US Senator for Georgia
GLENN: Okay, now, we have Saxby Chambliss on the phone, the senator who is going to stand against the rising storm that is coming America's way. Senator, how are you, sir?
SENATOR CHAMBLISS: Well, we're still bouncing off the walls, Glenn. What a great victory we had and thanks for your encouragement, your support and it was a great night last night, needless to say.
GLENN: Senator, I tell you, you know, everybody says that conservatives, you know, that movement is dead when Barack Obama wins by a couple of points but when you run against a straight-up progressive and you win by 14 points, I don't hear anybody saying this is a rejection of progressive ideas.
SENATOR CHAMBLISS: Kind of amazing, isn't it? Our campaign was focused, Glenn, around the basic core principles that Ronald Reagan taught us. We talked about lower taxes versus the guy who wants to raise taxes and has a history of doing so about somebody who wants to decrease the size of government versus somebody who's going to support all of Obama's initiatives that wants to grow the size of government. All of those basic rights that we have like Second Amendment rights that have the potential to be infringed on. When we talk about these issues, it really resonated with people all across Georgia. We had a great turnout and a big victory on basic conservative principles, and I hope we take something away as a party from this particular runoff.
GLENN: I don't -- you know, that leads me to my question because I don't think that the party gets it yet. I really don't. I mean, they are a party that tries to distance themselves from Sarah Palin. You saw how popular she is down in your state.
SENATOR CHAMBLISS: She is electric. She brought just all kinds of people to us, you know, whether it was Joe the plumber types or folks sitting in their coats and ties. She just packed every house we were in. On Monday we had four different stops around the state and when she walks in the room, there's an electricity you just can't believe.
GLENN: Yeah. Do you think the Republicans are going to get it? I mean, I heard you say yesterday, you said, "I'm going to be the 41st senator to stand up against, you know, gun rights being taken away," et cetera, et cetera. Do you really think we've got 40 other Republicans, Senator? I'm just so afraid. I mean, if you are a student of history, I'm sure you are, you know that during the Great Depression when going tough and they were promising free bread and free everything to people, I mean, the Republican party was called the "Me too" party because there were a lot of people that just defected and said, "Yeah, yeah, me, too, I'll do that, too." I mean, do you think you are going to be able to hold 40 together on some of the big issues of the day?
SENATOR CHAMBLISS: You know, Glenn, I think that having 41 and hopefully we're going to have 42 if my buddy Norm comes through but having that tighter margin I think is going to give us an opportunity to go to some of our moderates who have not always voted with conservatives and say, look, you know, this is the opportunity we have to define our party, this is the opportunity we have to ultimately move back in the majority. If we don't stick together, then it's over. Our movement's going to be delayed and delayed. But if we do stick together and then what you're going to find in your state where you're elected as a moderate, you are going to find folks rallying around you. Whether we can do that and sell that to them, I don't know. But I think it does give us the opportunity to do that.
GLENN: I was just reading a statement from Citigroup today. It was an internal statement that came out about the price of gold and what's happening in the rest of the world and they're saying now that governments are throwing the kitchen sink at this and the gamble is going to likely end in one of two extreme ways: Either resurgence of inflation -- and I believe they are talking about massive, massive inflation, possibly hyperinflation -- or a downward spiral into Depression, civil disorder, and possibly wars. They are talking in this internal memo that the world will not go back to normal after -- and I'm quoting -- after the magnitude of what has been done. When the dust settles, this will either work and the money they have pushed into the system will feed through in inflation shock or it will not work because too much damage has already been done. They talk in this internal memo from Citigroup about how AAA-rated countries, people are starting to doubt the sovereign debts. We're a AAA rated country. They are talking about China moving their reserves from 600 tons of gold to near 4,000 tons of gold which means they are going to -- quoting the article -- they will have to diversify away from paper currencies, which is us. Senator, how much trouble is this country in?
SENATOR CHAMBLISS: Well, there's no question but what we are in a huge financial crisis, Glenn. I think we've known that.
GLENN: Is it becoming clearer to you or is it becoming clearer to the American people that this is not -- I keep hearing people on CNBC and everything else saying, "Well, we'll probably roll out of this by the end of next year or maybe into the..." they just are the same people that just admitted that we've been in a recession for over a year. Do you think people are starting to get a handle on how enormous this thing is?
SENATOR CHAMBLISS: Yeah, I really do think they are. I mean, when you look at the automobile industry, what they are asking for, when you look at cities and counties around the country coming forward now and asking for what they're asking for, who's next? I mean, the folks in the small town America, the small business community knows and understands how tough it is out there and, you know, they can't come forward and ask for a handout, but they know it's tough. And when they see the big boys doing this and they realize what's going on in their world, then I think reality is starting to set in that this situation is not just about Wall Street, it's not just about Main Street, it's about the whole world.
GLENN: But see, that's -- but we're getting to a point to where people are going to say, "Well, what about me?" And half of the population is going to mean that, meaning "I want my free stuff" and the other half of the population is going to be screaming, "Don't you dare give any more free stuff; I want my money to be worth something." Who wins in that debate with the makeup of congress in the White House?
SENATOR CHAMBLISS: Well, obviously this next administration's going to have a lot of challenges but the first one is going to be to figure out what direction we go in from the standpoint of how we address this crisis. Do we go in a direction of providing more free handouts or do we give the free market an opportunity to work. That's going to be the first decision they are going to make and if they decide anything other than letting the free market work, then Glenn, I'd say we're in a real mess for maybe a decade to come. And even with the free market working, it's going to be very tough.
GLENN: Senator, I'm up against a break. Thank you and congratulations. We're counting on you, Senator.
SENATOR CHAMBLISS: Glenn, I appreciate you.