Gail Show, Steve House, March 29, 2016

Station: KFKA, 1310 AM

Show:     Gail Show

Guests:  House


Date:      March 29, 2016


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HOST GAIL FALLEN:  Working from a piece this morning by Eli Stokols in Politico:   “When Colorado Republicans scrapped their binding straw poll as part of the state’s March 1 caucuses it looked like they were forfeiting their relevance in the GOP’s front loaded the nomination process.  Now they’re back in the game.  With the still unsettled three-way primary fight appearing to be headed for a contested convention, all of a sudden Colorado has taken on new significance.”   You know we talked about this a little bit yesterday.  I referred to it, and many of you remember Bob Ross in the Bob Ross painting show. I just don’t love catching Bob Ross whenever I can it’s just that I don’t know it’s kinda like to soak harming and tranquil and how he would take a happy little accident and just turn it into something very special. It seems to me that poor Steve House who is head of the state GOP took a lot of flak over this decision to scrap the binding straw poll at the caucuses but as it turned out Steve it was a happy little accident, wasn’t it?

COLORADO STATE GOP CHAIRMAN, STEVE HOUSE:  Yeah, I would say it was a happy little accident, although we’re not completely happy with the fact that 500,000 Republicans or a million Republicans didn’t get to weigh in.   It’s going to work out that our delegates are very, very important, but that doesn’t take away the sting of a rule change that prevented us from doing a little bit more than what we had in the past.

FALLEN:  Sure.   And explain that again, just for our own a personal edification, because the bottom line is that this was something that actually stemmed from a rule change on the national level, right?

HOUSE:  Right.  The RNC I believe wanted to do down the path of making all delegates in the country bound to someone going into the convention because the strategy would be you would have a clear nominee.  You’d have a clear opportunity to start the general election early because in typical years you’d have a presumptive nominee earlier it would eliminate battles and uncertainties. So if you were going to a straw poll, you had to do it bound.  And everybody thought the hope was that you know the 11 or 12 or 13 caucus states would do it that way and that and that there would be delegates allocated. But it put a huge legal and financial burden on the Party to do that in a way that you know wouldn’t have come back to haunt us.   And several states are being challenged now on what they did, and I think it’s a result of that process.

FALLEN:  Interesting, too, I came across a piece yesterday by Megan Schrader saying that presidential hopeful Ted Cruz will be in Colorado Springs on April 9 addressing the state assembly.  And the indications were that Donald Trump and Gov. John Kasich could be there as well?

HOUSE:  Right now Ted is confirmed.  We’ve invited Gov. Kasich and Mr. Trump.  We’re waiting to hear back from their campaigns to finalize it.  You know there’s definitely an interest on both of their parts to do that.  Once we get a final indication that they’re coming, we’ll put out a press release and notify everybody. But I would not at all be surprised if Ted is joined by Mr. Trump and Mr. Kasich at the convention on April 9.

FALLEN:  Interesting.  At a town hall in Wisconsin last night, kind of an about-face when it came to the pledge that the candidates signed. The pledge ostensibly in in my humble opinion that was primarily directed toward Trump because people were concerned that Trump would go third party and if he didn’t get the nomination.  So they wanted to assure way back in the process that Donald Trump would support the eventual nominee. And now you got the front runners backing away from that. I find that very interesting because it doesn’t that goes somewhat to credibility?  They signed the pledge.  Shouldn’t they stick by it?

HOUSE:  Bring your report you what you meant was really a cold wet one what I would support nominee and the other is you were talking about not going to a third-party run you know since realized a lot of people know this now that their sore loser laws in 40 states so in 40 states you’re not allowed to go on a ballot if you’ve already one for one of the parties is an independent so you can challenge in court and I’m sure if Mr. Trump were not the nominee you might try to do that but generally speaking you know people who run for office on Democrat or Republican party ticket don’t win the gun and of running independent because of the sore loser laws. Yes, to the issue of them backing down on their pledge you know this is such a strange presidential even if they that in a town hall because they’re fighting will not happen a month after the convention whether they’ll you’ll jump back in and support the nominee related like I think is still open to see what happens

FALLEN:  […]Steve wanted to ask you a little bit because this so much confusion out there I’ve been watching the pundit-ocracy and trying to get to the bottom of it you’ve got these arcane somewhat complex somewhat say convoluted complicated rules when it comes to bound it delegates at a contested convention and the states –individual states –determine, for lack of a better term, how long those delegates are bound, correct?

