Mandy Connell Show, Ken Buck, May 17, 2017

Station: KOA, 850 AM

Show:    Mandy Connell Show

Guests:  Buck, Ken


Date:      May 17, 2017

Topics: (complete transcription below)

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HOST MANDY CONNELL:  It’s one forty and it’s time to bring on Congressman Ken Buck from the Congressional Fourth District, right here in Colorado. Hello, Congressman! You know, you always come on [the show] when I’m mad.

U.S. CONGRESSMAN FROM COLORADO’S FOURTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, KEN BUCK: Oh! That’s not good. I’ll come on tomorrow. How does that sound?

CONNELL:  It’s the same as it has always –.  No, no! No, it’s always been the same. It’s always been the same. How are you?

BUCK:  I’m great. I’m great. Well actually, I’m not great. I’m in DC. I wish I were in Colorado. I would be better.

CONNELL:  Yeah, exactly. As my friend Thomas Massie says, “Everybody in DC thinks it’s a hot tub, when in reality it’s just a swamp.”

BUCK:  And we need to drain the swamp! Good point.

CONNELL:  Yeah. Yeah, let’s talk about what’s going on right now. It seems like, in the last ten days it has been — honestly – like, one outrage from the media after another. And, you know, what are your thoughts on this?

BUCK:  I’m getting tired of it! I’ve got to tell you, we have so many good stories that are being suppressed by all of these leaks and anonymous sources, it’s frustrating! Mandy, the consumer confidence index is great right now!

CONNELL:  Right.

BUCK:  People are out buying things.  They are adding jobs to their businesses. Uh, unemployment is low. When I drove from Greeley to the airport, I saw five Help Wanted signs along Highway 85. I haven’t seen that in years!


BUCK:  People are — our economy is doing exactly what we hoped it would do!

CONNELL:  So, why is it that it seems like the President keeps handing out free ammunition to the media?

BUCK:   Well, I think this media — you know, I was talking to a friend on the floor earlier today. When George Bush won, he was the dumbest human being alive, even though he had gone to great schools, and gotten great degrees. You know, every time he stumbled in a speech it was a story for two or three days. And he just wasn’t smart enough to be President. And then we get Barack Obama and he’s the smartest person in the world, and you know, he’s just a savior. And then we get Donald Trump, and they’ve got to find something with Donald Trump. And he’s a very successful businessman, so obviously he is not stupid. So now we’re inventing this Russia story, and just on and on. And it’s just unfortunate that the media – you know, is it Donald Trump supplying bullets? Or is it the media inventing stories?

CONNELL:   Uh, you know what? I think that, for me, Ken — and this is the conversation that I’ve had with my audience over the last two days, many of whom are very mad at me and are never listening again, so I hope there’s any [sic] listeners right now for our interview.  No, my issue is that, you know what?  We have a situation where James Comey is fired. They send out spokespeople to give one message, and then Donald Trump does an interview and submarines his own people, creating the story. Now, if he had come out and toed the company line and continued that line of dialogue, eventually it would have petered out.  But he doesn’t! He sends out H.R. McMaster to talk about this meeting with Russia. And then he tweets two lines, that [are] kind of [a] summary [of] what McMaster said. This is my frustration with him. It’s like, “Let your people go out and do their job! You know? Let them go out and create the narrative. Support your people.” And this all becomes a lot less vitriolic, and a lot less volatile, to tell you the truth. I mean, that’s my opinion.

BUCK:  So, I think America elected Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton because they wanted to see less regulation. They wanted to see lower taxes.


BUCK:  They wanted to see more employment. And I think all of the things that were being said about Donald Trump for a year and a half were secondary. And again, we’re dealing with issues that are secondary — unless there’s evidence to show that he obstructed justice, unless there’s evidence to show that what he said to the Russian foreign minister resulted in the deaths of, you know, important intelligence sources.  But given where the story is right now, I think that Americans are tired of DC feeling so self-important that we can change the narrative all the time on really good things that are happening in in this country.

CONNELL:  Well, ultimately, you’re right.  The economy is a great story. I’d love to have you come on today and tell me that we have tax reform ready to go. Where is that?

