Joining in the filibuster effort were a handful of other supporters in the GOP, interestingly they were mostly the new guard. The new guard consists of those who actually value the founding principles of this country and it’s founding documents, namely the Constitution. Senator Mike Lee is part of that new guard and talked about the filibuster, Holder, and battle for the soul of the GOP on radio today.
Read the transcript of the interview below:
GLENN: Sitting right behind Ted Cruz was Senator Mike Lee who is on the phone with us now. Senator, how are you, sir?
LEE: Doing great. It’s good to be with you, Glenn.
GLENN: Is that the most incredible? You were ‑‑ I mean, I was watching your face sitting next to Ted Cruz. Your mouth was open, part of it just like, oh, my gosh. Is this the most incredible thing you’ve heard?
LEE: Yeah. But, you know, Ted’s always great. Ted always is able to get to the heart of the issue.
GLENN: No, no, no. I mean ‑‑
LEE: ‑‑ very, very quickly.
GLENN: I didn’t mean from Ted. I mean from the attorney general.
PAT: That he can’t pin down whether or not it’s constitutional.
LEE: I was ‑‑ I was shocked. When Ted gave him what I thought was a very clear hypothetical, a very clear opportunity for him to say, “Yeah, that would be unconstitutional, that would fall outside of all kinds of constitutional boundaries,” and he didn’t. You know, he eventually got there sort of, but only after a lot of prodding and even then it wasn’t entirely certain what he was saying or why he was being so difficult to get there.
GLENN: Senator, is this, the drone business, you know, having the president issue an order to kill somebody, you know, with a drone without a warrant and without a trial, is there any ‑‑ is there any use to the Constitution at all if the president has claimed this ability and executes it?
LEE: Well, certainly not on a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil. I mean, one can fathom circumstances in which an individual engaged in an act of war against the United States outside the United States might become the casualty of an act of war by the United States defending itself. But what Cruz was talking about here was an American citizen on U.S. soil sitting in a cafe with a friend and so, yeah, one cannot conceive of a scenario in which that would be appropriate or constitutional.
GLENN: But the question is, is there any use for the Con ‑‑ does this president, is there ‑‑ is the Constitution and the constitutional republic as we know it of no use if the president can claim this power? Which he seems to be doing.
LEE: Yeah. Look, if the president can claim this power, if the president in fact were to utilize this power and to utilize it in the manner that was discussed yesterday at the hearing, yeah, heaven help us all. I mean, one would wonder what would be left of any of us. If your question is, is there anything left that’s intact in the Constitution today? Certainly, yes, there is. But in order for that to remain the case, we’ve got to continue to stand up and we’ve got to continue to identify problems when we see them. And we’ve got to identify them early become ‑‑ before they become bigger problems.
LEE: So that when we see something like this, when we see statements by this administration, reckless statements suggesting vast, vast power by the chief executive to snuff out human life without the due process of law, we’ve got to have people who are willing to stand up and say, no, that is not okay.
GLENN: So are you surprised? Because TheBlaze is putting together a slide show of the websites last night. We have ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and the New York Times. None of them at 12:05 had anything at all on the front page about Rand Paul and the stand against the drones. None of them had that. Huffington Post did, TheBlaze did, the Drudge Report did. Even MSNBC had this as the lead. But the mainstream media had nothing. Are the ‑‑ A, is the mainstream media, are they so disconnected from anything at all anymore that they don’t recognize what’s happening with the drones; and B, are the American people even there anymore?
LEE: Yeah, Glenn, I can’t figure out whether they’re really smart or whether they’re really dumb for not airing this. I tend to lean, of course, toward the conclusion that they’re really dumb because the American people are concerned about this. This is an issue for many, many tens if not hundreds of millions of Americans and so they shouldn’t be ignoring it. To the extent they continue to ignore this issue, they do so at their own peril.
The only argument for saying maybe they’re really smart is if they really are that focused on protecting incumbent Democrats in congress or in the White House that they don’t want to report it.
GLENN: Well, let me go ‑‑
LEE: They know that this is an issue where Republicans are standing up for individual liberties and Democrats are standing on the sidelines and trying to ignore it.
GLENN: That’s another thing. That is truly remarkable to me. I mean, some of us, I mean, I have come to the party awfully darn late on some of the things like the PATRIOT Act. I asked for sunsets the whole time, but I actually believed that people in congress were more like me and more like you, that we were all decent and we were just trying to do the right thing and we would never ‑‑ you know, we’d never do things without warrants, et cetera, et cetera. What a fool. What a fool to give people in power that kind of power. However, the Democrats have been the ones the whole time that have been saying, “We stand up for the individual and this grotesque growth of power,” and one ‑‑ wasn’t it one yesterday? One stood up and joined your ranks on the floor of the Senate last night.
