Former Congressman Pete Hoekstra of Michigan, now a surrogate for Ohio Governor John Kasich’s presidential campaign, appeared on Breitbart News Daily Tuesday morning to talk about the state of the race and also to offer some thoughts on the controversy over the possible declassification of material implicating prominent Saudis in the 9/11 attacks.
“I think the ‘28 Pages’ should be released. If there’s any material in there in terms of sources and methods in there, they can be redacted,” said Hoekstra, who was chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. “We’re now almost 15 years past 9/11, 12 or 13 years since this report came out. This information can be made public. The American people can deal with it.”
“It’s absolutely unbelievable that we have a President who’s now been in office almost seven and half years, and has never taken the time to even take a look at these 28 pages,” Hoekstra added. “He’s leaving for Saudi – he’s either leaving today or tomorrow, he’s gonna be in Saudi the next few days. He hasn’t read this. This is a firestorm, a potential firestorm, and he’s not read it? Give me a break. He’s going to a country that’s talking about disinvesting in the United States by $780 billion.”
Hoekstra went on to explain that the Saudi threat to sell off their American investments if the 9/11 documents are made public is hollow: “They’d have to go on some kind of a fire sale, because it’s not only Treasuries, it’s all of their assets that they own in the United States that the courts could lay claim to, if there was a judgment against Saudi Arabia.”
Host Stephen K. Bannon invited Hoekstra to make the case that Governor Kasich would make the best Commander-in-Chief among the candidates for President. Hoekstra replied that Kasich has “the experience on foreign policy,” thanks to eighteen years on the Armed Services Committee when he served in Congress.
“He’s served in a leadership capacity, both at the federal level – chairman of the Budget Committee — and at the state level, as the governor of Ohio,” Hoekstra continued. “And in those leadership positions, we actually balanced the budget, back in Washington in the 1990s. The environment that he’s created in Ohio, and enabled that state to come back — to prosper, to balance budgets, and to create jobs, and those kinds of things.”
“I think the other candidates on the Republican side are fine candidates. I just believe that John Kasich is the best candidate, and the most prepared to be Commander-in-Chief on Day One,” Hoekstra declared.
He responded to the criticism that Kasich’s continued presence in the race, with no path to victory, effectively makes him a spoiler for Donald Trump by contending that Senator Ted Cruz has no path to 1,237 delegates either.
“He’s going to have to become a dealmaker, if he expects to have the nomination,” Hoekstra said of Cruz.
Also, Hoekstra anticipated Kasich would do “extremely well” in the last round of states to vote in the GOP primary. “I think he’ll finish a strong second in New York today,” he predicted. “He will finish second, most likely, in Pennsylvania, and Maryland, Connecticut – a number of these states.”
He stressed the importance of a strong performance in these areas, because “we are not going to elect a Republican as President unless we pick off some of these purple states – unless we can, in November, pick up an Ohio, pick up a Michigan, pick up a Pennsylvania, pick up a Wisconsin.”
“You need to pick up one of two of those states, if you expect to get to 270 electoral votes,” he argued. “So we’re going to find out whether these states form kind of a sweet spot for Governor Kasich, or not. If they don’t, his case for the nomination gets very much weakened. If he performs well in these states, he’ll start closing the delegate count, and will make the case that he is the best positioned – not only to be President, but to do the next step that’s necessary, which is win the nomination, but then also beat whoever the Democrat nominee is in November.”
Hoekstra argued that according to current projections, Kasich is “the only one that consistently beats Hillary Clinton” in the general election.
Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00AM to 9:00AM EST.
You can listen to the full interview with Pete Hoekstra below: