One of the first public figures to come out and endorse the Restoring Courage event, Glenn questions the sanity of Bongino for leaving such an honorable organization as the Secret Service and replacing it with politics. That said, Dan is one of the good guys – he got heat for supporting Restoring Courage, but he’s not wavering.
The Full Transcript from radio is below (video will be posted soon):
GLENN: We – we are live in – we are live in Israel. Do we have Dan on the phone? Dan? Dan, how are you?
BONGINO: Good. How are you doing, Glenn?
GLENN: Very good. Dan is a guy running for U.S. Senate against a Democrat which I think is fantastic, but you are also a retired secret service guy and the reason why I want to have you on, you’re coming to Israel – we’re get to this here in a second, but I want to – you worked for Bush and President Obama?
BONGINO: That’s right, Glenn. Both administrations. Three years with Bush and two years with President Obama. That’s right.
GLENN: And – and how was that?
BONGINO: Well, it was a great experience. I traveled to 27 countries as a security rep for the United States. It was really profound to be over in all of these different areas of the world and to see – the commonality in every place I’ve been was a line around the block at the U.S. embassy every time I went to a different country. So, it was really a fascinating experience. It really – it gives you a different respect for the United States when you touch back down on U.S. soil. You want to kiss the ground.
GLENN: One last question. Were you the guy that missed the shoe in Afghanistan?
BONGINO: I get that question a lot. No. I actually did not – I watched it happen live, but I was not there for the shoe incident, no.
GLENN: You weren’t there because do you know what? I tell you, if you were the guy who missed the shoe, I’ve seen this movies over and over and over again, you’re going to be in the bar going, I should have seen the shoe coming, man. But – and they’re, like –
PAT: That guy always gets a second chance. So, it works out well.
GLENN: He does, but there’s some up and coming new guy who’s, like, That’s Dan Bongino? He’s a legend
PAT: He’s the one that let the shoe get to the President.
BONGINO: You’re right. I’ll be the guy in the bar on my 17th Miller Lite looking back and saying —
GLENN: That’s right. I hear you back there talking about the shoe! Damn it. It was a mistake! I know. All right. So, Dan, first of all, let me just ask you, why would you leave the secret service, which I think the secret service is wildly honorable. Please, please don’t burst my bubble on that. They’re still honorable, right?
BONGINO: They are fantastic. They’ve been great to me
PAT: He paused way too long. That was scary.
GLENN: Okay. Good. All right. Good. All right. Glad to hear that. So, why are you – why would you leave such an honorable thing and now go into politics?
BONGINO: Well, it was a huge risk, Glenn. There’s no question about it. Resigned. I didn’t actually retire. So, I left my pension, my benefits, my healthcare. I have a pregnant wife. I left that on the line. It was a huge risk, but I’ve always followed politics. I’ve never been able to get involved due to the hack shack, but I just figured it’s really time for real people who have lead real lives, held real leadership positions to get out of the locker room and let’s get on the field and throw a pass. At least I’ll know, be able to look at my daughter and tell her I did something, I did something I thought was right at this event we’re having right now and I believe in it.
GLENN: You left without your pension. You just resigned?
BONGINO: I got nothing. My financial records, Glenn, are available on the FEC website. I officially declared at the FEC. You can go look and search my name and you’ll find out I didn’t win the lotto, I didn’t inherit any money. This is a real deal. I’m middle class guy.
GLENN: So, what was the – what was the turning point where you’re, like, Okay, I’ve got to get out of here.
BONGINO: You know, I was at a fundraiser and I was at a table with presidential candidate who decided not to enter the race. I don’t want to say who and we were talking and we had a really great conversation about economics and, you know, I had always loved politics and he just said to me, You know, why don’t you consider running? I think you have a very, you know, interesting story and then that was it. It just kind of sparked something in me and over a period of months I thought about it and that was it. I decided, you know what? It’s time to – it’s really time to stop talking and time to start doing. I thought my story could really make an impact and it has. It’s got a ton of great press off of this and I think we’re really making a dent in politics.
Glenn: Maryland politics is a nightmare, a nightmare.
BONGINO: You’re right.
GLENN: You know that. It’s Bongino. So, you know what I’m talking about here, Dan right? It’s Bongino.
BONGINO: You can’t (inaudible) anymore. And Maryland is winnable. It is very, very winnable. Our numbers are really fantastic right now. This is not an unwinnable race by any stretch.
