CPAC: Remarks of Rep. Steve King
Thank you all very much. You know, it’s always hard to live up to an excellent introduction, and I think I’m going to be tested in that regard.
Boy, I just really like being here at CPAC and getting a chance to talk to all of you. I draw energy from all of you.
As I come here and I listen to this introduction, I go back to that time, the test of the primary and general election to be elected to this wonderful honor and privilege of serving the American people in the United States Congress in a Constitutional manner. I looked at my Congressional district, which is roughly the western third of Iowa; it’s shaped kind of like a short toed boot, roughly rectangular, however. And my opponent said “well, we have the money, we have more political influence, we have more media, we can do all of these things.” And I took a look at the map and someone said, “Well, don’t you live pretty close to the center?” I took a nice straightedge on a scaled map and I drew an X on that like you would to find the center of a rectangle. And that X doesn’t come to Kiron, Iowa – which is my nearest incorporated community – it comes to southeast corner of Section 28, Wheeler Township, Sac County, and in fact I will tell you that X is dead center in the district right over my house. You could stretch a string line from corner to corner; you could drop a plum bob down my chimney. That’s providence. So I let them know, “Of all the money you have, you can’t buck providence.”
So now here we are today. This is going to be the theme I want to talk to you about: President Obama has lost his mojo. He came here as the President of the United States with all of this momentum that he created – and by the way the movement really started here in Iowa, more in eastern Iowa than my part of the state – and as he built that momentum across the country and he battled against Hillary Clinton – and Hillary Clinton knew more about health care then president Obama he did, so President Obama had to get his bonafides up for healthcare, and so that became a central issue in their primary campaign as they battled out in the caucuses and the primaries across the country. Obama won that, went on to be president. And he was elected and inaugurated with about as much political capital as any president in history – and I had a ringside seat to watch that happen. He had more mojo than any president I remember when he was inaugurated a year and a month ago.
But now, the Master Mesmerizer has lost his mojo. And if we stand our ground as constitutional conservatives, he’s not going to get it back.
Now here’s what happened. We’re a constitutional republic – not a democracy, as some would say, were a constitutional republic – and our Founding Fathers knew the difference. But we have faith – we’re supposed to have, at least – faith in our elected representatives, so when we elected a new Congress in 2008 to extend the majorities that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid had, and when President Obama was inaugurated on January 20th of 2009, I wrote before that election that if you elect President Obama, and Nancy Pelosi is Speaker and Harry Reid Majority Leader, you will have established a ruling troika in America. Those three people can go into a phone booth and do what they will to America and there is nothing we can do in the short term about it.
That’s what has happened. They are the ruling troika. You can call this ReidCare, you can call it PelosiCare, you can call it Obamacare, and I call it all those things but I also call it troika care. It’s the three-way ruling elite that’s now running this country. But we have – as American people – we have to entrust our faith in our elected representatives. And so, when we had the economic crisis that befell us, when Henry Paulson came to the Capitol on September 19, 2008, and he had his Chicken Little routine, and he said, “the sky is falling I need $700 billion right now to prop the sky up.” We said, “you’re in a different arena now.” But he made one run at it and we voted it down; he made another run at it and it passed, and Henry Paulson got his $700 billion in two different components, that’s when the American people started to get really nervous about what they saw happening in Washington, D.C. And then, along through that path of things that happened, we saw the nationalization of huge private sector entities, we saw the nationalization of Bear Sterns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG the insurance company, along came CITI Group nationalized, Bank of America, and now the American people are starting to think: what hath we wrought?
The people we put in charge are making decisions to punish the private sector and nationalize the growth engines that have been created by free market capitalism. But they trusted that their elected leaders knew more about Wall Street than they did. And now we find out that we know more about Wall Street than the people on Wall Street know about Wall Street. Unless it was their business model to game the taxpayers, in which case then I will give the nod to the Wall Street brokers.
