This week Dan & Amy interviewed Paul Nehlen, a successful businessman who made a "six-figure commitment" to his campaign he said, seeking to defeat House Speaker Paul Ryan in his Kenosha, WI, district in the GOP primary. Nehlen said he was a big supporter of Ryan who sourced on Ryan after his votes for bailouts and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.
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Dan Proft: Dan and Amy, good morning. So the March jobs are out, unemployment rate ticks up a tenth of a point to five percent; 250,000 non-farm payrolls increased; 250,000 job increase average earnings up three tenths of a point; labor participation rate also ticked up a percentage point; I think it was at 62, now 63, which is why the unemployment rate ticked up a bit despite the 250,000 jobs being created. We’ll have Brian Battle on from Performance Trust Capital Partners at 747 to discuss, but now we’ve got something interesting happening just north of the cheese curtain, and that is this. A wealthy businessman who wants to spring a Dave Brat – Eric Cantor sized upset of one House Speaker Paul Ryan; his name is Paul Nehlen, and he’s running for Congress in a Republican Primary against Paul Ryan, and he joins us now. Paul, thanks so much for joining us. Appreciate it. Paul Nehlen: Hey, thanks for having me on, Dan. And you can call me Nehlen, by the way, just so we’re clear on who’s who here. Dan Proft: Okay, alright. Give us a little bit of your background, and the reason you decided to take up this candidacy, this challenge to Paul Ryan. Paul Nehlen: Great. I’m a manufacturing guy. I’ve been in business since right out of high school; started on the factory floor, worked my way up to running the business, and I’ve run businesses around the country. I was in charge of Europe, Middle East and Africa for a Fortune 500; I’ve got experience running businesses in Mexico and Asia and all over the United States, and the reason I’m running is, I was arguably Paul Ryan’s biggest supporter in this district. I punded signs, made some calls, I got people out to vote for what Paul Ryan said was his biggest priority, and that was getting people in Wisconsin working again, and that just wasn’t the case. He’s made promises to me and people here. He shook my hand, looked me in the eye and make promises on policies he would and would not support on behalf of this district. And we watched as he’s broken every single one of them. Amy Jacobson: Well, give me some examples. Paul Nehlen: I would say, first and foremost, the support of Fast Track Trade Promotion Authority, and this Trans-Pacific partnership that’s an absolute abomination for this country, for this country’s workers and specifically for the First District of Wisconsin. We’ve got a long history of design, engineering, manufacturing in this district, and the TTP, as it’s commonly known, is going to be terrible for this country. Paul Ryan has been its biggest supporter, biggest fan. Dan Proft: And you think that the idea of trying to expand trade into other markets is bad for manufacturing? Paul Nehlen: No, I’m saying the way this trade deal’s constructed is bad. I think we should be trading with partners all around the globe. I think when you got somebody like India, who has a 100% tariff on American motorcycles; Harley Davidson can’t ship motorcycles into India without 100% tariff, but there’s a 2.4% tariff coming back. That’s a huge problem, and as TTP lowers the bar on Made in the US content, Mazda, if you recall, a 65%, TTP takes it down to 45%; only 45% of the product has the Made in the United States to be marked Made in the United States. Dan Proft: What are other points of departure between you and Paul Ryan? Perhaps the most recent budget deal? Paul Nehlen: Absolutely. I can’t believe that Paul Ryan would fund the unabated immigration policy that Obama’s put in place. He has absolutely blown out all of the spending caps that we had, hard negotiated spending caps. Paul Ryan said – and I’ve heard it said even by people that considered themselves as conservatives, or fiscal watchdogs, as they referred themselves – they say “We’ve got these good things in them”… no, we gave away the farm in this omnibus. And we haven’t had a budget, I might add, we haven’t had a budget in this country since 2007. Obama will be the first president to come into office without a budget, be in office the whole entire