Liz interviews Sean Spicer, host of The Sean Spicer Show, discussing his move from cable news to new media, the challenges of Republican election strategies, and upcoming Republican primary debates.
Spicer explains his shift to new media due to the need to reach a younger audience beyond cable news. He emphasizes the importance of influencing younger demographics and acknowledges the growing impact of alternative media personalities.
Spicer also delves into the dynamics of Republican primary debates and the strategies candidates should employ. He highlights the significance of understanding delegate math and early state wins. He cites DeSantis as having a strong strategy, emphasizes the crucial role of ground activities like voter registration and engagement, and criticizes the focus on TV ads over critical infrastructure.
Spicer mentions the RNC’s “Bank Your Vote” initiative, which encourages early voting to streamline campaign resources. He discusses the discrepancy between public opinion favoring conservative issues and election outcomes, attributing it to strategic missteps.
Regarding the upcoming Republican primary debate, Spicer expects Vivek Ramaswamy to perform well, anticipates Pence facing questions about January 6th, and considers DeSantis a wild card due to his image. He contemplates the impact of the debate on DeSantis’ candidacy and discuss post-debate analysis plans.
The interview concludes with a comparison to 2016 primary debates and Liz expressing excitement for the new show and the insights it will bring to the conservative movement.
This transcript was generated automatically and may contain typos, mistakes, and/or incomplete information.
Okay. This is who we’re gonna talk to today. We’re gonna talk to Sean Spicer. We’re gonna talk about his work schedule when he was press secretary. We’re gonna talk about new media versus cable news ’cause he just left Newsmax. We’re gonna talk about the rules of elections that we Republicans are terrible at. It’s one of the reasons Democrats keep beating us in elections. We’re gonna talk about the upcoming Republican primary debates, and we’re gonna talk about his new show. And he’s with me right now, Sean Spicer. He has a new show called the Sean Spicer Show, very aptly named. congratulations on your new show. It’s awesome. What’s it gonna be about?
Thank you. I appreciate it. Excited to join you on the first and and be streaming everywhere. So, yeah, it’s, look, the the way I look at this is we, we are facing a historic election. Trump’s trying to come back. We’ve got all of this weaponization of the judicial system. Biden’s clearly not ready for a second term. And I think what I’m trying to do is use my years of expertise in politics. , ironically going on 30 years this year to really break down for people what’s going on. Because I think part of the problem sometimes is people really want change, Liz. And it’s making sure they understand the rules. there’s so many times when it’s, I will explain to people, I get what you’re trying to do. The rules just don’t permit that. Or Here’s why the network’s doing this, or the RNCs doing that, or the state law won’t permit it. And part of what I’m trying to do is to make sure we equip everybody with an understanding of how the game is played so that we can affect real change.
Yeah. And this is one of the most interesting parts. So a little confession to my audience. I, of course knew what Sean show was going to be about, because Shawnee is one of my resources. When we talk about the rules, it’s not just in an election, you’re not just trying to win public opinion. You have to operate by the rules of the game. Sometimes those rules are convoluted. Sometimes we as voters don’t get to take part in them that it’s just delegates or the RNC or whoever it might be, states that change these rules. It can be pretty confusing. And he’s one of my resources when whenever we talk about this stuff. it’s funny too, because I’ve been joking with you, I can be kind of critical of other people’s shows. I think everybody that hosts their own show is critical of other people’s shows,. And I asked you, I was like, am I gonna like your show? Am I, am I gonna li am I gonna wanna listen to it?
True confession. You know, like you started with I had sought out your advice on how you had gone into this and what you had how you had transitioned from o a n over to this world of streaming. And you gave me a lot of great advice, and I think I took enough of it, that you should be proud of of final product..
Well that remains to be seen, John. The show hasn’t launched yet, so I’ll get back to you. I’ll get back to you after next week when it’s on. The trailer is very good. Trailer’s good.
The trailer’s so good. It’s, it’s legitimately a cool trailer. But this is an interesting conversation. You and I have talked endlessly about this offline, but we both came from a cable news background before transitioning to what I call new media, which is a podcast platform. And it’s an interesting split in the commentary world between people who prefer cable news and people who prefer new media. And there’s always a lot of like, intrigue and drama and curiosity when someone makes the jump from one to the other either way. So talk to me about your decision to move away from cable news to new media. what prompted this? It can be a risky decision. Why are you doing this?
