LaDonna Hale Curzon, host and executive producer, Sarah Palin Radio was at the Republican National Convention’s Radio Row as part of Talk Radio News Service where she interviewed both Sen. Chuck Grassley and Saul Anuzis, Co-Chair of the RNC. Subjects included: Gov. Palin not speaking at the convention and being missed, the 2012 elections and campaigns, media competition and choice, and GOP trends.
On Gov. Palin and Her Not Speaking at the RNC Convention
Curzon in her closing minutes of the Anuzis interview asked if he knew whether former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin had been invited to speak at the Republican convention. Anuzis said he did not know but “a lot of people missed her. I wish she was there. Look, I understand the controversy,” he said adding that some people like her and others don’t, “just like any other politician.”
“but the reality is she’s a leader in our party. She has got a huge following, is well liked and is one of our superstars – at least in my opinion, and I think that I would have liked to have seen her there. Whether or not she spoke or not, obviously she deserved to speak as much as anybody else in one regard, but I think that just having her as part of the process was [important].
She’s clearly a team player. I mean you listen to her on – whether it’s talk radio or talk TV – and what she does. She’s doing everything she can to help the ticket. She’s a good messenger, and so – personally I missed her.
I remember in the last convention, she was nominated. We were sitting there in Michigan and all of us put on our Redwings jerseys, because you know she’s a big hockey fan. Her son actually played here at Western Michigan and went to hockey school in Michigan. I talked to her and Todd about it one time. We met at a Governor’s Association.
I don’t know whether or not she was invited. I missed her and I know a lot of others did and I’m hoping that she’ll continue to be active and having the positive voice that she currently has to help elect more conservatives and more Republicans.”
RNC Chair Reince Priebus said on the Mark Levin Show that Gov. Palin was offered a prime-time speaking spot at the convention. Gov. Palin said “this year is a good opportunity for other voices to speak at the convention and I’m excited to hear them,” in a written statement posted on GretaWire. The same day, Gov. Palin also said, “her mission is to help — not hurt. That’s why she has ‘stepped back’ to concentrate on down-ticket races.” Gov. Palin in fact stumped for three candidates in Arizona during the convention: Paul Gosar, Jeff Flake, and Kirk Adams. Gosar and Flake won their primaries.
2012 Convention Excitement
Anuzis said he had not seen as much excitement in a Republican Convention between 1980 and this one. He said the media needed a convention center of their own, for some 16,000 journalists from all over the world were on-site covering the proceedings. He said people from all over the world are interested in our processes and technologies and often take them back to their home countries to replicate.
Romney’s Likeability: Those Who Really Know Him Like Him
Curzon asked Anuzis about mainstream media reports pertaining to Romney’s likeability. Anuzis said that people who really know Romney like him and his story is very powerful. He said jealousy over success is anti-American.
Curzon asked Anuzis about the odds of Pete Hoekstra winning his Michigan Senate race. She had interviewed Hoekstra in mid-August. Anuzis said Hoekstra has a good chance of winning because many people are tired of Sen Stabinow’s rubber-stamping for Obama. He said if Romney wins Michigan, Hoekstra’s odds will improve all the more.
In response to Curzon’s question about whether he would take a job in a Romney administration if offered, Anuzis said he would be honored, but the Romney campaign is now only 60 days out of the election and the focus needs to be defeating Obama.
Curzon asked Anuzis about a Public Policy Polling sample which shows Obama ahead. He said those polls are snapshots in time and the Romney campaign is competitive – ahead in some places, behind in others. Anuzis said Obama is not over 50% anywhere. He said 50% is the key number when considering how well an incumbent is doing. An incumbent polling under 50% consistently – like Obama – is vulnerable.
Anuzis said he had seen and heard highlights of the Democratic National Convention and how they pushed big government. “What better could highlight the difference between Republicans and Democrats than their own words?”
Complete Audio Transcript of Interview with Saul Anuzis, RNC Co-Chairman
Gov. Palin a Voice of Common Sense
Sen. Grassley told Curzon to “say hi to Sarah,” and that he loves seeing her on Fox News. “She’s a voice of common sense,” he said.
Sen. Grassley Posits Three Senate Scenarios for November
The 2012 Republican National Convention marked Sen. Grassley’s ninth he has attended. Curzon asked if Sen. Grassley would continue as Chair of the Judiciary Committee if Republicans take the Senate in November. He said that “it won’t be decided until November.” When asked if he thought Republicans would take the Senate, he posited three scenarios: Democrats: 51-49; a 50/50 split; or Republicans 51-49. He said “unless Romney has a sweep,” the Senate is “going to be close.” He said today, Romney would have a close fight in Iowa, but Republican registration is up by 21,000 in that state since 2008. He said even people who voted for Obama are disappointed in his presidency.
Sen. Grassley: GOP Trending More Conservative
Sen. Grassley said the Republican Party is now trending more conservative. He said when Pat Robertson’s people came in “everyone got all worked up” and the same thing happened with the Paul people. In each case, the result was new blood in the party. He said Obama brought a lot of people into the Democratic Party as well. “Whether it’s on the right or on the left, the more people we have participating in our political process, the stronger our democracy is,” Sen. Grassley said. He said the biggest change in politics generally is more partisanship, but reiterated that this means more participation and “strengthening of our democracy.”
Liberal Media Losing Influence in Face of Competition
“If you go back 20 years, three networks controlled 80% of TV. Now, they control maybe 20% – 25%. You’ve got Fox News. You’ve got [networks] on the right and on the left, and in the middle, and you’ve got the Internet, the social networks – every opportunity to get a political view out and people get it out,” he said. He said the liberal press remains too liberal but does not have the influence it once had in the face of new competition.
USDA Should Educate, not Dictate
Curzon asked Sen. Grassley what he thought of PETA’s disgusting stunt in which they took bets on how soon he would die after objecting to the US Department of Agriculture’s vegetarian push. Sen. Grassley said that the USDA should educate Americans on proper diet, but not dictate.
Sen Grassley on Gov. Palin Electrifying Conventions
When asked about rumors that Gov. Palin would have been the mystery speaker, Sen. Grassley said, “that would be nice. And I remember four years ago, the electricity that comes because of her announcement, but more important after her speech.” Curzon said “I had heard people talk about it and they have never seen anything like it.” Sen. Grassley responded, “Let’s hope she’s not the only one who can do that, but she has a unique ability to do it, and speak to really – just kind of – common sense. I don’t think she’d be insulted if I said she’s a common-sense speaker.”
The mystery speaker turned out to be Clint Eastwood, whose “empty chair” schtick highlighted the absence of Obama’s leadership. Gov. Palin Tweeted about “Empty Chair Day” on September 3.
Complete Audio Transcript of Interview with Sen. Chuck Grassley, IA