episode 194: “Making America First Again” with Brooke Rollins
As we can all recall, when Donald Trump took office in January 2017, he didn’t exactly come equipped with the detailed plans and the 1,000s of people necessary to bring about his agenda. Essentially, he had to start from scratch. That was part of his appeal. That he did accomplish so much was a testament to the strength of his mission – Make America Great Again – and the power of his personal leadership. Still, there were a lot of missed opportunities. With Republicans likely to get another chance when America elects a Republican President in 2024, we need to get it right. We need to be prepared. Working on just such a project is the America First Policy Institute led by its CEO Brooke Rollins, my guest on this episode. Brooke was Director of the Domestic Policy Council in President Trump’s White House, where she also served as Director of the Office of American Innovation. Simply put, AFPI is developing a detailed blueprint for governing. To put in place the right people, policies, processes, etc.. to bring about transformational change. And doing this while knowing full well that the Deep State will fight tooth and nail to block this agenda – just as it did with Donald Trump. In just over a year, AFPI has assembled a team with 17 former White House senior staffers, 45 former administration officials, and is building an organization that, in Brooke’s words, will “continue to execute, continue the America First agenda to be ready for the next White House, whether that is Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis or Ted Cruz or someone we may not even be talking about today. Our side has never been ready. And we’re going to change that.” Pay attention to AFPI and Brooke Rollins. What they’re doing can be a game changer.
episode 194 transcript
Episode 194: Making America First Again with Brooke Rollins
Recorded voice (00:04):
Welcome to the Bill Walton show, featuring conversations with leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, and thinkers, fresh perspectives on money, culture, politics, and human flourishing. Interesting people. Interesting things.
Bill Walton (00:24):
Welcome to the Bill Walton show. I’m Bill Walton. Can America find its way forward again to freedom and prosperity after a catastrophic Biden presidency? Joe Biden has made himself into the weakest most unpopular leader of our lifetime and the most destructive. That’s the view of the overwhelming majority of American voters. Just look at the poll numbers. But is there a silver lining to this? As Tucker Carlson points out, Biden’s malicious and ineptitude is so overwhelming that it is single handedly changing American politics, and everywhere there are signs of a massive generational realignment taking shape in response to the disasters his administration has created. The old coalitions are crumbling before our eyes… Hispanic voters, African and Middle Eastern immigrants. Many black voters are all running at remarkable speed from Joe Biden and his policies, but here’s the catch. Will Republicans act on the likely mandates they have this November and also in 2024. I have my doubts look no further than the gun control bill that Mitch McConnell is speeding through Congress with its unconstitutional red flag laws.
Bill Walton (01:49):
Joining me to help figure this out is… about our conservative plans and prospects for the future, is present Chief Executive Officer of the America First Policy Institute, Brooke Rollins. Brooke was formerly director of domestic policy council and chief strategist in President Trump’s White House. She also served there as director of Office of American Innovation. Before that, she built the Texas Policy Foundation into the country’s leading state policy group. So Brooke, let’s jump in. How do you see things shaping up and what’s the role America First is going to be playing?
Brooke Rollins (02:27):
Well, first of all, that was beautifully said, Bill. Thank you so much. And what an honor to be here with you and the great work and thinking that you do for the movement and everything that we’re trying to do to save America, frankly. And it is talking about what President Biden, and the Democrats frankly, have done to this country in just a year and a half, is so heartbreaking, especially I think… well, for all of us that believe in freedom and liberty and the Constitution, but it may be slightly more heartbreaking for those of us that were in the last administration that worked around the clock. I was with President Trump for three years and enacted and executed and led on his domestic policy agenda. And so to see the deconstruction of the work that was put into, and invested in, frankly, reviving the American dream across all parts of our country, but especially in parts of the country that had never seen or experienced it before… our underserved communities, to see all of that just basically go up in smoke.
Bill Walton (03:34):
Well I had Russ Vought and Ken Cuccinelli on. We were talking about borders and it’s just… talk about heartbreaking and destructive.
