Get Fired Up! It’s Gut Check Week for the GOP
By Clay Travis and Buck Sexton
August 6, 2022
BUCK: Big congratulations to Kari Lake for winning the GOP primary out in Arizona for the governor’s mansion. She said that she had the only pathway to win after there was a little bit of a too-close-to-call moment in the media, and she is now officially… I thought she would be; she is officially now the GOP nominee in that race. So, it’s gonna be big, folks. Gonna be a big election cycle in this fall.
We’re gonna be talking about it so much. So, a win for Kari Lake. That’s a good thing. Obviously, this is primary stuff, though. We want to see some wins in the general elections. I think Kari is gonna be a formidable candidate there as well. I did say, paging Dr. Oz. We might have to get him on the show and say, “Hey, can you please take the fight to the Fetterman campaign a little bit more here up in Pennsylvania?”
Because this is a guy who is in favor of — Fetterman — men competing on women’s sports teams, says that fracking was a stain on the state of Pennsylvania, which is crazy. Had his parents paying his bills until he was in his forties. But he looks like a kind of a rough-and-tumble guy. He looks, you know, like a person you’d know from the steel mill or whatever. So, that seems to be throwing off some voters there.
He’s a progressive. He’s a left-wing guy who has had wealthy parents paying his bills as an adult for quite a number of years. So, I think Dr. Oz gotta step it up a little bit there. We also should bring back Herschel Walker soon to talk about what he’s doing in the state of Georgia to take that seat from Raphael Warnock. So, we’re not looking great on the Senate side. We gotta really step it up when you’re looking at these close Senate races.
Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Georgia, these are critical, these are critical places right now for a GOP pickup. And, remember, if they manage to hold on to the Senate, if the Democrats even by the narrowest — even by the 50-50 we currently have because Kamala Harris is the tiebreaker, if they manage to do that, they’re gonna get some judicial nominees in place, they’re gonna get their appointees sailing right through. Even a divided Congress with the Senate in the hands of Democrats is going to be a challenge.
That’s gonna be something that we really would like to avoid. And right now, it’s not looking so good. You got Laxalt against Cortez Masto in Nevada. That one is a toss-up right now. I think Laxalt’s gonna be able to pull ahead there. Oz-Fetterman, keep saying it, we gotta step up on that one. Gotta think about how to make that one a closer race than it currently is. So, the ones that are on the margins — Bolduc and Hassan up in New Hampshire. That one’s gonna go blue.
So, anyway, we can’t get ahead of ourselves, can’t celebrate too early because there’s nothing to celebrate, bottom line. We haven’t done anything yet. We have not actually won. And so, I want everyone to stay focused on it. We will continue to look closely at these issues and make sure that we give them all the due attention because the border, inflation, the Afghanistan withdrawal, covid policy, these are all areas where…
I mean, Democrats should just be getting completely crushed when you add these things together. And yet on the Senate side, it’s gonna come down to candidates against candidates. It’s not… The national narrative is not going to be enough. The national narrative is not going to get it done. So, this is why it’s so important for us to continue to spend time, folks, again in making sure that you’re all fired up about this.
BUCK: We have some calls lining up here on the lines. Let’s get to them. Paul in Long Beach, California, some thoughts on the Senate. What’s up, Paul?
CALLER: Happy Friday.
BUCK: You too, sir.
CALLER: Happy Friday, Clay — Buck, sorry.
BUCK: Yeah, it’s all right.
CALLER: Yeah. I’m just… I’m infuriated. The GOP, the Senate leadership, it’s like premature surrender. It’s infuriating. Taking the Senate and House this year, both of them should be a slam dunk because just a terrible job in extremism that the Biden administration and the Senate and House Democrats have done. GOP seems like it’s once again it’s snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, which is, like, its best quality.