LEE: Well, no, we ‑‑ by the end of the evening, we had quite a few members of the Senate. But you’re exactly right: We had only one Democrat who joined us and that was Ron Wyden of Oregon. Ron is a man of principle. Ron stands by the principles of the Constitution and especially when it comes to matters of individual liberty. I was thrilled to have him join us and I hope his willingness to join us will be a signal to others that will cause others on the other side of the aisle to join us as well.
GLENN: For anybody who doesn’t believe that drones ‑‑ you know, I guess, I guess ‑‑ I was trying to drive in this morning and thinking what the hell is wrong with Americans? How can they not understand what this means? And I thought to myself, okay, let me put myself in the reverse shoes. That I have friends who are very, very big Barack Obama supporters and I know one of them is coming into ‑‑ one of them is coming into town today. He’s my photographer, George Lange. He’s darn near a Communist. I mean, he’s a ‑‑ but he’s a great guy. Oh, I’ve already ‑‑ nevermind. So he’s coming into town, and I know I’m going to have the conversation with him, and he’s most likely going to say, “I didn’t know about it.” But then when we talk about it, he’ll say ‑‑ I’m guessing here ‑‑ “He’ll never do that. The president will never do that. He wouldn’t do it.” How do you convince people that this does matter?
LEE: Well, first of all, to the extent they become aware of it, people will come to that conclusion on their own because when they hear about it, when they hear it discussed, when they discuss it with others, they will come to that conclusion on their own. But they have to hear about it first, which is exactly why it’s so troubling that so many of these mainstream news media outlets were just showing nothing but radio silence on this issue.
But this, Glenn, is why you’re seeing such a shift away from the mainstream news media. This is why you’re seeing the ratings of some of these outlets dipping on the broadcast media side while simultaneously you’ve got ratings of Fox News doing well, you’ve got TheBlaze doing really well because people are realizing that there are other sources of information and they’re coming to those sources because they realize they can get the truth from those sources and it won’t be filtered in such a way as to protect one party and hurt the other.
STU: Senator, I heard Rand Paul over and over again through this filibuster say things to the effect of, “I just hope the president comes here and says what I think is in his heart, that it is not constitutional to kill Americans that are noncombatants on American soil.” He said things like this over and over again in an effort to be cordial and keep the debate as civilized as possible. But if it were true that it was in his heart, wouldn’t this be a really easy process? I mean, this is not a high hurdle you’ve set for this guy to clear.
LEE: Yeah, that’s right. I really don’t know why he didn’t come forward because I think Rand Paul is right. I think the president probably does know that in his heart. I don’t know. It may be that some of his political advisors were telling him that this wouldn’t be a big deal, he didn’t need to bother himself with something so trivial, perhaps that the Republicans would look foolish if the filibuster continued at what happened, it wouldn’t surprise me.
GLENN: You are being a good, loyal, decent member of the Senate and also of your faith, Mike.
GLENN: Stop it. In the heart of hearts, this president will absolutely use a drone on American citizens who he deems is a threat to not the Constitution but to what he believes America should be.
PAT: No comment on that.
GLENN: No comment. Okay.
STU: Very well advised.
GLENN: You’re very smart for not responding to that.
PAT: Doing the right thing there.
GLENN: Mike, I wish you the best of luck. And is Brennan going to be confirmed?
LEE: You know, I suspect he will be confirmed. But at the end of this process we will see that a lot more attention has been brought during this confirmation process.
GLENN: Are you going to go ‑‑
LEE: With an issue that a lot of Americans ought to be concerned about. And I’m very happy with that.
GLENN: Are you going to vote for Brennan?
LEE: No, I’m not.
GLENN: Do you understand ‑‑ because you are a very strong constitutionalist. Do you understand Rand Paul’s stance on this of, he says “I’m standing on the Constitution, I totally disagree with him but I have to do it because of constitutional reasons”? Do you believe that?
STU: His justification for voting for Hagel essentially.
GLENN: Yeah. Which, he’s going to vote for, he’s going to vote for ‑‑
STU: We don’t know this yet.
GLENN: He said it to us on the air. Do you understand his constitutional objection?
LEE: I don’t, to be perfectly honest. You mean that part with regard to not voting no?
LEE: I don’t share ‑‑
PAT: I don’t either.
LEE: I don’t share that view. I respect Rand a lot and we agree on most things on the Constitution but we don’t share that view in common. I don’t think there’s anything that requires me to vote yes for a nominee that I don’t want to support.
GLENN: Thank you, Mike. I appreciate it.
PAT: I agree with him.
LEE: Thank you.
GLENN: God bless.
PAT: I’ve never seen anything in it that requires you to go ahead and approve every single person he nominates.