Monica Crowley on Inflation Nation, Hillary’s ’24 Revenge Fantasy

13 Jan 2022

CLAY: We’re just about to begin right now with Monica Crowley. She’s a former assistant Treasury secretary under Donald Trump. She’s got a column up about the idea of a Hillary Clinton comeback. We’ll get into that and more, but I want to start, Monica, first, thanks for coming on. Second, inflation yesterday hit 7%, the highest rate it’s been since 1982. How do we get back to the Fed’s targeted goal of around 2% inflation, and what’s the time frame that that might require?

CROWLEY: Well, hi, guys. Thank you so much for having me back. It’s always a pleasure, and it is an excellent question. You know, there were some of us last year who were screaming that inflation was gonna become a huge problem. I remember being on Fox Business; I was all over radio. I was not the only one, but I was certainly saying that inflation looks like it is gonna be far more persistent than what we were being told by the powers that be, including President Biden’s Vice President Harris, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and the Fed chair, Jerome Powell.

They were all telling us last year, “Listen. There is some inflation but it’s gonna be transitory. It’s all associated with opening the economy back up and all of this pent-up demand, but once that dust settles come the fall,” last year, they expected inflation to subside. Well, we have seen the exact opposite. And what we all knew that they either didn’t know or ignored is the fact that there was so much money that has been pumped down into the system over the last two years that of course there’s this excess cash rolling around the system that, of course, you are gonna have inflationary pressures.

They thought, “Well, we can continue to keep interest rates at record lows and with all this fiscal policy the booming demand will come back and help mop up all of this cash.” Well, that didn’t happen. Obviously, those of us in the Trump administration during the pandemic, the president made the very difficult decision to shut down the economy for a period of time, and so there was a realization that the government needed to step into the breach.

And therefore we had all of this emergency-level spending because we were in an actual emergency. Well, Biden and the Democrats come in January of last year, and they continue the emergency-level spending without the emergency. So they took a potentially inflationary situation, and actually made it come to pass and then exacerbated by all of this excess spending.

So what we have to do now, guys, is stop the spending. Thank God for Joe Manchin, stopping Build Back Better. But we’ve gotta make sure that both on the fiscal and monetary sides there is no more stimulus. No more fiscal stimulus coming out of the White House and Congress. No more monetary stimulus coming out of the Fed.

BUCK: Speaking to Monica Crowley, former assistant Treasury secretary under Donald Trump. She’s also got a piece today up the New York Post: “Hillary 2024 — with Biden and Harris Incredibly Weak, Clinton Sees a Comeback.” So, Monica, you and I have known each other for a while. You know the folks that can often formulate a consensus like this, even a short-term one in the media that even this is a possibility. You really think this is one that we could see in the long term come to fruition? There may be the great Hillary come back of 2024? I think for some people they’re gonna have nightmares if they think this is possible, but it will be entertaining.

CROWLEY: (laughing) Well, Hillary Clinton is a recurring nightmare, but it’s often fun to talk about Mrs. Clinton, isn’t it? Look, I have been talking about this woman for 20 years. She’s been on the national stage for 30 years. And I have just seen some moves on her part that suggest to me that as she looks around at the catastrophic collapse of Biden and Harris, and then the catastrophic cost of her policy agenda, disasters are in every direction.

I think her revenge fantasy is that the Democrats see her as the only viable option going into ’24 and that they will come and beg her to save the day. Now, it could transpire in a couple of different ways. I mean, she could run. I do think there’s gonna be an open primary, because Biden obviously is not running again. He’s already eating strained peas, okay? So he’s not gonna make it to 2024.

So she could either run in an open primary or — if the Democrats decide that Kamala Harris is far too much of a liability to continue — they basically have one year while this Congress is still in place because Congress has to approve any vice presidential replacement, to move her out of the way, make her an offer she can’t refuse, get her out of there, and then replace her.

Now, they’re gonna have the identity politics problem because Kamala’s a black woman and they don’t want to alienate black voters, specifically black women. So Hillary would have a challenge there to try to stave off a Stacey Abrams or a Keisha Bottoms or someone else like that. But Hillary is a fighter. And I’m telling you, she’s refused to go quietly into that dark political night. Her ambition burns as strong as ever, and I’m telling you, she is planning to bigfoot all comers to try to get that top job.

CLAY: This is fascinating to think about. You’re convinced that Biden is not going run again.

CROWLEY: Correct.

CLAY: Let’s presume that that’s true. When would he make that announcement that he would not seek reelection? ‘Cause there’s a lot of focus I think in the chattering class — including us — about when Trump might announce that he’s going to run again in 2024. When do you think Biden would announce, “Hey…” You know, he’s kind of a lame duck already. Presuming that the Democrats lose the House in 2022 and may well lose the Senate swell, what’s the time frame for Biden to say basically, “Hey, I’m done”?