Brooke Rollins (03:38):
Well that, from the open borders to the highest inflation rate in 40 years… you can’t even afford to put gas in your car, to the foreign policy disasters of Afghanistan and Ukraine, to the cost of everything, including healthcare going up, to the loss of all these children during the COVID lockdowns that were exacerbated in the blue states under the left leadership, it is heartbreaking. But to your point on a silver lining, there is one, and great challenge comes great opportunity, right? And so for those that didn’t love my former boss’s tweets or didn’t love certain way that he may talk about things, at the end of the day, I think, at least most Americans now understand that policy is important and that having someone and a team of people who are willing to execute on big ideas and are courageous and bold really does help all Americans, but especially helps those with the least, among us. And so now that waking up is really an incredible gift that hopefully we can take advantage of.
Bill Walton (04:43):
Well, the thing that you’ve done that is very impressive is, you talk about the heartbreak of people who worked in the Trump administration to fix things. And we fixed a lot of them. You’ve gathered a lot of people who’ve worked in-
Brooke Rollins (04:56):
Bill Walton (04:56):
Government in the administration, and with all due respect to our fearless leader, Mr. Trump… love of the guy, he didn’t exactly come into Washington in 2016 or 17, ready to go.
Brooke Rollins (05:12):
Oh, that may be the understatement of the decade, but yes, continue Bill.
Bill Walton (05:17):
And it looks like what you’re doing, and I think it’s very smart, is you’re putting together a team in place that knows how these agencies work. So when we get back into the job in 2025, I guess, after we win 2024, we’ll know what we’re doing. I mean, you got the head former head of the SBA, acting attorney general, head of departments of energy, interior, homeland security, US trade representative, the national economic council director… good old Larry Kudlow-
Brooke Rollins (05:46):
God bless Larry Kudlow.
Bill Walton (05:47):
And Kevin Hassett, Council of Economic Advisors, and the Florida attorney general, director of national intelligence. I mean, you’ve got the people working in your group-
Brooke Rollins (05:56):
Bill Walton (05:56):
That know what’s inside these agencies. And that to me seems to be the biggest problem we have. We can all talk about great policy, but you get this embedded bureaucracy in the deep state that you may have good ideas and they just don’t get done.
Brooke Rollins (06:12):
That’s right. President Trump will say today, because I’ve heard him say it, that the biggest regret that he has, that if he had a do-over and may still have a do-over, what he would do differently is, be ready with personnel. And I see that as bigger than just people… it’s personnel, it’s policy, and it’s process. And you’re 100%, right… the original vision of the America First Policy Institute, as his domestic policy chief, we had mapped out his second term agenda.
Brooke Rollins (06:42):
And when it became clear, late 2020, early 2021, that we weren’t going to be staying for that second term, the concept for me was how do we continue the groundbreaking transformational policy of the America First agenda that we really launched in the White House, but not only in the federal government, but how do you continue that work in the state governments and in the local government as well? So having an agenda for the new Congress and for all the new state legislatures around the country in January 2023, that’s a big part of what we’re doing. But to your point, also a big part and one of the main reasons I wanted to do this, having come from the conservative movement, as you mentioned, and built an organization in Texas over 15 years-
Bill Walton (07:24):
You took it from three people to a hundred people.
Brooke Rollins (07:26):
It was an amazing sort of 15 year run, but what I knew, Bill, was that in looking at the current landscape and when we were leaving the White House, there are an amazing amount of legacy organizations out there that are doing good work. But what I didn’t see, was an organization that could take nine former cabinet members, 17 former White House senior staffers, 45 former administration officials, and have a place where we could continue to execute, continue to do the America First agenda for the American people, but also be ready for the next White House, whether that is Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis or Ted Cruz or someone we may not even be talking about today. Our side has never been ready. And we’re going to change that.
Bill Walton (08:12):
I think this is an important point. This was something you were developing for Donald Trump’s second administration, but this is not necessarily attached to Donald Trump. This is the playbook for whoever we nominate and who wins.
Brooke Rollins (08:28):
That’s exactly right.
Bill Walton (08:29):
And I think as you mentioned, the people that are likely nominees, I think they’d all buy into what you’re doing.
Brooke Rollins (08:35):
Mm-hmm (affirmative), there’s no doubt.
