Thursday, April 5, 2007

NewsMax interview with Tom DeLay

Once more we should vote republican because the democrat is dangerous, puh-lease neither of the final two major party candidates will give a damn about liberty, freedom, and the American way of life.

tom

Paul Crespo
Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Conservatives need to stop "pointing fingers at each other" and unite or Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the U.S., former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said in an exclusive NewsMax interview.

The Texas Republican also admitted he was a "self-centered jerk" before he was born again, called Nancy Pelosi "dangerous" – and said he spent five weeks "on my knees" praying before deciding to resign from congress last June.

DeLay, whose new book is "No Retreat, No Surrender: One American's Fight" – spoke with Paul Crespo.

NewsMax: My family is Cuban so it was very interesting to see that you started your book by describing a brief stopover in Castro's Cuba in late 1959. Can tells us again how that experience affected you?

DeLay: That was the last trip back after we left Venezuela for the last time. I had already been through three revolutions, one very bloody and one not so bloody and another one not bloody at all. But as a young boy growing up in Venezuela I saw what depression was and what dictators were.

When you flew back and forth from Venezuela you would stop and refuel in Havana, and on this particular trip it was sort of the epitome of communism – pulling [Americans] off of the plane and marching them down a tarmac between soldiers where each one of them had a German shepherd dog and a gun.

It left a lasting impression on a 13-year-old boy, not only the way they treated us but the fact that they could do that and you feel so helpless and hopeless. It burned in my memory how precious liberty is and freedom is. It had a lasting impact on me to this day. I'm 60 years old and I can remember it as if it was yesterday. It is something that you don't wish on anybody but it is a great lesson that Americans need to learn.

NewsMax: What can the U.S. do now, especially with Fidel Castro dying, to help Cuba become free of his brother Raul and of communism in general?

DeLay: The most important thing is to support those Cubans, whether they are Cuban-American or otherwise, who want to seek freedom, and give them maximum support.

NewsMax: I'm switching gears. How was the left able to demonize you so effectively, and can you describe a little bit the Democratic strategy for totally destroying their opponents?

DeLay: That's just their nature and strategy. It is not new. It took them 12 years to get to me. As I say in the book, it is not good enough to oppose you, it is not good enough to vilify you, they destroy you. They try to bankrupt you, destroy your family, put you in jail. For a long time I was able to hold them off. Every charge that has been brought against me has been dismissed as frivolous.

Right now they have created a scandal over the [fired] U.S. Attorneys, with no evidence whatsoever. Times have changed when you can do that. They are issuing subpoenas based on no evidence. They are coordinated and complicit with the media.

In the past the media used to be responsible enough to look at a scandal and decide whether it is real or not, go with it if there is evidence there but drop it if there is not. Those days are over. The media is right there helping them and probably even working with them.

NewsMax: So you think the media plays much more of a part than in the past?

DeLay: No doubt about it. They are now either directly or indirectly working with the left. I have never seen it in my entire political career as bad as it is right now. They don't even try to hide behind objectivity. It's now a blatant upfront in your face. Another thing they have done is put together a huge powerful political coalition mainly designed by what I call the "Clinton Mafia." This is a well-coordinated coalition of over 700 organizations. It is incredibly well funded and it coordinates with the media … It is a very impressive political coalition.

NewsMax: It is impressive.

DeLay: In fact, I'm working right now to try to convince our conservative organizations that if we don't come together and quit backbiting and backstabbing and pointing fingers at each other, and look toward the future and work together and pool our resources, bad things are going to happen including, as I have said publicly, Hillary Clinton becoming the next President of the United States.

NewsMax: You have criticized Bush for increased spending yet recently four board members of the American Conservative Union resigned to protest your nomination to the board, saying that you were instrumental in passing much legislation.

DeLay: I can take each one of those issues and show you where we have applied good, solid, conservative principles – particularly the prescription drug bill. We took Republican principles and applied them to a welfare state program. We brought in choice. We brought competition into the mix, the private sector into it. We instituted health savings accounts. We looked at provisions to save money.

