Below are the video and transcript to Pat Caddell’s speech at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s 20th Anniversary Restoration Weekend. The event was held Nov. 13th-16th at the Breakers Resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
Yes, I’m basically happy. The person I’m really happy about is that Harry Reid is no longer Majority Leader. I say that certainly not because I’m a Republican. I say that because I’m an American and, as I had said on television, he was the greatest danger to democracy, I said this election, that we’ve ever seen, and his damage to the institution of the Senate where no one was allowed to vote, where there were no amendments, where there were no bills considered unless he wanted to, where he killed all discussion and basically all effective work in the world’s most deliberative body, supposedly. And what he did with the nuclear option overnight to roll back 250 years of protecting the minority, which now the Democrats are going to find out how much they like that, but all of that and I think for the sake of the democracy, his demise is the biggest and greatest news. The fact that he stays on only shows you how my party cannot get beyond—he and Nancy Pelosi–the Democrats cannot get beyond their own myopia and thinking as they have a truly disastrous election.
An election, I want to point out that was not only – but has many interesting kernels to it. And I want to say, first of all, and it has many instructions for the future and then it was also about not a lot, not a lot. The one thing is that, first of all, yes, the Republicans won a big victory and, once again, left amazing possibilities on the table because their consultant, lobbying, whoever controls this Republican Party has the imagination of a French General staff in World War I. They poured hundreds of millions of dollars into about a dozen states, and they did not put anything into what I thought was a pretty simple election. First, the Republicans decided they didn’t have anything they were going to offer. No economic plan, no message, nothing like what happened in ‘94 with which was the Contract for America. Which no one knew what was in the Contract for America, but it set an image for the Republicans that year with Gingrich and the victory that year, which was that at least the Republicans had a plan, had an idea. We’re most of all united. Let me just say something about those kinds of things, misreading elections. Newt Gingrich then misread that election that the country had voted for revolution. The country had voted to stop Bill Clinton. There is somewhat of a vast difference there.
This election, let me just say, the success. I want to talk first about what was left there and then the success. The strangest thing about the election, for those of you who don’t know, I’m on a program at 7:30 eastern time on Sunday nights live with Doug Schoen and John LeBoutillier called Political Insiders in which we basically try to tell the truth, and we’ve been fortunate enough to have quite a response, and sometimes I get a little carried away. I called the President last week a raging narcissist, which is true. The whole problem with this guy is not that he’s a radical Pres – he’s a raging narcissist, and he’s going to prove it in the next couple of weeks. But the election hung for a long time. Those close Senate races hung to the end. You could not look at the national situation – the direction of America where it was more than two to one or going in the wrong direction, the President’s job rating poorly, all of his policies under attack and very negatively received, an economy that people believed was not helping them, and all of that – and you look at the historical record in the six years and you say, “My God, that’s got to be a Republican landslide.” And then you look down at the individual race and you said, “My God, they’re all close.” And I kept saying this tension could not hold. And I thought, as I had said the Sunday before election, there was a good 30 percent chance or more that it would just blow open; that eventually the undecides would move in the direction they should and essentially that’s what happened.
But when I look at the election and say what was possible, and I don’t mean to be a sour note on what makes everyone happy, but it’s important to understand what it may tell you. In the states that did not have big battleground Senate races, where none of the several billion dollars or $4 billion, whatever was spent, the Republicans put no effort whatsoever. I had argued, as I had done in ‘12, and argued since, hey, this is a pretty simple election. This is a referendum election. And why the Republicans refused to take some of that money that they were wasting by piling even more. For those of you who know economics, know the marginal gain, marginal differentials. But when you keep pouring money into races where people are saturated beyond belief with television and where you’re watching 50 spots at one time and the whole thing, because of local buy, and the expense the stations are gouging, the people buying the media and whatever, why did the Republican National Committee, which does have the ability to do this, where the Senate can eat it up by national advertising amazes me, why didn’t they put air cover over the race? Why didn’t they? Very simple, first of all, remember we’ve had all of these crises. Starting, you go to the VA, Benghazi, or anything you want to take, White House Secret Service, Bergdahl, on and on and on, a disaster after disaster this year. And, voters, like all of us, there was one coming every week and then Ebola and ISIS and then you go, my God I forgot about the VA. Well, in advertising there is a reason they keep reminding you. So, what I’m wondering is why wasn’t there some kind of effort to put out a message that said to remind. First of all, all it did was remind people. Remember this, remember this, and ask a simple question. Because we knew what the results were. They were more than two to one people opposed his policies. Once Obama handed the Republicans and shafted his party with the message that my policies are on the ballad, why didn’t they just quote that. Put that up and say, “If you disagree with those policies and here’s an example, send him a message. Vote Republican.” If you weren’t going to say anything positive, that certainly was a major message. And guess what, it would’ve been seen by everybody and cheaper and better placement, everywhere across the country.
