On radio this morning, Adam Brandon from FreedomWorks joined the show to run through the candidates. Who does he like? Who has the worst record?
Get the expert political analysis in its entirety below, and scroll past the audio for the transcript of this segment.
Rush transcript of this segment is below:
GLENN: Well, welcome to the program. Last night on television, I had Adam Brandon, the executive vice president, the CEO of Freedom Works on with us. And we were talking during the break about how excited both of us were. And I think for different reasons. Maybe for the same reason. But we were both excited about the future. For the first time, talking politics. I mean, we were together. Adam is here. We were together on Election Day.
ADAM: That's right.
GLENN: With Mitt Romney.
PAT: Oh, man. What a bloodbath that was.
GLENN: And that was a kick in the head over and over again. And then I think we were there together -- or, at least we talked to each other during the last election where, you know, some of our guys were getting their heads kicked in again. And honestly I think most Americans who are of our political bent were thinking, okay, well, I'm going to stop doing that now.
And then you come to me. Yesterday we had Scott Walker on. We felt really good about him. We feel good about Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. We feel like there's something happening here.
ADAM: That's right. In between when we spoke last time and here today, I've been reading up, and I found two headlines that really speak to me about what's happening. The first one comes from CNBC which says the millennial generation's savings patterns closely reflect their grandparents, like there's a fundamental shift in the youngest people in America today in how they view money and savings.
GLENN: Fourth turning.
ADAM: Then the next thing I saw was yet another study showing that more and more Americans are viewing themselves as independent of both political parties. These trends continue. To me, that shows me that the young folks are changing. And our society is changing in how it views politics. These are huge opportunities.
I want to go back to one more meeting we had a few years ago. And I remember, you put up on the chalkboard this long, progressive history and how they took over the parties and their influence. And you said it was a 100-year conflict. And I walked out of that meeting. I never forgot that because I was almost paralyzed by fear. Like, one hundred years? How do you combat something that's been going for 100 years?
GLENN: This is in the days when I depressed everybody and I said, we need a 100-year plan. And everybody was like, I don't think I even want to think about a 100-year plan.
ADAM: But you were right when you were talking yesterday and going over these presidential candidates. We at Freedom Works have been looking at what works and what wasn't work. The different types of organizations you need and the different type of candidates you need. And I would say right now today, heading into 2016, yes, it may take a few generations to turn everything back, but in the next few election cycles, I think we can make a significant advance at turning back the time.
GLENN: I think we have, quite honestly. If you look at the candidates I mentioned. You can add Marco Rubio to that. Those candidates would not exist had the Tea Party not popped up.
ADAM: One thing that the Tea Party is doing to change politics is it used to be enough. We all love Ronald Reagan and stuff. At best, those guys kind of paused the growth of government. It even kind of grew, but it just slowed it down. And those candidates that you mentioned and I think what the Tea Party is demanding, is in this next presidential cycle, not just pausing, but actually reducing government. And a few years ago, I would never have thought that's possible. But with people in the House and Senate and one of those folks in the White House, I think it could actually happen.
GLENN: So who do you think has the best shot?
ADAM: It's not a cop-out. I do believe it's too early to say that.
GLENN: Tell me the strengths of each candidate. For instance, Cruz, show me the strength of Ted Cruz.
ADAM: The strength of Ted Cruz is that he's absolutely fearless. From when he first ran for Senate and got to Washington, possibly the most disliked person in Washington, DC.
GLENN: Does that hurt him?
ADAM: I think it helps him out in real America. In D.C. what it shows, he's not scared of going into a Senate cloakroom and having almost every senator outside of Rand Paul and Ted Cruz --
GLENN: And likely --
ADAM: Giving him just the evil eye. He will fight for what he believes. That will be his strength.
STU: That feels good to us.
GLENN: Can't get anything done.
STU: When it comes down to him getting support to put together a winning campaign --
GLENN: One of the least liked people in Washington, DC, right now is Barack Obama. They're only afraid of his machinery. But he's not getting anything done.
ADAM: No. But would that help or hurt Cruz? That's why you'll see pretty quickly in the campaign cycle how that plays nationally. Rand Paul, once again, there's a guy who stood up against the NSA on the Senate floor. That's a forward looking thing. Of all these candidates, Rand Paul might reflect the future of the G.O.P. the most. The question is, is he too far ahead? He'll also have to answer, and this will be his opportunity, to talk about things like ISIS and foreign policy and show how he's different from his father.
Then just keep going down to the list. Marco Rubio. Great personal story. Fantastic story about beating Crist when he was running in Florida. The question for him: Is this kind of that Rubio who kind of came in and jumped on immigration in the wrong way, or is this someone who is a little different? Each one we mentioned, there's going to be a strength and there's going to be a weakness.
