Rep. Chris Stewart: Biden Can Learn from Clinton with This ‘Obvious First Choice’
Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) told the Todd Starnes Show President Biden needs to learn from former President Bill Clinton and his work with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
“I think Bill Clinton is an example of what the American people are hoping for right now,” Stewart told host Todd Starnes.
“His first two years were not nearly as bad as President Biden is suffering through and the American people are suffering through, and then President Clinton was wise enough, even even as much as I disagree with him on nearly everything, he was smart enough to say, ‘Look, we’ve got to change our past. We’ve got to redirect to the American people,’ and, you know, famously came out and said, ‘Well, the era of big government is over,’ and he was willing to work with Newt Gingrich and actually, you know, get some things done.”
The Utah Republican said “some of us were hoping for some of that from this president,” but Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday didn’t show much of a pivot.
“How in the world can any Democrat look at the last year and defend anything that’s happened since this man has been president?” Stewart asked. “And you would think that some of the people around him would recognize that and say, ‘Look, we’ve got to redirect on at least something.'”
Stewart said the “obvious first choice” for the Biden administration is on energy policy.
“If you want to help Vladimir Putin, then do what this president has done for a year to drive up the cost of energy. And if you want to hurt him, then drive the cost down,” he added. “If you want to hurt the American people, drive up the cost of energy. If you want to aggravate inflation, drive up the cost of energy. And I was really hoping that he would come out and do at least something or some symbolic gesture even towards that recognition. But we didn’t see any of that on any issue, let alone the most important issues to the American people are suffering through right now.”
Here is a copy of the transcript:
TODD STARNES: [01:00:24] Let’s go to the Patriot Mobile Newsmaker Line. Want to say hello to our good friend from the great state of Utah Congressman Chris Stewart and congressman, I understand you were in the House chamber last night. [01:00:36][11.7]
CHRIS STEWART: [01:00:37] Well, yeah, and I can’t say I enjoyed it a lot. But you know, it’s part of my responsibility to listen to our president and to hear what he had to say. [01:00:45][7.8]
TODD: [01:00:45] Now there were, it seems like there are a lot of empty seats. Normally you are bumper to bumper in that place, but it looks like a lot of Republicans were not there last night. [01:00:53][7.8]
CHRIS: [01:00:55] Uh-I think probably most were there, but they put every other seat in some cases every third seat for, you know, for COVID restrictions, and the one thing they weren’t going to do is- look the president delayed this speech until early March because they were hoping that they’d be able to put forward an argument. Oh, we’ve defeated COVID, COVID has now passed. Well, you can’t make that argument if you’re speaking to a chamber full of masked people. So they push back, the numbers got better and now they said remarkably well, what a miraculous coincidence that oh, now that’s so good that we don’t have to wear masks. They did that actually the same day the State of the Union. [01:01:28][33.1]
TODD: [01:01:28] So it’s amazing how the science congressman just evolved right before the president’s big address. [01:01:34][5.4]
CHRIS: [01:01:35] Well, it’s funny how a lot of the science that the Democrats use is science that supports all of their policy positions. So maybe that’s just a coincidence, who knows, right? [01:01:45][10.0]
TODD: [01:01:46] Congressman, I wanted to get your take on on the speech. It was not very well received by by Republicans and even Democrats. [01:01:55][8.2]
CHRIS: [01:01:57] Well, you know, I think Bill Clinton is an example of what the American people are hoping for right now. His first two years were not not nearly as bad as President Biden is suffering through and the American people are suffering through. And then President Clinton was wise enough, even even as much as I disagree with him on nearly everything, he was smart enough to say, Look, we’ve got we’ve got to change our past. We’ve got to redirect to the American people and, you know, famously came out and said, Well, the era of big government is over, and he was willing to work with Newt Gingrich and actually, you know, get some things done. I think some of us were hoping for some of that from this president, for heaven’s sakes. How in the world can any Democrat look at the last year and defend anything that’s happened since this man