time and leave without a budget. And Paul Ryan was considered this budget guru; that’s a misnomer. Beside you got a pile of money in front of you and you’re going to figure out how to spend it; does not a budget guru to make. Amy Jacobson: Well he’s going around to get around this time around, but next time the budget comes up he says that he’s going to fight. Do you believe him? Paul Nehlen: No, I don’t. I’ve heard that before. Paul Ryan has never died on any hill. Paul Ryan hasn’t gotten bacten on his knee on any hill. Dan Proft: And so, just going back here to the Paul Ryan record, if you had been representing the First District, rather than Paul Ryan, would you have voted for the auto bailout as he did? Paul Nehlen: No, I would not have. Look at how this worked out. I would have worked to run that differently. Paul Ryan has never met a bailout he didn’t like. He bailed out the banks, he bailed out the insurance companies, he bailed out everybody, and it was with him that the Jamesville facility got shut down. That didn’t have to go down the way that it went down. Paul Ryan was fine to go down the way that it went down. He agreed with Obama on how that all worked out, he looked at all the car dealerships that were closed, how that was done; you remember Cash for Clunkers. I mean, Paul Ryan went along with all of this stuff. All the shovel ready jobs; I’ve got a shovel ready job for you; build a wall; Paul Ryan’s got a big fence around his house. That has been authorized since 2006. Paul Ryan has been in Congress since 98. He’s been there for 20 years; that’s too long, that’s too long for any member of Congress. Dan Proft: Do you – I presume you’re a term limit supporter based on what you’ve just said. Paul Nehlen: I am. Dan Proft: Do you give Paul Ryan any credit for being a leading voice on entitlement reform and outreach to nontraditional Republican constituents that we will like to be Republican constituents like the African American community? Paul Nehlen: You can go to my website, electnehlen.com, and there you’ll find policy on that, but I would say it’s disingenuous of Paul Ryan to fund other countries’ initiatives, other things and gut social security. Paul Ryan goes after social security… we’ve got an excess of 150 trillion dollars of natural resources under the ground, gas and oil, and Paul Ryan would continue on a path of buying oil from other countries. We bought oil from Saudi Arabia, I guess. Let’s throw some rough numbers out there; $40 a barrel. Saudi Arabia sells to China $85 dollars a barrel. Do you know why? Because they can; and it hurts American manufacturers; American oil companies barely make 10% on profit on that. Dan Proft: So we’re talking to Paul Nehlen, and he is running for Congress against Paul Ryan, up in Kenosha, Wisconsin’s First District, Republican Primary challenger, comes from a business background, and Paul, it’s one thing to present a contrast opportunity, it’s another thing to run a successful campaign, right? So how do you put together the resources and the support that is required to make a real challenge against Paul Ryan? Paul Nehlen: That’s a great question, and obviously I’m passionate about this. I’ve been betrayed by Paul Ryan, and I have a long business history of hiring excellent people. I’ve hired excellent people around the country for business; I’ve hired excellent people around the country to run my campaign and to work with me on doing this. I’m just one guy. I’m a catalyst for this to happen. There's people around this country that are begging for somebody to stand up; stand up for what’s going on in Washington. Dan Proft: And are you going to be a self-funder? Are you making a big personal commitment to your campaign? Paul Nehlen: I’m making a big commitment, yes, to my campaign. Dan Proft: Can you put a number on it, or a range? Paul Nehlen: I would say it’s six figures. Dan Proft: Okay. I’m sorry, go ahead, finish your thought, Paul. Paul Nehlen: No, I would just say that it all comes down to three priorities for me; and you can read all this on electnehlen.com; reclaim Wisconsin’s First District for we, the people; stop Paul Ryan’s cronyism and corruption; and secure our borders and enforce existing immigration laws. Dan Proft: Alright, he is Paul Nehlen. Electnehlen.com is his website. Paul, thanks so much for joining us. Good luck with the campaign. Paul Nehlen: Thank you very much, appreciate it.