Bill Walton (08:37):
Now Heritage did something like this in the ’80s for Ronald Reagan. Is this similar to that or different? What’s-
Brooke Rollins (08:45):
It is very similar, but what I would say, it’s even one step further, because the team that we have put together are not just the greatest thinkers of the movement, we actually executed over the last four years. David Bernhardt knows exactly, in the Department of the Interior, When we go back, again, depending on-
Bill Walton (09:08):
Brooke Rollins (09:09):
Former secretary of the interior, he knows exactly, now, today, on day one, the staff he needs, the terminations that need to happen, the policy goals that need to be implemented. And we will have that plan for every major agency ready. And we’re preparing it over the next two and a half years. What executive orders do we need? What legislation needs to be drafted to codify moving most of the bureaucracy into a Schedule F category, which most of your… thank God, don’t know what that is, but still understanding the intricacies of the administrative state.
Bill Walton (09:42):
I think it’s important to explain Schedule F because what those of us… and I come from a world of private equity, Wall Street. So I’m kind of learning how this works. You think, well, gee, elect better congressmen or women. Well, you do that and then you realize, well, they’re not really legislating anything in matters that much. And what tends to happen, they’ve delegated most of that over to the administration. And the real action is in the agencies.
Brooke Rollins (10:07):
Bill Walton (10:08):
The 30 or 40 or 50 or 60, or God knows how many, agencies there are-
Brooke Rollins (10:12):
Bill Walton (10:12):
Doing this stuff. Several hundred. And you get a political appointee to run it, but yet… I had Michael Pack on here and he took over the Voice of America, or the agency that ran Voice of America. And he said it was stunning. He came in with two or three people. Then you had thousands that were already there. They didn’t want to change anything.
Brooke Rollins (10:31):
That’s right. That’s right. Not just that didn’t want to change anything-
Bill Walton (10:35):
So schedule out. How did-
Brooke Rollins (10:36):
But what we found in many of the agencies… Education, EPA certainly, Homeland Security, a little bit less, but still, not only did they not want to change anything, not only were they worried about protecting the status quo, they were actively working against us. And it really… we didn’t really understand the extent of it, until… we knew it would be bad. But I think every cabinet secretary, every deputy secretary… which we convened on a monthly basis from the Trump administration, would tell you that they had no idea what they were walking into. Schedule F is a category of employees in the federal government. Right now, a president, Republican or Democrat, would only be able to fire, at will, what is called a political appointee. And that is maybe 3% of the total, maybe at most. It may be much less than that, of the actual federal employee group.
Brooke Rollins (11:31):
What we did at the last year of the Trump administration, and we’re really going to be executing on in the first year of term two, was moving almost 30% of the federal employment group, which is a couple million people, those who are federally employed, into that category so that they could be replaced with the beginning of a new administration, and/or into an administration if they weren’t executing the vision of that current president. And that’s a game changer. When we talk about deconstructing the administrative state or draining the swamp in Donald Trump words, you can’t do that. You can’t do it with a handful of people. There are 6,000 positions that are open on day one, of a new administration… 6,000. On day one of a Trump or DeSantis or Cruz or Cotton or Haley administration, we need to have all 6,000 people identified and ready to report to work, at least in the first week. In the Trump administration, it was months, if not years, if at all, that we ever had those positions even filled. So that’s really what we really need to work to change.
Bill Walton (12:37):
This is the Bill Walton show. I’m here with Brooke Rollins, the CEO of the America First Policy Institute. And there’s a saying in this town that I think is 100% true, which is that personnel is policy. I mean, you can have all the great ideas, but unless you’ve got people in place who understand and can do what’s necessary to implement, nothing happens.
Brooke Rollins (12:59):
That’s exactly right. And it really is remarkable if you think about the miracle that so much did get accomplished in the wake of that sort of pushback, but the sort of not… I’m never discouraged, because I do believe I’m so encouraged at the opportunity that I had.
Bill Walton (13:16):
Well, you’re an Aggie.
Brooke Rollins (13:17):
I am an Aggie.
