Why did Virginia turn so Blue? What was their GOP strategy?: We had the privilege of having Randy Forbes on the program today. He is an American politician. A member of the Republican Party, he was the U.S. Representative for Virginia’s 4th congressional district, serving from 2001 to 2017. We’ll talk about strategies and the importance of going back to the basics of building a strong political base from the grass-roots level starting with families. Tune in now to learn more!
Air Date: 11/25/2019
Guest: Randy Forbes
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith And The Culture
You find your way to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live where we are covering topics that are really at the hotbed of the culture right now. I mean, these are the topics that people are talking about, these are the topics you’re seeing on the news and while we do this a little different for most folks is that we actually address those topics from a very particular perspective. In other words, the paradigm through which we’re looking the thing that’s driving our conversation when it comes to these hot topics of the day, it’s a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective.
So when every issue that we address, every guest that we have, every topic that we cover. What we’re trying to think through is, what’s the Bible say about this and what’s the right biblical position? What can history teach us about this? What have we learn, whether it’s in the last few decades or in the history of the world and then what does the Constitution say about it? What’s the right way to look at this from a jurisdictional perspective in the American system, in our constitutional republic?
We believe and we think it bears out that when you take those three perspectives on any issue of the day, you’re going to find the right position on those issues and you’re also going to learn how to strategically, purposefully insert yourself into the questions and the discussions of today in a positive manner to have a positive impact in your community, in your state and in our nation.
So we appreciate you joining us for that conversation today. We’re going to have that conversation with David Barton, he’s America’s premier historian and our founder of WallBuilders. Tim Barton with us, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. My name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas Legislature. You can be a part of this team by going to WallBuilderslive.com today, click on that contribute button and make that one-time or monthly contribution. Those dollars go a long way to investing and preserving freedom for the next generation. We greatly appreciate your partnership in that.
Our Special Guest: Randy Forbes
Check it out today at WallBuilderslive.com. Click on contribute and whether it’s one time or maybe you want to do a monthly donation, give up, you know one nice cup of coffee a month or whatever you can do, it greatly helps us, we appreciate you being a part of the team. Okay guys, our friend, Randy Forbes is going to be with us later in the program, former congrssman from Virginia and of course, we saw the election results in Virginia, Republican Party really got wiped out there. I guess the Dems took over, you know, virtually all levers of state government after this election last month.
Yeah, there were actually five states that had elections to some way, shape, fashion, or form. You had Louisiana and you had what happened in New Jersey, had Kentuckian, you had Virginia and Virginia really got just plowed under from a conservative standpoint. It looked like all of Northern Virginia which is the DC area took over the whole state. It sounded like that when you see the results. When you look at the map, it’s really interesting that it’s a pretty read map throughout the election except just in a couple areas, but that was enough to shift the balance of power in Virginia.
And so with the governor they’ve got there as far left as he’s been, you at least had the Republicans that were able to keep some of the radical abortion legislation from going through, that’s going to be a different scenario now. So this may have turned from a purple state to a very blue state.
You’re Going To Miss 100% Of The Shots You Don’t Take
But guys, one of the things we talked about too, having seen the results from Virginia that was to me a little shocking, was the fact that what was a 25% of the Democrats who won in Virginia on election night were running unopposed. And this is where you’re going to wait a second. What kind of GOP strategy or you’re right, what kind of conservative constitutional strategy says that the best thing we can do is not have a candidate run, you’re never going to win if you don’t run, right. It’s the kind of the old statement, you’re going to miss 100% of the shots you don’t take at.
Some point, you got to give it a shot and it looked like the GOP was just really underperforming, Republican Party there in Virginia that wasn’t putting up the fight they should put up and Virginia, it used to be a very different state. And then my recollection is not great but I can go back and read some information dad and Rick, you guys might remember more. It seems like Virginia used to be a pretty conservative State. It used to be something that was very strong Republican, more biblical values. In fact, this was back in the day when we had a good friend Randy Forbes who used to help run the party of Virginia, Virginia used to look very different.
They were so different than the first governor’s mansion I ever spent the night in was in Virginia. I mean, they were conservative and I was welcomed in their governor’s mansion, the governor and I spend time together. That’s how conservative they were. There’s no chance to be close to the governor’s mansion with the way Virginia is right now. And Randy Forbes was a guy who ran it back when it was a very, very effect and that was back at the time when I did get spend the night at the governor’s mansion. So it has seen a real shift.
What Happened in Virginia?
