FULL EPISODE: 5/2/21 Rep. Jim Clyburn and Sen. John Barrasso react to Pres. Biden’s 1st formal address to Congress

FULL EPISODE: 5/2/21 Rep. Jim Clyburn and Sen. John Barrasso react to Pres. Biden’s 1st formal address to Congress
James Clyburn says he and John Lewis feared “defund the police” would undermine Black Lives Matter movement (Source: AP)

Washington, D.C. – Greta Van Susteren interviewed House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) for Gray Television’s “Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren” airing Sunday, May 2, 2021.

Rep. Clyburn addressed Sen. Tim Scott’s comments about race in his rebuttal to President Joe Biden’s speech this week. The congressman told Van Susteren he agreed with Scott, as well as President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, that America is not racist, but said: “the problem you got in this country is that there are jurisdictions that do in fact pass racist legislation.”

On President Biden’s infrastructure bill, Clyburn said: “I think realistically we can get most of what he is asking for. I think not because he asked, but because of what the American people need, and they are making that very clear.”

On the President’s first 100 days and his speech to Congress, Barrasso said: “What we saw in the last 100 days is really a hostile takeover of America by the left wing of the Democrat party in America … I think he’s given the keys to the car to Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and he’s just along for the ride.”

On immigration and the situation at the Southern border, Barrasso said: “We’re on a path for 2 million illegal immigrants coming to the country this year. This is all of Joe Biden’s making. It’s a catastrophe.”

And on divisions within the GOP, Barrasso told Van Susteren: “2022 is the way to put down this administration into lockdown by taking the House and the Senate, and that is my complete focus right now.” When asked about his relationship with Rep. Liz Cheney, Barrasso said: “We work closely together. We are in a war against the Biden administration and their attacks on Wyoming.”

Interview highlights are below.

Rep. Jim Clyburn Highlights

On race in America

Greta Van Susteren

Senator Tim Scott, he has said America’s not racist. Vice President, Kamala Harris, has said America is not racist. President Biden has said America is not racist. There’s a lot of racial tension in this country. Do you agree with those three, America is not racist?

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.)

Yes, I do agree with that. That’s not the problem. That’s a red herring. The problem you got in this country is that there are jurisdictions that do in fact pass racist legislation and whether or not we are going to condone that. Look, America was not racist when they elected Barack Obama president or Kamala Harris the vice president. No, but there were a lot of racists out there involved in those campaigns and we’re seeing them today. Are we going to coddle racists, or are we going to deal with the racists? That’s not America. Those are some elements within America.

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.)

So what we have to do is stop hiding behind doing what is necessary to get rid of these racist pockets and these racist people who are doing racist things.

Greta Van Susteren

Senator Tim Scott has endured a lot since his speech the other night. He has been referred to as Uncle Tim on Twitter, and when I read that I think to myself, “Why aren’t more people speaking out about it?” Do you have any thoughts of what he endures as dare to be on the Republican side of the aisle as an African American?

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.)

I would say him to do the same thing that I did. When I endorsed Joe Biden, I wish you’d see what they said about me. And history, circumstances, it proved who was right. I was doing one of these visuals on the program the other day, and I talked about what was said about me for endorsing Joe Biden. A gentlemen clicked into the chat and says, “Yes, I do remember. I was one of them, and I was wrong.” So I would just ask him to do as I do.

On President Biden’s first 100 days and the infrastructure bill

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.)

Well, I think realistically we can get most of what he is asking for. I think not because he asked, but because of what the American people need, and they are making that very clear. The polling data coming in are clear that we are in dire need of getting people back on their feet.”

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.)

I think everybody knows that infrastructure today is totally different than what it was when Abraham Lincoln launched the transcontinental railroad, or when Dwight Eisenhower did the interstate highway.

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.)

It’s time for us to treat the information highway the same way that we treat the interstate highway. People know that.

On traditional infrastructure vs social infrastructure

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.)

If we want kids to go back to school, and we do want them to go back to school, are we willing to give them school buildings that are safe and secure? And we know there are thousands of schools today that need HVAC systems.

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.)

That’s not the traditional infrastructure issue, but that is education infrastructure. You got to have families reconstructed and families stabilized. So we have to reimagine a lot of things in this country and it’s time for us to come down out of our ivory towers, get down to where people live every day like Joe Biden is doing, and do what is necessary for people to be uplifting as they go.

On what the American people want

Greta Van Susteren

It’s no secret that a bipartisan bill is a much better thing for the country. The Republicans object to the price tag on President Biden’s proposals. It’s a little over $6 trillion. And Vice President, or actually President Biden, has said that he wants bi-partisan support. 74 million people plus voted for President Trump, so how does he get bipartisan support in the Congress, in the House and the Senate, and the bipartisan support from the American people when so many people voted against him? More people voted for him, but so many voted against him.

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.)

Well, let’s not forget that the 80 million people plus did what is necessary to put us to where we are today, and so let’s give bi-partisan consideration to what they think. Even that 74 million that you talked about, we don’t measure them by measuring 50 Republicans in the Senate. We measure them by the polling and the surveys that people are doing, and the majority of them agree with President Biden. But we keep saying, ignore what the polls say about what they feel, just concentrate on those 50 partisan, and in some instances, self-serving Republicans think. And when I say that, and I see a senator from Missouri running up in front of the Capitol with a raised clenched fist, I don’t pay any attention to him.

On his relationship with President Biden

Greta Van Susteren

I think the conventional wisdom is that President Biden really does, I mean he really got wind behind his sails when you endorsed him in South Carolina. That was really the turning point in his campaign. Are you able to talk to him often? Is he listening to you, your ideas, things that you want to get done, and do you have a special relationship with him now?