GLENN: The Marco Rubio thing, I don't think Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, or -- well, I guess in some ways Governor Walker has, but not as much that has got something as fundamental as immigration reform wrong. You know what I mean?
GLENN: You can wake me up in the middle of the night, ask me one of the three big topics, immigration will be one of them. For him to get that one wrong and to say, well, I wasn't really -- hello. It shows me that your gut is somehow askew.
ADAM: Right. But that being said, comparing this to the field from previous years, more excited about this field.
GLENN: Oh, my gosh. Let's go deeper. Carly Fiorina.
ADAM: I'm not really sure what that's all about right now.
PAT: Yeah, we're not either. And we interviewed her last week or the week before. Liked her, but we didn't really get into policy.
GLENN: No. We were talking California policy, and she was right on the money on California. Very, very sharp.
PAT: And the economy she seemed pretty good on. But, you know, we didn't dig into the fundamentals like immigration.
GLENN: How about Ben Carson?
ADAM: Well, Ben Carson has just an incredible personal story.
GLENN: We really like him. We just don't think he's ready to be president.
ADAM: As I was mentioning earlier, one thing I've noticed about him, he's built a good connection with grassroots activists. He'll be a stronger player just because of the network he's been able to build.
GLENN: Mike Huckabee?
ADAM: I look at his record as governor and I'm just moving on. That's old news.
PAT: Thank you. Thank you. Good answer.
GLENN: The guy is a giant progressive.
STU: He will run. You have him. You have Jeb Bush.
GLENN: Hang on a second. Who does Mike Huckabee coming into the race, who does he hurt?
ADAM: Because -- the question for me: Is he going to try to stake out for the social conservatives? Is that the main group he'll reach out to?
ADAM: If you like some of these other people we mentioned, Ben Carson is there. Rick Santorum. Even Ted Cruz might be there.
GLENN: Ted Cruz. Yeah.
ADAM: When I look at how this horse race might play out --
GLENN: I have a conspiracy theory that I'm never going to share, but I have a conspiracy on Mike Huckabee on being put in this race by some -- by some establishment to really hurt Ted Cruz.
ADAM: That, I could actually buy that conspiracy theory.
GLENN: You probably know the conspiracy theory.
ADAM: Some people run for president not with the end goal of winning.
GLENN: Yes, Lindsey Graham.
ADAM: Run for president, run for vice president to sell books. John Bolton, I think, talks about running for president for, you know, I'm just not sure why. But it's a way for him to inject whatever issue he's most excited about into the race.
GLENN: What are the odds that you suppose that we get to a literal Hillary and Jeb ticket? Not the same ticket, although that would make more sense to me. Hillary versus Jeb Bush.
ADAM: I have a theory that if it's Clinton versus Bush, a third party candidate will win.
GLENN: I have the same feeling.
STU: Wow. It's tough.
GLENN: I have the same feeling. And especially if it's somebody like Rand Paul who seemingly is so different outside the system. You know what I mean? I really think -- I think that Rand Paul could win on a third-party ticket, if it's those two.
ADAM: You look at someone like Ross Perot, who came up because there was dissatisfaction. And then something else that I've never forgotten was when Mayor Michael Bloomberg dumped $100 million into his own race. That just shows, it can be done. There is someone who can write a check large enough to jump-start a campaign. Or you could just have -- like you were mentioning Rand. Just people so sick of this. I mean, I would have a hard time voting in a Clinton versus Bush election.
GLENN: I wouldn't. I will vote for third party. I don't care who it is.
ADAM: There you go. That would be such a disservice to our democracy if those are the two names on the ticket.
GLENN: It would. $2.5 billion for Hillary Clinton. What can that money buy? One thing it can't buy. When she launched this campaign. There was a new look to this campaign. One of the issues to the big look, they're not going to do big rallies. Why? Because no one would show up?
GLENN: We talked about that.
STU: Obama had a decent amount of success with big rallies. It's not like, hey, 50,000 people showed up for me thing.
GLENN: Right. That's the one thing you don't have to go to get rid of when you're running for president. The lies. The teleprompter, we've had enough of that. Big, huge problems is not a huge problem.
PAT: It's Journey saying, we don't want to play cowboys stadium anymore.
STU: We're looking for something intimate.
GLENN: It might be that Journey's time has passed or you have the wrong members.
ADAM: This is a shocking revelation about to make. But I do this to check to see what the other side is up to.
GLENN: We're talking to Adam Brandon from Freedom Works.
ADAM: And there's a bunch of progressive groups I donate the absolute minimum to, just to be on their email lists to see what they're thinking and what they're up to.