Yeah, it is a risky decision, but hopefully it’s one that pays off. Well, number one, I think it’s the future. 32% of Americans now, you know, are subscribed to cable television or satellite. I mean, the number keeps going down every year. So the, your people who are there are clinging onto a legacy dying model. that’s number one. Number two is that there’s a level of independence. Being able to do your own show, we answer to ourselves. we either live or die on the number of people who choose to, who subscribe to it, who watch us. If you don’t like us, you don’t subscribe to it, you don’t watch the show. We know that every single day we know what we’re doing. Well, we don’t, what we’re not doing well. I’ve been testing content all summer long and asking for feedback from people on locals and Sean spicer.locals.com and saying, tell us what you want more of, what you want.
Less of trying to break things down in issues that people care about. So to me, this is, this is the future of where things are headed. and and it gives you the freedom to talk about subjects, interview guests, and not be constrained by, you know, six minute blocks and say, Hey, that’s a really interesting conversation. I’m glad we’re done. After five minutes and 40 seconds, we have to go to commercial break. And I think a lot of times these conversations are fantastic. I had one on my YouTube channel the other day with Dr. Robert Malone. It was about an hour long, and it was just absolutely fascinating. It was great that we got to have that conversation without constant interruptions or saying, okay, the only thing is the news of the day. It was an opportunity to really get deep into something.
And I look forward to that. you know, especially so many of these things that we talk about, Liz, you and I, how many times did the conversation go on 20, 30 minutes? Because it’s delving deep into, it’s peeling that onion back and saying, what is this really about? How do we affect change by, you know, understanding? Where did that rule come from? Why is this in place? Why is that done this way? And most of these answers don’t take place in four minutes or less. so having a format to really delve into these things is, I think, critical.
Yeah, and one of the things for me that was one of the driving points of making this decision was the genera, I almost call it generational neglect. It’s not just generational difference, but if we’re gonna be competing for the minds of any generation that’s younger than boomers, and I love boomers, I mean this with no disrespect, then we have to be where the young people are. And the repub, the Republican party in general, conservative commentators, we’ve lived for so long on talk radio, which does, it can have a younger audience, but on cable news that young people are getting their news from social media primarily. And conservatives don’t compete the same way that that the Left is saturating that area.
Look, I mean, you think about it where, where people want to get their news when they want, where they want, they want. So if we can offer them a platform where they can say, great I’m going for my morning run. I’m gonna go for a drive in the afternoon. I, and I gotta wa get home from work, or I’m going somewhere and I can click on the Liz Wheeler Show or the Sean Spicer show. that’s fantastic. And we don’t get constrained to a, in a time slot on a news program where the only way they can watch it is live or DVRing it and then going home and watching it you know, off of their D V R. So for, for us, this is an opportunity to reach people where they are. And you’re right about the demographic. It’s getting younger.
The average age of a Newsmax viewer was almost 70, 70 years old. And that tracks Fox and CNN as well. And so the idea of reaching beyond that is critical. And that’s where I think if we’re gonna tar start changing a lot of the minds, I mean, you know, we do very well on the conservative spectrum from people over 60 years old, but we’re getting killed on the younger end. And I think we have a real opportunity there to bring ideas and thoughts and in understanding of the process to them in a way that they don’t. So I think you’re absolutely right. It’s about figuring out ways to get ahead of the curve and reach people where they are in, in different demographics than just sitting on cable. And again, there’s a, there’s a place for that. I’m not dismissing it, but I I think it is a dying, a dying platform.
Yeah, it is. And it can be hard to say that because there’s almost leftover this idea of leftover prestige that comes with cable news that people are like, oh, wow, you’re on TV at 8:00 PM or whatever time it is. And
I was gonna say, the the other thing that’s really interesting, Liz and I do this little test all, all the time when I talk to folks they’ll, they’ll talk about people they see on on Fox or CNN or something like that. And then I’ll say to them, do you know who Patrick Beda is? Do you know who Tim Pool is? Do you know Liz Wheeler? Do you know Dana Lash? And you know, Dave Rubin. And a lot of times I’ll get people who are like, scratch their head and I’ll go, see, this is the problem. The people that are actually influencing people, you and Dave Glen Beck, Dan Bonino, all these folks who are on these platforms now, it’s like there’s a whole world of the legacy media that don’t acknowledge that that ecosystem exists. And that’s part of the problem is that the ideas are being shaped.