GLENN: Okay. So, you’re coming over here to Israel and the reason why I’m having you on is, A, I think the secret service, I think you-guys are just very honorable, but you are one of the – you are one of the first public figures to come out and say that you were going to come out to this event and you endorsed the event and you took a lot of heat for it.
BONGINO: We did. We got a number of e-mails and phone calls from some folks down here. Local press picked it up and (inaudible) the local press, I’ll say that, but a lot of the traffic we got was borderline – was borderline disruptive to the campaign and I’m always shocked by that. I can’t understand why anyone in public office wouldn’t support it. What exactly about Israel is not worthy of support? It never made any sense to me, having been in the region quite a bit.
GLENN: You’ve been – you’ve been all over the world. You’ve been, obviously you don’t want to admit it, but I’m sure you were the guy that missed the shoe and so you’ve been all over the world. It strikes me – it really amazes me on how Israel has low self-esteem here in the Middle East and they’re questioning – and they’re always on defense and they’re, like, no, wait a minute, maybe – did we do something wrong? Maybe she shouldn’t have done this or maybe – bull crap. It’s amazing how different Israel is from just across the border and no one talks about it.
BONGINO: No. And Arabs in Israel have more freedoms than Arabs in Arab countries. It just seems like the double standard is so obvious if you just open your eyes. Again, I find it almost appalling that the double standard they’re held to is amazing. When you look at an issue like the right of return, I mean, the British get the right of return to the United States? I mean, why is that? Why are they the only country held to this standard? It’s just – I find it perplexing. I really do.
GLENN: You know, I never even thought of that. We didn’t — they didn’t push for the right of return. The English didn’t say, oh, by the way, we – no. You fought. You chose a side and you lost.
GLENN: I never even thought of it that way.
BONGINO: Just about every country on earth when you look at it was founded by some sort of initial aggression. They were either being attacked or they were attacked to establish their borders.
GLENN: No. Wait, wait. I’m not going to let you get away with that. Only white European countries.
BONGINO: Oh, of course. (Inaudible.) That’s right.
GLENN: Yeah, yeah.
BONGINO: — is held to such a standard and they guaranteed freedoms within their borders to the very people they have to fight against. So, it’s really a hypocritical double standard. I don’t stand for it. I wrote them a letter of support. I put it on the Restoring Courage Facebook page and I believe every word of it. (Inaudible.) I’m unequivocal in my position there and if I lose the race on that is correct that’s fine. I’ll lose it with my head held high.
PAT: Good for you.
GLENN: A typical white guy saying this
PAT: Too few politicians who are willing to take a principled stand and stick too it, whether or not it costs them the election. I mean, it’s so refreshing to hear.
BONGINO: Well, thank you. We’ve been getting a lot of that. We started talking to groups of 15 people. Now it’s gone to 150, 200 and we go out and we get that at the end of every speech. They say, We’re not used to this. I say, what? They say, Honesty. Really, I’ll lose an honest guy. I’m not going to win a hypocrite. I didn’t leave my job to run as a standard politician. (Inaudible.) I don’t have hand (inaudible.) I don’t do any of that. I where my own material because it’s mine and I believe in it.
GLENN: Give me your website so people can check you out.
BONGINO: Sure. It’s Bongino, B O N G I N O.com. I appreciate that and I’m on Facebook and Twitter, as well. (Inaudible.) I do my own posting. I don’t have any social media handlers. They tried, but I turned them down. I write my own stuff on there every time.
GLENN: What does it say, because I was just given a sheet here on you. It says awarded and one of the most recognized details in their history. What does this mean? We’re talking about your secret service.
BONGINO: — younger guy to do a number of foreign events. I think I did more than just about anybody agent they have. I did a number of (inaudible.) I left with a great reputation. It was a great job. They were very good to me. I really deeply appreciate what the secret service did in forging my character and, yeah, I left with a great reputation. I had 17 (inaudible) commendation awards. So, it was a good career.
GLENN: I will just tell you this: Don’t worry, because echelon has now picked up this phone call because you said secret service and forged in the same sentence. So, you’re in trouble. You’re in trouble.
BONGINO: I know. I get that a lot.
GLENN: Dan, good talking to you and I don’t know when you’re coming to Israel, but I hope to shake your hand and say hello.
BONGINO: Thank you. I’m leaving Saturday. Thanks so much for having me on.
GLENN: You got it. Bongino, Bongino, B O N G I N O.com. Okay. Back in just a second.