episode 99: “Is time running out for President Trump?” with John Fund
On this special edition of the Bill Walton Show, we talk about the fight for the White House as the legal battle continues by the Trump campaign. But is there enough time to get it through the courts? John Fund with the National Review is skeptical.
episode 99 transcript
Episode 99: “Is time running out for President Trump?”
Bill Walton: 00:09 Welcome to a special edition of the Bill Walton Show as we delve into what’s happening with the unofficial presidential election results. The coronation ceremony already underway among the media and the Democrats, despite mounting evidence of election fraud, and the fact that everywhere else in America, Democrats have lost a lot of ground with this election and also what’s happening in Georgia that will determine who controls the US Senate. Joining me to explain this is my friend, John Fund, who I believe is among the most politically astute journalists in America. John is National Affairs reporter for National Review Online, senior editor at the American Spectator, among his many other hats he wears. John, thanks for joining.
John Fund: 00:56 A pleasure, Bill. And thank you. I’ve learned a great deal about the economy from you over the years, and happy to join your audience.
Bill Walton: 01:04 I’m trying to branch out into politics at great peril and I need guidance. I need John Fund guidance so where should we start? Should we start with what’s happening?
John Fund: 01:14 Well, let’s start with a lot of people say that the election can be overturned and we can have a different result. And my position on this is very simple, Bill. The fraud we have to worry about is not what happened on election day, it’s the heist that occurred in March and April when, under the cover of COVID the left basically used the courts, their governors, their state legislatures, and their control of secretaries of state to completely transform how people voted in many battleground states. Pennsylvania, which only had 4% voters voting early or absentee went from 4% to over 60% this year, even though some states out west, where I’m from, vote largely by mail, that is a process that takes several election cycles to perfect. You cannot turn an entire election system upside down and transform it in the space of a few months. So you were going to have massive logistical and other problems. And basically they dismantled the safeguards that normally would take place.
They said, well, we’re going to have so many ballots. We can’t have the signature verification that we normally have on a mail-in ballot. Las Vegas, Nevada dialed down the signature verification setting so that automatically 98% of voters by mail were declared valid and no human being even looked at those ballots. They were all done by machine with the settings turned all the way down. You had Pennsylvania where the Supreme Court in a rogue action decreed, even though it wasn’t part of law, that ballots could come in three days after the election, they didn’t need a valid postmark and they didn’t need any signature verification. So if this was a heist, it was performed in March and April. And conservatives are very good at fighting elections, but they’re very bad at process issues. What are the rules of the road?
And as I told you at the Council for National Policy, if we don’t pay attention to the rules of the road and we don’t pay attention to these lower level officials like the secretaries of Soros, I’m sorry, the secretaries of state, that the left keeps electing-
Bill Walton: 03:30 I hope you’re not right about that.
John Fund: 03:32 We are going to … In a couple of states, I am actually. If we don’t pay attention to that in the future, we’re going to find this situation again, because, Bill, you cannot stop the fraud after it happens on election day. You have to stop it before it happens.
Bill Walton: 03:47 Well, and I so agree and I’m dismayed. While I love all things Trump, there are some exceptions and we visited with his campaign people for, I don’t know, two, three, four months ago. And we said this mail-in ballot thing. I think you were there. You were involved with it at the time.
John Fund: 04:03 I don’t remember any of that.
Bill Walton: 04:05 But as we said, they should go on name. They said, Oh no, don’t worry. We got this in hand. Nothing to worry about mail in ballots.
John Fund: 04:12 Guess what? We now have proof they didn’t.
