2024 GOP presidential candidate Will Hurd joined the Brian Kilmeade Show to discuss his decision to run for president, why he won’t sign the pledge to support the GOP nomination even if it prevents him from participating in the primary debates and how Donald Trump holding onto classified documents shows a complete disregard for protecting our secrets. Plus, Hurd pushed back on former President Obama saying Republicans are most prominent in undermining laws through gerrymandering of districts by pointing out his former Attorney General Eric Holder is leading one of the organizations that are gerrymandering to make it easier for Democrats to win elections across the country.

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Rough transcript:

Brian Kilmeade [00:00:00] Well, it’s great news for us, selfishly. That will hurt is decided the congressman from Texas to be run for president because you one of the great friends of our show you’ve been so loyal to and I appreciate it. So when you made it official on CBS yesterday, it was yesterday. You were.

Speaker 2 [00:00:13] As it.

Brian Kilmeade [00:00:13] Was yesterday. You’re running for president. I thought you were done with politics when you said, I’m not going to run again. You’re here. You are in a border in a border state and a border district. And with the CIA background, I thought you just said I’m kind of fed up with politics. Would made you not only say I’m not fed up, Congressman, but I want to be president.

Will Hurd [00:00:32] Well, the the answer, the short answer is my my mother, may she rest in peace, would always say you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution. Right. And and what I have seen over the last two years when it comes to how fast technology is moving, how our adversaries are in a position to beat us and how D.C. actually got worse than than when I was in there. Those are things that are concerning to me because I’ve found in our in our dialog, we’re not having the conversations on the things we should be having. And, you know, my my wife and I made this decision. It wasn’t it wasn’t a light decision, but can we do something about it? Can we articulate a vision of where the country can go? Can we talk about how do we have unprecedented peace, a thriving economy, world class education for our kids? And and we said, yes, we can do that. You know, you have some of the strategy. I know a Darkhorse candidate like me has a narrow path. And and I understand that. But there is a path and we’re going to we’re going to pursue it.

Brian Kilmeade [00:01:45] So you look at this, I think it’s 12 person field right to a person field. Donald Trump’s got about a 20 point lead. And Ron DeSantis is second in every poll in double figures. Everybody else is single digits. How do you close that gap?

Will Hurd [00:01:58] Sure.

Brian Kilmeade [00:01:59] I mean, your resume looks as good as anybody. Sure. I mean, nine years in came, right? How many years in the house?

Will Hurd [00:02:03] A six.

Brian Kilmeade [00:02:04] Six years. What you’ve learned during that time? Also, you really made a name for yourself. You’re still in the prime of your life. And then you say to yourself, I’m going to go get back again. You’ve never Have you been in the private sector?

Will Hurd [00:02:15] I have. The last two years I’ve been in the private sector. And when I.

Brian Kilmeade [00:02:19] Work in cyber technology’s another. And I.

Will Hurd [00:02:22] You know, quantum, you know, I was on the board of probably the most important A.I. company.

Brian Kilmeade [00:02:26] Having said all that, how do you close the gap?

Will Hurd [00:02:28] The way you close your gap is is is very simple. Campaigns are not complicated. They’re just hard. They require a level of effort. I.D. your voters, turn them out. The a presidential election is not one election. It’s 50 elections. And I don’t subscribe to the theory that, oh, Donald Trump’s up in the polls. A Ron DeSantis is is number two. So we have to accept this. And this is what is going to be the election in January when the first votes start. Sorry, the way that someone like me wins is is is the old fashioned way. It’s shoe leather. It’s being in a place like New Hampshire, taking a message to people, There’s a reason only 23% of Americans vote in primaries because 77% of Americans are sick and tired of the options. They don’t like what’s out there. So you have to talk about those issues people care about. And here’s what I learned representing a 5050 district, 50% Republican, 50% Democrat, that people care about being able to put food on the table, a roof over their head and making sure the people they love are healthy, happy and safe. Talk about those issues. Two thirds of Americans think our education is going in the wrong direction. 65% of Americans are worried that robots are going to take our job. Most Americans are worried about what is going on with China and are they really going to surpass the United States of America as the global superpower? How do you address those issues and show that it affects us here at home? And that’s the message we get to say. It’s it’s not easy. It’s not easy. It’s hard work. And we’re willing to do that. And the message is this message is resonating.