And when you ask, if you took the five names that I just mentioned and told any candidate in the Republican field that they could have those channels from now until primary day, they would jump at that over saying, over maybe say, taking over Fox News because the activists in the movement are watching you. They’re watching Dave Rubin, they’re watching Bina, they’re watching Patrick they’re watching Tim Pool every night. And that’s where I think there’s a disconnect between understanding, to your point where this demographic is where the activists are in the movement and where I think a lot of people think they’re,
Yeah, definitely. And speaking to that, it’s actually funny as we as this primary ramps up what you say, I mean, we don’t always talk about the behind the scenes stuff in this respect. ’cause I don’t wanna betray people’s privacy. But you, anytime we talk about any one of these candidates, if we’re critical, if we propose ideas, we almost always people reach out from that camp because they know what kind of influence me saying, or, you know, next week you saying this stuff on these platforms is going to have, and it’s kind of interesting because when you work for a cable news network, that type of feedback, now it can be positive or negative, it can be pushback, it can be influence pedaling, you know, whatever. You kind of laugh at it all in a good natured way, but it’s filtered through the top at a cable news network. But when you are the CEO of your own show, the way that I am with mine and you are with yours now, you get to deal with that directly and it is actually more influential.
Absolutely. And you’re absolutely right. I mean, I made a comment about one of the candidates and I thought they and I’ve been trying to call balls and strikes, Hey, I think this one did something really well. This one, this didn’t go well. And one of the candidates came into you and said, you know what’s up with this? And I was like, you know, before they would’ve called the CEO of newsmax or the editorial one of the top, you know, folk, and and they let it be known that they didn’t like my critique. And I said, wait a second, it’s fair. I I’m telling you why I don’t like it. It’s not personal. I’m not saying I don’t like you or that you’re a bad person. I think this tactic was wrong. And it’s, it’s a much more engaging. and I can tell, okay, wow, I struck a courage, I struck a note, struck a note here, right?
In just these videos that people are watching that they can spread because they’ll find something interesting in something that I discuss about the process or why it’s working the way it is, or how do you actually wanna affect change? Here’s what you can really be doing. but the candidates, you know, and their seniors folks take note of that because they’re like, oh gosh, now our, you know, you’ve let the cat out of the bag or you’ve really critiqued something that we didn’t want people to see because no one on cable news was gonna touch it.
Yeah. And I love it. I mean,, you know, I I’m loyal to no candidate and critical of them all, politicians by nature. it’s also been interesting to see the evolution. I assume this will be the same for you, but when I left O A N and announced that I was going independent and starting this show, I got support. But I would say there was a lot of people, especially in the industry behind the scenes, that questioned why I did what I did. Either questioned why I left o a n or questioned why I didn’t go to one of the other big networks. They’re like, Ooh, independent, that’s a pretty big risk, Liz, are you sure you wanna do that? Well, fast forward two and a half years and these same people that were pretty skeptical of me launching will reach out to me.
This happens all the time on a weekly basis now, saying, how do, how do I get what you have? How do I build this? How do I do this? Because this is so cool and this evolution, I mean, I don’t say this to pat myself on the back. I say this because it shows the shift from the old mindset, the cable news mindset to the new media and people, they’re not, they’re not just recognizing that it’s a cool gig, which it is. And I’m very proud of that. But they’re also recognizing that this is where the influence is going to be. And that’s why we’re in the business. Like we’re not in the business to be famous for fame sake. We’re not in the business just to just to be wealthy, maybe to provide for our family. Sure. We’re in this because believe in what we’re talking about.
We’re trying to change people’s minds and the whole conservative movement starting to understand that. But let me shift topics on you a little bit ’cause I could talk about this new media versus old media all day long. I think it’s fascinating, but there’s a question that I wanna ask you about your job as Press Secretary during the Trump administration. People often I think ask you about Trump when they ask you about your job as Press Secretary. And I have a question that has nothing to do with Trump that I’ve always wondered about the job of a press secretary. What is the work schedule like? Like what time do you start work? What time do you end work? Like what does that look like on a day-to-day basis?
It’s a great question, but I think it very d a difference between administration depending on the expectation. I mean, I think Grin Jumpier probably gets around, you know, 1130 and leaves at two. but I, you know, she’s just, she’s trying to stay a little longer than the boss. with Trump, it was, I was up at five. I tried to get in real early and then we had this small little gym for senior staff. And I mean, it was like a hotel gym that, you know, that kind of thing where you could couple machines. And I would get in there and workout. When I say workout, I would like go back and forth on a machine for like 40 minutes just to get some exercise. But I would be reading and we had a TV up and I’d kind of flip through the morning and that was how I started.