Bill Walton: 04:14 Yeah, well, and they should be looking for other jobs. but you know, it’s funny in my Rappahannock County, the headline in the local papers is Rappahannock Votes Red. And you look at it, it was about 60/40 Trump. But then you look at the six voting sites, they average about 75% for Trump. So the people were going in that day to vote, it was three to one. So what explains it? Well, what you were talking about. With 80% of the vote that was mail-in went for Biden and-
John Fund: 04:45 No, I don’t think we want to get hung up too much on these percentages. Let’s talk about the Trump legal challenges to these results. And I’m just making a practical argument here. Donald Trump is behind in Arizona, he’s behind in Georgia. He’s behind in Pennsylvania. He’s behind in Wisconsin. He’s behind in Michigan, he’s behind in Nevada. He has to win most of those to become president again. the problem is this, this is not a governor’s race or Senate race. This is the presidential race, which is dictated by the electoral college. The electoral college meets December 14th. Six days before that the states have to certify their results and send the names of the electoral college members in. So all of this has to be wrapped up by December 8th. The last time I checked on the calendar, that’s basically a little over three weeks from now.
So Donald Trump, regardless of what happened or didn’t happen, has to assemble compelling, convincing, and comprehensive evidence of massive voter fraud or irregularities. He has to present that to judges. They have to agree that it was so systemic the election results should be set aside and he should be declared the winner in not one, not two, but probably three or four states. And that has to go through the appeals court process and probably to the Supreme Court all within the space of about 25 days.
Bill Walton: 06:06 So the clocks-
John Fund: 06:07 I believe there’s such a thing as Operation Warp Speed, but it rarely happens in legal matters.
Bill Walton: 06:11 Well, and judges have feet of clay. They’re not going to want to overturn the election. Look at John Roberts at the Supreme Court.
John Fund: 06:20 Let’s just say this happens in front of the most favorable judges you can imagine, including the judges appointed by Donald Trump. I don’t even know if you could do it in 25 days to the people’s satisfaction and credibility, because any decision that’s made has to be have real credibility. You don’t overturn elections in two, three or four states, unless you have such overwhelming evidence, it’s going to be accepted by the public at large.
Bill Walton: 06:44 In terms of evidence, is there any egregious smoking gun that has been found that points up with what people are saying about fraud? I mean, I think you’re right.
John Fund: 06:52 Yes, the smoking gun is we should never have gone to all mail balloting, which a presidential commission co-chaired by Jimmy Carter in 2005, warned was the biggest single potential source of voter fraud in this country. There used to be a consensus in this country that mail-in balloting should be limited because of the potential for fraud, coercion and intimidation and ballot [crosstalk 00:07:12]
Bill Walton: 07:12 How do we put the genie back in the bottle? Because I quite agree.
John Fund: 07:18 Let’s assume Donald Trump leaves office. Before he leaves office, he should appoint a presidential commission, empowered to look at all aspects of our creaky, antiquated and outdated and fraud-prone election system, depending on which state you’re in. And he should appoint worthies such as former Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin as a Republican co-chair and Doug Schoen, who’s a former polls for Hillary Clinton and former advisor to Michael Bloomberg. And he should empower them, give them full funding and dare Joe Biden to dismantle that commission should he take office as president on January 20th. And we need a full autopsy from top to bottom, including in all the states that have Republican legislatures. And I think Michigan is already holding hearings on this and we need to get to the bottom of how this happened and how our entire election system was transformed overnight.
And by the way, it wasn’t necessary. Did you notice the left said up until the last few weeks don’t vote at the polls, it’s not safe. And then suddenly they said, go vote, go to the polls and vote. So it was completed hypocrisy. It wasn’t necessary to switch to my mail-in voting. And this was a silent coup of election rules changes, but it happened back in March and April. It didn’t happen on election day.
Bill Walton: 08:33 So let’s suppose this presidential appointed group does come up with something that’s concrete evidence of the problems there are and they come up with some recommendations to fix it. How would that be implemented?
John Fund: 08:47 Well, the first thing we have to do, Bill, is talk about this. When I spoke to your group in August, no one was talking about this and I’ve been writing on this stuff.
Bill Walton: 08:58 You were, you were.