BUCK: I’m frustrated, too, ’cause the more I’m seeing the way these Senate… Look, there’s still a lot of time — and, Paul, thanks for calling in, raising your concerns about this too. Warnock-Walker, Cortez Masto-Laxalt, Fetterman-Oz, those are the ones that I’m — and Kelly and Masters in Arizona, too, those are the ones — that I’m really dialed in on. Those are the ones that we’ve got to do as well as possible in those campaigns.
And, you know, Democrats keep the Senate. I gotta tell you, I think everyone who thinks that Biden’s not gonna run again, I don’t know about that. You know, you say, well, that’s so reckless, it’s crazy, I mean, they’ve always got him wearing the aviators so, you just don’t look at eyes and say, this guy’s not all there. They don’t care. Does Biden still…? Isn’t he still positive with covid, by the way? It’s been two weeks.
I think he still most recently tested positive for covid so he gets four shots plus he takes Paxlovid and you still get covid that lasts for a few weeks, apparently. But he’s speaking I think, right now. Am I right? Yeah, it’s live. He’s speaking right now at the White House. We’re not gonna join in. He’s talking about the jobs and stuff like that. Maybe we’ll pull some of this in a few minutes.
I’ll tell you what Biden’s saying. We’ll go over it first. Don’t want to waste your time. But I think he’s gonna run again. It was crazy the first time. Why wouldn’t it be crazy the second time? Weekend at Bernie’s 1, Weekend at Bernie’s 2 presidencies, they don’t care. Honestly. Doesn’t matter to them. Darrell in Savannah, Georgia, what’s up, Darrell?
CALLER: Hey, I want to talk real quick about Walker’s campaign. He’s running a terrible campaign. I mean, he’s letting himself… He’s only got, like, two campaign ads on TV, and he’s been beaten up nightly. He’s being called a liar. They said he’s claiming to be an FBI agent. He’s not defending himself.
BUCK: Yeah, I don’t get to see that stuff because I’m here in the New York market where the Democrats have such a blue — thanks for calling in, Darrell — such a lock on the voting here that they don’t feel the need to run the same kinds of ads, the same level of ads, ’cause they know there’s just gonna be Democrats winning all over the place. Although the governor’s race here, Zeldin and Hochul, could be interesting, it should be interesting. Zeldin should win, but people are nuts.
Yeah, no. Look, I tell you the truth, folks. I could sit here and say everything’s amazing. This is gut-check week. This is wake-up week for the Republicans. We took for the first time really all summer I think we had a tough week in politics with a number of — and this week/last week a little bit. But between them slipping through the CHIPS Act bill, now getting through the Schumer-Manchin inflation spending spree and the win in Kansas, some of these Senate races, I’m trying to say we gotta get fired up and into it right now. We gotta start focusing all across the country on winning these races. It’s important.
BUCK: How are you feeling about what’s going on right now? Wake up week for Republicans. Senate races ARE not looking so good right now, so time for us to get moving, folks. Donna in Chattanooga, Tennessee, has some thoughts. Welcome, Donna.
CALLER: Hey, Buck. Hey, there. So good to talk to you, and thank you so much for taking up Rush’s mantle.
BUCK: Oh, thank you so much for listening. Clay and I are doing the best we can every day.
CALLER: Yes, you are, and thank you so much. Connecticut is not a state that’s talked a lot in terms of races that are coming up. I’m obviously not in Connecticut. Our daughter is and is very active on the ground in Republican politics and in fact last night President Trump called in to an RTC meeting and wholeheartedly endorsed Leora Levy who is running for the Republican nomination against a 22-year Hartford RINO who votes with Blumenthal as much as she votes with Republicans. Again, it’s Blumenthal, but things are showing that he’s vulnerable. Speaking of waking up, people are waking up.
BUCK: I certainly hope so. I gotta tell you, I haven’t looked. Even as a New Yorker I haven’t looked at the Connecticut Senate race because I’ve just assumed that such a blue state. But we gotta… One thing, you know, Donna, that you remind me of is the Democrats are never shy about trying to walk right into our kitchen and steal our spaghetti and meatballs, you know? They’ll go right in there.