HOUSE:  That the food court rule over directly will be party rules and bylaws that works

FALLEN:  So take us through a contested convention because they talk a lot about the last contested convention now – what was it?  76? 80? talking about that convention but actually it wasn’t contested because it was resolved on the first vote so it my understanding years is that on the first vote the delegates the bound delegates are committed to the candidate to whom they are bound second votes I believe 58% can desert — can that go to another candidate.  Third vote 80%, and after that it just kind of open season.  It’s a free-for-all, right?

HOUSE:  I think the numbers are basically correct you 57% at 85 it be more accurate I am close to know the reality of it and there’s little you want to on right now which you probably article review is sent a letter to the 21 states for each one delegates asking those date to hold his delegates for him even if there rules allow the the delegates themselves to vote on the first ballot be published a letter to the Peter Goldberg is a friend of mine is the chairman of Alaska.  You know, I think they’re going to try to honor Michael’s request to know you’re looking at you know 300 and some unbound delegates on the first ballot maybe only hundred and 50 Markowitz keep his delegates who knows what happening on the first ballot let alone you’re right 55% of the state allow other tribes of the delegates are allowed to be unbound on that second ballot which you think about that that’s enough to win the election

FALLEN:  You would think

HOUSE:  By itself.

FALLEN:  Mm-hmm.  Absolutely.  Well, what about the thought – and there has been a lot of conjecture about this and I don’t know, I think it’s outright paranoia, but then that has been kind of a driver of this entire cycle, as you alluded to earlier.  It’s been strange, which would make you the master of understatement because it’s just been downright bizarre!  But what about the thought, um, Scott Walker I think, came out and said that don’t be surprised if the eventual nominee is not one of the three running. There’s been a lot of conjecture that maybe Paul Ryan will pop up as the nominee.

HOUSE:  Yeah.  You know personally I hope that doesn’t happen because I think it will create so much stress for the party, for the nominee [inaudible]—

FALLEN:  Wouldn’t it be a disaster?  It would transcend stress.  Yeah

HOUSE:  Yeah. I think you could label it a potential disaster.  I mean, you know, you go back to – you know, the most popular discussion today is the 1860 Lincoln situation where he was on the ballot, but the ballot rules were different.  He didn’t win until the third or fourth ballot and he clearly was not in the lead when he went into it.  But the rules are little bit different today because you have to qualify to be on the first ballot to get nominated.  Those rules are subject to change before the convention begins.  So, that is going to be a huge, huge intense point when you sit down at the rules committee and say, “Is rule 40 – states where the majority of delegates are necessary to be on the first ballot — still something you want to apply to this particular convention?  All of those things come into play but I do not want to see an outside candidate come in and be nominated.

FALLEN:  I just think that would be the worst possible thing that could be done because of its overall impact on the electorate because it sends a very clear message. I was laughing earlier this morning about a headline in the New York Daily News that essentially said on the Democratic side, they just figured out that the system is pretty well rigged for Hillary Clinton!  I’m like, “Shocker!”  And I would just hate the same thing to translate over to the Republican side but unfortunately there is  just enough speculation and conjecture out there that it’s a a cause for concern.  Yes, there are overarching regulations in place, but as you alluded to, there are committees that meet before the convention — and even their membership is chosen just before the convention — that determine whether those rules are in place for this particular convention.

HOUSE:  Yeah, if you think about the process,  you have all of that, right?  So, convention rules apply from the beginning of one convention to the beginning of next. so the convention rules that were in 2012 expire essentially at the very beginning of the 2016 election. You have that.  You have states who have ‘winner take all’ scenarios where delegates are elected after the ‘winner take all’ and they may or may not support the candidate they’re going to be forced to vote for.  You have states were open primaries help elect delegates, where delegates were actually elected by people that weren’t Republicans to support the Republican candidate.  The potential for that all to get messy at this convention because we have a contested convention possibility is really significant, and frankly, my biggest concern.  If it is Hillary Clinton versus somebody who isn’t one of the current candidates, voter turnout to be really low, hurting every other candidate in our races.