has been president? And you would think that some of the people around him would recognize that and say, Look, we’ve got to redirect on at least something. And the very obvious first choice should be an energy policy. I mean, my heavens, if you want to help Vladimir Putin, then do what this president has done for a year to drive up the cost of energy. And if you want to hurt him, then drive the cost down. If you want to hurt the American people, drive up the cost of energy. If you want to aggravate inflation, drive up the cost of energy. And I was really hoping that he would come out and do at least something or some symbolic gesture even towards that recognition. But we didn’t see any of that on any issue, let alone the most important issues to the American people are suffering through right now. [01:03:20][82.8]
TODD: [01:03:20] But congressman, I think one of the reasons why is that this administration does not want us to be dependent upon energy. They want us to-they want us off of gas. They want us off of oil. They want us to be riding around at the battery powered cars. And I think that’s one of the reasons why this is not such a big priority for them. [01:03:41][21.0]
CHRIS: [01:03:42] Well, there’s no question, Todd, you’re right. You’re exactly right. If you were to ask him what their highest priority it is is, they would say climate change. It’s more important than defunding the war that Vladimir Putin is using American oil and gas revenues to fund his war in Ukraine. It’s more important than inflation to them. Nothing is more important than climate change, and their argument is oil and gas industry. Those evil, evil people who, you know, provide Americans with cheap energy with gas. Those guys have got to be driven out of business. And again, there’s no question what you just said is true [01:04:14][31.6]
TODD: [01:04:15] On the Patriot Mobile Newsmaker Line. Our good friend, Congressman Chris Stewart. Congressman, it looks like now they have. They’ve spent about a week sharing these larger than life stories that many of them turned out not to be true of the Ukrainians in harm’s way. Making these heroic. I mean, these are made for TV moments and, you know, I mean, as as courageous and moving as they were an inspirational, many of them are turning out not to be true. Now the narrative has changed, to the Russians are killing children and we’re getting these awful reports. We have not been able to verify firsthand. So we’re relying on the news coverage is out there. But but it seems as if there is a major push to get the American people to buy into boots on the ground in Ukraine. What are your observations on that? [01:05:06][51.1]
CHRIS: [01:05:07] Well, I think, Todd, there’s a couple and I want to address, I think, the most important one. That’s the last thing you said I want to address at first, and that is I will never support U.S. forces on the ground fighting Russians or U.S. forces in the air. Some have called for a no enforcement of the no fly zone. As you may may remember, I’m an Air Force pilot. I spent 14 years flying the B-1 in combat rescue helicopters. There’s no way in the world I would support that. We should not do that. They’re not a NATO country. We don’t have the same political obligations, NATO obligations that we do to other natal countries. And it would lead to a catastrophe, I think. Now, having said that, you know, we still can help them and we should help them. And you know, to your other point about wellt we can’t verify this. You know, I’ve argued for, well, actually since 2016, one of the greatest threats facing our nation is that no one knows what is true anymore, and we’re certainly see that play out. And the only thing we can do on this is kind of wait and see. We don’t know how many casualties are taking place. I mean, famously, there is this thing about, you know, a Ukrainian pilot who supposedly shot down six Russian jets. I mean, as a pilot, I can tell you, I saw that and thought, that’s that’s impossible. It’s not true. You know, it is a great story, but it just wasn’t wasn’t accurate in any way. And it’s going to take a little time Todd as we kind of watch these things unfold to figure out what’s real and what’s not. But I completely and the American people completely reject the idea. We’re going to send American forces there. We just never should do that. [01:06:32][84.3]
TODD: [01:06:33] The question is you. And again, fine. I get that. Why can’t NATO get or why can’t the U.N. get involved or NATO? I mean, this is their backyard seems to me that where that’s where the push ought to be right now? [01:06:45][12.0]