Bill Walton (13:19):
And you were president of the student body with all those boy engineers.
Brooke Rollins (13:25):
I was. That’s so totally, 100% true. I married into a family of boy engineers, generations of them, actually. But yeah, the pathological optimism probably comes a little bit from that. But to think that under pretty harrowing circumstances with impeachments and government shutdowns and the media being against you and big tech… I mean, all of the forces that were against us, what I walked away from my time in the last White House was this… that you can make transformational change with a handful of people, really in the best idea of our founding fathers… a handful of people got together and decided to create the American experiment. I believe we restarted that to a certain extent in the last administration with a handful of very courageous people who refused to give up, but now we understand how it works. So the opportunity to really execute on that is what’s incredibly exciting to me.
Bill Walton (14:18):
So do you have an office filled with resumes yet?
Brooke Rollins (14:24):
We have a lot. We have had thousands of people actually who’ve wanted to join in. We’ve got about 140 employees.
Bill Walton (14:29):
How are you vetting them? I mean, you’re not at that point yet. We’re a ways off, but-
Brooke Rollins (14:32):
We are a ways off, but we’re starting right now.
Bill Walton (14:35):
Because there are a lot of pretend conservatives, a lot of pretend people that want to… they just want to get in there and they’ll say, and do anything to get into the job.
Brooke Rollins (14:42):
Well, we had a few of those, too, in our time, but with social media today-
Bill Walton (14:46):
I can think of one or two.
Brooke Rollins (14:48):
Yeah, you and I may have the same list, but with social media today, and really with the amount of vetting that we had begun to do in the last administration and having that list of names… we just announced yesterday, Michael Regus is joining our team. He was the head of OPM, the Office of Personnel Management, which means he was in charge of the 2 million federal employees.
Bill Walton (15:08):
Brooke Rollins (15:09):
He has now joined the AFPI team full time, to build this entire project out and do it in a substantial way. So we’ve got all of the necessary tools and shame on us, Bill, if we’re not able to really, really move this out in a big way for the next team.
Bill Walton (15:24):
Now, there are other people in town working on similar things. I think Heritage just announced something.
Brooke Rollins (15:28):
They sure are, which is great.
Bill Walton (15:30):
But Brooke, you… Kevin Roberts, who now runs Heritage, worked for you-
Brooke Rollins (15:35):
Bill Walton (15:36):
Brooke Rollins (15:37):
Kevin is a warrior. He is extraordinary. And we found him… he was the president of the Wyoming Catholic College… small little college in Wyoming, but he… I kind of checked him out before we interviewed him. He was willing to stand up against his own church and talk about how free enterprise was not about greed and how the conservative ideals were so important. And as a very strong and faithful Catholic, he was so proud of that… leading that college. And when he sort of raised his hand to come to Texas and be the executive vice president at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, he was really an extraordinary leader. Of course, we had no idea then that I would step away and go into the White House and really build a TPPF in the White House.
Brooke Rollins (16:21):
But at the time we brought Kevin on, because we realized that the states and the state of Texas were really leading the way and were the model for a potential of a new White House and new Congress and all of the ideas that we executed in Washington, we’ve done in the states before. And we know their results… from tax cuts to deregulation, to healthcare transparency, to school choice. And Kevin is a leader of the first degree. He’s going to be a game changer.
Bill Walton (16:47):
So much I want to talk to you about, but this point you’re making about the states is really worth repeating because it’s easy to be here in Washington and enter in a state of despair.
Brooke Rollins (17:00):
I know. I’m grateful to live in Texas where I am not surrounded by despair.
Bill Walton (17:01):
Just to get out… you get outside the Beltway, and you go into a lot of the states and there’s actually a lot of good things happening.
Brooke Rollins (17:09):
An amazing amount of good things happening. And my background is, I actually was Rick Perry’s policy director, which is how I even leaned in… I was a litigator right out of law school, and then ended up in Rick Perry’s, in his administration when he was first, governor, and was his policy director. And it was really instructive to me and why I wanted to eventually build the Texas Public Policy Foundation. I didn’t even know who TPPF was, as Rick Perry’s policy director… was a teensy little group, working on textbooks out of San Antonio. But what I learned was that if there was a robust policy effort, whose client was the idea of freedom. It wasn’t beholden to special interests. No one ever came and talked to me in the governors’… in the capital, in Austin, Texas, about freedom and Liberty and what the right policies were. And so I think my… 18 years ago when I joined TPPF, I think I brought such a different perspective than a typical think tank leader or person would do.