We saw the nationalization of eight huge private sector entities, but I’ve only named six. Right after that came General Motors and Chrysler. Now, we may not know Wall Street, but Americans know cars. And we know that if you’re going to shut down 3,400 dealerships in America, and you’re going to ice out the secured bond holders that by legitimate right of law held that security for General Motors and Chrysler, and hand it over to the trade unions on the voice of the President of the United States, who fired the CEO of General Motors, and replaced and hired all but two board members of General Motors, and put in place a car czar that was 31 years old that had never made a car, had never sold a car, I haven’t seen evidence that he ever owned a car – but if I did, I’d ask him if it was an American-made car. And we lost faith in the White House. I wonder why. We knew more than they know. The car czar, 31 years old, that was kind of the end of the line for this leap of faith the American people endorsed the President and the majorities – the Pelosi and Reid majorities, the troika – with.
And now we’re bludgeoned and beaten by that, and we’ve watched, according to the Wall Street Journal, one-third of the private sector profits nationalized, within this last year and a half or so. And right behind that came $787 billion, an economic stimulus plan that was another blank check for the President of the United States to pay off his political benefactors. And here we sit today with an economy that’s spiraled downwards.
The President of the United States has concluded this – and he said this a year ago before a conference meeting with Republican Members of Congress –he said that the New Deal, under FDR, back in the Great Depression, actually did work, but it would have worked better if FDR hadn’t lost his nerve. But FDR lost his nerve and was afraid he was spending too much money and he pulled back. And when he pulled back in the second half of the thirties, then that’s when you saw unemployment go up and you had a recession within a Depression – according to the Keynesian-economist-on-steroids named Barack Obama. Well, I’m not a Keynesian economist on steroids. I’m a free marketeer. I have read every word of The Wealth of Nations, and I believe it! And they’re celebrating the anniversary of the signature on the economic stimulus plan, “Stim One”, and now they got “Son of Stim”, or “Stim Two”, they’re trying to bring past us again for roughly $100 billion. Are Americans nervous about all of this? Absolutely we are.
And I tell you this story because that is how we got here. We got here with this whole string of TARP, the nationalization of eight huge entities, an economic stimulus plan, and then on top of that we went right into – what was last summer, in July? Cap and Trade, “Cap and Tax” that you know. Now, sometimes leadership will give advice that will be, “Don’t argue the science, you’ve already lost that argument, just argue the economics of Cap and Tax.” Well I’ll tell you, if there is ever a premise that you disagree with: never concede a premise. Never, never concede a premise!
The liberals – the environmentalists, the extremists, the Al Gores of the world – were wrong on the science, and today we know it. And I have an Al Gore shower at my place and I took my drill bit out with an eighth-inch bit in it, and I drilled all the holes out so now I can take a shower in three minutes instead of twelve. Sorry Al. But I got a scoop shovel for you if you want to come to any of the fifty states in America. For the first time in the history of keeping records, there is snowfall on the ground in all fifty states. It is tough to make an argument when the evidence is all around us, the snowy white wonder in a crystal cathedral.
And so we went though all of these ramifications, and we came out the other side with this: the American people lost their faith in the government. They believed that they lost their handle on government, and they rose up. We had Tea Party Patriots that rose up across this country, the 9/12 group that met here last year. Go! Many other days. April 15th was another day. I was in South Carolina that day. I will never forget that – the opportunity to be there and be part of that – Constitutional conservatives stepping up to take America back.
