On Wednesday’s Mark Levin Show, tonight is the first GOP debate for the 2024 election, and it’s being hyped as the most anticipated debate ever, even though most of the 8 people on stage are running to be #2 to Donald Trump. Chris Christie and Vivek Ramaswamy have been the favorites in the media because they are believed to be the ones who will do the most damage to Trump. We want a candidate with evidence and a record that we can trust, not someone who cleans their Wikipedia page and hides their history. Ron DeSantis, Tim Scott, and Nikki Haley are the only ones who will be on stage with a record of conservatism, some more than others, and far more than Christie. Donald Trump became active in conservative movements years before running for president, speaking with groups like the Tea Party, which is far from anything Ramaswamy has done. True courage is standing up to a corrupt DOJ, federal prosecutors, and district judges who are destroying our Constitution, not standing on a debate stage. Also, a private jet carrying Wagner group bosses was shot out of the sky with a missile, killing all passengers on board. This is exactly how Vladimir Putin takes out his opponents, and this was to be expected after they had marched on Moscow with 10,000 troops. Putin is a former KGB assassin, and this is right out of their playbook. Later, Mark speaks with General Keith Kellogg, Co-Chairman of the American First Policy Institute, to discuss his time in the Trump Administration and the events in Russia today with the Wagner group.
Photo by Win McNamee
The podcast for this show can be streamed or downloaded from the Audio Rewind page.
Rough transcription of Hour 1
Hello, America. Mark Levin here. Our number 877-381-3811. 877-381-3811. By the way, the reporting that Hunter visited 13 countries with daddy, 13 countries and I understand 147 hookers. Mr. Peters Well, tonight is the debate you may have heard. It’s probably the most hyped debate in debate history. Probably the most hyped debate in debate history. I don’t know how to fix this, but there’s going to be eight people on the stage and excuse me, and they really ought to be a way to. Whittle this down somehow. Chris Christie is there basically to throw as many turds in a swimming pool as possible. And that’s a big boy. So that’s an ugly thought. We’ll see what happens. But everybody’s making predictions. And I notice everybody’s telling the candidates what they should do. And many of the people telling the candidates what they should do have never, ever done anything politically. But so it does annoy a little, doesn’t it, that people think they know everything, whatever walk of life they’re in. I give you my position. I don’t know what they should do unless I’m advising one or more of them. I’ll give you my opinion, but I’m not cocksure of it like everybody else seems to be. And here’s one of the reasons why. A candidate like Ron DeSantis as an example, he’s not sure who’s going to come at him. They’re going to pile on how many different issues are going to be thrown at him, and if he’s going to have an opportunity to respond, you know, if he’s if he is the recipient of machine gun Kelly, that is attack after attack after attack after attack. He’s going to have to figure out how to deal with it. And that’s going to be the goal of some of them, because many of them are running for number two. They want to be. The first person in the second tier because they’re praying. They hoping they’re in this for a reason that trumps legal woes somehow take them out. So they want to be in a position. To take advantage of that. Period. Others are up there for reasons that only they can explain and not well. I’m sure Doug Bergen’s a great guy out of North Dakota, and maybe he’ll prove himself to be Winston Churchill. Tonight? I don’t know. I doubt it, but who knows? Asa Hutchinson is there as sort of a a weak sister to Chris Christie. Nobody’s clear why he’s there. Nobody even knows what he did as governor of Arkansas. In fact, the new governor of Arkansas, who is fantastic. Huckabee Sanders. She’s having to clean up a lot of what he didn’t. So there’s that. But let me go down them and tell you what I think might happen. Certainly not cocksure of it. Chris Christie has been heavily promoted by the media. He’s never come out of single digits. He’s gone from maybe low single to mid single or mid single to low single. And he along with Vivek Ramaswamy and I’ll get to that in a minute, are the favorite of the media, not just liberal media, but conservative media. Chris Christie they believe will be very entertaining. And for the left, they want him to destroy the Santos. Maybe destroy Ramaswamy. And I would ask you this. Is this what you want from a candidate, a guy that that blew out Marco Rubio by saying he memorizes his lines? I’m hearing that already from him and the attack ramaswamy like they don’t do any prep and they don’t have any one liners ready. Ronald Reagan had a one liner ready memorized. It absolutely blew away walter mondale. I’m not sure what’s wrong about memorizing lines. What bothers me is when people keep reading notecards. Art keeps shooting from the hip like they know everything. Chris Christie could be a factor in the debate. He’ll be a non-factor. When