Bill Walton (18:04):
I would think a litigator would.
Brooke Rollins (18:06):
Right. Well… and I was an agriculture major from Texas A&M. I had no PhD in economics. But I did understand how the State of Texas government worked. And I knew that if we built out the right infrastructure, that we could 100% move Texas in a direction of freedom, having no idea back then that Texas would become the model. Now other states have caught up and Florida maybe has even gone ahead. But at the time, Texas was like a big state.
Bill Walton (18:32):
Were you part of the tort reform in Texas?
Brooke Rollins (18:33):
Part of the tort reform in Texas.
Bill Walton (18:35):
That was… that’s huge.
Brooke Rollins (18:36):
It was a huge effort, a huge effort. But keeping in mind back then, Bill, people don’t know this. There were Republicans who were filing income tax legislation in Texas. There were Republicans who were trying to pull down as much federal money as possible, and we were able to change all of that. And that’s what’s so encouraging to me, that if you talk about these issues in the right way, you build the infrastructure to execute on them. And then you hold the elected officials accountable. You move courage into everything you do. You can change the world. And I saw it in Texas and I saw it again in the White House.
Bill Walton (19:08):
Well, that swings us to… well, I want to… Kevin Roberts, I’m glad he was working with his church, churches to push back, because one of the problems we have is a lot of the Christian community, I don’t think, appreciates the free markets. And of course, my long suit is coming from economic libertarianism. And I’ve… now sort of involved in all the issues, but I mean, that’s the other thing. You’ve got a dream team of economic people. You’ve got Kudlow. You’ve got Hasset. You’ve got-
Brooke Rollins (19:37):
It’s extraordinary in every way. Steve Moore. Art Laffer and it’s interesting though-
Bill Walton (19:43):
Now, have they officially joined or are they part of-
Brooke Rollins (19:46):
Steve is official. Steve Moore’s official. Kevin Hasset’s official. Larry Kudlow’s official, and Dr. Laffer will likely be very soon. So, yeah.
Bill Walton (19:54):
Well you need his wit and his humor.
Brooke Rollins (19:58):
He’s the best. Yes. I worked with them in Texas quite a bit.
Bill Walton (20:00):
So I want to make sure we get to this. You’ve got a… we’ve got time limits here. Let’s talk about Republicans. I talked about that at the outset. I’m really concerned that the people you’re… the Republicans you’re talking about in Texas are here in spades, and they’re very entrenched. And I’ve referenced Tucker in my opening and he digs into this, but the Republicans are basically sided with Biden on COVID restrictions and vaccine mandates and spying intelligence agencies. They haven’t done anything about the social media monopolies. CRT, they’ve really been absent without leave. I mean, there are all sorts of bad things that are happening and Republicans haven’t stood up to it.
Brooke Rollins (20:47):
Here’s what I would say about that. The process that the Democrats in the left have put in place has captured all of Washington. And when the disruptor-in-chief came down the escalator in 2015 and said, I’m going to do things very differently. I’m beholden to no one. And then for those of us in the movement, we didn’t really understand how he would govern and if he would govern that way, but he did. And he brought sort of a hurricane into Washington. And I don’t know, without that hurricane, if I would be at all encouraged that there is a light at the end of the dark tunnel that you’ve just laid out. What we-
Bill Walton (21:34):
I’m with you on that. He was a game changer. He showed us possibilities that we didn’t think existed.
Brooke Rollins (21:40):
That’s a thousand percent right. And even I, the pathological optimist from Texas, when I finally agreed to come up to the White House and help build a team on policy that was offensive looking, I didn’t know… I thought this is my calling. So many people have died for freedom. If I need to go to DC for one year and try to help, I’m going to do it. I ended up three years and would’ve stayed longer because it was wonderful. And I felt like we were getting a lot done. But the process that has been put into place through years of, well, frankly, both Republican and Democrat rule, if you will, really elite rule from both parties-
Bill Walton (22:16):
The Bush administration was not exactly game changing.