And you know what would’ve happened? Let me tell you what happens. There were 15 House races that were undecided election night. Most of them line outside of all of these states where the money was spent. As of to date, nine of those 15 have ended up being won by Democrats because there was no national message. If you look at Illinois, where the Republican Senate gubernatorial candidate won a surprising victory over one of the most corrupt–I mean really, I’m broke. I mean what a disastrous place Illinois is–after Obama had campaigned for Pat Quinn, the incumbent. Won by five, six points. That’s even counting Chicago several times. But Dick Durbin, the major force in Democrats in the Senate, Democrat Whitt got 53 percent of the vote. Al Franken got 53 percent of the vote. You go through some of these races and you think, my God. Always when we have landslides, we have these surprise upsets. Like Virginia almost was. But we have them. Now Gillespie had no more. He couldn’t buy media pretty much the last month. No one was supporting him. Can you imagine what a little bit more push and a national message would have done or might have opened up in a couple of these Senate races?
Look, the Republicans have their best House position since 1946. But if you’re going to win an election, take everything off the table you can is my theory. But, unfortunately, the strategy I described does not enrich the political consultant, lobbyist class in the Republican party, which makes a lot more money by having only state races and does not require them to have any imagination other than storming across no man’s land in the same way they do.
Let me say this. You look at the exit polls and there are some problems. When everyone tells you how all the vote came out, let me tell you a dirty little secret for which I will probably be shot for having announced. At the end of the process, after the votes come in, the people who run the exit poll reweight all of their actual results from the 20,000 people they interview and weight it to the results. That’s like if you hired me to poll and I said to you, just wait election night I guarantee you I will give you the winner and the right result. Well, they’ve got some bias problems in there. So, take some of these divisions skeptically. So, I went back. I polled the numbers for the 97 percent before we had the magic of this. And here’s part of the story of the election. One, it is that the voters were not rewarding. And this is important about misreading elections as I pointed out in ‘94.
This was a repudiation of the President and his policies and his party. But it was not an endorsement of the Republican Party by any means. This was voting for the lesser of which evil that was in front of you and the evil in front of you was the one that was in the White House and in power. Now, that doesn’t mean the opportunities don’t exist for what you do, but to think that this was an endorsement, because mainly remember I don’t know if you can define. I don’t know what the campaign was about other than beating Obama. And in individual races, it worked. But listen to this, and this goes to a message I’ll talk about at the end in a few minutes about 2016 and what’s coming and a project I’ve been working on. But I want to tell you this. What you had was both parties had high negative ratings. The public was dissatisfied, to say the least, with Obama. When asked angry or dissatisfied, it was around 60 percent. The Republican leadership in Congress got the same number, 60 some percent, just to show you, and this is of Republicans. I mean this is a Republican wave election. Right? Republicans are still getting even worse ratings relatively, if you think about how people are voting, than did the Democrats. All of that pointed to me to the fact that one should be careful; that basically, this was a very dissatisfied election.
