Salena Zito, National Political Reporter for the Washington Examiner, understands the current sentiments of average, American voters better than most others in the industry. And she tells Glenn ordinary voters are FED UP with the current administration in more ways than one. Thanks to sky-high gas prices, spreading crime, and the never-ending border crisis, Zito tells Glenn that Democrats may have a ‘monstrous’ midterm season…
Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors
GLENN: Salena Zito is with us. Salena Zito is -- I mean, this -- this is a reporter that actually gets it. Because she doesn't sit around in the capitol and in New York City. She actually goes out and talks to people, regular people. So she has her finger on the pulse, better than I think anybody else in the media. Salena, how are you?
SALENA: Good morning, sunshine. I'm swell. How are you?
GLENN: You are so -- I haven't heard anybody use the word "swell" in quite some time. By the way, Salena, you can find all her work at SalenaZito.com. Salena.com is where you can go find her work. Salena, I was reading an article you did a couple of days ago. The rhetoric versus realism at the pump. And you just had such a great handle on things. I wanted to talk to you a little bit about that. But also along with January 6th. And this thing that happened last night. Do people care about this?
SALENA: You know, I didn't even know. Part of being a reporter somewhere.
SALENA: I didn't even know it was happening.
SALENA: Until -- until one of my colleagues said, hey, watch the hearings tomorrow, that's tonight. And I said, what hearings? And they said, the January 6th hearings. I'm like, why is it on prime time? That literally makes no sense, unless it's going to be a spectacle. And then I concluded, that it's going to be a spectacle. And I'm like --
GLENN: A spectacle. Yeah. Yeah. See, it was produced by a guy who was produced television for ABC. You know, it kind of -- kind of a giveaway. So Salena, what is actually going on in the country, as you go across and talk to individuals? What are they actually thinking about, everything that's going on right now?
SALENA: Well, what is interesting. And, again, people can check out everything I do at SalenaZito.com. Because I have three full-time jobs. But so what -- no matter what your political party is. The same concerns are across-the-board with regular folks. And what do I mean by regular folks? Folks that aren't involved in politics, either for a profession or because they have an illness, that they have to watch it all the time. But, you know, people -- I mean, there isn't a time that I don't pull up to a gas station. Which, by the way, is all the time, because I'm always on a back road, where you don't hear someone cuss at an inanimate object, meaning the gas pump. Because the -- you know, the average cost now, to fill up an average car is about $100. You know, that takes -- that takes --
GLENN: I put -- I put 3 gallons of gas in my car yesterday. 3 gallons. And it cost me over $18. And a -- a word that shouldn't follow the word holy. Was uttered at that pump. But, I mean, you're -- I looked at that, and I thought, this is insanity. Insanity. How are people doing it?
SALENA: It is. Well, they aren't. So what people are doing, to sort of fake pretend, that they're not getting gouged, is that they'll only put 20 gallons. Twenty dollars' worth in their tank. And like, well, this is it, for the week. And if I can't get where I need to go with 30 gallons, I'm not going anywhere. And it's not that they're not trying to face reality. They just have to find a way to manage reality. And that's what it -- what it -- what this comes down to. So the other thing I think that's really important for people to understand, is I think the impact and the cost of diesel. Because diesel is how we get everything we want in our hands every day. Whether it's food. Whether it's our order from Amazon. Or Wayfair. Or the fresh vegetables that we want from a farm. Or any of the energy that we need to heat our house or light our home, all come -- is derived from diesel. So what does that mean? Everything in our lives costs a lot more. Because diesel. If you think gas is insane in the numbers, so is diesel. But the other thing that people are really deeply concerned about is crime. Crime, and not just in New York. Not just in Chicago. Not just in Washington. By the way, if you follow the scanners, for many of the cities, it's just -- it's like a horror movie. But, you know -- you know, scenes across the country. The crime wave is insane. And a lot of it has to do with two years ago, starting to sort of place police officers on a lower tier importance and significance in our lives. And the direct result is that -- that police are literally have their hands tied behind their back, in the things that they pursue. And criminals know that. And they will literally get away with stealing things right from underneath you, knowing that there are no consequences.