all these debates are done. He’s not likable. He’s not charismatic, he’s not attractive. His record sucks. The people in New Jersey will tell you his record sucks, that people in New Jersey will tell you when he came in office, taxes were through the roof. When he left office, taxes were even higher. Former U.S. attorney. He had a lot of influence with Trump. But now, because he knows Trump better than anybody else, he hates him the most. Well, he and Bill Barr. But you can thank him for Christopher Wray. Apparently when he was the head of the. Transition team. He never showed up. He’s a lazy bastard. And I’ll talk about all these guys, you know, who were running for president on cable. This is a guy who had a paid job on ABC News. And this is a guy who got paid a lot, I think, for a book that in its first week sold 2300 copies. He’s the most despised Republican running in the field. And I predict. For whatever it’s worth, that at the end of the debate, he’ll still be the most despised Republican running in the field. You won’t know a lot more about him. And those of you dislike him or dislike him even more. It Does he really does the dirty work for the media and the Democrats. That’s why they love him. That’s why they’re pushing for him. Now, this one will be controversial for most of you. Vivek Ramaswamy. They keep telling you he’s on the right. They keep telling you he’s a fresh voice. They keep telling you. That is not part of the swamp. So all those things are attractive. I suspect there’ll be some effort by some of the campaigns, some of the candidates debating. To put some actual facts on his blank slate because his slate isn’t all that blank. After all, he has said the damn nice things about 911, and then he blames the media. But the media, The Atlantic is a loathsome left wing operation. But unfortunately for Vivek, they actually recorded the interview, Mr. Producer, didn’t they? And they put the transcript out and he said about 911, what they said, he said about 911, because they didn’t really say what he said about 911. They published what he said about 911. And what he did was he was entertaining the possibility that there are certain factors and insiders that may have been involved even with our own government. And so we just don’t know. But of course, the main culprit. With the terrorists and the Saudis behind them. That is a very clever way to say something and not say something at the same time. He’s walked back two or three times what he said about Israel. Last week. Basically that Israel needed to integrate with its Arab neighbors. I guess he doesn’t quite understand what’s going on over there. We’ve talked about it enough. I could be dead wrong, but I imagine that the Senators and. Or Pence and or Haley. Well drive a stake through that. He did the same with Taiwan. He’s ready to throw Taiwan. So I think what you’re going to find is that he’s going to be questioned about. His policy statements and how effective he would actually be. I mean, he says he wants to get rid of the Department of Education. So did Reagan. You can’t just sign a document and get rid of a department. It doesn’t work that way. When he was on this program, I specifically asked him, I said, okay, let’s say you want to get rid of a whole bunch of employees and you have the power of doing it with an executive order in the federal government. And the Democrats say, Oh, really? Well, guess what? We’re not funding border security. One nickel. Or defense? One nickel. Now, what are you going to do? He didn’t have an answer. I think that’s the sort of thing that will happen. And I still think many of you. We’ll be very impressed. And even view him somewhat as a victim. That’s my guess. I don’t know. Let’s see here we have two Santas. Well, the media has basically written him off. They’ve basically said he’s lost too much support. He can’t fight his way back. Unless during the course of this debate, one out of eight people somehow he demonstrates that he’s the Babe Ruth of baseball. So they put to the test very, very, very, very high, almost impossible to reach. They don’t like dissent in the media. Many conservative hosts don’t like DeSantis. Many of you may not like DeSantis, and one of the reasons you don’t like him is you view him as the greatest threat to Trump, or you certainly did. And another reason a lot of people in the media don’t like them really. It’s nothing to do with Trump. That is a fantastically successful governor, no matter what you’re going to hear tonight. People speak with their votes and they speak with their feet. And in that sense, he is the Babe Ruth of governors. And in case of Chris Christie. But there’s a ton more U-Haul leave in New Jersey from Florida than gone from Florida to New Jersey, that’s for sure. Now, that said. You’ll have to figure out how to deal with a possible pile on. That is one candidate after another, after another after another, fighting off different issues. And it puts you in a defensive posture where you cannot define yourself and people are trying to define you. And I wouldn’t be surprised at all because there’s no prohibition that some of these campaign teams haven’t been working together. It’s quite possible because remember, a lot of them want to be number