John Fund: 08:59 Yes, and my coauthor, Hans Von Spakovsky from Heritage. For 20 years, we have not spent the time and effort in process in the rules of the road. And we have to change that. Rather than spend a bunch of money on political consultants who run TV ads and collect 15% commissions, I called them the staph infection. We need to spend some time on the infrastructure of our democracy and how we conduct elections because what we’re doing isn’t working, because this shouldn’t have happened. We should have been able to argue and thwart some of the efforts they made to transform our elections overnight using COVID as an excuse.
Bill Walton: 09:40 I think this is the wake-up call we’ve needed on our side.
John Fund: 09:43 This is the alarm bell in the night, not the wake-up call.
Bill Walton: 09:46 Well, okay. We’ll argue about metaphors, but it’s a big, big deal. And we got to do something about it. And a lot of people, like me, think process is boring but we got to get used to boring, if we’re going to win again.
John Fund: 10:01 Well, we’re going to get used to boring if President Biden takes office, because we’re going to have a pretty boring presidency and actually even some liberals will miss Donald Trump because they won’t have anyone to hate anymore.
Bill Walton: 10:12 In the time we’ve got here though. Yeah. Well, that’s true. There were a lot of wins for conservatives and libertarians around the country. And California, it turns out, a lot of libertarians voted down a lot of bad propositions, and elsewhere, we took control or we gained control of few houses in the states. What’s the good news from this election?
John Fund: 10:38 The left was completely thwarted in their goals to transform America. They’re going to lose those Georgia runoffs. They are not going to get the green new deal. They’re not going to get massive increases in taxes and regulation through Congress, some through Biden executive orders, but not that much. They’re not going to get Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia as states. They’re not going to pack the court. Joe Biden will have to clear all of his judicial appointees with Mitch McConnell. Some of them would be rejected. And the Republicans in the House gained seats. Two years ago, Bill, Democrats won the House vote nationally by nine points. Votes are still being counted, but right now Republicans are leading Democrats in the national House vote. Would you have imagined that last week Republicans would carry a majority of the House vote in this country? I didn’t.
Bill Walton: 11:31 Well, and also with the razor thin majority, Pelosi’s got to worry about our own caucus.
John Fund: 11:36 Well, she, first of all, parties in power tend to lose in midterm elections. Democrats are going to lose the House in 2022. [inaudible 00:11:47] story.
Bill Walton: 11:47 Let’s talk about the firewall, if you want to call it that, in Georgia. Do you believe that regardless of the Georgia Senate race, we’re still going to be able to control the Senate. A, I want to win those races. And what are the challenges to doing that? And B, if that doesn’t happen, what’s our-
John Fund: 12:04 It’s not going to happen and I’ll tell you why. Democrats won about 47 or 48% of the vote in both those Senate races, if you total up all the democratic candidates. They have been 60 years of runoffs in Georgia. Everything from public utilities commissioner to regents of the University of Georgia, to governor to Senator. and in 60 years, Bill, how many of those offs have been won by Democrats?
Bill Walton: 12:30 I’m shifting from economics to politics. You’re going to have to-
John Fund: 12:34 I’ll give you the answer. Zero.
Bill Walton: 12:36 Zero. Okay.
John Fund: 12:37 Zero. So the problem is this, these runoffs are held in the middle of the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season. Do you really believe that without Donald Trump as a figure of hate to motivate people to turn out in these runoff elections, the Democrats are going to be able to boost turnout and win back these seats? Do you really believe that’s going to happen? It’s never happened before. I don’t think it’s going to happen now. And if they want to waste $500 million, they just wasted a billion dollars trying to fight the House races and look what that did them. Money isn’t everything in politics. If there’s one lesson from 2020, you can have too much money and frankly, it can boomerang against you.
Bill Walton: 13:18 Yeah. We can check in with Mike Bloomberg on that one.
John Fund: 13:21 Yes.
Bill Walton: 13:21 Although I’ve heard, he still wants to play in Georgia. He doesn’t-
John Fund: 13:25 Well guess what, he promised to play a hundred million dollars in Florida. Do you know how much money he actually delivered? Much less than that.
Let me tell you what he-
Bill Walton: 13:34 [crosstalk 00:13:34] Spend that much money.