Remember, we had a drop off. This is the lowest midterm election since 1942. Now, in 1942 there was a reason a lot of people didn’t get to the ballot. For those of you who are too young to know, there was a thing called World War II going on. But the results are only slightly better than they were in the 1942 turnout because so many dissatisfied voters where both parties stayed home. And they depended on area. Someone has done this. It’s quite an interesting analysis. In the third most rural and, therefore, most Republican areas of the country, the turnout was down about 34 percent. In the exurbs and the suburbs, it was 38 percent decline, and in the urban areas, the urban centers, it was 47 percent. Now that does not mean that the black vote, for instance, necessarily, and this is where only when we get a genius like Mike Barone you get in the precinct and actual numbers analysis is what we know. But we have a situation where the exit polls tell us that the black turnout, the African American turnout, was only a point less than it was in 2012. The Hispanics really stayed home. But as Tavis Smiley, I agree with Tavis Smiley, if you’re black or Hispanic or of any color, what the hell was your reason to turn out and vote Democratic. What had you been given, an economy where your income had gone down, where your families are not benefited and where the very wealthy were. Remember, this is a Fed, appointed by Barrack Obama, propping up the very richest people with this wonderful bond buying plan they had, which has stoked the stock market, but done nothing for ordinary Americans. And the President can’t understand and the economists say, “Oh my gosh, look how good the economy’s doing.” Well, the American people have a different perception whether they are Democrats, Republicans or Conservatives. If they know that they are not doing as well, they know that the jobs being created, thanks in part to Obamacare, more than half of them and a vast majority of them now, are part-time. People are not working. They live on the edge and they are still very nervous even though things are getting better. And that partly is reflected you could see in the exit polls. Seventy-eight percent of the people thought that they were extremely or very worried about the economy in the next year or so, which is totally different than what we’re being told is the case.
And then finally, one of the points in the exit poll that was interesting was that 3/4th of the American people believe that we were going to have another terrorist attack. That it was highly likely or more that we would have a terrorist attack. Those numbers are actually higher than they were after 2001. And I wonder why? Well, because if you look to the feckless leadership of this White House. I mean the only way I can even describe it in foreign policy is feckless. Whether it is in Iran. In search of a deal, you have to be panic. Barrack Obama’s proven one thing. In search of a deal, he will do anything. And that’s what’s been happening with Iran. They’re allowing Iran supposedly to stop their nuclear weapons plan to continue to enrich uranium. Hardly a prescription. And if they don’t get an agreement by the 24th, the Iranians have used this time and given up nothing that they said they would. And we have the person, so you can feel certain at night and not worry, the very woman who crafted the wonderful plan with the North Koreans during the Clinton administration to keep them from having nucs and expanding is the one working with the Iranians that John Kerry has brought in to handle that.
And then we have the Ukraine. Putin sees the President at this meeting in Asia for two days and immediately starts reinvading Ukraine because he was so amazed with the President’s toughness.
And then finally we do it in a climate deal with Chinese, which is wonderful. They buy 20⁄30 somewhere in the future. They will cut back their CO2 use, but with no plan. And meanwhile, we’re supposed to cut even more in between. Once again, the search free deal at all costs. And it should frighten anybody that for two years this will happen and you have to look to the Republican Congress.
But the President’s lack of behavior during this ISIS, which most Americans support. Fifty-eight, thirty-seven support. And yet on the ISIS thing, you have a lot of the people who opposed it, Democrats and Republicans agreed equally in their support, but people who oppose this, Democrat and Republican, who oppose what’s going on with ISIS, voted Republican. Why? Because I suspect they think this is not working. That this is another sham being presented. And any plan that has five shorties a day for air cover with no one on the ground. And now our new, in the spirit of Arvin, we are sending in deals to that crack Iraqi Army to take on ISIS, and with what will be, we promise, great results. That whole unraveling, all of that has made the American people very, very nervous. And yet the President seems to have learned nothing from the election.
And I want to talk about a couple of issues for now they are very important coming up, and they also relate to the election and what we also know. And also the question of how the Republicans will behave because I think they’ve behaved badly on many of these issues, and I have said this before at this forum.