And I would be in the office by about seven 15. and then we would just, we would start doing early briefings. they’d gimme the first pass at what was done, what were the big headlines, what was running on social media, what the morning shows had been talking about. And we’re trying to go, okay, I need more information on that. Get somebody from Ledge Affairs to brief me on that. And he’s someone from the council’s office to come down on this. and so the morning was spent generally trying to get prepared for a briefing. and then they would be interacting with the president where I’d say, okay, Mr. President, here’s, here’s what I think about 70% of the questions are gonna be about. And that’s where I think you aim to get between 70 and 80% of the questions. You would pretty much know where they were gonna go based on social media, headlines, inquiries, et cetera.
And so I’d go back and forth with him for a couple hours, usually, no, not an entire, but I mean, I’d give him a, a run at what I had. He’d tell me yes or no, go get some more information on this, tweak that, or I don’t want you saying that. And then you do a briefing or do whatever, you know. And then basically the afternoon is catching up, having some meetings. and then based on his schedule, I’d say I was out between earliest 7, 7 30, latest 9, 9 30. And then one thing I’ll tell you is that’s brutal. So Saturdays Saturdays were a day in the office for me. That was sort of my, sort of catch up off a day. and what I would do is try to, and especially, he obviously plays golf a lot. That was when he plays golf. And unfortunately he plays really quick. But I knew for that like about two and a half hours to myself. And then tried to get out of there at a decent hour on a Saturday, Sunday was my one day that I tried to work from home. ’cause you’re never getting a day off. It’s just a question of whether you worked from the office or not. And so that was, that was pretty much it. it’s the kind of job where you can be at home, but you’re never off.
Well, it sounds like you’re really prepared for hosting your own show, because that sounds pretty similar to what your schedule’s gonna be starting, starting this time next week. So let’s talk about the rules. So I’m very, I’m very interested in the rules as they pertain to what happened in 2020, what happened in 2022. And of course, obviously what’s going to happen in 2024. One of the things that I’ve noticed, I also, this is not just my critique of other people. I also oftentimes forget that it’s not just about winning public opinion. It’s about playing within the bounds of sometimes convoluted, sometimes outright unfair rules. But I wanna ask you a very open-ended about a open-ended question about electoral chances. I know it’s too early in a sense to predict which candidate has the best electoral chance, but what are these candidates right now at this point in the race? And I’m talking about the Republican primary can candidates, I suppose we could be talking about R F K and Biden if there’s something interesting there too. But what are they thinking about this early when it comes to what electoral math they might need to win?
It’s an interesting question. ’cause at this point they’re not, they’re thinking about what is the delegate math to win the nomination. it takes roughly 1400 and that 14 to 1500, that number shifts depending on the cycle. the RNC guidance usually comes out around October when they allocate all of the delegates to the various states and territories. But for right now, if you are say Ron DeSantis or Swami, you don’t, you’re not thinking about delegate, I mean, electoral math in terms of Pennsylvania and Georgia and Arizona and how to get to two 70 because you’ll never get to two 70 if you don’t become the nominee. So the only thing they’re worried about is how am I getting that nomination? And one of the things that I’ve, I’ve tried to tell people over and over again in the last few months is understanding that is critical.
One of the big things that was interesting in Iowa in 2015 is that Trump did very well in Iowa, but Cruz walked away with all the delegates. Similarly, Trump got 23% in South Carolina and took all the delegates because it’s understanding how the state allocates its delegates in most states, actually not most every state has what they call a threshold. Sometimes it’s as low as 5%, it’s as high as 20. And the Trump campaign has been pushing it to be much high, you know, as high as 20 in, in all the states that will accept that. What that means is that if you go into, say hypothetically South Carolina, if you don’t get whatever they set that bar at, let’s say it’s 20%, if you don’t get 20% of the delegate or or the vote, you get no delegates. So for example, if there’s five candidates, they all get 15, four of ’em get 15%, Trump gets 25%.
And pardon my math, if that didn’t work out, but you get the point here. if he gets one more than 20% and no one else does, he gets every delegate. So California just went through a big bruhaha in terms of how they allocate delegates. And it’s largely gonna benefit Donald Trump. If he can win the state with 50% or more, he would walk away with all the delegates without using a proportional system that they have set up in the various congressional districts. So it sounds wonky, but at the end of the day, it’s sort of like, you know, there’s a difference in football between kicking a field goal and getting a touchdown. Right? One six points, one three, understanding the difference determines your strategy on the field. And for a lot of these candidates who are running the first time, they get surprised by the rules because they’re so focused on meeting voters and getting people out to the polls that they don’t ever that they don’t take the time to understand the delegate math and how you achieve a win or what the threshold is in any given state or what have you.