Brian Kilmeade [00:04:09] So you had Iowa, you have New Hampshire. Where are you going first? What’s the strategy? Do you head South Carolina or do you focus just on doing well in New Hampshire to have a South Carolina?

Will Hurd [00:04:19] Look, the strategy is simple. You got to you guys start in New Hampshire, New Hampshire, the Granite State you get up on. They know I haven’t given up on anything. But but New Hampshire, if we can’t perform in New Hampshire, we’re not going to be able to perform in other places. And New Hampshire, they love a dark horse. They want to meet people. They you know, they they do their homework. They take their role as first in the nation very seriously. And and I’m built for that. Now, this is a soft spot, so I’ll be in New Hampshire next week. I’ve been there a couple of times already. And so so build the organization in New Hampshire and then scale that to other places.

Brian Kilmeade [00:04:55] Have you talked to Governor Sununu?

Will Hurd [00:04:57] I have Governor Sununu. I think he’s. An opening. Great to everybody in the state. And and so, you know, he’s he knows what he’s doing. He knows how to perform and win. And in New Hampshire. And there’s a lot of things to learn from from his organization, his campaign. What do you need.

Brian Kilmeade [00:05:13] To get on the stage in August? 40,000 donors.

Will Hurd [00:05:15] 40,000 donors, 1%. Right. And so we’re we’re you know, when I look at all the donors I’ve ever had, you know, in the history of my political elections, that’s a nice little place to start. And so we’ll still be a dollars. It could be a dollar. You know, it look, it could be it could be a dollar. And and having the number of donors is what matters. So. So we’re going to continue to grow and scale. You know, this is about building an organization and a movement. And I’m excited.

Brian Kilmeade [00:05:46] You said that you would not sign a pledge to support the nominee if it’s Donald Trump.

Will Hurd [00:05:51] That’s right.

Brian Kilmeade [00:05:52] But that that will prevent you from getting on stage.

Will Hurd [00:05:54] Look, and if that’s the case, I’ve never I’m not in the business of lying to the American public in order to gain access to a microphone. I’ve never been that way. And I have taken I’ve taken one oath that’s to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. When I pledge, I put my hand on my heart and pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States. And I’ve taken one vow to my amazing, beautiful wife. And so so I don’t think parties should be in the process of trying to rig who’s on the stage. But if that’s their decision, that’s their decision. I’ve made my decision. And we’re going to we’re going to do what we need to do.

Brian Kilmeade [00:06:30] But I do think she’s talking to you on and off, microphone and camera, a lot of stuff that Trump did you agree with.

Will Hurd [00:06:36] So there is many things.

Brian Kilmeade [00:06:38] He did everything he possibly could. You saw how hard he worked to get that done.

Will Hurd [00:06:41] And he made some mistakes on the border. Right. Which were.

Brian Kilmeade [00:06:43] The mistakes?

Will Hurd [00:06:44] Well, the one was starting with with treating everybody as an asylum seeker that started at the end of his of his administration and was something that was continued into the Biden administration. And Joe Biden made it significantly worse.

Brian Kilmeade [00:06:56] Almost on purpose.

Will Hurd [00:06:57] Well, it is it is outrageous how bad the situation is and how Democrats wanted to complain when when President Trump was in office and every Democrat was in my district, you know, wagging their finger and being like, this is all these problems. And then Joe Biden makes it worse. Do any of them show up and talk about the.

Brian Kilmeade [00:07:19] Problem, show up when Congress asks him to go down there for a vote?

Will Hurd [00:07:22] Yeah, it’s why are they talking about thousands of people on the streets? Okay, so in the summer.

Brian Kilmeade [00:07:28] So you said it was a hustle mistake. In other words, Trump was trying to shut the border down. I don’t think Biden is trying to shut it down. Is interested. I think that you appreciate the fact they took out Osama Soleimani. Sure. Took out al Baghdadi, his hard hit against the Bogner group when they were discovered storming our guys over in Syria. You love the fact that he was in trying to start a war everywhere to the point where maybe we could have been more aggressive arming Ukraine, but where the rubber hits the road. Was it the documents?