FALLEN:  Absolutely, because this race is so much more than the presidency.  We’re talking all three levels of government here and we just saw yesterday what a 4-4 Supreme Court actually looks like.

HOUSE:  I know.

FALLEN:  Scary stuff!  It really is!

HOUSE:  Well, yeah, and when you really think about it, I mean, if you end up with a liberal Supreme Court – and I know I’m a conservative, but I believe this to be more true than wishful thinking, and that is conservative Supreme Court play defense for the Constitution. Liberal Supreme Courts go on offense against it. And if we allow liberal Supreme Court in the best around the Second Amendment or anything like that we’re going to have a level of anger and dissonance in this country we haven’t ever seen – well, maybe not that high, because there was some stuff in the 60s that was pretty bad.  But the reality of it is people will be very very angry and this is critical that we get this done right.

FALLEN:  Well, and I think that is, again, the primary point in Ben Carson’s rather interesting endorsement of Donald Trump – first, he says he’s two people; he’s the intellectual, he’s the entertainer.  He walks that back then he comes out and says something to the effect of well it’s only four years — we could do a lot worse.  But it’s fascinating to me because on that latter point I believe Ben Carson is accurate when it comes to the presidency because what’s more important is the direction of the Supreme Court.

HOUSE:  Yeah, no question.  I mean, a president does last four or eight years.  Supreme Courts, the way they’re structured, last decades.  It really is so absolutely critical.  It’s just like the Senate.  We’ve got to win the Senate because if we don’t win the Senate and we do with the presidency, we’re still at risk on the Supreme Court.

FALLEN:  Absolutely.  Absolutely. The stakes are so high.  Steve House, thank you for all of your time, for being so gracious this morning. Um, dinner leading up to the state assembly — tell us a little bit about that.

HOUSE:  So, we’ve got a dinner on the night of the 8th – April 8.  We call it the Centennial dinner.  Our keynote speaker will be Ken Cuccinelli from Virginia. Cuccinelli is a great speaker.  He is working on behalf of the Cruz campaign and accepted the invitation.  We would certainly have, you know, representatives from the Trump and Kasich campaigns speak as well, if they come forward.  But should be an interesting night.  We’re also going to feature a very very powerful educational speaker from the Classic Academy, because that night — in my mind  — also has to be a lot about what I think is the number one issue in the country, as well as the state, which is how do we fix education so the American Dream is real for the next generation.

FALLEN:  Absolutely.  Where can we find out more information about the dinner and the assembly?

HOUSE:  Colorado  — it’s actually C-O-G-O-P dot org.

FALLEN:  Steve, thanks again for being so generous with your time.  Not to put you on the spot, but who can beat Hillary Clinton?

HOUSE:  I think any of the three guys that are still in the race can beat Hillary Clinton.


HOUSE:  Because she has trouble ahead.  There is no question she has trouble ahead.  And the enthusiasm gap for Hillary Clinton – the number of people that come out to vote – um, it’s just been such a downer for them from an enthusiasm perspective.  They’re all waiting for the shoe to drop, ultimately.

FALLEN:  Yeah, I think I saw – I saw a poll where the enthusiasm — they asked that specific question, “What is your enthusiasm level for the candidates?”   I think Hillary’s was around 17%.

HOUSE:  Yeah.  You take that, and then you take the Bernie Sanders voters who said – I think a third of them, or a little more than a third of them in a poll – said, “If he’s not the candidate then we won’t vote for Hillary.”  And I think it comes down to that.

FALLEN:  Ought to be interesting.  Sir, thank you as always for your time, and I look forward to catching up with you again as the process unfolds.

HOUSE:  My pleasure.  Any time.

FALLEN:  Steve House, state GOP chairman.  Your thoughts, this morning — 353-1310, 877-353-1310.  News Talk 1310, KFKA where it is 10:20.