Let’s take Obamacare. What I call the night it was passed, a crime against democracy. To jam through something without any support, unlike Social Security or Medicare where we had massive support from both parties, jam through with lies. And, by the way, when we really found out the lies, it was amazing but by, and basically on the basis of bribery. And all those people this time who voted for it, except for Jeanne Sheehan, were defeated and Franken and Durbin. But the point is is that the American people have never accepted Obamacare. We are kept told how great it is. And then we have this gift of Mr. Gruber. I just can’t get over him. All I can think is Goober peas. Gruber, he’s out there with all his comments. And the White House denies he had anything to do. We were paying him $400,000.00 apparently not to do anything except write the plan. He is a Romney hangover from Romneycare. Which is one of the reasons I am so unenthusiastic about your last nominee, who should have won the election and lost the election that should never have been lost. Again, and the same people who came up short in delivering what could have been this year and are running around crowing are the same people who delivered that mistake.
And the Supreme Court ruled Obamacare was legal. But when John Roberts had that visitation that he wouldn’t be invited to Washington dinner parties anymore after The Washington Post warned him desperately. Things in Washington, there are certain priorities in life, going to dinner parties. Apparently, John Roberts is more important than the law. So he changed his opinion, embarrassingly so, and then decided to call the mandated attacks. And, as I said at the time, my God, in this terrible disaster, he’s handed one club to the Republicans that they must use, which is that they lied that it was a tax. Right? Now, you would have thought the Republican party would have taken that in the Senate and the election and pounded that, and they didn’t and they wouldn’t. And, to this day, I don’t know. I can speculate why, but they did not. That message for the American people, because it was very simple for the Democratic opponents in some of these Senate races that year, which is were you lying. Were you part of the lie or, if you didn’t know, will you vow to vote to repeal the mandate now that you were lied to too. It’s only one of two choices. Either you were fooled or you were part of the fooling of us.
But that kind of thinking doesn’t seem to make it into politics anymore, which I think would’ve been helpful. I think all along the Republican establishment has been lukewarm about Obamacare. They have gone through the motions, sometimes these useless repeals. Why we had useless repeals after 27 of them or whatever after the Supreme Court decision, not move to specifically just repeal the mandate, which would’ve killed healthcare, I do not know. We’re going to have more opportunities. But the notion of let’s repeal it all or whatever the strategies are, Obamacare has been proven to be the big lie of American politics. And the President and now Mr. Gruber has pulled the bandage off so we can all see what was the truth, and we’re hopeful that that will change.
The other issue is immigration. I listen to the people saying how great things would be. We’d all be holding hands and jumping up and down because Obama would now embrace the compromise. So, I’m sitting with Neil Cavuto election night on his show on Fox Business about 10:00, and I’m getting this and someone’s arguing on a panel. I’m going, wait a minute, didn’t we do this two years ago. I sat right here while all you people were saying Obama now would have a legacy. He’s got a second term. He’ll now work with people. And didn’t I tell you he just tore the country apart to win and that he hates his other opposition and he’s so arrogant. I told you there would be no peace. And now you people think he’s going to do anything. He’s going to blow the country up. And all of this we’re going to work together and whatever? This is a President who has decided that with this immigration move, and here is a very important point if you take nothing back. And I am going to stress it Sunday because it’s really important. I watched the Sunday shows last week and all of the commentators in the Beltway, all of the wonderful media, and I want to talk about them for one second in a minute. But all of them talked about this in one sentence. Well, the Republicans are going to be angry. It’s going to be a firestorm among the Republicans. No, the firestorm will be with the American people.
The attitudes on immigration have had a sea change in three months. In September, Rasmussen had numbers that showed vast majorities of Americans both oppose the President granting amnesty, believe that he did not have the power to do so, and also believed that if they did, the Republicans should take him to court, which people had ridiculed before, and including a large majority of moderates, the most critical group in the election who were normally democratic. They do not vote like liberals, but they generally follow that and they deserted on immigration.