And Randy Forbes is one our friends we’ve interviewed on WallBuilders Live many times, he’s now as a former congressman from Virginia, he’s no longer Congress. But he was a congressman, he served, I guess, dad, you mentioned he were in the political party there, serving at state level, did a lot of things, but he’s one of the best strategic thinkers that we’ve ever been around. I know you’ve made that comment several times. He well…
Really, that’s one of the reasons he teaches at the War College. He’s a teacher at the Naval War College instructor because he is such a strategic thinker and probably, nobody in the nation maybe better on China than he is. I mean, he’s just unbelievable what he does. But he was 18 years in Congress, he was on defense committees and chaired subcommittees. So he is just such a strategic guy and he’s really kind of carved that niche out.
So we’re going to understand though the landscape of Virginia, what really happened we thought, there’s really nobody better to talk to you than the guy who used to help run a lot of what happened in Virginia from a conservative standpoint who was a congressman there for 18 years, Randy Forbes, just get a little better idea of what really happened in Virginia is it as bad as we thought what, is there things that need to be done? To fix it was there underperformers, just kind of some of the landscape. So we thought let’s talk to Randy about this.
Stay with us, folks, Randy Forbes is going to be our special guest when we come back from the break. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
Front Sight Firearms Training Institute
Hey friends, Rick Green here from WallBuilders Live. What do Dennis Prager, Larry Elder, Ben Shapiro, Rick Green, Tim Barton, David Barton, what all these folks have in common other than the fact that they’re conservative commentators that defend the Constitution and educate America on the Constitution. They’re all raving about Front Sight Firearms Training Institute.
In fact, if you go to my website right now today at rickgreen.com, you can watch the video of Dennis Prager training at front side or Larry Elder training the front side or Tim Barton and myself training out there front side. It’s an opportunity for you to learn how to defend yourself and your family to make sure that you’re ready and able to do that. It is a fantastic place to train. They train literally 30,000-40,000 people a year and they’re just wonderful to work with. And you can go with us, we’re headed back out. We’re going to have a great time out there as the WallBuilders family.
And if you’re a supporter of WallBuilders, we have an amazing deal for you, it’s actually going to cost you one tenth the normal price to attend this two-day handgun training because you’re going with us and you’ll also get the Constitution crash course. I’ll be teaching on the constitution. You’ll get the intellectual ammunition that you need to defend the Second Amendment and our Constitution as well as getting the physical training on how to defend yourself and your family. And this is for everyone: guys, gals, everyone should take this class. For no matter how much you shot your whole life or if you’ve never touched a gun, learn how to defend your family.
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Welcome back to WallBuilders Live, thanks for staying with us today. Congressman Randy Forbes, our good friend, always good to have you, Randy. Thanks for coming on today spending a little time with us.
Well, Rick, it’s always great to be with you guys thanks for the great work you do.
How Can We Do Better?
Hey, man, we were watching your home state of Virginia on election night and just, man, decimating results. And David said, man, when Randy was running a Republican Party, we won races out in Virginia, we need to get him on say, what’s going on in Virginia and how can we do better? So we appreciate you coming on to chat a little bit about it.
Well, I’m glad to do it.
Well, what do you think, I mean what’s the difference right now? Has the, you know, political climate changed that much, are we not doing a good job of fielding good candidates and you know, what’s the difference today and just a few years back?
The Political Climate Has Changed
Yeah, Rick, I think it’s kind of all evolve when is David had mentioned, I was very fortunate back when I was chairman, we won everything. Essentially, we had all three statewide offices, we had both US senate, we had 8 out of 11 congressional seat, we won 15 out of 16 special elections. I think there a number of things have happened since that point in time, I think first of all, the political climate has changed, it’s a very, very toxic climate out there right now and you have to have different strategies to win in that kind of climate.
The second thing that Rick, I do think that there is this kind of throw whoever is in power out kind of concept that is permeating the country now. We saw some of that quite honestly, you know, when President Obama was elected, he came in with a majority in Congress even, you know, it wasn’t there very long before they threw them out and put Republicans in majorities. In Virginia, we have seen where Virginia kind of ebbs and flows in terms of you know, those political cycles. But here’s the essence I think of what we’re going to have to do…
Wait Randy, before you go to the solution, let me ask you about that last part because I had not even thought about that. This is almost like a midterm election, I mean even the last year was the big national midterm for Virginia.
It’s Working On Intra-Party And Inter-Party
No, it is exactly right and Rick, it’s working on, it works intra-party and inter-party. So, you know, one of the problems is that we also have is we get people elected to office and literally, I’ve seen this happened. So people, let’s say it’s a Republican primary, you get somebody elected to office, they come in, they want to change things, they want to make a difference. The next term, you still have a whole group of people who are Republicans but they want to throw those people out and they’ve only been in there two years, you know and it’s this mentality of, oh well, it doesn’t matter whether somebody has experience or they’ve got character, whatever, let’s just throw them out, we can’t do any worse with whoever we put in. And that’s happening generally on elections, but it’s also happened within parties as well.