two. The wreck ramaswamy There was a big piece. ABC News told a number of so-called conservative leaders and conservatives in his inner circle that he was trying to persuade to support him that his number one goal is to take out the senators. Don’t yell at me. I’m telling you what he said. According to the people who were with him, including some donors from the donor class. Nikki Haley. I think she has a very tough road to hoe. I’m not exactly sure what lane she is in. She’s she’s better than Bush. You know, the Bush family. She’s more conservative than they are, but not by much. Not by much. When it comes to foreign policy, she’s a traditional she’s a Reaganite, as am I. But unfortunately, I think in the conservative movement and the Republican Party, we go through these cycles. We went through these cycles prior to World War Two and the attack on Pearl Harbor. We went through the cycles again in the 1950s with. Robert Taft. President Howard Tess son. Robert Taft always denied that he was an isolationist, but he was pretty damn close. And we have that going on today. I think it’s almost a charge Charles Lindbergh type mentality where they call themselves American deserters, too. Which is something that really needs to be defined one day. I’m an American first and I believe in the Constitution and liberty and the number one defense on the face of the earth. I also believe in alliances so we don’t have to have a draft, so we don’t have to send all our men and women all over the place because we have people willing to take on our enemies for us in an alliance with us. Alliances are two way streets or they’re supposed to be. We’ll see how she does. She could look. It’s possible for any of these people to be standouts. I just said it’s really unpredictable because of the number of people up there and the and the whole way this thing develops, it’s hard to plan. You can plan statements, you can memorize lines, you can have one liners, but you cannot control the environment. There’s just too many people there. I think Tim Scott has made it fairly clear that he’s going to be above the fray. And if people are taking pokes at each other, he’ll wait his turn and he’ll tell you that this is what’s wrong. This is what’s wrong with the Republican Party. This is why we don’t win elections. Because we’re too busy fighting with each other. I’m guessing that he’ll stand back and say something like that because I don’t think anyone’s going to attack his record. Honestly, I don’t think anybody really knows when it is. I’m just saying. All right. I’ve got a few more that be interested in what you have to say. I’ll be right back.
Nothing I say here, by the way, is going to matter one iota. Just giving my opinion on what I think might happen. But I’m already telling you, it’s almost impossible. I’ve been around long enough. People will say things to me like it’s a two man race here. There it is. You know, it’s there. It’s there that it’s never as people say. It just never is. And, you know, Chris Christie, it’s just very unlikable to me. He’s a big, heavy dude who acts like he’s Muhammad Ali. He’s a complete egomaniac. He was really a failed governor. He had is lucky he escaped from Bridgegate. Just very lucky. He took money that was for the various hurricanes there and so forth, and use them for tourist ads to promote himself. I just find the guy repulsive to me. I don’t think that’s a future president and I don’t think is the future of the country. I don’t think there’s any way he would get elected. And so now what he’s trying to do is burn down everybody else’s chances. I’ll be right back.
Did anybody read that Donald Trump’s life was threatened? Most of it. Did you see that? There’s not a word about it. Nothing. Not a word. We have this whole kidnapping thing with the governor of Michigan and. Couple of these folks already got off because it was a setup in many respects by the FBI. But think, as you will, the point is Donald Trump was threatened. His life was threatened. And there is no coverage not. All right, let me finish this before it gets stale, so to speak. You’ve got the former vice president in here. Pence. I have no idea why Mike Pence is running for president. None. And his H.R. Haldeman. Marc Short, has done grave damage to him. But Pence listens to him, and he listens to fools like J. Michael Luttig. You now say the 14th Amendment is clear and of course he’s right and Tribe’s right and Deval Patrick right and the other radicals are right. I’ll get to that, unfortunately, a little bit later. I have no idea. I don’t even know what he’s going to do on the stage. He’s going to dance, Mr. Singh. I don’t know. Maybe he’ll stand up to Christie and say, you know, you’re the new guy about this. Would TRUMP You know, I, I really stopped him on China. I don’t know what he’s going to do. But some of these guys understand that they have to make a splash noise because. You know, when you’re supported by three, four or five, 6% tops in the polls, you know, in the old days, you wouldn’t even merit a place on a stage. Period. Period. And I think apart from a couple of these people. Being honest, we don’t merit to be president either. You listening to my show? Because I think you want my take. I don’t think the greatest