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A Policy Conversation with Joe Walsh, GOP Candidate for President of the United States

A Policy Conversation with Joe Walsh, GOP Candidate for President of the United States


– Joe Walsh, fellow Illinoian, former member of Congress, fellow Harris School Graduate at the University of Chicago. – We have a lot in common. – We do have a lot in common. Who is climbing a steep mountain. – Nah. – Well, you can persuade us otherwise. Running against Donald Trump in the Republican primary. Tell us, what’s on your mind. – Thanks and by the way,
it’s great to be here. And I apologize that we have to scram. And I promise, if there’s interest, I’ll come back anytime. Anytime. So, here’s the deal. Let’s cut right to the chase. We left Iowa. The Iowa Caucuses. Trump almost got 100% of the vote in Iowa. Caucuses I’m tired of. Thank God for the New Hampshire primary. I’m taking on Donald Trump and I’ve been in this thing now for about five and a half months. Because I think the guy is
just unfit to be President. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I gave up my day job. I had a nationally syndicated radio show. You better have a really good reason if you want to challenge
an incumbent President. I disagree with Trump on a lot of issues. I agree with him on some. I’m a Conservative Republican. But he’s unfit. And for all of last year, I pleaded with somebody in my party, Mitt Romney, by the way, the main reason I’m going to go down and talk to Chris Matthews
on Hardball tonight, is because Mitt Romney, today, made history. He became the first United State Senator, to vote to acquit, excuse me, convict a sitting President
from his own party. A tough vote. The right vote. A difficult vote. And the Republican Party
will beat him up for it. So, I’m going to go down there and praise Mitt Romney
for doing the right thing. I think, look, we were talking about this earlier. Look, Trump’s President because our political system is broken. I’ve been a Republican my whole life. I think the Republican
Party is breaking up before our eyes. I don’t recognize this party. Donald Trump’s Republican
Party is not my party. I knew a lot of these guys
when I was in the House. Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows. These guys were my buddies. I don’t know what they’re doing right now. The Senate Republicans who decided that they’re going to let Trump go, without even having a trial, Ted Cruz, Mark Rubio, these cowards. I do not recognize them. The way I talk and feel about them is the way a lot of Conservatives and Republicans feel as well. I think we’re watching a
permanent split in the party. I think by the time, not by the time you’re my age, by the time you’re 30, I think we’re going to have, there’s going to be a splintered, broken-off Republican Party. There will be another party. Look, I just felt it was really important for a Republican, not a Democrat and not an Independent. But for a Republican to say everyday that Donald Trump is unfit. Here’s why. This is not my Republican Party. Here’s what I believe in. I knew it was a long shot and am I going to beat him? No and I’ll tell you what. And I tweeted this out. I think, the other day, maybe yesterday, a Republican and I’ll close with this and then we’re going to
jump right into questions. There’s no Republican that could beat Donald Trump right now. Mitt Romney, if he entered
the race six months ago would have been smoked. John Kasich would’ve been smoked. I will be smoked. Because my Republican
Party is not a party. It is a cult. Now, this country needs two engaged, alive parties to solve
the problems we’ve got. But I mean it. My party right now is not a party. It’s a cult. Before Trump came along, you were defined in the
party by where you stood on the issues, by what
your ideas were, are. Now, it’s all about Trump. Are you with Trump or are you against him? The Republican Party in 10
states around the country this year, has just out, out
canceled primary elections. Primaries and caucuses in 10 states. Republicans in those 10
states will never get to vote for who they want to be
their nominee for President. That’s never happened in America before. This party is a cult. And from guys like Sean Hannity, Fox News, they’ll never give me a voice, they’ll never have me on. Because Donald Trump and the
White House tells them don’t and it’s all about protecting Trump. It’s so disappointing. So, no, it’s impossible for a Republican in this party to beat Trump. Because this party is not my party. This is Trump’s party. I don’t feel like I belong
in this party anymore and what an odd, weird thing
for a Republican candidate for President to say right now. This is not my party. I’ll stop there. – How did the party of
Reagan become a cult? – Couple things. And I help lead do it. I was the angry tea party guy. I went to Washington in 2010, I love the tea, I still identify as a tea party guy. I went there because we were
bankrupting future generations. I was angry at both parties. I yelled at Obama. I yelled at John Boehner almost everyday. And part of that tea party anger because we did nothing about the debt, turned into like a populist anger that a demagogue like Trump
came along six years later and tapped into. The other thing that led to Trump is, the establishment Republican Party was out of touch with what
angered their voters back home. And none of them gave their
voters the time of day which again was the
perfect, ripe environment for a demagogue like Trump
to take advantage of. Because Trump doesn’t believe
in a damn thing but Trump. He was at his rally in Iowa last week, still talking about how Mexico’s
going to pay for the wall. Everything out of his mouth is a lie. He’s a demagogue. But he’s the only one who kind
of listened where the base was. – So, do you hear from people in the establishment wing
of the Republican Party privately saying, “Yeah, we’re with you.” You know, this is going
to blow… like what? – Oh, yes! Yes, look the reason I’m
so jazzed up right now and speaking so quickly because I want to give you
an hours worth in 20 minutes. I have had so many conversations with so many of my former colleagues in the House and the Senate. And the vast majority
of them say privately, I’m talking about Republicans, they say privately about
Trump what I say publicly. They know he’s a moron. They know he lies. They know all he cares about is himself. They know he’s damaging
the Republican Party brand. Because young people don’t