So that’s to me, you know, what they’re focused on now. And it’s funny because you look at the DeSantis team, they’ve really gone all in in Iowa understanding that delegate math, how to get as many people to pledge to show up to caucus January 15th to caucuses as possible because they understand the need to do very well there and rack up some delegates early on.
That was gonna be my question is of the candidates, I mean, I think what seven or eight of ’em have qualified for the G O P primary debate debate thus far? I think some of those will have dropped out before, I hope at least before the Iowa caucuses. Which candidates do you feel like have an idea of how to play the delegate game and which are just kind of here for I guess popular opinion?
Well, I’ve been in, I was in Iowa the last few days. there’s no question that the Trump team’s strategy and ground game these v delegates has gotten tremendously better than it was in 2015. They really have some smart people on board and they understand what didn’t happen in 2015 in terms of mis misreading some of the rules and the lay of the land because he was a first time candidate. It was the first state that he competed in. but I think the DeSantis team, like I said, they’re taking this unbelievably seriously. I think there’s like a tier two, and the tier two I would put right now is Vira Swami Tim Scott and Nikki Haley. I think they’re all trying to figure out how to break out. Now their understanding of the delegates and the math is a little uncertain because the one other caveat is none of the states have to have that final plan into the RNC until October 1st.
So they’re basically out there practicing not knowing what the final rule is gonna be. And they’re just kind of, it’s like making sure you’re in really good shape before the, before the season, not entirely knowing what position you’re gonna play. So I have a feeling those, that’s kind of how I would group things right now, especially seeing how these guys are doing in Iowa and New Hampshire. Chris Christie’s strategy is completely to go all in in New Hampshire, hopefully do well enough that he gets propelled, but I still haven’t figured out where he gets propelled to because both Nevada and South Carolina, which are next are don’t really favor him. South Carolina, very evangelical, not really Christie’s strong suit. And you’ve, in 2015, the the from the Iowa caucus to Super Tuesday was 29 days. This year it’s gonna be 50 days. Why that matters. I always say that money and volunteers are like the gas in a car and a campaign needs those to run.
And you now added 21 extra days, you need more gas put in the car. And so if you’re not winning and accumulating delegates in the early states, donors and volunteers aren’t gonna keep giving you, I mean, people don’t throw their money away for no reason if you can’t win and volunteers, the people who get up early, they put up the yard signs, they make the phone calls, they knock on the doors. If you can’t show that you can actually win, they’re not gonna get up in the morning and do that. They’re not gonna go put up the signs. They’re not gonna talk to their neighbors. So, you know, if these guys don’t do well in these early states, in these first four states, I actually have a scenario that I put out a video on the other day. Well, I really think this comes down. There’s a strong scenario that I believe would be in place that shows this, the two person race going into Super Tuesday on March 1st,
A two person race being Trump in DeSantis, I assume.
That’s who I would see it right now. Now, is there a possibility that that Ramas Swami or someone like that gets propelled or Tim Scott or Nikki Haley because where South Carolina is, if they did a really, I mean, look, my personal thing is, I don’t see how both of ’em make it to South Carolina. At some point, somebody, one of the two says, I’m not doing that well, there, I gotta drop out ’cause I don’t wanna embarrass myself in my home state. And then I think either they put up or shut up in their home state if they don’t do a strong third or a second in South Carolina, the state that, you know, Nikki Haley was governor for two terms. Tim Scotts in his second term as a senator, if you don’t show that you can do well in your home state, it’s a pretty hard sell going into Super Tuesday saying, Hey, the people that know me really well only like me. Okay,
Yeah. The whole thing. I mean, if I were a candidate, I feel like I’d be very annoyed that some of these delicate plans don’t have to be turned into the RNC until October. It’s like, it’s basically like training to run a half marathon and being like, finally I’m in shape. This is great. And then the ref being like, we’re swimming today, we’re swimming and doing box jumps. And you’re like, okay, but I didn’t train for that at all. That’s, that’s or bananas to me.
You know, that it goes from 13 miles to like, Hey, we’ve changed it. It’s now not a half marathon. You’re doing 18 miles. And you’re like, that’s not what I trained for.