Brooke Rollins (22:19):
There was no game changing forward leaning policy there. So to answer your question, we have to put forward an agenda that the American people believe in, that will then impose their beliefs on our elected officials, and make it an absolute that they have to fight for these things. If they don’t, they go home.
Bill Walton (22:42):
Most of them are really interested in getting in front of somebody else’s… getting in front of a parade that’s already moving along. I mean, they don’t start out leading it. I mean, 95% of them are followers.
Brooke Rollins (22:53):
That’s right. That’s right. And it’s-
Bill Walton (22:54):
So you want to create an inevitable parade that they feel like they got to get in front of.
Brooke Rollins (22:58):
That’s right. And then the leaders that are there… and they are there. I mean, whether it’s… I believe… and I’m great friends with Senator Ted Cruz, and lots of great members in the House that really want to fight for what’s right. But they have never… the left has been great at imposing their agenda on their leadership. Our side, we’re building businesses. We’re raising families. We get involved around election day and make sure our friends go and vote. And then we go back to our lives.
Brooke Rollins (23:26):
What we are trying to do with the America First Policy Institute, is build the infrastructure, is a 24/7 fight for freedom, with an agenda that the American people believe in that you need to campaign on, if you’re going to get elected. Now that you’ve campaigned on it. Now you’ve got to go to Washington and execute on that agenda. Then we’ve got a White House, a campaign for president and you sort of see the long term. This is not a two year or four year play or plan. This is a 20 year, 50 year, 100 year plan, that if we build this right, along with our partners, like Kevin at Heritage and other organizations that have been in this fight for a long time, if we do this right, we begin to impose the same agenda and provide the path forward for people that are looking for leadership that have been elected.
Bill Walton (24:13):
Most people don’t come to Congress with any real notion of what the issues are, the principles. I mean, they-
Brooke Rollins (24:20):
Bill Walton (24:21):
Have a good instinct. They get elected and then they show up. And then all of a sudden Mitch McConnell… or they get provided with staffers who are lifelong inside the beltway people. And then they’re captured by the system and they don’t really have any ideas or leadership to help them get there.
Brooke Rollins (24:39):
That’s exactly right. And hopefully that has now changed.
Bill Walton (24:42):
Now, SPI, which is Jim DeMint’s shop, and Ed Corrigan’s… they’re working on staffing new congressmen who are elected.
Brooke Rollins (24:52):
Bill Walton (24:53):
Are you working with them, because getting the staffing right is critical.
Brooke Rollins (24:57):
Is so important. And I would tell you, Jim DeMint is a warrior’s warrior. I just… I feel like so many of us stand on his shoulders. Ed Corrigan is extraordinary. They helped us so much in the last White House. And they’ve gotten a little bit bigger now, more robust, but back then it was a shoestring operation, but it tells you with the right people and the right plan… our side has got to be better about strategy. The right people, the right plan, the right strategy. You really can make a huge difference. So yes, we are all sort of locked arm and arm in this, in our various lanes.
Bill Walton (25:30):
So the right people where we put them. And it’s not just the administration, it’s also the congressional staffing.
Brooke Rollins (25:38):
That’s right. But with a plan, that’s the difference.
Bill Walton (25:39):
Do we have a sneak peek of the plan yet? Have we rolled it out?
Brooke Rollins (25:43):
Well, the America First agenda-
Bill Walton (25:43):
And I looked in vain on your website for the plan. I didn’t see the plan.
Brooke Rollins (25:49):
Look for July 25th and 26th. We’re going to be doing a two day summit in Washington and we’ll be laying it out then with many, many important in the movement, elected and leaders, and also a special guest that we’ve not announced yet. And that… of course, the timing is the moving at recess, go home.
Bill Walton (26:10):
Brooke Rollins (26:11):
25th and 26th. And really, Bill, if any of your fans or watchers that may want to be a part of that-
Bill Walton (26:18):
And where do we find information? What website… where do we go to?