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.)

Well you know, I might’ve answered that question differently if you’d asked me last week. But since you’re asking me today, I’m going to say yes, he listens very clearly. I didn’t know until we had discussions about what should be in his speech for Wednesday night I am in agreement with what he said 100%. And I think he demonstrated that he’s not only listening to me, but he’s listening to the American people. And I don’t want to do anything but what is going to make this country better for my children and grandchildren. And I had those kind of discussions with him, with his staff. Yes, they do listen. They are sensitive to where we are and where we need to go, and I’m very, very pleased with him.

On Sen. Tim Scott’s rebuttal that Biden’s plans cost too much

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.)

Well you know, for me to disagree with Tim, I stayed married to the same woman for 58 years, and I disagree with her very often, so I do disagree with Tim on that. Look, we’re not going to do what needs to be done with our infrastructure by clipping coupons out of the Sunday paper. We got to pay for it. I don’t remember him saying that 1.9 trillion tax cut for the wealthiest people in this country and corporations was too big a price tag. Why didn’t he apply that same measurement to that big tax cut?

On the border and immigration

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.)

Well you know, I think that what he did in putting Kamala Harris in charge of getting our arms around the entire issue is the right thing to do. Yes. If the previous administration had cooperated with this administration, they might be in a better place to be in a good place after a hundred days. But when you undercut transition the way the past administration did, things are going to be a problem.

Sen. John Barrasso Highlights

On President Biden’s first 100 days and his address to Congress

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)

What we saw in the last 100 days is really a hostile takeover of America by the left-wing of the Democrat party in America. And when I listen to Joe Biden, listen to the speech, I think he is going so far to the left even Ocasio-Cortez has said that she’s been excited about he’s exceeded her expectations. So I’m very concerned about the direction that President Biden has taken because I think he’s given the keys to the car to Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and he’s just along for the ride.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)

I listen to Joe Biden and so often he says the right things, as he did in the inaugural, that’s not what he’s been doing.

On Biden’s spending plan

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)

Well, it’s $6 trillion so far, it would be in the first six months of his presidency. That’s a staggering amount of spending.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)

So, investments are going to be decked. Anything that you pay taxes on, your income, I think there’s going to be a death tax component to this, all of those things, the small businesses that just gets passed on to other people. It ricochets off the business and goes to people either in what they have to pay for products or what their income level is, so this is not something that is just going to be easily paid for by 1% of the people, regardless of what president Biden happens to say.

On infrastructure and American Families Plan

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)

Those are two different things. The infrastructure bill that the Republicans have proposed is of core infrastructure, roads, bridges, ports, airports, the things that Americans generally think of as infrastructure without all the additional liberal wishlist on top of it. What you just described here is the family plan that the president mentioned the other night, is the one that is really free of everything. And my big concern about this is it disconnects work from wages. It’s based on giving lots of people, lots of things, becoming more addicted to government spending. It’s not just a social safety net for people so they can get back up on their feet and they don’t fall through the cracks, this is very different than that. This is a whole new look at America.

On divisions in the Republican party

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)

2022 is the way to put down this administration into lockdown by taking the House and the Senate, and that is my complete focus right now. And I believe we’re going to do it, just based on how far to the left President Biden and the Democrats and his liberal group are trying to take the country. With regard-

Greta Van Susteren

Congresswomen Cheney from your state, she’s one of the few Republicans who voted to impeach. How has she been received back home? And do you intend to campaign with her or support her?

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)

She and I have very different opinions on impeachment. I voted against impeachment. I thought not guilty for the president, and she voted a different way.

Greta Van Susteren

But you support her, even though you have different views.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)

We work closely together. We are in a war against the Biden administration and their attacks on Wyoming jobs, Wyoming energy, Wyoming’s economy. We had the governor of Wyoming testifying this past week on the assault on American energy by the Biden administration. We need our full team on the field and focused and fighting against what President Biden is doing to our economy and to our state and to the energy security of this country

On the border situation

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)

The border agents tell us that they met with the transition team, the Biden transition team and said, “Look, if you want to protect the border, you need to keep in place President Trump’s remain in Mexico policy. Otherwise, there’s going to be a run on the border.” And we have seen that.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)

We’re on a path for 2 million illegal immigrants coming to the country this year. This is all of Joe Biden’s making. It’s a catastrophe.

On U.S. troop withdrawal in Afghanistan

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)

I think it’s a mistake. I think there’s value in leaving a core group there in terms of being on the ground and stability. I don’t want Afghanistan once again to be used as a source of the terror that they have attacked our country before. And I know that that is their goal and their effort. So, no, I think it’s a mistake. I think we should have a stay behind force there. Right now there’s like 2,500 troops there. That’s fewer than we have in Korea, in Japan, in Germany, so I think there is value in US presence and continuing to support the Afghan members of their own military.

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About Greta Van Susteren:

Greta Van Susteren is the Chief Political Analyst for Gray Media and host of Full Court Press. Ms. Van Susteren is a veteran of Fox News Channel, MSNBC, and CNN. Her prime-time Fox News Channel Show, “On the Record,” was number 1 in its time slot for 14 1⁄2 years. Before joining Fox News, she hosted CNN’s prime-time news and analysis program, “The Point with Greta Van Susteren,” and co-hosted the network’s daily legal analysis show, “Burden of Proof.” Her legal analysis for CNN’s coverage of Election 2000 earned her the American Bar Association’s Presidential Award for Excellence in Journalism. She continues to host the weekly 30-minute program “Plugged In with Greta Van Susteren” on Voice of America, which broadcasts exclusively outside of the United States.

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