CHRIS: [01:06:45] Well, and that’s true. And NATO should be should be the lead on this now. But here’s the reality, though NATO won’t do anything without U.S. leadership. They just won’t. I mean, who’s going to step forward in this? I mean, none of the NATO countries will, but we shouldn’t be the ones who are providing most of the equipment, providing most of the money and financing, it’s got to be shared between the NATO countries. And also, as you indicated, and it’s obvious that it is their backyard, they can do it much more expeditiously and much more effectively than we can just because of their location. You know, final thought on that. I think Vladimir Putin has opened up just a Pandora’s box here that he’s going to pay a dear price for it. There is going to be a bloody insurgency. I’ve been seeing that for, for, for for several months now. We know the Ukrainian people do not want to be under the thumb of Vladimir Putin. We’ve known for a long time they are going to fight for their freedom. Everyone seemed to recognize that, except for Vladimir Putin. And I think that’s the great strategy we need to concentrate on is we will arm and support an insurgency. We will allow the Ukrainian freedom fighters and give them some of the resources they need to fight you. That’s the one thing that Vladimir Putin is truly afraid of. It’s a long, long, drawn out insurgency that kills Russians every single day, every single week. [01:08:02][76.6]
TODD: [01:08:02] And Congressman will look as a military veteran. I wanted to get your take on this. We had a caller earlier in the program wonder why there haven’t been attempts to to bomb the 40 mile convoy. You know, we have been following this. We’ve been seeing the satellite images for days now. Why hasn’t the Ukrainian Air Force or someone else tried to take them out? [01:08:24][21.0]
CHRIS: [01:08:25] Yeah, it is a great question, and it seems like, you know, to American people and just observers watching this, like such an obvious action they would take. And the reason is is actually not very sophisticated, not very sexy. It’s just one of them is weather. But the bigger reason is they just don’t have the capability. The Ukrainian Air Force is a handful of airplanes, and they are not well-trained in operating in low visibility, low ceiling. And it’s just it’s just not within their capabilities to attack. Like people are kind of used to seeing, you know, American fighters coming down in night, you know, in the weather whenever their precision bombs. Ukrainians just simply don’t have that kind of capability. [01:09:04][39.1]
TODD: [01:09:05] Are you buying what they’re trying to sell us from over there? [01:09:07][1.8]
CHRIS: [01:09:09] In what sense? [01:09:09][0.4]
TODD: [01:09:10] And the narratives that are coming out of Ukraine? [01:09:11][1.8]
CHRIS: [01:09:13] Well, I mean, I think again, Todd, you said this, a lot of us are just just so encouraged by President Zelensky and and the courage that he is showing and how he’s rallied his people. I’m certainly buying that. I’m certainly grateful for that. Yeah. But if you’re if you’re suggesting like Adam Kissinger or some other members of Congress have said, well, we should enforce a no-fly zone, we should become involved with this in direct military or combat operations, certainly not buying that narrative [01:09:38][25.1]
TODD: [01:09:39] because it’s going to come to this question. And they are they were getting around to this with the vice president on a one of the news channels earlier today is that, well, they’re killing children. So why are we doing nothing? I mean, that’s that’s that’s what I think every elected leader in Congress is about to be faced with that question. [01:09:56][16.8]
CHRIS: [01:09:57] Yeah. Well, the answer in my in my mind, and it seems pretty clear. Well, we are going to do something. We’re going to arm in and insurgency if we’re going to recognize a government in exile, if that’s necessary. We’re going to take the steps that are required to secure NATO and secure the borders in Poland and the Baltics. All of those things are important and and it’s the key to to actually, as I said earlier, it’s one thing Vladimir Putin is afraid of is this armed insurgency. But I will. I will be vocal and and unequivocal in my in my admonition. We cannot involve U.S. forces. For heaven’s sakes, again, as a former Air Force guy, I know how hard the last 20 years been on our military. I know the demands we’ve made of the American people and of our veterans and their families. And this just isn’t the exact wrong thing to do now is to threaten U.S. involvement directly. And by the way, if you want to, if you want to add provocation to Vladimir Putin have him that we’re going to do that. It’s just going to make the situation so much more volatile. [01:10:56][58.9]
TODD: [01:10:56] Yeah, no. You’re right about that, congressman. We’re going to have to leave it there. Always appreciate your great insight. [01:11:00][4.3]CHRIS:[01:11:02] Thank you, sir. [01:11:02][0.3]