Everything points to we had a referendum in Oregon election night. Now, you wouldn’t know this because, even if you go to CNN or whatever, the only thing that you will find that was on the ballot in Oregon was the legalization of marijuana, which CNN and the people in the news organization mainly think that’s probably one of the more important issues. But they didn’t cover, and they don’t even report to this day on their web site, is there was a ballot measure by the same people, liberal Oregon, which had just voted for marijuana, to allow illegal aliens to have driver’s license. Almost 70 percent of the vote was no. Okay? You want to talk about canaries in the mine. Actually, the Democrats will have to worry because they blow up the Democratic party with this. But you know what happened in the election, and I said this weeks before. I was talking about the sea change on immigration. The fact that it went to the idea of the President was King, not President, and that even large numbers of Democrats were opposed, and what I didn’t understand is why wasn’t the Republican party making that a direct issue against Democratic candidates. How are you voting on immigration? The President’s going to sign this amnesty. Will you reject the President or not? Actually, make it explicit particularly in those places where you don’t have a chance. But they didn’t and I’ll tell you why.
Because the unholy alliance. And some of you won’t like this, but it’s the truth. The unholy alliance on immigration is an alliance between unions and the left because they want more cheap votes and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, particularly, and a lot of major Republican donors who want a lot of cheap workers. And, therefore, and that is best illustrated by The Wall Street Journal, which takes all leave of its senses because of their support for total, open borders, along with The New York Times. That’s when they stroll through the lilies together, skipping through and singing. This is the problem. The country doesn’t want this. The country’s attitudes are changing. And certainly, by the way, generically, and I love the way the institutions organize and put together the stuff on polling because they try to give a question that will give them some answer. So, once it was clear that attitudes on immigration change, all of the major mainstream media polling outfits stopped polling on immigration. As I pointed out, they didn’t even mention it in their election results.
And it goes to the other question. The President’s right to constitutional power; that he is King. But I have no confidence when Lindsey Graham, who got, by the way, 54 percent in South Carolina and a black man got 62 percent, tells you what might have been in South Carolina. Some people, as opponents, are better to be lucky than to be good. But Lindsey Graham and John McCain, who led the surrender on the appointments when the President was appointing these people on the Labor Practices Commission, laid down on that, which the court ruled unanimously was illegal. And the Republicans were halfhearted. It’s like the response when Harry Reid did the nuclear option. Mitch McConnell and the Republicans could have stopped everything in the Senate. Everything in the Senate requires unanimous consent, including the prayer in the morning. Do you know what happens if Mitch McConnell had gotten up and said there will be no more business in this Senate until this is revoked. You are not going to overnight have a coup de tat against the Constitution of the United States. A stand for principle for once, the people would’ve supported. Instead, they just said, “Oh my God, wait until we get to have it.” It’s just those kinds of things that disillusion Americans.
Finally, the last point I want to really talk about other than the media. And let me tell you something, whatever goes forward, the true enemy, and I’ve said this for years, is the media. And it is not because of the truth they tell or the lies they tell, it is what they do not tell. It is their decision not to report things. For instance, the Gruber incident as of last night until yesterday morning, once, had been mentioned, only once, on any of the major networks, NBC, ABC, CBS. Now, of course, CBS news is run by the man whose brother, Ben Rhodes, is the one who manufactured the talking points at Tom Donlan’s direction from Benghazi, and who makes sure to protect Obama. But, they report nothing. In the election, its stunning. Numbers were in 2006, huge percentages. I think it was like 150 some mentions on the evening news about President Bush being in trouble. On the three networks this time, it was like 15 or 16. And on ABC, it was zero. ABC wasn’t even…and you wonder why interest was lower? Because a lot of it wasn’t being reported. And this has got to be taken on at a different level. Too many Republicans in Washington and the establishment want to have nice relations with the press. They want to be mentioned in the press. They want to go along. There needs to be a war on the press because it goes to the culture and it goes to whether or not we have a Constitution.
I was on the board at West Point. I watched young men and women who were willing to stand on the ramparts and pledge with their very lives to protect our freedom, who thought it was an honor. The press, which their ramparts, is a special deal on the First Amendment is that they would protect the American people from power from the Government. And they have deserted those ramparts. And in deserting those ramparts, they have endangered the freedom of every American, Democrat, Republican, Liberal or Conservative. And there has to be a real war here. And there is not.