Brooke Rollins (26:21):
We don’t have an outward facing invitation, but I will get you one and then you can send it to-
Bill Walton (26:26):
Sure, we’ll put it out. We’ll make it part of the show link.
Brooke Rollins (26:29):
That would be great. We would love that. And we’re expecting about 500 people in person, what will be sold out, and a couple hundred thousand on the live stream. So it will be broadcast across the country, but laying out that agenda that then will… our congressmen and women and those running for office will go home for recess and then into campaign.
Bill Walton (26:47):
Well, that’s a big point. We tend to think because of your background and kind of my interest of the president’s agenda… but we need an agenda for people running in November.
Brooke Rollins (26:57):
That’s exactly right.
Bill Walton (26:57):
So you’re going to get ahead of that. And for my favorite Senator… I’m being facetious, Mitch McConnell, doesn’t seem to want to run on anything.
Brooke Rollins (27:06):
Bill Walton (27:07):
He just… they just want to run on Biden’s… the Biden catastrophe. They don’t want to say what they’re for, what they’ll do.
Brooke Rollins (27:12):
That’s right, which I think is a fatal mistake.
Bill Walton (27:15):
Yeah, me too.
Brooke Rollins (27:15):
I think there are a lot of political consultants in the political consultant class who are advising you to do that. But I have always believed, and I lived it firsthand in Texas and in the White House. If you provide the bold, courageous leadership, you provide the intellectual ammunition that backs it up, you provide the framing on how you talk about it… we shouldn’t be talking about Obamacare on healthcare. We should instead be talking about a vision-
Bill Walton (27:41):
We should have our own plan.
Brooke Rollins (27:42):
For America with a plan. That includes you choosing your own doctor, not their plan of the government choosing your doctor. And Bill, when we talk about those issues in that way, we move to… again, 70% support of our ideas from our side, of course, but from independents and moderate Democrats. One of the most important data points I took away from the last White House was this, our state’s states of the union, that was really our one chance to give an unfiltered policy speech to the American people. 40 million people watched in various platforms, the president of the United States lay out his vision. And it wasn’t a rally. There weren’t tweets. It was really our chance to say, here’s the vision. Independents watching that speech moved our way 27 points, when they could see the vision laid out in a bold and courageous way, without all of the noise. Some of the noise created by admittedly our ourselves, too. But most of the noise created by those who were against us.
Brooke Rollins (28:44):
But when you had a direct conversation with the American people, they move your direction. And we see these numbers in huge ways with the Hispanic population, blue collar workers, African American population… they are ready to come into our tent. We just have to continue to make the compelling case as to why they should.
Bill Walton (29:00):
I’m getting a signal here. Your young man is saying, we’ve got to wrap up, but I have to ask this question because I believe that Donald Trump is going to run again.
Brooke Rollins (29:12):
I think that’s a good case.
Bill Walton (29:13):
But you’re talking with him. I’m not. I wish he’d get over 2020. I think it hurts him. I believe that all this bad stuff did happen and it influenced the election. I don’t know whether I want to put a word on it, but when you get 89 million mail-in ballots, or whatever it was, we knew they were going to do something. And the 2000 Mules provides a lot of… provides a world window into that. And people can say, well, this wasn’t right that… but generally speaking-
Brooke Rollins (29:41):
Bill Walton (29:44):
But that was then.
Brooke Rollins (29:46):
This is now.
Bill Walton (29:47):
And this is now. And so I hope we don’t… I hope when he does run, that we don’t have to re-litigate all of that because we got to work on winning the future.
Brooke Rollins (29:56):
Creating a vision for America. Here’s what… here’s my-
Bill Walton (29:59):
I’m going to let you wrap up.
Brooke Rollins (30:00):
Yeah. Let me say a couple of points on that. I think that I am so grateful to President Trump for so many things. He did not have to leave his life in New York. He’s the only one that left office poorer than when he moved into office, right?
Bill Walton (30:18):
Well, as you point out, dying for freedom. It’s not as bad as coming to DC.