The second thing that’s happening that I really think is a detriment, Rick and I know this flies in the face of you know a lot of people across the country. But based on every time, you try to get campaign finance reform, you’d only mess it up as opposed to making it better. The last time that they made a stab at campaign finance reform, it made it worse because now you have all of these 527 organizations that have a very little accountability of who’s putting money in, where and what they can do and they have a very little skin in the game for where they want long-term results to be and they’ve taken a lot of the power away from political parties.
And I know people think all political parties are terrible things. But I remember when I was state party chairman, we’ve spent a lot of time making sure our candidates had the right character, they were good on issues, you know all of those kinds of things, we were self-vetting some of these people ourselves. That no longer happens, the parties don’t have nearly that ability to do it because the money and the influence now is really hidden a lot with these 527 organizations and I don’t think it does well for the general elections.
Yeah, I mean, in fact, I mean that’s a whole other topic. But you know, it’s not how much somebody gives us, whether or not you know that’s the person that gave, that’s what really matters.
We Want Our Candidates To Have Character
Absolutely. Absolutely. And what the ultimate goal is, I mean some of these organizations simply want to disrupt what’s out, they don’t have any skin in the game in terms of saying we want to protect an institution, we want to have some stability, we want our candidates to have character, we want our candidates to stand for the right principles. Much of that has been tossed out the window today. And then unfortunately, that, Rick, this is on both sides of the aisle but we see that, but we’re certainly seeing it in the Democratic Party today when you look at some of this far extremism stuff that’s coming in and trying to take over and actually has taken over the Democratic Party in many instances.
Well, you started to go into solutions and I took us a little bit on a side trail there. What do you think we do to turn this around? And actually, wait, before we go there, one of the things could you comment on, I saw several headlines about not even having races in Virginia, that there were several state legislative races where we didn’t fill the candidate and I was curious if those were races where we didn’t have a chance anyway, it was you know 70/30 I mean?
We Do Need To Do A Better Job Of Recruiting Candidates And Running Good Candidates
Yeah, you know, Rick, you remember that old movie, Casablanca at the end of the movie, you know, they look over it and the inspector says round up the usual suspects. Any time you have a loss, you know, you round up the usual suspects. So everybody can always blame the party, they’re going to say we didn’t do this, we didn’t do that and there’s some of that that needs to be done. But you hit the nail right on the head, we do need to do a better job of recruiting candidates and running good candidates and building those candidates and creating a bit, no question, that’s always an important thing.
But one of the things, there’s a lot of strategy to this as well. So for example, if you have a Senate seat that you have a chance of winning and there’s a House of Delegates seat or House of Representatives see that you don’t have much of a chance of getting, if you run somebody in that seat, what you’re doing is you’re turning out the vote in a very strong manner that maybe votes that help destroy your chances for that Senate election. Then on some of these things too, this time the Democrats have done a very good job of raising millions and billions of dollars that they’re bringing in from out of state in all of these elections across the country.
It Is Difficult When You’re Faced With Limited Resources
And what happens is when you’re faced with limited resources to combat that, sometimes it’s very difficult to take a race in a seat that might be a 60/40 seat against you and put resources there when you’re focusing on trying to win other races. So it’s not as easy as you know it scene when you just read those suggestions of, oh how come you didn’t feel people in all of these?
But there’s some strategy behind the decision often. Like you’re saying, if you’ve got that house seat that that you know, is winnable and you and you field a candidate for that Senate seat that’s impossible to win. And people that may not be familiar with us, when we say impossible, we’re talking, it’s been a gerrymander seat for a long time, it’s you know, 70% Democrat, 30% Republican. And no matter who you field as a Republican and no matter who you field as a Democrat, Democrats are going to win the seat. Even if you fill the candidate because I’m going to say, well you still make them run. Well, but if you feel the candidate now, that Democrat candidate spends $1,000,000 when they would have only spent you know, $20,000 if they didn’t have an opponent. And if they spend $1,000,000, it spills over into that house seat that happens to be within that Senate seat and greatly affects your chances one in that House seat.
We Have To Be Strategic For Other Races
So that’s I think that’s what I’m understanding you to say some of the inside based on why strategically it say, you know what, we’re better off not just throw when a candidate on the ballot there because it affects these other races.
