Morgan Griffith Discusses the Presidential Debate and a New Coronavirus Relief Package


Live from Virginia Wednesday morning on The John Fredericks Show –  live weekdays on WNTW AM 820/ FM 92.7 – Richmond, WJFN FM 100.5 – Central Virginia, WMPH AM 1010 / FM 100.1 / FM 96.9 (7-9 PM) Hampton Roads, WBRG AM 1050 / FM 105.1 – Lynchburg/Roanoke and Live Weekdays 6-10 am and 24/7 Stream –  host Fredericks welcomed (R) Virginia Congressman Morgan Griffith to the show.

During the program, Griffith gave his take on the first presidential debate acknowledging that Trump got in the way of his own message by interrupting Biden when he should have allowed him the opportunity to ramble. He also discussed the future of a coronavirus package and gave his take on what would be financially acceptable per demographic.

Fredericks: Joining us now here on The John Fredericks Radio Network is the one and only Morgan Griffith. He is the congressman of the Ninth District. He’s a Republican in Southwest Virginia. Congressman Griffith, great to have you, sir.

Griffith: Great to be with you. Hope you’re doing well.

Fredericks: You know it’s great to be with you. I was a little fired up early because I was really upset by the debate last night between Chris Wallace and President Trump. And Biden was kind of a bystander as far as I’m concerned. But before we get into politics and the House and coronavirus package. What did you think of the debate last night?

Griffith: Well I think and only got to hear a little bit of it because I was on the floor doing some things there. But we were doing a nice send-off for John Shimkus who’s retiring. And he’s a friend. And I was there. But you know I think your analysis this morning was spot on. I wasn’t raised that way.

We scold my kids when they call each other stupid. Unfortunately, that’s just not the way I do things. And I do think the president got in the way of part of his message. I mean look he kept in my opinion, he kept Joe Biden and I think you said this earlier he kept Joe Biden from being able to get into one of those long rants where he doesn’t make any sense and starts rambling off on something that nobody knows what he’s talking about.

Because he kept all the interruptions. Some of them were necessary. But I think he probably went a little further than he needed to on that. I think you know the Telemundo poll that you just mentioned that is very interesting because Democrats have all been about you know trying to separate groups into different groups and then go out and get their vote.

They can’t win if they don’t get a majority of the Hispanic votes then they don’t win. And so I mean it’s gonna be interesting as we go through the polls in the next week to see what was the lasting effect of the debate. But you know I don’t think the president hurt himself with his base but I think that he had an opportunity to let Joe Biden step all over his own message. And Joe didn’t do great but the president kept him from actually sounding like he had no idea what was going on in the world.

Fredericks: Spot on. I mean that to me is the analysis of that debate. I think rudeness overtook it and overshadowed some of the more substantive things that we could have gotten out of it. So I’m just not in favor of it. It makes me crazy when it’s it’s not only done by both parties and it’s condoned.

And it was like, part of the shtick and it was just awful. So I agree with you. We’re in total agreement. I think the president made an error in judgment and cutting and kept cutting Biden off. Because between Wallace protecting him and Trump cutting him off you didn’t have enough time for him to say he would have eventually said stuff that would have made no sense.

And he got a pass on that. That was the second thing. And obviously my thoughts on Chris Wallace I’m not going to repeat those I think he’s a complete fraud and it showed last night. The guy is a complete phony he’s a political operative and he protected Biden. His entire strategy last night was to protect Biden. Do you think Biden is going to go with any other debates or do you think he’s going to take the advice of the Democratic operatives and bail?

Griffith: I don’t know the answer to that one. And I’m not sure Biden knows the answer to that one either. I mean it’s hard not to do additional debates and be taken seriously. But if they feel like they’ve gotten all their votes in which they’re out there working hard to get you to know everybody to mail in their ballots.

If they feel like they’ve got all their votes in and they don’t need any more votes then he won’t do debates. If they think they’re behind in their targeting they’re going to be ahead in the early voting because so many Republicans are going to vote at the polls. But if they think they’re behind in their targeting and what their numbers show they’ll do another debate because they have no choice.

Fredericks: So you think his next debate will be a function of where their voters are? What the turnout is with absentee ballots? So you think it’s it’s going to get be completely tactical decision Morgan?

Griffith: Absolutely it’s going to be a tactical decision. If they think they can win without doing the debates they won’t do them. Their calculus is they have to have another at least neutral debate in order to win, then they’ll do one.

Fredericks: Interesting. Okay, Morgan Griffith with us. Congressman Republican of the Ninth District Virginia. That’s Southwest Virginia and he’s up for re-election in 2020 on November 3. But he’s going to get re-elected because he has no opposition. Somebody would have to beat him as a write in.

And it’s not going to happen. So it’s going back to Congress. Let’s talk about the coronavirus package. Number two, do we have a deal or not? Yesterday it seemed like we did. Pelosi saying 2.1 trillion and talking to the treasury secretary. Again where are we with this?

Griffith: Well what they put out you know is not going to get Republican votes in the House. With that said it might be one or two. But they just slap something together. And a lot of it has to do with politics. They’re saving a little bit of money by partially defunding police programs in the bill. That’s not something that I can agree with. The other thing is that you know when we put out the CARES Act in the spring back in March, we had to act quickly.

We didn’t have time to crunch numbers and we came up with that $600 on top of your regular unemployment. What we saw in Southwest Virginia and Southside Virginia was that it was a too large amount of money you actually could make more money staying at home than you could by going to work. And that’s a disincentive to work.

And many employers want to keep good employees if they can. So they were like okay we won’t you know we won’t turn you into the VEC. We’ll just ride hopefully ride it out because it was not going to last that long. And if we continue that and this bill does that, that’s going to hurt jobs and hurt the economy long term in Southwest Virginia because there’s going to be a lot of businesses that can’t get their employees back. And as a result of that, they can’t stay open.

Now on the other side of that and what should have been happening if there had been real negotiations instead of political posturing by Nancy Pelosi for the last four or five months, six months. What should have happened was we should have figured out a formula that would have been fair to all sections of the country because I get it. If you live in Los Angeles that $600 added on to your regular unemployment probably isn’t too much.

If you live in New York City that may not be too much. but again it’s Washington and not thinking outside the box. And Nancy Pelosi is just like one size fits all here’s what we’re going to do. And it’s devastating to the economy in the rural areas of the country including the area that I represent to go that high.

As you know we talked earlier, I’d be happy to go with an additional amount somewhere between two and four. I  like two to three. but two to four hundred dollars would have made sense in my section of the country. But $600 is devastating to businesses that are trying to get up and running again

Fredericks: I think if you can get a package that can get another round of PPP checks. I’m not sure what they’ve done but I know that some people are hurting and might need them. But you got to get another round of PPP you got to tighten it up so that it really is for small businesses and we’re not getting the LA Lakers getting a $100 million or whatever they got. I mean that was just obscene.

Griffith: Or Planned Parenthood.

Listen to the full show here:

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