like Republicans now, women don’t like Republicans, people of color don’t like Republicans. But here’s the bet they’ve made and this is what they’ve
told me privately, “Yeah Joe, Trump’s bad. “But he’ll lose in November. “And he’ll be gone. “So, I’m just going to keep my
mouth quiet for like a year. “And then, Republican Party
can go back to the way it was. “And Rubio and Cruz and Nikki Haley. “We’ll go back to what
we were before Trump.” That’s what they think. That’s the bet they’ve made. Here’s the problem! Trump’s a jerk! He’s not going to go anywhere. He’ll grab Sean Hannity. They’ll start their own network. He’ll grab his billion followers. He will make life hell
for the Republican Party. He’s not going anywhere, unless he’s in jail, he’s not going anywhere. That’s why it’s important
to have this fight now, about what it means to be a Republican. – So, I was going to ask, in some ways you entered
my next question which is, what happens if he wins in November and what happens if he loses. I think you answered
what happens if he loses. You get the Trump ran somewhere else. – I think he sets up camp on
the other side of the Potomac and he makes, Donald Trump is all about
dividing the country, if he loses, he will continue
to try to divide the country. Which again, is why it’s
really important for, Democrats and Independents
are doing a great job of going after Trump. It’s important for
Republicans to call him out. If he wins, then I think you’ll all of a sudden see a lot more people like
me get some courage, speak out publicly, and formalize the formation of a split from the party. If Donald Trump wins in November
and I don’t think he will. I think anybody can beat him. Then I will be part of
the formal development of another Republican Party. – All right, since we’re
doing lightning round here, we’re going to go into
questions much earlier. So, questions? – Anything, guys. Ask me anything. Let’s go right here. You’re in charge. You’re the moderator. – I know, Sienna. I know the names of
most of the people here. – I’m a freshman here. I have a two-part question. So, the first part is, do you think moderate Republicans
who are part of your party and not Donald Trump’s party
would be willing to vote for a more moderate Democrat? Is that the first part?
– Yes. – Yes, absolutely. And let me just tell you why. I’m not moderate. No one’s ever thought
Joe Walsh is moderate. I’m a Conservative. Listen to what I’m about to say. Let’s make some news here today. I’m a Conservative. I will vote for any
Democrat over Donald Trump. I got a book coming out in two weeks, I can’t tell you the title right now because there’s an
impolite word in the title but the basic thesis of the book is Donald Trump is everything
our founding fathers feared. He’s a would-be king and a dictator. I, Joe Walsh, would
rather have a socialist in the White House, hello
Bernie, than a dictator. You’re second part. – [Sienna] Second part is,
let’s say a Democrat nominee does win the election, what do you think is the
number one thing that they can do to try to fix
this harsh polarization between the two parties? – I actually think whoever replaces Trump, that process will be a little
bit easier than you think. I’m very active on Twitter and Facebook and I’m all over the place. There is a yearning from a
growing number of people, put your arms down, and let’s talk about the issues. We may not agree on guns or health care but let’s sit down at a table and let’s start talking about issues. I hear this more and more everyday because here’s the problem with Trump. With Trump, you don’t talk about issues. Our infrastructure’s falling apart. Climate change, we’re
not going to do anything because we got a guy in the White House who says it’s a hoax. With Trump as President, all we talk about everyday is Trump. There is a yearning among both parties to try to talk about issues. – Jim? – Two-part question. Sorry about that. So, you got the threat of populism. And you got the
establishment in the parties. The Republican party going to
go back to establishmentarianism and then ditch the populists or is there a way for a
Conservative Republican to bring in the Populist threat? Where does it go? Where do you go on issues like this? – I like your latter process better. I appreciate the Populist element. It’s now there. And it needs to be discussed. It needs to be part of whatever the Republican Party becomes. There’s an opening for a party
that believes in freedom, limited government, opportunity for all, free trade, but we are
decent and we are honest. And that is the antithesis of Trump. So, I think that’s where
the opposite of Trump that part of the party’s going to move. Less populist, does that make sense? – Then the second part of the question, thank you for that one, second part, you had a
couple of polls last year, 2019, asking Americans to
rank the crises in America. Two polls, number one
crisis, political corruption. Ties in with a bunch of stuff, money in politics and everything Number of constitutional
amending movements to deal in a big picture
way with corruption. Where are you in any of these amendments? Campaign finance reform, term limits, balance budget amendment. – The first piece of
legislation I introduced when I was Congressman was
to amend the Constitution. Term limits amendment. Out of 435 members of the
House, I got seven cosponsors. It’ll never happen. Because they will never limit themselves. That would have to generate
up from the states. I am generally someone who is reticent to easily amend the Constitution. – [Jim] Just throw in Citizens United. Reversing Citizens United. It’s a major– – Yeah, I don’t– – [Jim] To deal with. The fact, let me throw out a fact, one billionaire could conceivably control the outcome of who’s in the White House and the makeup of the US Senate. A single person. Is that what the founders wanted? – No, no, I know what that is. Yeah, and I don’t know
how you remedy that. But you and I will disagree
on how to remedy that. Because this whole issue
of money and politics, look I’m not a wealthy guy, I wish I was Michael Bloomberg, I’m not but right now because we have limits
on how much I can raise, I’m running for President
and I can only raise like $2800 at a pop. You’re Michael Bloomberg, you don’t have to worry
about stuff like that and you don’t have to spend
any your time raising money if you’re Bloomberg or Tom Steyer. So, actually the system
we have today works, I think it’d be an interesting discussion, to the benefit of wealthy people. If I had my be-all, end-all, we’d get rid of all limits
on what you can give me. If you loved me and you