Yeah, yeah. Okay. So switch to the RNC for a second. And I guess this switches from primaries to the general election. So you also worked at the RNC, that’s where you were working before you were in the Trump White House. The RNC I’ve been pretty critical of the RNC, the last two election cycles, 2022 and 2020. They probably deserved criticism before that. But the reason that I’ve been so critical is because the Democrats out election year, us in 2020 and 2022 with their universal mail-in ballots, their drop boxes, their ballot harvesting, their get out the votes, their targeted recruitment of voters. And I understand that as Republicans, we don’t like those things. We, we don’t want election season, we want election day. But the fact of the matter is right now we have election season, we haven’t been competing, and the RNC hasn’t seemed to grasp that concept that we have to invest in that sort of infrastructure to actually compete with Democrats. Otherwise, we’re not using the rules at our disposal to win elections. Give me your analysis of this. Why aren’t they taking better actions so that we actually have a chance, especially when we have public opinion in our favor on so many of these pivotal issues right now?
Well, I think you’ve seen the RNC definitely get the message. they announced this initiative called Bank Your Vote, where they’re trying to get everybody to go out early, bank your votes. Because what happens is you may not like early voting, you may not want to early vote, but once when you do it, you relieve the financial burden from the campaign of the RNC. Meaning if I know that Liz Wheeler still has to vote two weeks out, I’m gonna keep calling her. I’m gonna keep knocking on her door, I’m gonna keep sending her direct mail communicating with her. and that costs money. And so if you are what we call a high propensity voter, we, in other words, someone we know should be voting and you haven’t, it’s gonna cost you money. And so the RNC has really in the last, in this current cycle, initiated this idea of getting people to say, when it comes time for election, cy Election Day Bank, your vote so that we don’t have to spend money and resources going after you.
We can go after somebody else who is lower on the totem pole, if you will say, of reliability. I think part of this, I mean, look for a while, the RNC led the way on this in terms of early voting, then there was a lot of disagreement within the party itself about whether to support early voting, whether or not we were embracing something that was fraudulent. As you know, there was a commission that that deemed so many of the aspects of early voting is unsecure, unsafe and vulnerable to fraud. And so there were a lot of people in the hierarchy that said, we shouldn’t be supporting this. and It took a couple cycles of saying, great, you know what? It may suck, but it’s, its the new rule. It’s the game. And the Democrats are beating at us that either we go along to get along, we cannot, like ballot harvesting, we can agree that it’s horrible and a bad thing, and that the unions in the Left do this thing and basically scare people into giving them their ballot.
But at the end of the day, in several states, it’s the law. And so we can complain about it, and then they’ll just run circles around us and take over all the offices, or we can play by their rules. And I think that everybody is slowly catching up to that you’re not gonna change it. Now, I hate to tell everybody, and I, like, I’m with you. I like voting on election day. Every state in the union allowed for absentee ballots if you were sick, if you were in the military, if you had a work requirement that there was no issue. This is a completely manufactured problem created by the Left to allow them to implement these kind of tactics. and we sat back in a lot of cases and let it happen. And now we’re, we’re dealing with the consequences.
So that’s good. I mean, color me skeptical because it’s like one first step, the bank your vote effort. Okay, that’s great. But what about this? I mean, you, you hear about the Left going into nursing homes or going into colleges with these voter registration drive just to these, these places that are packed with people and they just line people up to do voter registration. I don’t see the equivalent of that on the Right, even if sometimes pundits or sometimes politicians say they’re doing that. I never see the numbers.
But you’re, what you’re touching on is this is, and this is again, is kind of what I wanna pull the string on in this show. You, you used a word that it was really important. You said, I see the Left doing this. And you’re absolutely right. the Left is doing this. It’s not the DNC that’s doing it’s the Left, it’s all of these Soros funded activities. It’s these left wing union outfits and the environmentalists and all this stuff. It’s not the DNC. The problem that we’ve had on the, on the, on the Right is that you have the Left, the DNC shed, all of its responsibilities, it voter registration database. I mean, there was, it’s van GPN. The DNC doesn’t control the voter data. they farmed it out.