CROWLEY: Well, you know, a lot of the Democrats looking at this scenario are saying he should not announce anytime soon, certainly not before the midterms. But even in the third year of his presidency, he should not, because he will be perceived as a lame duck and get nothing done.

CLAY: Right.

CROWLEY: Well, I have news for those Democrats. He’s already a lame duck. I mean, if Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema hold the line on Build Back Better and the big domestic spending agenda and the voting nonsense. If they hold the line, his domestic agenda is done from here on out, thank God, and certainly after the midterms when Republicans take control, as we believe that they will.

So I don’t think that is applicable, but I also don’t think he’s gonna make any kind of announcement before his third year in the presidency. If he’s not gonna run, he’s gotta do it for the party. He’s gotta step aside so candidates can come forward, fundraising can begin, and all of those things can happen. But he’s not gonna do it before that third year. The Democrats are in a real, real bind.

BUCK: Monica, do you think that they’re going to have to, just by virtue of the fact that they’re going into a midterm that everyone now thinks is gonna be a shellacking. Biden numbers are in the basement and feels like they might go to the subbasement pretty soon. Do you think they’re gonna have to back off some of the crazier covid restrictions and madness sooner than later, or is this what the base wants of the Democrat Party, therefore, they’re gonna keep this going deep into summer?

‘Cause I know the caseload is gonna start to lessen. We know the cyclical nature of this virus. But if they put the country through two or three months of suppressed economic activity and the psychological damage of more crazy restrictions, that’s going to be something I think is remembered this fall and is gonna be reflected in the numbers. So how do you think they play it?

CROWLEY: It’s very difficult for them to square this circle. They’re really on the horns of a dilemma. Because on the one hand they love the restrictions because that’s more power and control for them. And going into ’22 with mail-in voting and all of the things we saw come to pass last year as a result of the pandemic, they want to keep in place so that they can conduct their fraud and their shift and their shenanigans to try to mitigate some of the losses that are coming their way in the fall.

But, on the other hand, all of these restrictions are a huge drag on the party. You’re already seeing not just Biden and Harris’ numbers, but the Democrats across the board are really suffering in the polls because — number one — you’ve got this weakening economy’ you’ve got catastrophes in every direction. But I do think that one of the big drivers of that are these covid restrictions. The American people have had enough.

They’ve had enough of having to show their papers to go to a restaurant. They’ve had enough of their kids being pulled back and forth like yo-yos with school closures. They’ve had enough of being told masks work until they don’t work. They’ve had enough, and they’re ready now to live their lives with covid and negotiate life in this new reality.

And if the Democrats don’t change their tune on these restrictions and start lifting some of these things, I think that the losses they’re gonna see November are gonna be even worse. That’s why you’re seeing changing messaging from the White House, changing messaging from Fauci, changing messaging from the CDC. It’s not because the science has changed. It’s because the politics has changed.

CLAY: We’re talking to Monica Crowley, former assistant Treasury secretary under Donald Trump. You mentioned the idea of Hillary Clinton even potentially getting slid in as the vice president. That would require Kamala Harris giving up the office. Do you think there’s any chance that she would accept a Supreme Court appointment in the event that Stephen Breyer decided to step down, as many in the Democratic Party are trying to pressure him to do this summer?

CROWLEY: Well, this is one of the reasons why I wanted to write the column that appears in today’s New York Post, and you can see it all across my social media — Twitter, Gettr , Instagram. I posted it everywhere. They are going to have to make Vice President Harris an offer she can’t refuse because she’s also not gonna go quietly into that political night. So unless they have some compromising material or something on her to get her out, she is not gonna go quietly.

If she stays and runs, she’s gonna sink like a stone like she did in the 2020 cycle. They could offer her, as you suggest, something different that is perceived as a lateral move, and the Supreme Court would be considered a lateral move from the vice presidency. So they could convince her to do that. But again, they’re gonna have to do this in the next 12 months — actually the next 11 months — while they still have control of the Congress to try to get a replacement approved.

Because once Republicans gain control, it’s game over. I mean, if they presently Hillary Clinton to a Republican House (laughing), forget it! It’s not gonna happen. So all of these dominoes are gonna have to fall pretty soon if this scenario is gonna take place — and if it doesn’t, they’re gonna be stuck with Kamala running for president, and that is gonna be a death knell for them.

BUCK: Monica Crowley, everybody. Check out today. Hillary 2024. She’s got a piece up there. Follow Monica on Twitter. Monica Crowley, my friend, good to have you. Thanks for being here with us.

CROWLEY: Always a pleasure. Thanks, guys.

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