Guests: Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney and Father Constantine Lazarakis
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Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney
Tenney on her former opponent Rep. Richard Hanna and his decision this week to become the first sitting Republican member of the House to endorse Hillary Clinton for President
CT: “I ran against Richard Hanna in 2014. I tried to expose him and say this guy is not advancing Republican principles, he should be running as a Democrat. And here is today, not advancing Republican principles, he has a very liberal voting record, and I respect my colleagues on the Democratic and the Republican sides, but you have to be honest with the voters and the party that brung you there, as they say.
So, if you want to run as a Republican and you want to be the standard bearer for the Republican values and the Republican platform, then stand for those Republican values, don’t be a turncoat and after being elected go against the party that put you there. I respect people with differing views. I think—many people don’t agree—but I think the Republican Party actually is very open to having a lot of different views in the party because one thing that we all stand for as Republicans, and I think everyone agrees, is that we support the Constitution and we support freedom and we support a strong national defense, that’s something that’s in our platform, and Richard Hanna has moved the other direction, he’s going to support Hillary Clinton.
And to be perfectly honest I could probably support an honest liberal Democrat if I had to, but I cannot support Hillary Clinton. I do not think, as the mother of an active duty Marine, as someone who has fought corruption and cronyism in Albany and stood up to those types of people in power, she is not the right choice. She is not someone that a Republican and a claimed Conservative, as Richard Hanna has run on, should be supporting in this election.
As vulgar and as much as you may not like Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton is the poster child for corruption and cronyism, I think, and I just don’t see how Richard could do that.”
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Tenney on why she is supporting Trump for President:
CT: “Did Donald Trump cross the line even for me when I try to look at what’s going on? Yes, he does. But, again, are we going to judge someone by their social appearances and what they say or are they going to be a strong, decisive leader. Now, I’m not sure. The jury is still out on Donald Trump on that issue, but I’m willing to roll the dice for him, because I know exactly what Hillary Clinton is. I know what she’s going to do. She’s going to continue to serve herself. Now, maybe Donald Trump will do that in the end, but I don’t know.”
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Tenney on whether she intended to join the House Freedom Caucus if she is elected to Congress:
CT: “I’ve never been someone who joins a club, and as someone who has fought against the establishment I don’t see myself joining a caucus. I respect the members of the Freedom Caucus and a lot of what they stand for, but I’m not one who’s going to join a group like that. I don’t know if I line up completely with all they stand for. I like some of the things that they stand for.”
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Tenney’s appraisal of Paul Ryan’s performance so far as House Speaker:
CT: “I don’t really know Paul Ryan that well. I have to say this: I met him in D.C. earlier this year and he seems like a standup guy. He seems like someone who understands the economy pretty well. I don’t agree with some of his views. I think he’s supportive of TPP and some of the globalism, which I don’t agree with him on, but I’m not sure where he stands on that today.
But I like him personally, I like him better than what it seems to be what John Boehner was doing and I don’t see Paul Ryan so much taking shots at our Republican platform and that’s my major objection with Richard Hanna. I don’t care if you want to go and vote Democrat, for example, but don’t denigrate the party platform and the values of the party. That’s a totally different issue and if you are going to denigrate the party, then become a Democrat and run honestly as a Democrat. That’s why we have a two-party system. You should be running and carrying the banner of the principles you stand for.
So, I think Paul Ryan seems like he’s trying, he’s a decent guy, he’s trying to retain power by trying to find some kind of common ground between the Republican House generally and the Freedom Caucus and I think both sides offer a viewpoint that is worthy of our attention.”
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Father Constantine Lazarakis
Parish Priest of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Hamptons
Lazarakis disputes the notion that the United States is a divided nation:
CL: “I hear that a lot in the media: ‘We’re a divided nation, we’re a divided nation’. I don’t see that in my parish, I don’t see that in my personal life. … We are portrayed by the media, and we’re portrayed by our academic leaders, [and] we’re portrayed by our political leaders as a divided country. I think there’s some money to be made there. I think there are votes to be won there in making people believe that they’re in these camps and that there’s no common ground and there’s no bridge. But I think it our lives in America for the most part we were together pretty good, but somehow on the national stage, or in a political race, or when it comes to drafting policy, then we’re divided and I think that’s because everyone keeps telling us we’re divided.”
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