Via America’s Lawyer: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell vets possible Senate successors in the event he doesn’t finish out the remainder of his term. Also, President Biden’s glaring absence from press events since taking office has many concerned he isn’t up to the task of delivering public addresses. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             Mitch McConnell wants to make sure he has an exit strategy if he decides to leave office, but his plan could end up costing Kentucky residents their voice in elections. Joining me to explain what’s happening is Farron Cousins from the trial lawyer magazine, and absolutely the best, the best progressive commentator in the business. I really mean that.

Farron Cousins:                  Thank you.

Mike Papantonio:             I have to watch all of them. So, so let’s pick up with this. It’s a, this is his way out, isn’t it? He’s saying, look, I’m tired of this. I’m old. I got physical problems. I need to get out. But when I get out, I need to have my guy there.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. I think if Mitch McConnell had known that he had a strong person to take his place, he wouldn’t have even run for reelection this past year, but he did and so at 79 years old, he says, well, I got six years ahead of me now. I, I can’t do this. I’ve been here for 36 years now. I need to figure out what’s going to happen. I’m not in the best of health. Um, you know, we all saw pictures recently a couple months ago where he showed up, had bruises on his face, bruises all over his hands and swelling and so he understands, look, I, I may not make it. I’m a realistic guy. But I want to make sure that our Democratic governor doesn’t appoint a Democrat to my seat.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  So he is helping to push legislation in the Kentucky state legislature that would actually allow the parties, essentially to, if it’s a Republican that leaves the Republicans get to pick them. If it’s a Democrat, the Democrats do.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. US Senate, razor thin, razor thin advantage that the Democrats have. I’m not even sure they have an advantage when I start looking at some of these votes, but they say numbers wise, it looks like razor thin. It is razor thin. So everything, got a lot riding on this. Now here’s the way I see it. You got a, you got a Republican majority that is, it’s absolutely, it’s, it’s veto proof. So if this passes, this is what the next, this is, this is what it’s gonna look like in Kentucky and I think we might start seeing it in other places, to tell you the truth. Because they’re, they’re really focused on the fact that even though you got these horrible middle of the road kind of Democrats, that really aren’t helping much. You know, this can be important.

Farron Cousins:                  Right. And this is usually the way we see these things happen. There’s always that bellwether, you know, we saw it in Wisconsin with the destruction of the teachers’ unions and the Scott Walker, funded by the Koch brother days and then they took it everywhere else. So this could very easily be something, a blueprint, basically, that Republicans in other States and even Democrats in other States.

Mike Papantonio:             Right.

Farron Cousins:                  Try to push through because it does kind of guarantee that, listen, if something happens to your person, you get to fill that seat instead of holding a special election and letting the people have their say in who gets to represent them.

Mike Papantonio:             What’s interesting is you have an aging, almost dinosaur leadership across the board.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay. I mean, whether you’re talking Republicans, talking Democrats and you got the Pelosi issue, you got the Schumer issue. I mean, there’s a lot of things that are going to take hold as we start saying, what, what happens when we lose senators? We’re going to start seeing more of that, I really predict it.

Farron Cousins:                  I believe so too. I mean, it’s inevitable. It happens to everybody, so.

Mike Papantonio:             Right.

Mike Papantonio:             President Biden has not held a single press conference in the past seven weeks and increasing speculation that he’s not up to the task. You know, as I look at this story, I don’t think it’s Biden that is choosing not to do this. It’s his handlers, you know, the, he’s surrounded by the handlers. This guy has been around for a long time. He understands politics. You know, yeah, does he stumble? Yes. Does he say crazy things? Yes. Do you watch him and say, my God, I wish you hadn’t done that? But look, he’s been around a long time. He could operate at half capacity and still understand the program more than most of the leadership in the Democratic party. What is your take on this?

Farron Cousins:                  Absolutely. But, but it really, you know, you kind of have to weigh the cost benefit here. If he goes out there and he says something and he stumbles and forgets somebody’s name or their department, conservative media has a field day with it.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  But then again, you hide them away for seven weeks and don’t let them talk to anybody, they go after that as well. So you’re in a lose, lose situation and I think the one that you want to lose is the theory that you’re hiding him.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  You do need to bring him out to the public. You need to let him talk and like you said, he’s going to say stupid things. That’s what Joe Biden did all throughout the campaign. But the more you hide him, the worse it looks on the Democrats.

Mike Papantonio:             Don’t you think the average American understands. It’s not him making all the decisions. He has people to do that. Look, you know, I’ve heard, last, in just the last few days, I go, my God, what is he saying? Why can’t he remember? Why, and it’s a memory problem, he literally couldn’t remember the name of the Pentagon. He couldn’t remember the attorney general, but at, but at the same time, he’s been around a long time. He does understand the program and his handlers certainly aren’t going to save him. Put him in front of a camera. Let him be Joe Biden. My take.

Farron Cousins:                  Well, you know, we’ve got a lot, as you’ve already pointed out, a lot of aging people in leadership in Washington, DC, Republicans and Democrats. On the Democratic side though, you have a lot of people that are pushing 80, some even over 80.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Pelosi, you got Pelosi.

Farron Cousins:                  Pelosi, who gave that weird interview a few months ago. Remember the good morning, Sunday morning. She had no idea what was happening. Dianne Feinstein, reports are coming out that half the time she didn’t know where the hell she was.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. The Feinstein reports are very serious.

Farron Cousins:                  They really are.

Mike Papantonio:             They’re really serious. The Pelosi reports, ah, you know, they had one where it looked like she was either drunk or she was just completely stroking out. But when they went back and looked at it and it’s somebody that had doctored the film. Feinstein, not the case.

Farron Cousins:                  Right.

Mike Papantonio:             I mean, Feinstein, you got to look at her and say, eh, I don’t know if she’s long for the world.

Farron Cousins:                  Well, and there’s been reports from pharmacists who haven’t named names, but they have said in Washington, DC, they have filled dementia and other, you know, mental prescriptions.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  I don’t know how, exactly how to say that, but for members of Congress, you know, basically admitting that there’s plenty of them that do have some kind of severe cognitive decline, Alzheimer medication. That’s what it was.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Okay.

Farron Cousins:                  That’s what he was filling. So, you know, it’s a, it’s a real problem and it does create speculation, but it also shows that we have to do something better than just putting these 80 year olds in charge of the country all the time.

Mike Papantonio:             Move over. It’s like we do with our law firm. You know, at some point I’m not going to be trying as many cases as I try. So I say, I try to get the younger lawyers ready to do that. Any business should do that, but, again, it comes back. I don’t think we look at Biden and he’s stumbling all around and say, oh my God, all is lost. He’s Joe Biden. He can operate at half, half speed and still do a better job than most of these folks who’ve been around a long time. And he’s surrounding himself, I’m not so sure about the rest of them though. We got to look at the aging as a big issue.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.