thing you can say about running for president is that you don’t have a record. I want to see the record. So we conservatives want we want evidence. We want something. Doesn’t mean you’re right. The most fantastic human being in the world. Why you clean it off your Wikipedia site. I mean, we couldn’t even get our Wikipedia site cleaned off. And it’s not because I’m running for president, because those bastards are liars. But how do you get that done, Mr. Producer? We weren’t able to get that done. Money is what society paid to have it done. And we’re not trying to whitewash anything. They’re flat out filthy liars about me, but not about Vivek. He just didn’t want you to know certain things. Well, what’s that all about? The comments on 911 are absurd. And then keep changing them, then blame the press. When the press is recording your comments and you can’t get rid of the Department of Education by snapping your fingers. It doesn’t work that way. I wish it did. I honestly do. That doesn’t mean you’re smarter and better and fresher and you’re not part of the swamp. It’s not the way it works. Unfortunately, you got to be really smart, strategic, build coalitions and then kill the damn thing. So pants. I don’t know why he’s running. Well, I know why he’s with vice president. He wants to be president. Not going to happen. Asa Hutchinson. I don’t get this guy at all. Trying to be a sort of a mini. Christie. You’re going to see in the him the candidate with the least amount of charisma. Period. Doug Bergen I have no idea why he’s running. He said he’s like he’s like like a billionaire. I guess that’s why he’s running. I don’t know. I don’t know. Now, what would I do up on that stage? First of all, I don’t deserve to be up on that stage, Right? I didn’t earn it. But what would I do? People keep. Again, it would depend on the factors. You got to be nimble, you got to be sharp, you got to be ready for anything to come. Of course, you’re going to have a couple of one liners and they all are even the ones who are going to talk about, well, you memorize your lines. Nobody memorizes lines better than Fat Boy. He memorizes lines all the time. Donald Trump’s a coward. What did I post today? Mr. Producer, I said. How many times will we ask Christie to come on this program and actually debate me? And I’m not even running for president. Just debate me. I want to debate you, Chris. He goes on my buddy, my Rhino friend Hugh Hewitt Show constantly because he doesn’t debate him. Come on. He’ll you know I’m right. All the rhinos are comfortable. There you bring Sununu is another one. Another one. But what can I tell you? So nobody knows who the governor of North Dakota is, and maybe you’ll know who he is when it’s over. Maybe you’ll love him and want to vote for him. I don’t know. And I could be wrong about all of this 100% because as I said, events. Have a tendency to take over these things, or if somebody says something and another guy gets a little upset about it or what have you. I do know this and I’ve said this many times. That stage will have eight people. Eight people, one woman. One black man. Two whose parents migrated from the country of India. And you will not hear the radical left media at all comment on the diversity of the people on the stage. They only comment on about the race of the people on the stage one when their white. But what if they’re not all white? What if you have an incredibly diverse. Group of candidates are debating who are running. They’re not going to say a word. Because have an old dumb. Stage five dementia. White guy. There’s another thing going on out there. They say Donald Trump didn’t debate. So they’ve already given an excuse to Biden not to debate. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s one thing not to debate in a Republican primary when you’re 40, 50 points ahead or whatever it is, and you make those judgments. It’s quite another thing when you’re running for president of the United States against another person, one on one. Not eight or nine of you on a stage going at it within the party, one on one. Do not let anybody try to persuade you that this gives an excuse to Joe Biden. Joe Biden, I predict and I could be wrong, but I predict he will not debate. Why? Because he’s an imbecile. He is a certified imbecile. And he’s gotten worse. We’ve gone to stage five. He was probably stage three when he ran the first time. And it’s gotten worse. This isn’t a joke. This is sick. It’s pathetic. And Dr. Jill Biden obviously despises her husband. You hear me? Media matters and mediocre, right? In fact, she may hate her husband. Because she knows better than we do. That he’s got the wits. Of a bowl of mashed potatoes. She know they know it. She knows it. We haven’t had that discussion of whether or not we’re going to debate. There is no discussion with Biden. There is poster board, paper and big thick Crayola crowns so they can draw things out him. So I don’t agree with everybody. I want to know more about candidates. I don’t want to hear that. I don’t have a record because I’m. Well, that means there is at least 330 million people qualified to run for president and have a record of serving in the government. That’s not that’s not. Good enough. What about Trump? I’ve talked about