BUCK: Also joining us — in addition to the millions and millions of you across the country who we appreciate, of course, so very much — Mike Lee, senator from the great state of Utah. We love all our Utah listeners. Senator Lee, we appreciate you calling in.
SEN. LEE: Thank you very much. It’s good to be with you.
BUCK: So, there’s a lot of things, very important things to talk about that we will get to in just a moment. But, I mean, everybody right now is wondering, “What is going on with Mitt Romney,” the other Republican, at least officially senator in your state, and the endorsement you would think that should come for you as his Republican colleague in the great state of Utah? What’s going on here, Mike?
SEN. LEE: Look, I can’t speak for him. He’s cited the fact that he’s got two good friends in this race and has chosen to stay out. I will say this. It’s not too late. It’s not too late. He can still join in. We welcome his support. In the meantime, I’m getting the message out that I’m running against an opponent who, while campaigning as an independent, voted for Joe Biden, campaigned for Joe Biden, has praised basically everything Joe Biden has done, and has been endorsed by the Democratic Party; is now raising money on ActBlue, the Democratic Party’s fundraising platform. And so, look, if it if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck and swims like a duck, it’s probably a duck. In this case, it’s a donkey. So, this is a race that’s closer than it should be. My opponent’s convincing a lot of people that this is sort of a race between two Republicans. It’s not.
BUCK: He’s a lib, just so everyone understands. He’s a lib who goes on TV for the amusement of Democrats that hate the Republican Party, but it’s one of these apostates. It’s like the Lincoln Project, right? They exist in this space where they pretend. They wear the Republican jacket so they can get in the locker room and sabotage.
SEN. LEE: No, no, that’s that’s exactly right, and you’ve seen pieces of evidence of that all over the place. In the meantime, the Utah media is uniformly liberal — as liberal as the rest of the state is conservative — and so they’re constantly praising him, never asking him to pony up on any policy issues, looking the other way as he does nothing but undertake unfair, nasty hits at me. And then they publish polls, polls that I believe are skewed, that show my opponent within the margin of error with me. And as you know, things like that can become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
He then uses those in his fundraising solicitations to raise millions of dollars on ActBlue by saying to people, “Hey, look! I could beat Mike Lee,” and they’re sending him millions of dollars. We’ve got a super PAC donation that recently came in for him for $1.5 million from a big lefty group, and he’s claiming to have raised $2.5 million in the last quarter alone. So, anyone within the sound of your voice, if they’d like to help make sure that we keep Utah Republican, that we keep the Senate in Republican hands — because I believe we are in a position to retake the majority — I’d encourage them to support me. They can do that at LeeForSenate.com. That’s LeeForSenate.com.
CLAY: Senator Lee, we appreciate you coming on. We enjoyed hanging out with you in Park City, getting to meet you in person back in the late summer. As you go around the state of Utah, what are people telling you that they are caring about the most? Is it inflation in the economy in your state like it is in most of the most of the country or is there something else that is resonating?
SEN. LEE: There are three issues that I hear the most about. The first is inflation, the second is inflation, and the third is also inflation. This is hitting Utahns worse than it is even most parts of the country. In Utah, if you measure it relative to January 20th, 2021, the day Joe Biden took office, Utahns are experiencing inflation relative to that date at about 15.5%.
SEN. LEE: The average Utah family is spending $925 a month more on their basic monthly expenses every single month than they were in January of 2021. That’s significant. And make no mistake, that’s the clear impact of Joe Biden’s policies. He spent too much money. Last year, the federal government took in a record $4 trillion but spent a record $7 trillion. When you do that, it predictably, foreseeably causes inflation. That’s what this is.
BUCK: Senator Lee is with us right now from Utah. He’s running for reelection, everybody, and we want our massive Utah-based audience to please do what you can. Get out there; help Senator Lee, because they’re running a false flag Republican against him, folks. That’s basically what’s going on. They’re running a pseudo Republican and it’s nonsense. It’s dishonest. But it goes in line with Democrats hiding candidates from the public, lying about what their candidate said five minutes ago.
So, it’s important that we keep our eye on the ball here. Senator Lee, I also wanted to ask you, if I could, about this this arrest. You know, they sent people to go get 11 pro-life activists, and the Merrick Garland DOJ is going after people for obstructing clinic access 18 months ago. But as Clay points out — I was talking about this as well — there were Supreme Court protests where there were threatening mobs on their lawns and the law didn’t count there. You’re a student of the Constitution and the law. What’s going on here?
SEN. LEE: Yeah. You know, it’s interesting. I’ve asked Department of Justice and FBI officials about these disparities, and I’ve asked them about specifically the disparity between “pregnancy crisis centers” and “abortion centers,” and also about the discrepancy between protest in front of Supreme Court justices’ homes and elsewhere. They’ve never been able to offer up any satisfactory answer. Usually, they start with saying, “Well, we arrest people and investigate people on all sides of this issue,” and when I asked for details, they always promise to get back to me with a written catalog of them and then they don’t. So, it is disturbing. I would always like to believe that there’s more to the story that I’m not seeing, but what I am seeing really troubles me.
CLAY: Senator Lee, I’m sure you heard a lot about this; we talked about it on the program. You’re a BYU, I believe, undergrad and law school alum, if I’m not mistaken.
SEN. LEE: Yes, that’s right.
CLAY: What did you think about the treatment in two different ways of Mormons, in particular in the national sphere. One was when the Duke volleyball player announced that there was a racial slur yelled at her at BYU. They conducted an exhaustive review, basically found out that that was not true. Best case scenario, she misheard something. Worst case scenario, she totally made it up. But most in the national media ran with it to such an extent that nobody even heard the truth there. Andthen BYU’s football team went on the road and played at Oregon and Mormons were directly insulted on video by chants from Oregon fans inside of the stadium, and it barely registered as a blip on the radar. As a double BYU alum and certainly as someone who was in a state with a massive Mormon population, how unfair was that treatment and have you guys gotten used to it? Why is it happening in your mind?