And so what happened is the RNC became the be all and end all for everything to do on the Right. Voter registration is an unbelievably expensive proposition. Sending people out, identifying potential voters how you have to conduct yourself in every state legally to ensure that you don’t violate this. It’s just an expensive proposition. And what’s happened is the Dems basically went out and found a bunch of rich people and said, well, you guys support it. So we can go into nursing homes and colleges and whatever. The Republican side in the Right is all into ads. I am a really rich guy and I wanna fund 20 more TV ads, and I don’t wanna fund training. I don’t wanna fund voter reg, I don’t wanna fund voter chase. All of those things that you’re identifying are critical to winning. And we’re having circles running around us because the folks on our side don’t wanna fund the critical aspects that need to get done to win. They want more television ads so that they can tell all their friends, look at the ad, it’s on my TV behind me. I funded that. That’s not gonna win. These guys are killing us on the ground, and that’s what we need people to fund is ground activity, getting people motivated, activated, registered, and turned out.
That’s fascinating actually. It’s, it makes it sound more like the ads are a vanity project. They don’t wanna spend money on invisible infrastructure because they don’t, it’s Notre not,
It’s not that they’re not important non stamped on it.
Yeah. But, and that’s the thing. It’s not that they’re not important, but that’s it. it’s sort of like anything else. It’s not, that shouldn’t be the Beall and end all. That’s not the most critical thing if you’re putting an ad on to persuade people to do something. But if they’re not registered, it doesn’t matter. And that’s where we’re losing ground.
Yeah, that’s really interesting. And I mean, as a voter, this is not even me sitting in this, in this chair as a commentator from just as a voter, as a member of the conservative movement, who is, because I’m a member of conservative movement, tangentially associated with the Republican party it’s frustrating to see, to see just strategically Republicans make choices that lead to loss. Even issue wise. We are winning on public opinion. I mean, we’re winning on public opinion on almost everything. Inflation, biden’s, botched withdrawal of Afghanistan just all the social issues, critical race theory and transgender ideology and parental rights, even abortion. When you pull correctly, like we’re winning on all these things, this should mean that we win in elections, and yet we’re not because of all these things. this is why I’m excited for your show, by the way, because this is what the Republican party needs.
This is what commentators need. This is what thought leaders need. This is what donors need. This is what members of Congress need. This is what campaign people running campaigns need this kind of, it’s really lessons, it’s really moving the curtains back and saying like, okay, this is the plumbing, it’s in the weeds, but if you don’t understand this, then your car’s gonna break down and you’re gonna be, you’re gonna be lost on the side of the road and no one’s gonna have sympathy for you. So as you can see, I’m pretty excited about this. I do want to ask you about the debate next week. I wanna ask you two things. One, I want you to give us an idea of what debate prep for these candidates looks like when it is the first primary debate. What are they doing in the lead up to this debate?
So look, in the first debate you’re gonna have as you, I mean, you said this a few minutes ago, and you’re right, it’s probably gonna be about eight candidates on here. And so you’re, you’re, you’re basically getting, you know, divide that over 44 minutes times two, which is two hours the size of the debate divide by eight. I mean, you’re looking at like seven minutes a pop. when y all is said and done. And so what are they doing? They’re trying to figure out what are my vulnerabilities? What are people gonna say about me that I have to be worried about? And you only have to worry about that if you’re probably Ron DeSantis, maybe Tim Scott, a little vivid. and Nick, I mean maybe Mike Pence a little, because people are gonna take, you know, some pot shots here and there.
Then more importantly, you’re trying to figure out what are those sweet spots that I can have alive? What are my zinger lines gonna be? What are the things that I want people to remember about me? What are the key takeaways that I want? Because when the debate is over, you’re gonna have 10 moments that people talk about that people are analyzing on television and online. And so you wanna be one of those. You wanna be the candidate that says something that goes viral, that gets a lot of attention that people are saying they want to interview you on the next day. They want you on their show, they wanna tweet about you. They wanna do something they wanna host an event for you. So you’re trying to think of like, what are those issues? What are those moments? What are the lines? So a lot of rehearsal where you’re gonna say, if I get asked about my position on that, I’m immediately gonna pivot. And I’m gonna say, you know, I don’t, you know, some, some killer line that your staff poll tests for you 12 times.
Interesting. Interesting. Okay. So opinions on some candidates, by the way, their performance on debate stage, some candidates are just more talented in that format. It’s not necessarily, and I know this sounds a little mushy, it’s not necessarily commentary on whether they would be good as commander in chief. Some candidates are just good on stage, it’s like a performance and some aren’t. What do you expect from these candidates? Like, who do you expect to shine versus who do you expect to struggle?