GLENN: And here's -- wait. Wait. And here's another point on this. There's a story out today. Michigan County limits in-person response to 911 calls after blowing through their gas budget. So now, here we are in the middle -- are we even in the middle of -- of June. And they've already blown through their gas budget. So now, don't call the cops. Because they can't come. That's astounding.
SALENA: Right. It's like Ghostbusters. So now, not only can't the police departments afford the gas, they can't send the police out to respond. And the other thing, and I think we really missed the significance of this. But the -- you know, when people in the news, in particular, in the news organizations that don't cover the crisis at the border. They think of it as sort of this racist reaction to people of different colors or different places of origin coming in their country. And that's why they don't want them crossing illegally. That is not. We understand -- most Americans understand that innate drive to want to be American and be free. However, what is also coming across the border is crime. And drugs. Fentanyl, meth. And where is fentanyl and meth coming from? It's coming from China. And it goes to South America. And it goes to Mexico.
And it comes not just to cities. But it's coming to suburbs. It's not just a white Appalachian problem anymore. The city of Philadelphia, which is a majority minority, has the highest rate of overdose deaths due to fentanyl and meth, than any other city in the country. That is now just a white Appalachian problem. That is a problem that is affecting everyone.
GLENN: So let me ask you: When will the -- or are they already? I saw some of the poll numbers, with 18 to 24-year-old adults. Biden is at 20 percent. Hispanics, record lows for Democrats. And same with blacks. When do the American people know that this gas price is not because of Vladimir Putin? It is because of ESG and these energy decisions, that the financial sector and the Biden administration and the left have made. When are they going to tie together the food shortages, and the diesel shortages, and the crime? When are they going to say, enough is enough of these crazy policies.
SALENA: They already know that. The press just doesn't think they know that. That's the funny thing. It reminds me so much of 2010, when I was following that midterm election. And the Democrats held power. And -- and John Boehner, God bless him, he said the most simple thing. He said, turned around and said, when someone said, what are -- what are you Republicans all about? And he just turned around and just sort of flippantly said, where are the jobs?
And it is as simple as that. You know, there is a midterm election, of historic proportions that have been saying it's 1892 or '94. I can't remember. I did a great analysis of that midterm election, where Democrats lost 130 seats. 130 seats.
GLENN: Holy cow.
SALENA: Now, I'm not -- y'all can go check it out at SalenaZito.com. But the similarities between what was happening in America then. And what is happening in America now. They're extraordinarily similar. So I think that all of these charts, all of these guesses. All of these -- you know, new -- this leans right. This leans left. All of them are not going to capture the amount -- the breadth of the wave that the Democrats are going to feel in November. They're just not. They don't understand. And part of the problem is, if you -- go ahead.
GLENN: No. I'm sorry. I'm on a delay. So please, just keep going. If you try to interrupt, just keep going. Well, finish your thought. Finish the thought.
SALENA: Well, I think that the largest problem is reporters and Democrats, and even Republicans don't understand how big this is. Because oftentimes they're not having conversations with people, in realtime, in their real lives. And people are not always completely honest with the politician or a reporter, especially one that's from New York or DC. Because they don't want their name in print because they don't want people coming after them on social media. So they say nothing. Or -- or they just shrug. But if you really know people and understand people, which is what I do. Not because I'm spectacular. But because I live in the middle of that, right? People have a sort of trust in someone that shares their values. And it's going to be monstrous.
GLENN: Wow. All right. Salena. We need to talk again, probably next week. Because I learn so much from you. And I just love your articles. You're just very insightful. And you use history to -- to show the parallels. And I'm going to go back and read that, about the election of -- what was it? 1890. Which one was it?
SALENA: 1894. The second term -- that midterm election.
GLENN: Was it the -- was it the silver election?
The one that was about --
SALENA: Yes. Silver was part of that. It was 1894. 1894. That's right. Because it was right before the year that William Jennings Bryant ran for president in '96.
GLENN: Yep. Okay.
Thank you so much, Salena. I appreciate it. You can find all her work at SalenaZito.com. SalenaZito.com. If you really want a handle on what people are actually thinking, that you're not seeing in mainstream media. Read Salena Zito. Back in just a minute.