BUCK:  Well, it is — next week, you will see the Ways and Means Committee hold hearings on tax reform. And as the Senate finishes the healthcare bill, you’re going to see the House pass a tax reform measure. Whether it’s in July or whether it’s right after the August break, we will be passing a tax reform, and I think working more closely with the Senate so that it moves more quickly in the Senate.

CONNELL:  Well, and one of the things that — you know, yesterday the news was full of Congressmen Jason Chaffetz, saying he’d unilaterally subpoena these Comey memos that The New York Times is reporting on. You have Paul Ryan weighing in and saying, “You know what? We need to get to the bottom of this and put it to bed. And not to indict the president, but we need to figure this stuff out.” So, the oxygen has been sucked out of the room to talk about all those accomplishments. And that has been very frustrating for me because there are some things that happened in the first hundred or so days of this administration I think a real positives — really a strong positives?  I mean, I just read that the Fed is projecting four percent growth in the next quarter.

BUCK:  Right.  Right.

CONNELL:  That’s significant! But you’re right that we get bogged down in all the stupid minutia. But I don’t think that — I don’t think that without President Trump’s help, the media has enough to continue this nonsense. You know?

BUCK:  Well, I –.

CONNELL: I want you to talk to him, Ken!  I want you to go into the White House and say, “Look, my friend Mandy Connell said, ‘Zip it on Twitter, and support your people.’ She would really Iike — if you would just zip it on–.

BUCK:  [laughs]

CONNELL:  If you never mention Rosie O’Donnell again, she would be so happy, you know? Just so happy!“ Just do his job and support his people and I would be absolutely thrilled with the Trump presidency, thus far.

BUCK:  You know, Mandy, this president is a package. And there are some things that we’re really going to appreciate about the package, and there are some things that we are not. And you and I like a very disciplined president. We like someone who stays on message. We like someone who makes life a little bit easier. That’s not part of this package. And I have to tell you, I think this president – when he is judged twenty years from now, if our economy is growing at a four percent rate a year, reducing our deficit as a result of revenues increasing to the government, these kinds of stories will be insignificant contrast to what he has accomplished.

CONNELL:  I agree wholeheartedly. When you look back at the Reagan administration, there were lots of flare ups during the Reagan administration. Various things happened. You had Iran-Contra-gate. But ultimately, when people look back at Reagan, they look back at a booming economy. They look back at “morning in America”. They look back at the positives. But there was definitely not the viciousness and the drumbeat that the media have right now. And frankly, Ken, I am becoming increasingly concerned that you’re going to see it get harder and harder to even have the conversations about tax reform that are so important, or reminding people that they just got a better job because the economy is booming and they’re making more money, because they’re so caught up in the maelstrom of nonsense that is coming out of DC right now. [Do] you know what I mean?

BUCK:  Yeah, I do. But I have to tell you, I came to Washington DC to work for Dick Cheney on the Iran-Contra investigation. This town was torn apart. And President Reagan was in was in office.  And now we sort of put that in context, and I think history is going to a judge this President the same way.  You know, can you say Neil Gorsuch?  Can you say executive orders? Can you say trade agreement with China? [These are] really important things that that this president has done very early in his presidency.

CONNELL:  Well, with all due respect to the intent of those executive orders, executive orders are not worth the paper they’re written on as soon as you walk out of office. When are we going to see some legislative action to ensconce some of this legislative order stuff into law, so it stays beyond the Trump presidency?

BUCK:  Great point! We have passed thirteen Congressional Review Acts that have rescinded Obama regulations, that have made life easier on businesses, that passed the Senate, that was signed by the President. So, you know, a great point.  Those executive orders had do with examining regulations, passed by the House, passed by the Senate, signed by the President – again, an accomplishment that goes unnoticed because of what the mainstream media continues to talk about and just feed this distraction.

CONNELL:  Well, are you guys already working on a budget for September, because I was very unhappy that we had all these Obama holdover programs in the Continuing Resolution. I was unhappy that we have a Continuing Resolution — I mean, straight up! Are you guys already putting pen to paper and working on that stuff, or are we going to get to August 30 and be told the government’s going to shut down if we don’t have another CR?

BUCK:  You’ll get to September 30 and hear that, not August 30.  But here’s the problem –.