That’s exactly right. And look, there are times when you just didn’t do a good job of recruiting and putting candidates, no question. There are other times when it’s just like you said to do that may hurt you in other races. The third thing is quite honestly is if you’re in some of these seats, we can pretty much project. I mean, it’s rare that we’re not close to being on the money of which seats are going to be competitive and which ones are not. It’s very difficult if your state party chairman or you’re somebody that just cares to look at some person that’s running for the first time and to say, oh yes, you can win this race and you get them to put their families on the line and then… when you know they’re going to lose.
There’s A Lot Of Different Variables Involved
And what happens then is they get demoralized and then they don’t want to run for the offices where they could win. And so that’s something we try to be very honest with people and then let them make their own choices, you know, from there. So it’s a lot of different variables involved. The main thing is you need to look at all those variables when you’re trying to point blame and point fingers at people.
Tell me a little bit about your sense of if it was kind of that midterm election as we turn that corner now and move into the next presidential election, how do you think that plays out in Virginia with the with the tone there right now.
We Built Long-Term Grassroots Relationships
Well, Virginia has had a huge impact in Northern Virginia, that’s where a big population growths have come. A lot of these people have come from northern states and they’re much more liberal than the rest of Virginia. That’s historically where we’re losing a lot of these races. But I’m a firm believer, Rick, and the key to our success back when I was state party chairman, was we didn’t use a gimmicks, you know we didn’t sit back and think, oh we’ve got to come up with some bumper sticker we’re going to put up on a car to win this election, we got to come up with some trick play we’re going to win it. What we did is build relationships and we built long-term grassroots efforts and we work throughout the off year period of time, building those things up and then when we came time to the election, we could weather these huge influxes of money on this fake advertisement, false advertisements that’s coming out, that’s why we won elections. I think that’s what we’re going to have to do is we turn this thing around with the country. We’ve got want to go back and again look at state, local elections, we’ve got to build a basis back up.
And the other thing, Rick, I’ll just tell you this we got to get back to a place where people want to come out for our party and committee meetings and things. Back in the 90s when we would go to city committee meetings, you saw families coming out. We talked about things of pride and patriotism and faith and all of those kinds of things and so everybody want to be a part of it. Today, we battle with each other so much that a lot of families don’t want to do that. We have changed that around, it’s doable, we just have to roll up our sleeves and do it.
It Is A Sacrifice
That’s interesting. So even just the purpose and the kind of platform that you project as a party and why you’re in this game if you’ll let me use that term, while you’re in this fight is very important for, you know, getting people to realize how important it is to their family, their backyard so that they do want to participate and be a part of it and that people will say, hey, I’m willing to sacrifice 6, 8, 10 years to serve in the state legislature or in Congress which a lot of people listening may not realize that. They think, oh, these people are just having fun. It’s a sacrifice to go serve, it takes time from your family.
It’s a huge sacrifice. But the other thing, Rick, is not just the candidates but the people that are going to work for the polls, the people that are going to be involved in it. And sometimes we spent too much time knowing these issues and studying it and we know it you know, really, really important. We forget that a lot of these families, you know, they’re getting up every day, they’re going to work, they’re taking their children to Little League practices and piano lessons and those kind of things and they don’t always know that. So when you try to get them involved if you’re just talking about the issues, they don’t always relate to them as much. We’ve got to find ways again on bringing them back in on a grassroots level and saying, hey, this impacts your family here, this is why you ought to be a part of that in building those networks back up again. We had this very strongly in the 90s and we’ve let them wither quite honestly, we’ve got to rebuild them.
We Have To Work The System
Well, we’ve got our work cut out for us, but it’s for a good cause and the system does work, right? That’s another thing I would ask. The last question I’ll ask you and let you go. But you know, some people might say, well, the reason we don’t get involved anymore is the system doesn’t work. That’s not true, it does work. We have to work the system.
No, Rick, there’s two things. We have to work the system. We’ve got to be strategic, we’re not always as strategic as we should be. But the other thing, Rick, is we just have to look at what’s involved and what’s involved is still protecting the greatest nation in the world, it’s still protecting basic religious freedoms and it’s still protecting those basic principles that made us great. Those price tags are worth of getting involved in doing something about. And if you look at it, we’ve got to win because the price of our failures is far too great, not just for us but for the world.
Amen. Amen. Randy Forbes, former congressman from Virginia. Appreciate you, brother, thanks for the time. Let’s do it again soon.
Okay, Rick, I…great stuff with you, have a great day.