Will Hurd [00:08:00] The documents right now, to me, as someone who put my life in harm’s way in order to collect intelligence for our country that has seen our brothers and sisters and spouses and and kids serving and being away from their families in order to collect intelligence, a complete disregard for protecting our secrets that these secrets had, they got into the wrong hands, would have led to the loss of life. When you look at and I’m always clear, I do I have not read the documents that was in his possession that are listed almost.

Brian Kilmeade [00:08:38] Nobody.

Will Hurd [00:08:38] In the in the in the indictment. But you can see some of the classifications and some of the classifications are classified, which means it comes from a program that is sensitive that not everybody has access to. We know that there is information from our satellite imagery in those documents, you know, our adversaries, knowing how good our satellites are and would have devastating effect on our our ability to project power. And and and, look, you are innocent until proven guilty. But if even one of these things in here are true, it’s incredibly damning. And it’s and it’s offensive to the men and women in the military who are putting themselves in harm’s way. And my other problem with this, instead of talking about how bad Joe Biden is and how bad his policies are and doubling down on how seven out of ten Americans don’t think he should be in office, we’re getting consumed with having to talk about indictments and all this. And you know, who else loves this are freaking adversaries. They love the fact that we’re fighting and and we’re talking.

Brian Kilmeade [00:09:48] Stuff that doesn’t.

Will Hurd [00:09:48] Really doesn’t matter. And they’re pointing to everybody else. You know, when when when when the Chinese dictator goes to Latin America and says, hey, you see, you know, America came. Even get their act together, how are they going to be able to be a partner to you work with? So our adversaries are eating up this kind of drama, and that’s putting us in a bad situation, which is why we know that because of all this baggage, if Donald Trump is our nominee, we are willingly giving four more years to Joe Biden. I don’t think America can handle that.

Brian Kilmeade [00:10:20] I want to come back and talk about China when we get back. But Congressman Will Hurd is going to be running for president. He made it official 24 hours ago. He’s here talking about it and he’s going to start working now to get on stage in August and be a big factor over in New Hampshire. When we come back, just tap into your knowledge of China, what they’re up to and what they would you think of Anthony Blinken’s trip as well as the president? United States yesterday coming out and saying, well, he’s a dictator and he was surprised by the balloon. Was that a bit of wordplay? Are we giving President Xi and out? That seems to me to be the case. Don’t move.

Speaker 3 [00:10:52] I think I’m more concerned when it comes to the United States with the fact that not just one particular individual is being accused of undermining existing laws, but that more broadly, we’ve seen, whether it’s through the gerrymandering of districts, whether it’s attempts to intimidate the press, a strand of anti-democratic sentiment that we’ve seen in the United States. It’s something that is right now most prominent in the Republican Party, but I don’t think it’s something that is unique to one party. I think there is a less tolerance for ideas that don’t suit us and sort of the habits of a free and open exchange of ideas and the idea that, you know, we all agree to the rules of the game, and even if the outcomes aren’t always the ones we like, we still abide by those rules. I think that’s weakened since I left office and we’re going to need to strengthen them again.

Brian Kilmeade [00:11:49] I want to get Will Hurd comment on President Obama talking about what’s changed since he left office. He was serving when President Obama was president. He wasn’t really tolerant, open to other ideas until that time. He took a Republican idea on anything.

Will Hurd [00:12:00] And his attorney general is leading one of the organizations that are trying to do gerrymandering to make it easier for Democrats to win elections across the country. Yes, right.

Brian Kilmeade [00:12:11] So he’s saying on gerrymandering. Yeah, right. Look, I’m so for New York.

Will Hurd [00:12:15] I am. I am. I have always been I always try to be intellectually honest. I’ve criticized my party when we do things that that I think are not within our ideals. But let’s talk about this gerrymandering issue, this about incumbent protection, the fact that, you know, people criticize Texas because the districts got redder. Well, they also got bluer, and that was because Democrats participated in that. Look at Illinois. Illinois drew lines to make sure that they can kick out Adam Kinzinger. This is this is something that happens on the fact that now Democrats in Arizona are trying to prevent this group, No Labels, from having a third party ballot access. And Democrats are the ones that are trying to throw that out. And they did all the things because they’re afraid that Joe Biden will lose. And then Joe Biden’s not going to debate anybody because he’s the president. Now, I can criticize Donald Trump for doing that when he was running for reelection as well, too. But the fact that the Democrats are doing that as well and many of the people out of the Obama administration are participating in these things, yes, we should make it easier for people to vote, plain and simple. We should have a competition of ideas. We should have more people standing up and debating issues and real issues. And that’s what’s good for all of us and that’s what’s good for America.

