Haridopolos Kicked Off Conservative Talk Radio Show
This is awesome. Not ready for prime-time U.S. Senate candidate Mike Haridopolos is kicked off of Ray Junior's show for not answering yes or no to if he would vote for Paul Ryan's plan. Haridopolos won't answer the question because he knows that Ryan's plan to end Medicare would kill him in a general election. Junior, a third tier conservative talk radio host demands ideological purity from Haridopolos. This exchange shows how conservative media owns the Republican Party.
Conservative media will insist that Republican candidates support a budget plan that has no chance of passing the Senate or being signed by President Obama. Never the less, conservative media demands that Republican candidates support the Ryan plan. It doesn't matter that the plan is politically toxic to Republican candidates. What matters is constant political warfare with the Democratic Party. That is what drives ratings for the dwindling audience that is talk radio and cable news. Bipartisanship doesn't sell to the people that have nothing better to do then listen to people like Ray Junior.
Junior: The question is simple: You're a Senator today. The Ryan plan comes across your desk. Are you voting yes or no?
Haridopolos: Again, Ray Junior, I'm not getting into that today because it's not the vote that I'm dealing with
Junior: But you're on my show. This is the question I'm asking. We're trying to figure out whether we want to vote for you to become a U.S. Senator. Are you voting for the Ryan plan or not? This is not about what you want to talk about. This is what I want to talk about. I want to know: Do you vote for this bill or not?
Haridopolos: What I'd like to talk about is simple - what did I do in the state Legislature...
Junior: I'm not interested in what you want to talk about, Mike. I’m mention what the voters want to talk about. The voters want to talk about the budget. And I'm interested in what I want to talk about -- my show. Tell me: You voting for the Ryan plan, yes or no?
Haridopolos: Again, I don’t have all the information to make that decision yet.
Junior: How could you possibly not have all that information, you're running for Senate?
Haridopolos: Ray, I thought you wanted to talk about what we had accomplished, not about a hypothetical.
Junior: Your guy that asked for you to be on the show said “Hey, I’d like to get him on the show.’ I said ‘fine. Let’s bring him on the show.’ So I’m asking you that question.
The only reason people avoid questions like this, Mike, is because they don't want to be tied in -- when they don't want to actually have people see how they would do things. There's no reason to avoid this question. How could you possibly be running for U.S. Senate and not know what's in the Ryan bill?
Haridopolos: I know what's in the Ryan bill, but again, what you're asking me is a fair question. What I'm telling you is...
Junior: Ok, I'd like a fair answer...
Haridopolos:...A lot of people are talking about hypotheticals -- if they run, if they win. Let's talk about what I actually accomplished
Junior: Laughter... no, no, no. You're not doing that, Mike. Every single thing a person talks about when they're on the campaign trail is a hypothetical. A hundred percent of it. There's nothing that's not hypothetical. The only way we know whether it's going to be true or not is when they get into office is if they follow through on the things they said they would do. That's why I'm asking you: Would you vote yes or no on Ryan?
Haridopolos: Exactly what I'm bringing up. My point as well. I made a promise to balance the budget, not raise taxes, not raise fees..
Junior: Ok, does the Ryan plan do that? Does the Ryan plan do that?
Haridopolos: Look, the Ryan plan is what's in Washington
Junior: Ok, get him off my phone. I don't want anything to do with this guy. Get rid of him.
Update: Haridopolos' spokesman Tim Baker issued a statement.
"As Senator Haridopolos made clear in his statement, the current Ryan Medicare plan should be amended to provide for greater protections for seniors,'' said spokesman Tim Baker. "If the question is would he vote for the Medicare provisions as they are currently written without amendment, then the answer is No, Sen Haridopolos would not vote for the plan as currently written."
Politically, it is smart. Even Republican voters don't support Ryan's Medicare plan. Haridopolos can kiss support from the tea party goodbye. That maybe a good thing.