Several big primary votes are coming up and it’s a big chance to rid the GOP of some long time politicians who have succumbed to the power of the party. Glenn chats with Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks on which of the coming elections are most important.
Interview Transcript below:
GLENN: I want to talk to Matt Kibbe. He is from Freedom Works and he is one of the good guys. He's ‑‑ Freedom Works I've watched for a very long time and these guys mean what they say, say what they mean. They're taking on the Republican Party just as much as they are the Democratic Party and he's a guy who believes in libertarian values, conservative libertarian values and small government. Welcome to the program, Matt Kibbe. Tell me, let me get a couple of updates here. What do you think's going to happen? Texas, the primary is today.
KIBBE: Yes, it's today, and I think that Ted Cruz against all odds is going to push the establishment Republican into a runoff and I think the more time we have, the more likely that there will be another Tea Party upset in Texas.
GLENN: Can you ‑‑ I mean, everyone is saying, Matt, that the Tea Party is not making a difference. The Tea Party is just not doing the Occupy Wall Street thing. They are just not out on the streets, but they are wielding tremendous power.
KIBBE: Well, we're not a protest movement anymore. And you're seeing all of these local leaders focus at the local level of building community and doing important things like get out the vote but it's just not like that. But you look at the results in Indiana and it's hard to argue that the Tea Party's dead. Just ask Greg Fettig and Monica Boyer who beat the establishment Republican by 21 points.
GLENN: Wow. What do you think is going to ‑‑ what's going to happen with Orrin Hatch?
KIBBE: I think that Dan Liljenquist has a real shot of upsetting ‑‑ and this will be the biggest upset yet if he pulls it off. He needs to get his brand out there. All the conversation has been about Orrin Hatch's failing so far. But if Dan can get his name out there and his record as a reformer, his record as someone that actually fixed a broken public employee pension system in Utah, I think he can pull an upset off as well.
GLENN: Everybody is saying that Orrin Hatch, though, I mean, he's a respected guy, everybody likes him, you know, yada, yada, which is all true. Everybody likes Orrin Hatch. But this is not ‑‑ I mean, this seems to be the one that may be bucking the system.
KIBBE: Well, this isn't Orrin Hatch is focused on trying to convince everybody that he's one of us since the day that we beat Senator Bennett but this isn't personal. This isn't about who we like and don't like. It's about taking on the problems that for 36 years Orrin Hatch has been unwilling to take on. And it's a little bit late now.
GLENN: But do you really think that he is trying to convince everybody that he's ‑‑ isn't he the guy who came out and said that there is no such thing as a libertarian that he likes or something like that?
KIBBE: Well, he said ‑‑ well, he said that he despises us.
GLENN: That's right.
KIBBE: And he wanted to punch us in the mouth. So that's not really reaching out.
GLENN: Yeah, I don't know if that really, really is. And Walker, give me an update on Walker.
KIBBE: I think, you know, I don't want to jinx this but I think we're looking good here and I think it's going to be the ground game that matters. There's just $10 zillion spent on both sides in that race but it's got to be about the community getting out the vote and defending a guy that actually did what he said he was going to do. If we don't deliver on this, it sets everything back, not just in Wisconsin.
GLENN: Well, that is the key, too. I mean, the unions will bus people, they will do everything to get the vote out.
KIBBE: It's remarkable, the most ‑‑ one of the most I think underreported stories about the Tea Party movement is how we have been able to go toe to toe with the most sophisticated, well funded get‑out‑the‑vote machine and that's the public employees unions and we're doing it without getting paid, without anyone telling us what to do. It's really the power of decentralization at work. And I think what's going on in business is one bellwether as to whether or not this new paradigm not just fixes Wisconsin but fixes our country.
GLENN: All right. I want to talk to you a little bit about Free PAC here. This is something that is happening the week of 7/28, July 28th for Restoring Love. This is happening at the American Airlines center July 26, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Explain exactly what's going to happen here.
KIBBE: Well, I like to call this Tea Party 3.0 because it's not a protest. We're pulling together the community from all over the country and, in fact, all over the world. I think we're going to have 25 to 30 countries represented, including from Greece of all places. We've recruited a handful of students when I was in Thessaloniki and they're coming to Dallas to talk about how they are going to fix their country and: And talk about a project, that's something that I wouldn't want to take on myself.
KIBBE: So it's part global. It's a little bit of protest. We're going to do "Get out the vote" training from 4:00 to 5:30 and that's got to be a separate event because it's political. But I object that signs up and buys a ticket is going to be invited to some very hands‑on training. We're going to talk about the Indiana model and the folks that pulled off that tremendous upset in Indiana. It's going to be part ideas and values, and it's going to be all about building a community and having fun. And I think we're going to have some pretty cool speakers that we're going to announce over the next couple of weeks, but I couldn't be more excited about this because I think this is where the movement has to go. We have to come together, we have to stay connected and we have to understand what we can accomplish as a community that we can't accomplish just as individuals.
GLENN: You and I have had several discussions that it is time for the Tea Party to change. It is time for the Tea Party to realize that it isn't ‑‑ and they already are ‑‑ that it isn't a protest vehicle, that it's not enough to stand with the signs, and now you have to ‑‑ we've had a lot of power not given to us. We've received a lot of power because we did stand up. Now there's a difference between gaining power and keeping power. Gaining power and ruling, protesting and ruling. It's a totally different model, and if we are to survive, we can't be the same kind of people that the Republicans are and we can't just be protestors.
KIBBE: We have one seat at the table. With any luck we're going to gain a number of seats at the table in November. But we've got to get back to the ideas and we've got to figure out how to translate our values into very specific proposals that do things like balance the budget, that actually reform entitlements and tackle all of these problems that both parties have created for us. But it's our responsibility to take that back. And the only way that this changes, the only way we fix our country is an ongoing commitment. We don't have to spend 24 hours a day but we have to commit to doing something and connecting with other people every day because that's the only way we're going to take our country back.
GLENN: Go to FreePAC.org, FreePAC.org, and make sure that you're there. That is on Thursday, July 26th; Friday, July 27th is a service project; and also a faith program which we haven't really announced yet; and then Saturday is at Dallas Cowboys stadium, Restoring Love. You don't want to miss any of this. This is a historic event. Make sure you're there. Dallas, Texas, July 26th through the 28th, and you can find out all information at FreePAC.org or MercuryOne.org.
One more thing. The fact that Mitt Romney is out campaigning now with Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich, how's that making you feel?
KIBBE: Anxious. Nervous. But I ‑‑ you know, I know we've been pretty clear about what we can and can't accomplish with our presidential candidate. We've got to focus on the candidates that really matter, that share our values. And we do have to take the White House. But whoever wins, we're going to have to hold that person accountable just like everybody else.
GLENN: Yeah. Romney's not going to get it ‑‑ nobody should be looking at Romney as the answer to cancer here.
GLENN: Because he's ‑‑ he seems to have a touch of it himself and it's an odd choice to go out on the campaign trail with Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich, you know. At least he ‑‑ at least he threw a bone to Rand Paul this weekend.
KIBBE: Well, I think we need to make sure that the Tea Party activists and the people that share our values are the most pursued voters in this election and that's how you get politicians to do the right thing, by showing up. And that's the model. We're never going to find the perfect benevolent dictator to solve all our problems. We have to drive it from the bottom up.
GLENN: Thanks, Matt, appreciate it.
KIBBE: Thanks a lot.
GLENN: Go to FreePAC.org.