John Fund: 13:36 Actually, you could, but the problem is there’s a secret of billionaires in politics. They talk a good game and then the check never shows up.
Bill Walton: 13:42 So the other thing that happened is that Trump won 18% of black male voters, 30% of Hispanic males-
John Fund: 13:50 36% of Hispanic males.
Bill Walton: 13:52 36, okay. And three out of 10 LGBTQ voters. That, to me, is a stunning number.
John Fund: 14:01 Not everyone in politics or voters think that their ethnic, sexual or other orientation should dictate their lives. They actually live full lives with all kinds of interests, in all kinds of issue perspectives and all kinds of concerns. And the big loser in this election, Bill, was identity politics. Americans do not want to be pigeonholed in group think. They want to think for themselves. There are a lot of people who were fed up with political correctness, but they were afraid to say anything for fear of being labeled as sexist, racist, or homophobe. And you know what, they still voted. And they sent a real message to the identity politics crew that, no, I’m sorry, we don’t buy your product.
Bill Walton: 14:44 So you’re feeling, now the 22 with the Biden presidency, if that’s what happens, we win in the house. And what happens in the Senate?
John Fund: 14:55 The Senate has a lot of vulnerable Republican seats, but if Joe Biden enacts policies that harm the economy, the normal mid-term reaction against the party in power will only be heightened. I think I give the Republicans odds to keep the Senate in 2022, and I give them even higher odds to take back the House.
Bill Walton: 15:12 Okay. I know we’re running out of time here, and you got a hard out, but I have a bonus question for you. What’s happening with Fox?
John Fund: 15:25 There’s something wrong with the transmission, Bill. I appear on all of these networks. [inaudible 00:15:30]
Bill Walton: 15:33 So we’ve wandered into that area that we don’t have.
John Fund: 15:35 Look let’s just say I appear on the following networks, CNN, MSNBC, Fox, Newsmax, C-SPAN, PBS, and I have friends everywhere.
Bill Walton: 15:48 Okay. So let’s take that one off the table. I retract the question, but I do think it’s an interesting thing, depending on Trump’s temperament or how he’s feeling afterwards, there is a big hole for a conservative television network.
John Fund: 16:01 Let me give you a prediction that I’m 100% sure of. Whatever Donald Trump does in terms of media, and believe me, he will not want for attention. He will not put a penny of his own money into any new media property. Donald Trump does not spend his own money on politics. He just doesn’t. And Bill, I’m going to give you a bonus answer. Donald Trump said that if Joe Biden took the fundraising lead this summer, he would put his own money into the race. We now have the final FEC numbers, except for the last maybe 10 days of the campaign. Do you know how much money of his own that Donald Trump put into the 2020 race for president?
Bill Walton: 16:45 I don’t know. Green frees for somebody that he took along to-
John Fund: 16:48 $8,000.
Bill Walton: 16:50 How much?
John Fund: 16:50 8,000.
Bill Walton: 16:51 Wow.
John Fund: 16:53 Donald Trump does not spend his own money. He gets other people to spend money for him. So he may go into the media properties, but it’s not going to be with his own money.
Bill Walton: 17:03 Okay. Well, John, thank you. Thank you for all this. This is great. I hear your other alarm going off here. Anyway, I liked to say, as everybody here. Thanks for listening. And we’d love to hear what you think. Let me know on Parlor, Facebook and Twitter, where you can find the Bill Walton Show. For previous episodes, you can find us on Apple podcast, Spotify, and YouTube. And of course at thebillwaltonshow.com. John Fund.
John Fund: 17:30 Thank you.
Bill Walton: 17:31 Political genius. Extraordinary.
John Fund: 17:33 No, no, but I still worship at your economic wisdom table. Thank you.
Bill Walton: 17:39 We’ll trade. All right. Take care, John.
Speaker 3: 17:41 Thanks for listening. Want more, be sure to subscribe at thebillwaltonshow.com or on iTunes.
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