You too. Stay with us, folks, we’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton
America’s Hidden History
Hi, this is David Barton and this is Tim Barton. We want to let you know about a series that’s happening right now on TBN on Thursday nights. Now TBN is a Trinity Broadcasting Network. Every Thursday night there’s a series that we’ve filmed called America’s Hidden History. In this season, it’s called America’s Hidden Heroes. The reason is we highlight heroes from American history for years. We’ve been focusing on the forgotten history heroes of the nation and now we have a TV show just highlighting some of those heroes.
These are inspiring stories about some of the greatest people maybe you’ve never heard about. We go on location, we go to the site, we show you where the events happen and it’s a story of folks like Bronco Charlie and stagecoach Mary and Jedediah Smith and Robert Smalls and so many inspiring folks.
Now this happens every Thursday night and the time is going to be different based on where you live, either way. We think this is something that will so encourage and inspire you and learning some of these great stories from America’s Hidden History.
Some Candidates Hurt Other Races
Welcome back to Wallbuilders Live, thanks to former congressman, Randy Forge for joining us today from Virginia. Back with David and Tim now. And guys, yeah, I mean just like you said before the interview, he was there running the party when they had it, all of it, I mean it’s not as he was describing that, sounded like Texas, we’re all Republicans across the board on all these statewide positions and most of their congressional delegation and things have definitely changed. But I did appreciate, I hadn’t thought when I looked at those, you know, unopposed Democrats running, I hadn’t thought about what he pointed out in the interview and that is some of those races, you don’t even want to feel the candidate because there’s no chance, it’ll hurts for other races. But some of them, they did just, you know, didn’t field good candidates.
Well, yeah in that, Rick, I mean as you’re commenting on, that wasn’t what stood out to me from the interview, was when he’s talking about, you know, if you have a senator running and you don’t have a good candidate return against the senator, if you put somebody out there, well then that can hurt. A senator is going to have more territory than a state Rep. And so then if you were running somebody against a senator, then it can impact your state Rep races. And so there definitely was a lot more strategy than initially that I would have seen just looking at the fact that there was 25% of these elected candidates who ran unopposed. You look and go, that number is just ridiculous. And I still think it’s ridiculous on most levels, there might be or two you could argue were acceptable and this or that, even though principal I don’t like it, I might can agree with a little bit but I don’t like it.
There Has Been A Shift In Ideology And Values
But as we mentioned, Randy is one of those guys who has such good understanding. He’s such a brilliant tactioner, that he can look and say, okay, we would do better to run over here and over here and over here, maybe leave that one alone. So somebody that has some of the inside scoop really can help it give some light to that scenario. But it still does make me wonder a little bit about what the leaders of the Republican Party are doing there that there’s been such a shift of ideology and said the shift of values, maybe we need to point more to the church than elected officials, but there still seems to be some issues going on.
And I’m not going to put it totally on the party, they had a massive failure. This is unacceptable. But we know what, just because the party fails doesn’t mean the state has to fail. There’s a lot of people should have looked in the mirror and said, you know what, I’m not going to let this guy run unopposed, I’ll run myself against him. I don’t have to wait to be recruited. I don’t have to have someone beg me to do something right, I’m going to step up and do it.
We Are Surrounded By A Lot Of Sound Legislators
And we’re surrounded, Tim, Rick, we all see it our profiling legislators conference, we’re surrounded with a lot of really sound legislators that are making a difference in the nation. They’re constitutionally and they’re God motivated kind of folks, they do the right stuff. Those folks are all over the nation and somebody should looked in the mirror and said, wait a minute, we’ve got to have better representation than what’s on the ballot, I’ll put myself up if I have to. Great. Do that. But we didn’t have to start looking at recruiting candidates and Tim, you mentioned even maybe the church. Well, the church used to recruit candidates. They used to say, hey, you’d be really good at school board or mayor or whatever. We need to go back to doing that as well.
Believe and Promote The Standard Of Righteousness
Yeah, if you want a godly leader to help lead the nation or to lead your community or city your school board, whatever, but where are you going to find godly leaders? Well, if you can’t find them in the church, I have no idea where you might find them because that’s really where you should find godly leaders and this is what church is used to recognize. If we want to restore righteousness to our community, to our state, then we need people who believe in the standards and promote the standard of righteousness and that’s where the church could certainly get involved to make a difference.
We are out of time for today, folks. Thanks so much for listening to WallBuilders Live today. Be sure again to hit that website wallbuilderslive.com, is a place where you get a lot of great resources and also get into the archives of the program, listen to some interviews in the previous weeks, maybe you can catch a couple of those Good News Fridays you might have missed or Foundation to Freedom Thursdays, lots of great information you can do that through your podcast app or listening to one of the hundreds of stations we’re on across the nation.
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