You people, it’s like Bill Maher on television. I mean HBO. Bill Maher is not practicing free speech. He’s practicing paid speech. He gets paid by HBO. He gets paid by you subscribers. How many of you people in here subscribe to HBO? Look. Come on, let’s all be honest, I mean. Yeah. You know what you’re doing, you’re subsidizing all of that because Conservatives don’t know how to fight. They don’t know how to take on HBO and say, hey, we’re not asking you take Bill Maher off. How about put someone else on. I have a friend in mind I would like to mention, but I won’t. But, put someone on that balances that out or we will all cancel. Do you know how fast Time-Warner would do if a million people in this country said they would cancel if they did not put a balance on HBO? But you don’t fight. You just give in. It’s like the war on the culture. This is a time to actually make definitions of these things. The influence of the culture in Hollywood, as my friend Michael Barnes here says, every day on YouTube and everything else, they get up and then the score is at the end of the day is 845 to nothing. Imagine if you cut that to two to one in the culture in terms of messaging and real things.
Finally, on 2016. Nothing can be read from 2014. The things I talk about is what I have discussed in my Smith Project. The American people are united about one thing. They hate the political class in Washington. They hate the Democrats and Republicans, alike, with that. They believe they are being screwed by both. And I would like to remind the Speaker, again last night, Elizabeth Warren’s position about how the banks operate and about how they are getting off. You know who agrees with that? About 85 percent of the Republicans and Conservatives. The entire country understands being screwed by crony capitalism which operates with the Chamber of Commerce and in Washington and the Democrats with all of their energy and all of their building bureaucracies for political machinery. And they know they’re not being benefited and there is a common sense center that is gigantic, and it is coming. It didn’t come in this election because we were squeezed between who would be in control of the Senate.
But I will tell you one last thing from the exit polls that has not been discussed. There was a special sub sample of them, in which they asked people about several candidates would they be a good president. Hillary Clinton was 42 yes, 53 no. Then they asked about four Republicans, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Rand Paul and Rick Perrin. On the average, 26 percent said that each of them would make a good president. On average, 60 to 63 percent said no, they wouldn’t. And this is in a Republican sweep going on. And when they asked to how the people would vote in an election, 39 to 40 percent said they would vote Republican. Thirty-four percent for Hillary. This is not good news for Hillary at all. And the balance said that it all depended. They weren’t sure. They weren’t particularly happy. Understand we’re going to have insurgencies in 2016. The Republican party and for the first time in your lifetime, my lifetime, or anyone’s lifetime. Well, I guess some people were born in 1940 when you had Wendell Willkie seize the Republican party. It was an insurgency. You could have one this year.
And let me give you one last example why. I’ll give you an issue. One of the things the American people most are upset about when you ask them about it. I’ve done it, Heather Higgins has done it, on polling about the exemption for Congress and the Congressional staff in the healthcare bill that the President came down and negotiated with Harry Reid and with John Boehner. And Boehner was then saying, oh, he was against this exemption except that Harry Reid got ticked off and leaked all the emails where they agreed, they came together, so that they protect the Congress from what the American people were doing. When you ask that of American people, 2/3rds of Republicans believe that’s the reason to turn every single person in Washington out of office. You have 15, 18, whatever number of candidates running for President or thinking about running or having dreams and visions of White House and oval offices. Not a single one of them will raise this issue. This issue, the agreement between the two parties was that it was not to be discussed in the election, and it wasn’t. Did you know that? They had an actual agreement they would not raise this issue. Do you know what could’ve happened to some of the incumbents, Democrats particularly, who were vulnerable if that had been raised. And it wasn’t. And the reason is and that’s what I mean, there is an insurgency.
I will know the Republican party has life when there’s a Republican running for President willing to attack the establishment of his own party the way that Jimmy Carter and others did in the Democratic party that I was involved in in the 70s. Then you may get somebody who represents the American people. As long as this is controlled by the people, as I said to you for two years, in Washington whose only real ambition is to hold on to the power they have and the money they make, your prospects in 2016 are dim.
Anyway, thank you very much.
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