Brian Kilmeade [00:13:40] But I would add this on voting. It can’t be a voting season. For example, you’re voting in August, sandwiched September. Well, we have two debates left and then who knows? Remember, George W Bush had a DWI at the last minute last week. It actually flattened out and made Gore. You know, we had a delay. Again, Trump was excuse me, Bush was up by four or five points. The DWI comes out and he drops in those key states. Then we had to go another month. It wasn’t just so things happened along the way. For example, the laptop. If the laptop was looked at legitimately, it could have flipped the entire election, but not if you do voter harvesting and you vote the early voting in September. I’m all for senior citizens and others having access. We got that drive by. I got a huge problem with if I’m sitting in the car and I’m 18 and my father tells me or my mother tells me to vote a certain way, I’m handing the ballots out front, get out of the car. It’s never been a problem in the past. How lazy are we getting?

Will Hurd [00:14:33] Right? And they make provisions for help. People that have difficulty that are that immobile to do this. It is 2023. We can confirm somebody’s identity in a very quick, easy way like this should not this should not be hard. And we should have a voter I.D., you know, voter ID and we should make it easier and we should be. If if one county wants to vote until midnight, let them vote until midnight.

Brian Kilmeade [00:15:02] And Congressman, heard, you know, that the overwhelmingly people have no problem bringing a license to vote. No one thinks it’s racist and some activists think it’s racist. But I want to get your take. I want to get your take on China. And what is happening here is President Biden talking about what a great trip Secretary of State Blinken had cut 24.

Speaker 3 [00:15:21] I believe that and I’ve said this for some time, that the history about the relationship with China is collapsing and moving, etc., etc.. We had an incident that caused some some confusion, you might say. But Secretary Blinken had a great trip to China. I expect to be meeting with President Xi sometime in the future, in the near term, and I don’t think it’s had any real consequence.

Brian Kilmeade [00:15:53] Your thoughts?

Will Hurd [00:15:54] Confusion. What? What was he talking about there? I hope he wasn’t talking about the spy balloons. And he was. And to me, that.

Brian Kilmeade [00:16:03] Confusion about.

Will Hurd [00:16:04] Cuba. Look, it’s it’s outrageous. It’s outrageous that you can’t go and deal with someone who is trying to surpass you as the global superpower and do it from a position of weakness. What what Anthony Blinken should have done is he should have flown to all of our allies in Europe. Right. And line them up and talk about the things and how where was China?

Brian Kilmeade [00:16:29] They got Europe.

Will Hurd [00:16:30] In. Look. So so so the thing that people need to look at when it comes to China and why we should be scared. I believe it was about a month ago when President Macron from France was in Beijing, was interviewed by an American newspaper and said, hey, America, don’t make France choose. Because he was implying you’re not going to like the answer, that they’re going to choose China. And that’s a significant problem. And every American should care about this issue, because if the Chinese government surpasses the United States of America as a global superpower. It’s going to impact every single person. It’s going to make our retirement not last as long. It’s going to make the dollar not go as far, is going to prevent our kids and our grandkids from having the best paying jobs. This is this is going to impact every single one of us. And it requires us to deal with the Chinese government, a country that’s four times our size. It requires us to have a bigger posse and we need our friends and we can’t have weak leaders.

Brian Kilmeade [00:17:29] I only have 20 seconds, but this is our foremost formidable foe. It beats the Soviet Union, beat Germany in the 1940s. Right.

Will Hurd [00:17:36] It’s not it’s unprecedented, this kind of challenge that we’re dealing with in the United States.

Brian Kilmeade [00:17:40] Graduations. Congressman, I’m so glad you’re in. You’re going to make everybody smarter and challenge every candidate. And I would not count you out by a long shot. Don’t give up on Iowa.

Will Hurd [00:17:48] Thanks, brother.