wanted to write me a check for $100,000, I think you
should be able to do it, as long as there is
instant, full disclosure. And the whole world knows
that you gave me $100,000. Or you even wrote me a
check for a million dollars. And if you, in the audience, don’t like that he gave
me a million dollars and you find out about it right away, take it out on me and don’t vote for me. That’s the way I’d move when
I’d try to reform our system because right now we live in a system where only wealthy people are
not beholden to the limits. But either way, it’s a big issue. Thank you. – [Charles] One of you two (laughs). – Do you think that an establishment more Conservative Republican Party, something like maybe William Buckley Jr. would actually approve of, can stand to the Populist
Left that’s rising nowadays? Like Bernie Sanders and AOC. – I want to try, right? Because, look, I don’t like Trump. I think Trump’s a unique danger. But I’m not a Democrat. I don’t believe in free college. I don’t believe in giving
free this and free that. We’re 23, 20, when I went to Congress we were like 11 trillion in debt. Now we’re 23 coming on
24 trillion in debt. The problem is we need
to somehow have a party that makes freedom and
limited government cool again. And somebody who can say to you, “You know what if you
want to go to college,” and by the way not everybody
needs to go to college to live a good, productive life, “But if you want to go to college, “you got to have some skin in the game. “I’m not going to forgive
your student loan debts. “And I’m not going to
give you free college, “and free healthcare,
and free birth control, “and free everything.” But we have, and God love the Democrats, I mean it, they’re going
through their own thing, but they’re actually
having a really good debate about the issues. On the Republican side it’s all Trump. We have no Republican
spokespeople out there who are willing to say
what I just said to you. – I would add that there
needs to be discussion about what Conservative means.
– Thank you. – As people who spend a lot of time at the University of Chicago, Milton Friedman, Gary Becker, these people, they were pro-carbon tax. Probably not Friedman, he died before it became an issue. But they would say, “Tax the extra (murmurs) and let the market fix it.”
– Market pay solution. – So, somebody’s going
to have to come along and the modern Goldwater to reinvent what Conservatism means. Right there. – You said that there’s no Republican that could beat Trump
and you also said that– – [Joe] In a primary. – Sure, and you also said that Trump’s in touch with the base so what makes you think a
Democrat could beat him? – Because Donald Trump’s
base is like this. I mean it. There are about 35% of the people who if Donald Trump shot somebody in the middle of New York City, they’d still support him. But that aint most of the country. I would contest that, I would make the argument that, Donald Trump has not added one single vote to what got him elected. Remember he barely beat Hillary. And Hillary was a lousy candidate. He beat her by 70,000
votes in three states. He has not added one vote to his total. Republicans got their
butts whooped in 2018. It was the largest differential
between the two parties in the mid-term election
in American history. So, Republicans got their
clocks cleaned in 2018. In every special election
since Trump has been President, Democrat turnout has
been through the roof. I don’t think anybody thought Trump was going to win in 2016. He’s a goof. Lot of Democrats stayed home. They didn’t think this goofy
Donald Trump would win. I can’t imagine that happening again. I think the resistance to Trump is huge. – All right, last one Because we got to get
him down to Manchester. Way in the back. – [Guest] This will seem
like an odd question but what would your dollar
policy be if you were President. – My what? – [Guest] Dollar, US dollar, policy. – I don’t know. – [Guest] Okay that’s fine. – No, tell me what you’re thinking. – [Guest] Strong and stable would be nice. – Well, strong and stable. And I’d want to audit the fed. I’d want to always keep an eye on the fed. What the fed’s doing and up to. I’d start there and in fact, I think I voted for that
with Ron Paul and his bill when I was in Congress to begin to at least to
annually audit the fed. Thank you. We got time for one more. Yes, sir.
– Yes, sir. – Getting through Republicans
has always been a party of limited federal
power and states rights. And now Donald Trump is
the Republican President. What path forward do you see for that kind of limited government approach to actually making an impact
within the next decade? – Oh, I think it’s going to be tough. Look, I’m older than you guys. It’s not happening in my lifetime. Here’s what I think
you’re looking at guys. I think any Democrat could win. I think Bernie Sanders easily
could be our next President. I think we are living
in revolutionary times. When I was on the radio
a couple years ago, I think you are, and this, it’s so damn, I wish I were young right now! You are living at the onset, I believe, of the third American Revolution. We are having one of those
once in a hundred year fight about what it means to be an American. Trump is just a product of that. I think the two party system
I think is breaking up. I think the Republican Party
will be the first party to break up. And it’s going to be in my lifetime the Republican Party is
going to be in this fight for a long, long, long time. The Democrat Party is
not that far behind it. Come on, five years ago, who thought a guy like Donald
Trump would be President? Anything can happen right now. The American people, remember
what got Trump elected, right? He’s a demagogue, he’s
a moron, he’s a liar, he doesn’t believe any of this stuff, but a lot of American people were angry at what their political
system was doing to them. And they didn’t feel like anybody, Ted Cruz, Mark Rubio, Hillary Clinton. They didn’t feel like anybody
was listening to them, right? And along comes a big dummy who says, “I’m going to build a wall and Mexico’s going to pay for it.” And a lot people laughed about that. But a lot of the American people said, “Finally, somebody’s listening to me.” Now, Trump’s a liar and he’s a bad guy, and he’s a demagogue. But there are a lot Americans out there who no longer believe
their political system, either political party
is listening to them. That’s a big part of Bernie’s appeal. You guys are the best, I’m coming back at midnight. Who’s ever here, join me. God bless.