SEN. LEE: Yeah, as Latter-day Saints were certainly accustomed to that. This has been going on for basically the entire existence of our faith, and it’s not unique to this century or the century before that. What is unique now, though, is the speed at which information can travel, and the speed at which information can travel while not being investigated or filtered. The fact that people didn’t stop to investigate whether these accusations of the volleyball game were true or could be supported but they just repeated them anyway on the basis of one person’s word, and their willingness to spew all these really horrible insults that are not rooted in fact…
Anybody who actually knows BYU or knows that the culture of our people and our community knows that that sort of thing wouldn’t be tolerated, not for an instant. But it was a story that they liked, and for whatever reason, there were a number of people in the media who saw that this furthered their interests somehow, and so they ran with it. It’s shameful, really. It seems that religious minorities and religious people in general are the last people in America against whom it’s okay — it’s publicly acceptable — to be bigoted against them, and that certainly includes Latter-day Saints, and I think that’s disappointing.
BUCK: I’m sure, Senator Lee, you saw that they’re bringing another suit against the Masterpiece Cakeshop owner in Colorado after trying to get him to make a cake that was a phallus and trying to make him make a cake that was satanic. Now they’re trying to make him make a cake for a “gender-transition surgery.” To your point about religious freedom, it does feel like there’s just an ongoing assault.
SEN. LEE: Yes, yes, and that circumstance that you describe encompasses not only a threat to religious freedom or to the interests of religious people everywhere, but it is also compounded by the fact that what we’re dealing with there is also a free speech violation. When you’ve got government trying to coerce somebody to do something that violates not only their religious beliefs, but also is compelled speech, the compelled-speech doctrine under the First Amendment subjects to heavy scrutiny and the effort by government to make you say something that you don’t want to say.
That is what they’re doing here. So it’s a hybrid right, it’s a compound right, and it’s one that I don’t think will hold up in court at the end of the day. But it is really discouraging and should be alarming to everyone, whether you’re religious or not, whether you share the beliefs and the worldview of this individual or not. It should be troubling to anyone to see that any government in the United States of America in this day and age would try to make someone say something that they don’t want to say, especially when they find it repugnant, offensive to their religious beliefs.
CLAY: Senator Lee, your last question for you here. You have spent a lot of time in the law, both as a lawyer, a judge. You’ve covered a lot of different arenas there. I don’t know how closely you’ve been following Elon Musk’s pursuit of Twitter. It now appears that he’s going to buy Twitter. From a First Amendment perspective, from a marketplace-of-ideas perspective — building off the question that you were just answering there from Buck, what do you think any Elon Musk-owned Twitter might look like? What should it look like if we’re going to embrace robust marketplace-of-ideas principles in this country?
SEN. LEE: Okay, so, disclaimer upfront: I sometimes suffer from unfettered exuberance, especially where Elon Musk is involved.
SEN. LEE: I think it’s going to be a complete game changer if, when he finally completes this transaction — and I sincerely hope that he does. I think you’ll see a number of changes immediately. Number one, I think you’ll start to see the disappearance of bots or at least the disappearance of most of the bots on there. Number two… Because I think you want to weed those out and make it a legitimate platform for the exchange of ideas. Number two, I think you will see an actual fair, even playing field for people to communicate their ideas without people being shadow banned, throttled or otherwise disfavored because of particular religious beliefs — religious, political or other philosophical beliefs. And I think what will happen will be a net gain for humanity, a net gain for Twitter users, and a net gain for the American people is they can have fair conversations. To be frank, that hasn’t been happening on Twitter. It hasn’t been happening on Facebook and on Instagram, and I think it’s high time that somebody get in there with the idea of making it something of an open public forum.
BUCK: Senator Lee, where should folks go to help out in your reelection, which is a race people need to actually be active in?
SEN. LEE: Yes. Thank you. Yeah, it is a close race. My opponent’s claiming it’s within the margin of error. I think he’s exaggerating, but again, he’s making it into a self-fulfilling prophecy, potentially. So, people who want to support me and help Republicans seize the majority in the Senate to stop Joe Biden’s dangerous agenda should go to LeeForSenate.com. That’s LeeForSenate.com. Your contribution, even if it’s just five or $10, I greatly appreciate it.
BUCK: Senator Mike Lee, everybody. Senator, thanks for being with us.
SEN. LEE: Thanks so much. Take care.
BUCK: His opponent, Clay, is a Russia-collusion truther, left-wing hack posing as an independent and pretending to be almost a moderate Republican to squeeze it through in Utah. It’s just so disingenuous. People should be appalled at how slimy and disingenuous it is.
CLAY: Speaking of slimy and disingenuous, how about Mitt Romney not endorsing Mike Lee?
BUCK: I expect nothing more from Mitt, unfortunately.
CLAY: Mittens! Mittens doesn’t need to be elected in Utah.
BUCK: It’s all about Mitt. Just remember the country. Look what look what Biden’s done to the country. Look at the Democrats and it’s done to the country. But Trump hurt Mitt’s feelings, so that’s what matters. Okay? His whole, “Oh, I stand on principle”? Yeah. Mitt was also marching with Black Lives Matter. Don’t ever forget that, folks. Because, yeah, if you’re thinking about somebody who’s, like, down for the struggle and cares about racial justice?
BUCK: Mitt Romney from his $80 million San Diego-based beach house, he is down for the struggle, everybody. He really cares. You can tell. Not a lot of respect for Mitt around here.