Prescription drugs were incredibly important to bring into this healthcare plan because the old Medicare was paying $40,000 to amputate your feet because you were a diabetic but wouldn't pay a $100 for the [drugs] to save those feet and keep you out of the hospital. We have been proven right and those who criticize the prescription drug program are absolutely wrong because we are saving millions upon billions of dollars now because of what we did – applying conservative principles. But the point here is that conservatives need to get over the past and look towards the future or we are going to lose this country to the left.

NewsMax: A lot has been said of the K Street Project, the corruption implications. [The Project was an effort to pressure lobbying firms to hire Republicans to top positions.] Can you just tell us how the K Street Project works or what it was all about? Was it some sort of corrupt right-wing conspiracy as the Democrats are saying?

DeLay: I'm very proud of the K Street Project. It was changing the culture of K Street. With 40 years of Democrat domination, if you were on the board of an association or a company you would hire lobbyists that had access to the people in power. So all of K Street was dominated by the Democrats in power and when we came in they spent most of their time trying to get rid of us because they owed their money and their salaries to their buddies – the Democrats.

So I came up with the K Street strategy. I worked with a bunch of people on the outside, let it be known that if you want to deal with the new Republican majority, if you wanted to bring your petition to the government, you had better have somebody that was friendly to us, and wanted to see us succeed, come and see us.

NewsMax: And that's usually how lobbying is supposed to work.

DeLay: That's right.

NewsMax: How did your friendship with Abramoff play into the scandal and the argument that there was a lot of corruption in this process and in the Congress as well?

DeLay: Unfortunately, Abramoff did what he did and it gave the enemy the opportunity to try to paint everybody with the same brush. Abramoff is just like any other organization, industry or whatever – you are going to have some bad apples in it and it is really unfortunate that he gave them that kind of ammunition to use against us. But if you look at the vast 99 percent of the Republicans that were hired as lobbyists on K Street, they are all honest Americans trying to make a better America.

NewsMax: In the book you defended the friendship that you had with Abramoff and several other staffers who were implicated in some corruption issues or criminal activities. You didn't defend their acts but you defended your friendship with them in several cases.

DeLay: When I knew them and worked with them they were friends. I had, over my career, hundreds of people who worked for me. Unfortunately, two staffers – only two staffers – have been found guilty of anything. I'm not defending what they did. I am very disappointed in what they did and, again, it gives ammunition to the enemy. But the fact of the matter is that when I worked with these people what we did was all legal.

For 12 years I knew I had people watching every move I made. I made sure that any major decision and most decisions were cleared by lawyers and accountants and made sure that we were complying with the law. So I know better than anybody that nothing untoward or illegal was done in my office and in my control.

NewsMax: Critics say that your conversion to Christianity was opportunistic. How important was your born-again moment in your personal and political life?

DeLay: I think you can ask my family that. I was a self-centered jerk making too much, carousing too much. When I got here and found Jesus Christ my life changed. The way I treated my family changed. They became my top priority. The way I dealt with my colleagues and people around me [changed}… It made me a different person and personally it gave me the strength and wisdom to put up with all of the adversity and attacks and nasty articles and it gave me a sense of peace and joy.

NewsMax: Your nickname "The Hammer" – what do you think of that and was it well deserved?

DeLay: It was the Washington Post that gave me the nickname "The Hammer." They couldn't believe that we were so effective without breaking member's legs and arms to make things happen because that's the way [the Democrats] operated. That is the way that they acted when they were in the majority… The nickname "Hammer" doesn't fit the way that I ran the whip operation nor my leadership office. They just don't get it.

NewsMax: I think you have said that maybe Nancy Pelosi is more of a hammer than you are.

DeLay: I would say so. She is certainly demonstrating that right now. She is more of a hammer than I am.

NewsMax: What do you think of Nancy Pelosi?

DeLay: She is very capable and she is very dangerous. She is a San Francisco liberal, I guess.

NewsMax: You criticize Newt Gingrich and you praise him.

DeLay: What I did was tell the story of what was going on and in order to tell that story I talked about my strengths and my weaknesses. I talked about the strengths and weaknesses of everybody involved. I didn't criticize them. I just laid it out. We were very effective as a leadership team. We each had our own talents that we brought to the table and it worked.