CONNELL:  Ah! Perfect! Great! Thanks. You’re supposed to make me feel better, Ken.

BUCK:  Sorry, Mandy! I’ll buy you dinner next time I’m there. Here’s the problem: we had to use budget reconciliation to fix healthcare because no Democrats in the Senate would support it.  And now we have got to use budget reconciliation to fix — to do tax reform. And you can’t do one budget until the other budget is complete. So, the Senate has to finish the the healthcare issue before we can start on tax reform and use budget reconciliation for it. So, we will undoubtedly have a C.R. at the end of September, only because we hopefully will be solving the problem of healthcare and tax reform.

CONNELL:  Are you getting any information from the Senate about how their Senate bill is going to look different than the bill that you guys passed? Or where there could be some — maybe some stumbling blocks that that could create a little bit of problems? Have you heard anything about what they’re working on?

BUCK:  I know that there are thirteen Senators that are working together right now to amend the House bill. Some of them are conservative, and they’re trying to put in some conservative ideas. One or two of them are trying to put in more money for different programs.  I don’t know what it’s going to look like. Ultimately, we have got to get to 51 votes, and that’s going to the challenge with what those thirteen are working on.

CONNELL:  Well, you know, I don’t envy you your job, right now, Ken. I’ll be perfectly honest.  I just think that we are — things are just at a fever pitch and it becomes very difficult to have a rational conversation about anything. One last question, and then I’ll let you get back to your work, there.

BUCK:  Can I ask you a question first, Mandy?

CONNELL:  Sure! Go ahead.

BUCK:  Did you did you ever envy me my job?

CONNELL:  Ummm.  I would have liked to have gone to the inauguration as a Congress Member.

BUCK:  Oh, okay.

CONNELL:  But – yeah, because, I mean, I could have gone as a person, but as a member of Congress, that seems like you probably get some nice perks.  You know? Like, during the inauguration you get good seats, kind of thing.

BUCK:  Yeah. Yeah, it was raining, but — and we were outdoors. But it was still good.

CONNELL:  Yeah! Yeah. See? Exactly!  I envied you that day. There you go!  See?

BUCK:  Okay. Okay.

CONNELL:  One last question:  there are a lot of calls aside to subpoena this Comey memo.  Are you in favor of that subpoena? Do you want this sort of –?  See, my thinking is, – not to put words in your mouth – let’s just get it over with.  Let’s rip off the band-aid, find out what’s there and what’s not there, and just call it a day. We’ve got three different investigations going on. Surely, somebody could say, “Okay, here’s what happened.”  And we can just move on from this stuff.

BUCK:  One of the top three most critical functions of Congress is oversight on the Executive branch.  I am absolutely in favor of getting to the truth on every one of these issues. And I am also in favor of — as we have done today — talking about the really important things that people want to talk about it, and that is getting a better paying job and more security for the family. So let’s find out what happened. Let’s get to the truth. And let’s fix this economy.

CONNELL:  Amen to that!  Congressmen Ken Buck, a joy as always, my friend! And you know what?  I have got to give you credit because, honestly, you guys don’t know what — even from before you got elected, it was like we always had a scheduled interview and then some craziness happened the day before and I’m always mad when Ken comes on my show. And he handles at like a boss. So well done!  I can tell you have been married a long time.

BUCK:  Thank you.  [laughs] That is kind!

CONNELL:  Thank you, Congressman! I’ll talk to you soon, man.

BUCK:  Bye-bye.

CONNELL:  Have a good one! Yeah, every single time I have an interview scheduled with him something has happened that makes me super incredibly cranky about something. Uh, you know, let’s just not talk about the Comey memo anymore, until we know what’s in the Comey memo. Gregg Jarrett has a great column that I linked to on the blog today, asking some important questions about if this was obstruction of justice why James Comey didn’t say something because that is his job and he would have been required to, by law.  And if he didn’t report obstruction of justice by anyone, including the President, he himself could face charges. These are all questions that I’d like to have answers [to].  But until we have some answers, can we all just stop talking about it?  Honestly! Can we just stop? Let’s just not.  We’ll pretend it didn’t happen. We’ll just pretend, like, “No, we’re not going to have this conversation.  Nope. Not going to do it.