7 comments on “A Policy Conversation with Joe Walsh, GOP Candidate for President of the United States

  1. CATV, the Upper Valley's public access media center loves to air all candidates running for the 2020 presidency. Can Dartmouth give CATV permission to air this?

  2. JOE, ITS NOT TRUMP'S DOING, ITS RUPERT MURDOCH, FOX NEWS CEO DOING. WITH THE BLACKOUT ON EVERYONE BUT TRUMP. HE HAS BEEN THE FRONT RUNNER ON CONTROLLING AS MUCH BS HAPPENS, CUSHION TRUMPS SCREW UP AND EXAGGERATING THE BULLSHIT, MANIPULATING THE NEWS. HIS SON QUIT….. THOUGH THE NEWS SAID 2 THINGS. ….
    CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUES WAS 1, THE DOWNPLAYED 2ND WAS…. HE DIDN'T AGREED WITH HIS FATHERS WAYS MANIPULATING PPLS VIEWS AND RUNNING THE PRESIDENTIAL BACKLASH… BRAINWASHING TECHNIQUES ETC..

  3. He's another casualty of Reagan's cocaine years like Glenn Beck Donald Trump Rush Limbaugh Ted Nugent these guys need to be in 12-step programs not in the media or politics. yeah, he was Rocky mountain way way way way Rocky mountain way on multi substances for decades

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