this several years before Trump decided to run. He became active with Tea Party groups. He would speak to Tea Party groups, conservative groups, the Federalist Society. In other words, he acted like he really wanted it and he wanted to really learn about it and know about it and so forth. Most of you don’t even know. What for next business was an. What he did and how he became wealthy. Again, this isn’t an attack. It’s just I’m sitting here as a voter and thinking through it. I’m a clean slate. Vote for me. No, no, no. Hold on now. Hold on now. I don’t know anything about this governor of North Dakota. Should I vote for him? He’s a self-made billionaire, I believe. Seems like a nice guy. You got to be able to do more than talk the stripes off of a zebra. You just do. Or the spots of a leopard. Laura the hemorrhoids off Chris Christie. You got to be able to do more than that for me. That’s just me. Just one person speaking here. One of the men who did the. Greatest job of attracting voters. Was Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 80. The same thing happened when he ran for governor the first time in 1966. He was an outsider. He was an outsider. He’d never served in government before. So why did you support a mark? Because. For several years before he decided to run for governor. He had spoken about. He’d campaigned for others and gave a national speech on behalf of Barry Goldwater. A national speech on behalf of Barry Goldwater in 1964. And that speech was so compelling. It was so poignant. It was so effective. But people wanted him to run for governor. Then really thought about it. It was the biggest state in the union even then. But they had had a Democrat governor for some time. So he ran and he beat the Democrat governor. By a significant margin. And I build a record for four years, the first term as governor of California. Then he ran again and he won by an even bigger landslide and a Democrat state. California was considered a Democrat state. He turned that state Republican. In fact, up until George H.W. Bush, who actually won California and squandered the whole damn thing, he and his son. And his top adviser, Mr. Architect, and the rest of us squandered it. They’re trying to distance themselves from Reagan. This incredibly successful governor. Decided after his term was over in 1974, really early 75, to run for. In all seriousness, in the Republican primary for president against Gerald Ford. He’s sitting. President Gerald Ford had never been elected president. He was appointed under our Constitution because Nixon and Spiro Agnew had to resign. In Gerald Ford. Was a very nice man, but he had the communication skills of Asa Hutchinson. And he was every bit as nasty as Chris Christie. And Reagan had to take on people like that. He had to take on the Bush clan in Texas. He had to take on all these rhinos. The Rockefeller Group in New York, the Scranton group, and Pennsylvania was one state after another. And he took them on and he almost knocked Ford out. It was about a hundred electors or I should say, delegates. And he gave that speech and people said after he gave his speech and forwarded it, they said and they said, we just nominated the wrong man. He runs again in 1988. He’s opposed by the same Republican establishment. Mitch McConnell never supported Reagan. 1980, Karl Rove was backing Bush. He likes to say in 1980, he was leading the campaign in Texas after Bush lost. That is provably false. Doesn’t matter. One of the great presidents in American history. He had a record. Winston Churchill had a record. He wasn’t interested in whitewashing his record. It was a strong record. It was a weak record. It was what it was. Margaret Thatcher had a record. John Paul The second had a record. Helmut Kohl had a record. I can think of no successful great leader in our country or any country that had no record. None. I’ll be right back.
I think we can only be able to squeeze in one caller right now. Let’s go to Tom. ABC, New York. Tom in New Jersey, go right ahead, please. Good evening. How are you? Well, thank you. Listen, I was I listened to you every night and I also worked on Sunday evenings a long time. And I just want to say I have a lot of respect for what you do on the radio. And I was quite moved yesterday when I heard you talking about your Uncle Mo. I believe your great great grandfather. My grandfather? Yep. Right. Yes. I spoke about him. My dad was a well, I’m a Vietnam vet myself where three generations of my family. But it’s very moved. My father was a World War two veteran. So what do you think about this election now? You have 30 seconds. I really do. I like run DeSantis, but I’m a Trump supporter and I know he’s not on the stage tonight. So what do you think about the debate? Yeah, I hope. I hope Ron does well, you know. I don’t. I believe in creative front Jersey. What is your take on Chris Christie? I do not like them. And I did vote for him because he was a Republican at the time. But I was very disappointed. Edmund is not. What did he do for you? He did nothing. Nothing. He didn’t do nothing. Nothing. He did nothing for that state, literally. I’m sorry. I got to run. I really am tired. Thank you for your service. What? Your father did it all. We’ll be right back.