Brooke Rollins (30:24):
No, it’s so true. It’s 100% true. And I know if he were here with us, he would agree with that 100%. But I am actually very grateful to him for elevating the fraud that did happen in our election. But here’s the interesting point. All the people that were behind Hillary in 2016, they all believe the election was stolen from her. All the people in ’08, believe that the election was stolen from… I think that was McCain.
Brooke Rollins (30:51):
I mean, there is no confidence in our elections in this country from either side of the aisle. And I think that President Trump’s sometimes singular focus on November has really woken up a lot of America to the truth of that. And it has allowed organizations like ours, to move into the states and into the state legislatures and pass laws that need to be passed to ensure that what happened with those mail-in ballots will never happen again. To your point, I think there’s no doubt. And I believe the president is with us on this, that providing the alternative vision to the destruction of the current administration in Washington is what is next in the movement. And he is the person to do it because there are so many people looking for leadership. And I think you’ll see that moving forward. And I’m really excited about that.
Bill Walton (31:44):
Brooke Rollins, thank you, President of America First Policy Institute-
Brooke Rollins (31:48):
Bill Walton (31:49):
And pay attention to Brookes Rollins and what she’s doing. She’s a game changer and she’s putting together something, I think it’s going to make a big difference in how we proceed as conservatives. So thanks for tuning into the Bill Walton show. And as always, you can find us on Substack, YouTube, Rumble, Apple, Spotify, and all the places that… and also in CPAC Now. On Monday nights, you can catch us there and all the other major podcast platforms. So I’ve done my promo.
Brooke Rollins (32:18):
I love it.
Bill Walton (32:19):
So come back to find out what’s true. What’s right. And what’s next. Thanks.
Brooke Rollins (32:24):
Amen. Wow. Here we go.
Bill Walton (32:28):
Yeah, we have fun.
Brooke Rollins (32:28):
I hope this is not inappropriate. You have the most beautiful blue eyes I’ve ever seen. Seriously, I didn’t see it upstairs maybe because of the light. It’s remarkable. I mean, and even I don’t even have good eyes even from this far away with the light. It’s unbelievable. Anyway, just to wrap things up, maybe I should have said that on the video, right?
Bill Walton (32:49):
Well, we may. It’s still running.
Brooke Rollins (32:50):
Please tell me about the video.
Bill Walton (32:51):
We may use. We’re definitely going to use that.
Brooke Rollins (32:54):
Yeah, exactly. I was like oh my goodness.
Bill Walton (32:58):
I hope you enjoyed the conversation. Want more? Click the subscribe button or head over to thebillwaltonshow.com to choose from over a hundred episodes. You can also learn more about our guests on our interesting people page and send us your comments. We read every one and your thoughts help us guide the show. If it’s easier for you to listen, check out our podcast page and subscribe there. In return, we’ll keep you informed about what’s true. What’s right. And what’s next. Thanks for joining.
In 1974, with annual inflation raging over 12%, President Gerald Ford introduced WIN (“whip infla...
Episode 208: “How Policy Responses to the Pandemic Continue to Shatter Our World” with Jeffrey Tucker
The world has suffered and continues to suffer catastrophic economic and social damage from the Cov...
To put it mildly, the expected massive Republican Red Wave in the recent 2022 midterm elections didn’t materialize. Even...
In this episode I’m joined by Bion Bartning, the founder of...
Recently The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by my guest on this episode, Yale freshman Saha...
Episode 204: “The Climate Change Industrial Complex: Trillion $$$ Promises That It Can’t Keep” with Myron Ebell
In this episode I’m talking again with Myron Ebell, Director of the Competitive Enterprise Instit...
“There is more respect to be won in the opinion of this world b...
Episode 202: “Biden’s Playing Nuclear War Brinksmanship with Russia; Meanwhile China Looms” with KT McFarland
In the 20 months that Joe Biden has been President, his decisions and rhetoric have made the world ever more combustible. Eve...
This episode took a couple of twisting turns to complete. A few weeks back, I emailed my friend Brandon Weichert, a very smar...
Election process isn’t a sexy topic, but if we want to preserve our democratic system, and keep our Republic, election inte...