But at the same time, after four years Newt Gingrich had to step down as Speaker and resign from Congress. You ought to ask the question why. It was because members let him know that they were not going to vote for him for Speaker. He came very close to losing the majority. In 1998 I think we got down to a 5-vote margin…

Newt was brilliant and he had great ideas but he just didn't understand how to set an agenda, focus on that agenda and drive it. He would change the agenda on a daily basis and it drove people crazy but we were still effective and that's the point I am trying to make. He is still a brilliant man. He hasn't changed from that.

NewsMax: So in a sense you were forced out by external factors – the Democrats making your life miserable and as you said criminalizing the politics – but Newt Gingrich was forced out internally by his own people?

DeLay: That is correct. [But] don't feel like I was forced out. It was my decision. I spent five weeks on my knees and in very intense prayer, reaching out to my spiritual advisors and political advisors, and it was quite evident that the Lord had wanted me to do something else. It was evident that even if I was re-elected I would be relegated to backbench rank-and-file member.

I couldn't be in leadership because they are going to drag this indictment on forever just to keep me out of leadership and I felt very strong that I would do two things: I would continue to fight for the conservative movement and I would stand for the Lord and fight for him, which I saw as fighting for the conservative movement, and I was to support Israel and it was very evident to me that I could do more good outside of Congress than in.

NewsMax: It seems that you blame everybody else for the GOP loss of Congress. Do you think that you bear any responsibility yourself?

DeLay: No I don't. I fought this fight. I didn't quite win. I tried my best to win against this trumped-up politics of personal destruction, the new Democrat strategy. I have done nothing wrong and I have been convicted of nothing.

The media … left the Democrats alone. They come into this new Congress and appoint John Conyers as the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. This is a guy that a week before he became Chairman admitted to multiple violations of House rules by abusing his staff and yet he is Chairman of the Committee that is supposed to uphold the rule of law.

Alan Mollohan was appointed Chairman of the subcommittee on Appropriations that has oversight of the budget of the FBI and he is being investigated by the FBI.

They appoint as Chairman of the Ethics Committee Stephanie Tubbs Jones, who is the number-one traveler on lobbyist-paid trips in the entire House.

I could go on. Jim McDermott was found guilty by a court of law and he wasn't even sanctioned by the House Ethics Committee.

NewsMax: What about the indictment against you? [DeLay was indicted in 2005 on charges of conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws.] Where does that stand?

DeLay: It will not come to a conclusion. I mean Scooter Libby was investigated, indicted, tried and found guilty and I still can't get to court and they don't want to take me to court but they want to continue this effort…

They need this effort to demonize me because they know that I am still active and fighting for what we believe in. They are just dragging it out. I have been trying to get to court for over a year.

NewsMax: So the delays aren't due to appeals or anything on your behalf?

DeLay: Exactly … All of these appeals are appeals by the District Attorney.

NewsMax: I'm totally switching gears here, but can ask you a couple of things about the Presidential nominees? What do you think about McCain, Romney, Giuliani?

DeLay: It is way too early to tell. I think it is outrageous that the media has picked Republican frontrunners. There are no frontrunners in the Republican primaries right now. If you look at the polls, 50 to 60 percent of those who vote in the Republican primary are doing what I am doing, which is waiting and seeing if a leader emerges.

NewsMax: So you are not backing anyone yet?

DeLay: I'm not.

NewsMax: The last thing is, what can the Republicans do to regain the majority? What agenda should they follow?

DeLay: We have to come together, unify … In the book I have laid out an agenda. Win the war on terror. I scrap the Federal tax code and replace it with a sales tax, redefine government based on constitutional principles, hold the judiciary accountable and win the war against our culture. That is an agenda that we can unify around and drive home if the conservatives will just come together. And we can win.

3 comments:

robert swayze said...

I personally think its a right decision to make Hilary Clinton our next president...she is worth it..thanks for sharing the news Tom..by the way what do u feel about the election?

tom said...

As for your first reponse. The sheer fact that she could impliment Univesal Healthcare is enough to scare the pants off me. Knowing how much she got away with as co-president is quite scary.
As for elections I don't vote for anyone with a (d) or (r) after there names. I would much sooner vote for someone running under the socialist banner, at least you know what their agenda is.

Biby Cletus said...

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Warm Regards

Biby Cletus - Blog