What amazes me about moveon.org is every email you get from them is run, Elizabeth, run. Run, Elizabeth Warren, run. And this should be Hillary Clinton's base. And they have no interest it seems in supporting her. You have to drag them --
GLENN: I just think that $2.5 million better be spent on buses going to nursing homes and picking them up to vote and then digging people up in cemeteries and just voter fraud. Because there's just no excitement there at all.
GLENN: At all. And that's why I think Hillary really wants Jeb Bush, because there's the same amount of excitement.
GLENN: I think that if it's Jeb Bush, you're going to have -- he'll have the hardest time rallying people together and say, hey, will you go door to door? Will you make phone calls for me?
ADAM: I can't imagine any of our activists doing that.
GLENN: I don't know anybody in our audience who would do that.
PAT: You'll have 50 people voting that day judge it would be the lowest voter turnout in American history.
GLENN: It would. And the highest voter turnout. Ted Cruz or Rand Paul, one of those guys, versus someone like Elizabeth Warren.
ADAM: That would be so healthy for our democracy.
GLENN: Oh, it would be so great. And if Elizabeth Warren would just say -- the moderator is like, look, I know you're not a communist, but let's admit it, you like Swedish socialized government. Okay? And if she would have the balls to say, yeah, I do.
STU: You know who has the balls to say that? Bernie Sanders.
GLENN: Just really say, look, the Swedish system works. And here's why. And then having someone like Rand Paul or Ted Cruz saying, no, this is why I believe this system works if it's done right. And really have an open honest debate of those two choices. That's what we're really doing. We're just not admitting it.
ADAM: It would be TV I would watch every debate. It would be so exciting.
GLENN: Oh, yeah. The whole world would watch that. Back in just a second. I do want to give you some time to talk a little about your Freedom Works PAC. This is something that is actually really going to help the election and people want to know, what can I do to get involved? How can I help? You feel like $2.5 billion, it's not big money. It's smart money. And it's 5-dollar donations, not 100 million-dollar donations. We'll tell you about that coming up in just a second.
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GLENN: Talking to Adam Brandon, the CEO of Freedom Works. And he has started a new PAC. FreedomWorksPAC.org. They're not looking for millionaires. They'll take millionaires. But they're looking for 5-dollar donations. I wanted him to be on the air to explain specifically what this PAC is and why it's important.
ADAM: Thank you very much. It's actually FreedomWorksPAC.com. But when we looked at what worked and what didn't work in previous election cycles, there was a couple of elections we left on the table. Clint Didier out in Washington State lost by 2,000 votes. McDaniel won his race before he lost it. But one thing we missed was that final push. That ability to inject money into these campaigns that desperately needed it at that time. Yes, you're right, it's about the size of the community. Rounding up as many five, 50, 100-dollar checks as possible to really help these candidates that will make a difference.
GLENN: So what you're doing with this PAC is you're coming out with all the research on why you like these guys. Right?
ADAM: Going forward, we'll put up on a website. It will be all these different races. You pick and choose the ones you want. But we'll make sure that everyone who is listening right now will have fantastic research on the positions that matter to our community.
GLENN: So I think this is really important. Because you know when you write a check to the G.O.P., you don't know where your money is going. You write a check for the G.O.P., and it could very well be going to John Boehner.
ADAM: That's right.
GLENN: And I don't want that. So what you're doing, you can give it a general fund. But you can also say, no, I want it to go to this specific guy.
ADAM: Right now, you just have to give to Freedom Works PAC. There are not that many candidates in the race. But we'll also be incentivizing people like Matt Salmon to jump in against John McCain. We'll try to incentivize people like Congressman DeSantis to jump in in Florida to take over for Rubio's place. Rather than waiting and hoping for the right candidate, we want to put some resources together to get them in the race.
GLENN: Tell me about Salmon.
ADAM: Salmon has a 100 percent voting record with Freedom Works. 100 percent. He's one of those people you want to see in the race. When you look at a candidate, number one, they have to be right on principle. Number two, they have to run a competent campaign. And number three, if they do those other things, there has to be a path to victory. So every candidate we endorse, they'll be solid on principle, they'll be able to win, and they're going to have a path to victory.
GLENN: With a Freedom Works PAC, we could have gotten Lindsey Graham out.
ADAM: Well, that was one of the races I looked at. How did we not have a candidate in that race? There was like five candidates --
GLENN: If we can take out John McCain in 2016, that's a huge takeout.
ADAM: I think it would send a message to everyone.
GLENN: If this PAC could have existed, do you think we could have won Kentucky?
ADAM: We could have gotten closer. We could win Mississippi. I could go through three or four House races, we would have won. Legally, we didn't have the ability to put money and resources to come on and say, in 72 hours, these are the three people who desperately need this help.
STU: What I like about this idea, it's not giving money to a person or party. It's giving money to an idea. You'll find the people with the ideas, and they'll have the fuel to go through that campaign.