They’ll try to put Beto in Texas as the governor, or they’ll go right into the heart of a red state. Look at what they just pulled off in Kansas. And they’ll try to win anywhere they can, however they can. I think on our side we get a little complacent. We’re, “Oh, it will be fine there.” We got a little complacent in Arizona in 2020. I know people are gonna say it was the structure of the elections, but, yeah, we should have made sure the elections were — the structure was better before the votes were cast too. That’s another consideration. Thanks for calling in, Donna from Chattanooga. I want to get to Chatanooga. I never been. I gotta get out there and visit.
Mike in Houston, Texas. More thoughts on the Senate. Hey, Mike.
CALLER: Buck, thank you. I think the biggest reason that we’re concerned right now and the sense of urgency you expressed is well founded, is a guy by the name of Mitch McConnell. I think he is way too comfortable in Washington, D.C. The comfort and the fact that five of the top seven wealthiest counties around Washington, D.C., is emblematic of his ambivalence.
He doesn’t seem to care whether he’s two votes short or two votes up year to year. He just doesn’t care. And it doesn’t seem to affect him. He’s not affected by outcomes of the economy any more than Joe Biden has ever been as a career politician. Where is his hunger? What’s his agenda? Newt Gingrich did it right in ’94. What in the name…? Mitch McConnell goes on the circuit, media circuit, and what affirmative agenda does he share in the media when he’s asked about who’s gonna…? Well, we don’t know —
BUCK: You raise a very… (crosstalk) Mike, you raise a very… First of all, thank you so much for calling in. You raise some very important points. One thing is, Mitch McConnell, we can definitely get him. He would benefit from the CHOQ Vitality STAQ, I think, right now. We got get a little extra umph in Mitch’s day, a little more fire in the belly for Mitch would certainly be helpful. All of a sudden, he’s like, “I’m doing a hundred push-ups at a time.”
But we also need to understand, Republicans are not articulating an agenda other than inflation is bad. That’s important. You’ve gotta do that. You gotta be pointing out inflation is bad. There is a problem with that message, though. And people I know don’t like to hear this on the right. But this audience just likes the truth, so I’m gonna tell you. Part of the problem with the inflation-is-so-bad message is that spent $6 trillion in the last year of Trump’s term on the covid stuff.
Or whatever, $5 trillion, $6 trillion, something like that. Now, it was more of a panic time. We had a worse version of covid. There are a lot of unknowns. The health bureaucracy demanded we shut down. That’s why we have a CDC. I will uphold, to this point, I believe America would have been better off during the pandemic if the CDC did not exist. I actually think that is true. I do that think there was any positive whatsoever from the CDC.
The only thing you could say was people believed there was a CDC… This is like a joke I used to make when I was in the CIA with other CIA guys and gals and say, “Don’t worry, guys. The secret, super cool CIA that’s in the base of the volcano somewhere where everybody has throwing stars and exploding cuff links and can fire lasers out of their eyes — that CIA — will take care of things.”
That’s kind of the truth at the CDC too. We all thought, “Oh, we got a bunch of geniuses. We got the guy who’s in the movie who randomly has a British accent even though he’s American because it adds credibility with, ‘This is how we shall save the planet!’” You know? They had that guy, the British actor in Armageddon; they’re like, “This guy’s the smartest guy on the planet! He’s an advisor to the president.”
I’m like, “Why does it sound like he just came from Manchester in the U.K.?” Anyway, yes. We need more than just the “inflation is bad.” Democrats have made it much worse. That’s to be sure. What do Republicans want to do? What would the choice be? What do they want to do? Now, I know there are answers to this, but I say this to you right now. We all need to be honest with ourselves.
How much are you hearing about that? If I told you not on individual candidate level, nationwide… Okay, we get it on crime. We get it on the border. What is the economic messaging other than, “Stop spending too much, stop the negative”? Yes, stop the flood, sure. But when the flood recedes my friends and Republicans are in power, what are we going to do? What will we help foster the building of? I’d like some answers.
This story originally appeared in Clay Travis and Buck Sexton