But one thing that Sun Tsu wrote about was “nosce hostem,” know thine enemy. Now who are we up against? I want to define that enemy. They are: liberals, they are progressives, they are Che Guevarians, they are Castroites, they are socialists, more enemies on this list, Gramsciites, ring anybody’s bell? Trotskyites, Maoists, Stalinists, Leninists, Marxists. They are all our enemies. Who’d I leave out? I think I heard that. How about I go to: democratic socialists? And I’m going to ask you to go to the dsausa.org website and take a look and see what you find there. The Democratic Socialists of America. They are the socialists. There is a game plan on there. That game plan looks suspiciously like President Obama’s game plan. It says on there that they want to nationalize the major corporations and take them over. And they want to manage those for the benefit of “the people affected by them.” And that would be for “the trade unions” and perhaps “the customers.” And so when I asked Timothy Geithner in writing – it was part of a hearing we had, so he’s essentially under oath – present for me his exit strategy to denationalize these eight huge entities. Two months later this seven-page letter came back and after my lawyers analyzed it all, it came down to this: “Well, I will do that if the time is right, and I’m the only one who will know.”
This is the President’s plan. Don’t believe he ever shed a tear over nationalizing any of those companies. It is in his playbook. The Democratic Socialists of America is the playbook that I have seen unfold. I ask you to go to the website and address that. And I could read you some things off of that, but the big pieces of the Obama agenda have been: cap and tax, socialized medicine, comprehensive amnesty. I believe that any combination of those are transformative to America and debilitating to our liberty and our freedom. I want them all dead. I want to kill all those bills.
And by the way, I don’t want to meet with the President of the United States to see what other kinds of toxic stew he is going to serve up to us. And it is a toxic stew. They started out and they were going to cook up this health care for America, and so what do they do? They get a big pot out and they decide, “How do you start, with cooking up this stew,” so they reached into that fifteen-year old shelf and they pulled HillaryCare off of it – that big old tainted soup bone – they dropped it down in that pot and started to cook up this single payer, socialized medicine. Then they found out that the flavor was tainted so they threw a few more things in thinking they could convince us we ought to eat that.
And after all of these months of debate and negotiations, it comes down to this: if you start out with that tainted stew, there is no part of it that Americans want. We don’t want a pot full, we don’t want a bowl full, we don’t want a spoon full, a cup full, or any kind measure of toxic stew called socialized medicine. We want it dead. Throw it out and start over. And if the President of the United States wants to negotiate with the leaders of the Republicans – or if he wants to negotiate with the people who are leading philosophically among Republicans, or conservatives, or constitutional conservatives – here are the conditions, Mr. President: First, concede that that toxic stew has to be thrown out. That’s one. Second one is: this reconciliation package – the idea of running two bills through, pass the Senate bill in the House, and then the negotiated piece that is going on right now, in secret, bringing that through the Senate under reconciliation, which the Democrats called the “nuclear option” – now the wording is changed, “reconciliation” that sounds real nice and gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling, it’s the nuclear option, when they named it before. Passing that bill though and jamming this on the American people directly against your will, that’s what they want to do. That is what they are talking about doing. The President has got to say the whole package of Troikacare is off the list, and the nuclear option – the reconciliation – is also off the table.
And now Republicans need to make a concession. We need to say: our complete, holistic approach to this is a pretty big, complicated piece of legislation, however good the components are. Let’s also take that off the table, because we know what happens: if you have two ideas out there – and you got to put them together in order to get the votes to get them to pass – it probably says that those ideas are not good enough to stand on their own. I want stand-alone legislation. And I want stand-alone legislation that the American people can see clearly is negotiated in the transparency of the light of day.
And I want to start with this: lawsuit abuse reform. The trial lawyers in this country – some call them ambulance chasers, I call them trial lawyers – are tapping into the health care costs in America to the tune of 8.5%, that’s $203 billion a year, $2 trilling over the course of a bill, and the troika will not take one dime out of the pockets of the trial lawyers. Let’s start with that. Mr. President, if you’re serious about negotiating, then let’s do all of the things I’ve said. Take all of those things off the table, let’s set lawsuit abuse reform up as a stand-alone, let’s pass that, put it on President Obama’s desk as a measure of his sincerity in wanting to have bipartisan negotiations. And if he will not do that, I guarantee you we will get a lot, lot better deal after November, after the election.
Thanks very much, God bless you.