetterman debacle.
Brewer: It wasn’t good. Didn’t help him.
Leahy: Let’s just say when you begin a debate, as Fetterman did, by saying, good night, everybody, it’s not going to be a good evening for you. He meant to say, good evening everybody, but he said good night. It was just illustrative of his lack of cognitive skills.
Brewer: I go back and forth on him. On the one side, I want to have some compassion as a human being for a person who’s obviously struggling.
Leahy: Really? We want to have compassion? You have better personal qualities than I do.
Brewer: You look at a human being who’s struggling physically and you just go, God, poor guy, what’s he doing on TV? Why would he do this to himself? Then you throw your hat and go, he wants to be in the U.S. Senate!
Leahy: Yes, that’s my original thought.
Brewer: I feel bad for him when I see it, but he did not help himself.
Leahy: He couldn’t answer the questions in a way that was intelligent.
Brewer: And then he let the pitch go by on fracking, which is a huge issue in Pennsylvania.
Leahy: Particularly in western Pennsylvania, that’s where the American oil industry started in 1859 in Titusville, Pennsylvania. And lots of fortunes were created in the latter part of the 19th century.
Brewer: They were always good for some 18th century.
Leahy: Nineteenth. But I can do all the trivia you want.
Brewer: Well, you were an undergrad then, right?
Leahy: I was. (Brewer laughs)
Brewer: I think he had the opportunity to show people what the campaign has been claiming, that his family doctor says he’s fit to serve.
Leahy: You mean the family doctor who’s a big donor to his campaign? That guy?
Brewer: Yes, that family doctor. And he didn’t really do that. Poor guy. And then he didn’t take the opportunity to address some things that people in that state really want to hear about.
Leahy: You are kinder than I am. And I’ve heard this from various folks calling him a poor guy, poor guy.
Brewer: That doesn’t mean he should be elected. I don’t think he ought to win.
Leahy: Not only that, what would an honest person do if you’ve had a stroke? And you would say, I just can’t do this. You’d withdraw.
Brewer: Okay, well, let’s be honest. As conservatives, we’ve not put our best foot forward in Pennsylvania.
Leahy: I’m not disagreeing with you. If it was the other guy, the hedge-fund guy who was in the primary and barely lost to Dr. Oz – I can’t even remember his name McCormick or something like that, that guy would be ahead by double digits.
Brewer: That would be an automatic add.
Leahy: The former president, Donald Trump, he ought to get in the habit of calling me before he endorses people.
Brewer: Or maybe he should just pick the other person that he doesn’t want to endorse. (Leahy laughs)
Brewer: I really want to endorse this guy, so instead I endorse this guy because it’s probably the right choice.
Leahy: You obviously are talking about the George Costanza syndrome from Seinfeld, right? Opposite George. But he really should call me and say, should I endorse this guy or not?
The problem with Dr. Oz is he’s a TV personality. He’s sort of a carpetbagger, sort of. How Pennsylvanian is he? Does he live in New Jersey or Pennsylvania?
Brewer: You can’t carpetbag Pennsylvania. They’re the carpetbaggers.
Leahy: I understand. I just love the term so much. But the other problem he has, which some of my friends on both the Left and Right brought up, is he’s a dual national. He’s a Turkish citizen.
Brewer: Like Arnold was.
Leahy: Yes, he’s a Turkish citizen.
Brewer: Arnold was, it was U.S. and Austria.
Leahy: And he’s got an excuse for that, saying, well, my mom, she still lives in Turkey, and I got to take care of her, and it’s easier to get back and forth if I’m a national. But the problem is, you cannot be a citizen of another country, in my view, and serve your primary objective, which is to be a citizen of the United States.
Brewer: Oh, I couldn’t agree more.
Leahy: It’s a conflict.
Brewer: That’s a huge issue.
Leahy: So the other guy, again, McCormick, or whatever his name was.
Brewer: But it’s Dr. Oz. He’s on TV.
Leahy: That’s why Trump endorsed him.
Brewer: I know.
Leahy: This is all, you know, not relevant because the hedge-fund guy, who would have been ahead by 10 points, is not in the race. Choose one. Choose Fetterman or Dr. Oz.
Brewer: And what this does is it forces the Republican Party to pour resources into a race to lift up a subpar candidate.
Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:
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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 “John Fetterman” by Tom Wolf. CC BY 2.0.