So I think I’ve been very bullish on Vivera Mu Swami. I think he I, I’ve watched him interact with voters. he does a very good job. He’s very on point. I will be interested to see how he performs. Does he have a standout moment? Is it good? Can he only do this as a one-off show, if you will, or can he actually do this? so that will be someone I wanna watch. I’ll be interested to see how Pence does, does he get attacked? He was sort of back and forth at the, in Iowa. People were coming after him for, for what he did on January 6th, and then some people were thanking him, who, who is the pence that shows up, I think will be interesting. and then I think DeSantis is gonna be the real wild card here.
What, how does he present himself? There’s a lot of questions about his image and how relatable he is. And so how he presents himself and comes across is gonna be something that’s intriguing to me. By the way, I would be remiss if I didn’t say this. we’re, we’re doing this call Liz myself, governor Scott Walker, who is the governor of Wisconsin, but also presidential candidate Mark Halprin on the morning of the debate in the morning after the debate, breaking it all down which is secondary to the show. But if you go to my locals page, sean spicer.locals.com, you can sign up for it. And we’re asking people to, to join the call with us every morning. It’s at 9:00 AM Eastern, and we’re gonna talk about what we expect before the debate and then after the debate, break it down and say, what were those moments?
How did the RNC do? How did the moderators do? What candidates stood out? Where were the missed opportunities? Who took advantage of stuff? And I think the cool part about this, and I’m really excited obviously about the show, but I’m also excited about these calls ’cause they’ll kind of, I think we’ll be able to incorporate them into the show. But the idea of like, mark is looking at it from a journalist standpoint. I was sort of the operative in the room, and then obviously Scott Walker, a governor who sat, it was on that stage next to Donald Trump in the 2015 cycle. It’ll be interesting to see, you know, his perspective. What did he, you know, you asked a great question. I can tell you from a staff perspective, but I think it would be, it’ll be really interesting to say to Governor Walker, okay, on the day of the debate right now, what would you be doing? You know, who would you be talking to? who, you know, how, how much on the offense did you be versus the defense? Because remember Scott Walker was really one of the hot candidates back in that cycle.
Yeah, it is fascinating because we look at it, well, maybe even I look at it as member of the media differently than you looked at it as a member of the staff differently than a politician. Yeah. Do you, this is the last question. Do you think that this debate is a make it or break it moment for DeSantis?
Oh, that’s a really good question. I think if he falls flat look, I’ve said this for a while. DeSantis has gone all in in Iowand I’ve been very impressed with, with what they’ve put together on the ground in Iowa. and people can’t under, like, forget, we’re talking 50,000 votes, makes, makes this in Iowa. so he says he is got 10,000 pledge cards for the caucuses. he’s been trying to visit all 99 counties if he falls flat on his face, I think that’s the thing. If he just performs, okay I mean, that’s it. He basically has more to lose than to gain. I don’t think he’s gonna come out of this debate and people are gonna go, oh my God, I’m with Ron DeSantis. I think they’re gonna be looking at him saying, is it worth sticking with him?
Yeah. Interesting. I’ve heard that question batted around on X, formerly known as Twitter. I’m interested in watching. I mean, I hope, I hope this debate. I know I can’t, I can’t. I have to, I have to call it that now. I love debates. I hope that there is e this one is as entertaining as the 2016 Republican primary debates, which may be the most entertaining ones of our entire life. Sean, congratulations on the new show. Guys. If you can’t remember the name of the show, just think of his name, Sean Spicer. it’s the Sean Spicer show. And Sean, we do one more thing on the show. Every day when I, whenever I interview someone, we watch one random video from the internet together to get our guests reaction. So I’d love to watch, and I don’t always know what it is either. Sometimes it surprises me. This is courtesy of our production staff. So this is our one random thing from the internet today. It is a guy who likes to make fake Republican rant videos, and this is his song. Take a look at this.
Okay. Sean, you first, your reaction, sir.
I’m gonna just try to stay positive. I think that look, in this day and age, if you can send a conservative message to a new audience, it’s something that you talked about just a minute ago, then I think that’s great. As long as you’re being tasteful and funny, then I think it’s a positive thing. So, thumbs up on this end.
I think it’s awesome. Listen, this is how, what are, what are young people watching? They’re watching TikTok and they’re watching Instagram reels and YouTube shorts, right? I’m all about it. Sean, thank you so much for coming on the show and I can’t wait for your show, the Sean Spicer show to launch next week. We’ll talk to you soon.
Thanks for all your support, Liz.