Democratic leaders have issued a stern warning to the Party – Stop being mean to Vice President Kamala Harris, or else! But the Party doesn’t seem to understand that Harris is hugely unpopular and could cost them the next election. Plus, after a public pressure campaign that has now spanned years, drug maker Eli Lilly announced that they would be capping the price of insulin at just $35 per month – a major win for consumers, even if it is just a PR stunt by the company. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


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

Mike Papantonio: Democratic leaders have issued a stern warning to the party. Stop, stop being mean to Vice President Kamala Harris, or else. Well, but the party doesn’t seem to understand that she’s hugely unpopular, Farron, and she could cost them the next election. Here’s the problem, here’s the visuals on it. You got a guy who’s gonna be what, 82 or 83 by the time the next term would be over?

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: You got her making decisions. And if you just take a little, take a little walk down her history, it’s pretty scary. Because first of all, when it came to the presidential election, the primaries, what she get get 1% of the vote in California? She was the attorney general for God’s sakes and she had such a ridiculous history of screw ups that she got 1% of the California vote in the primaries. So now people are looking at this and saying, wait, she’s one heartbeat away from the president. An 83 year old guy walking around eating ice cream cones, maybe doesn’t even know where he is a lot of part, a lot of the time. But she’s one heartbeat away from that. What’s your take on this story?

Farron Cousins: Yeah. This is really bizarre. And it’s important. Like, this came from CNN, so it’s not a far right website talking about this.

Mike Papantonio: Well, they’re trying to move far right to try to get their, they’re trying to get their audience back.

Farron Cousins: Right. But I think it is important to say this is national mainstream news at this point.

Mike Papantonio: Yes, yes.

Farron Cousins: And you had Elizabeth Warren who made a comment recently who said, hey, you know, you’re good with Joe Biden as president. You good with Kamala Harris as vice president? She said, well, I’ll leave that up to Joe. So then the party leaders got furious with Elizabeth Warren.

Mike Papantonio: I’ll leave that up to Joe was not strong enough.

Farron Cousins: Right. And so they’re calling her saying, you gotta apologize. So now Elizabeth Warren has had to leave voicemails and messages.

Mike Papantonio: Why is she doing that?

Farron Cousins: To apologize.

Mike Papantonio: But why? If anything, she should be running for president. She should be a vice presidential candidate.

Farron Cousins: She should be.

Mike Papantonio: Elizabeth Warren is fabulous as a political, as a political candidate. And she’s having to apologize to Kamala Harris who’s lost what, three quarters of her staff? And her staff, the criticism is that she was lazy. She’s disorganized. She’s over her head. She’s petty and mean. Those are just a few of the things that are coming from the staff as they move away from this woman. And Elizabeth Warren is apologizing. Don’t you wanna say Elizabeth, you don’t have to apologize. You know, jump into the race, run.

Farron Cousins: You know what stuck out to me though, reading through this article, because you see the arguments that the party leadership is making for don’t attack Kamala. And it’s the same arguments that we would get in emails and phone calls and Twitter messages in 2016 saying, how dare you call out the bad things Hillary Clinton has done because you could cost the Democrats the election.

Mike Papantonio: I know, really.

Farron Cousins: But, it’s verbatim what these Democratic insiders are saying now. Like, no, you can’t attack the vice president. You can’t call her out because we’re in the fight of our lives and by God, we’ve gotta win. And that’s their mentality. It’s their job to make sure they win. But at the same time, it’s okay as people to say, listen, yeah, I like this party, but do they screw up a lot? Yeah, they do.

Mike Papantonio: Look, there’s an interesting article I saw that we have visuals, that everything is visual where it comes to the American public when they’re evaluating politics. You know, if I were to say to you, what is the visual of Dukakis? What would you, what comes to your mind?

Farron Cousins: He’s the tank guy.

Mike Papantonio: The tank, the helmet, right? He’s driving in the tank. If I were to say, what is the visual of Bush when you go, oh my God, what a nutcase, what would it be?

Farron Cousins: Yeah. Well, depending on which Bush, you had HW, which would be the.

Mike Papantonio: You know, the crazy, the goofy Bush. The real goofy Bush.

Farron Cousins: The little one is just this guy is, you know, he can’t add two plus two. The Bushisms.

Mike Papantonio: That’s right.

Farron Cousins: The tripping.

Mike Papantonio: I think of him landing on the carrier. And it’s over. The war is over.

Farron Cousins: Mission accomplished.

Mike Papantonio: Mission accomplished. And so you go on with all of these visuals, her visual is word salad. That’s her visual. Because when she speaks it’s word salad most of the time, and they’ve tried to correct her, they’ve tried to say, please don’t talk so much. You know, they’ve tried to say, don’t do these interviews, just sua sponte. Don’t do that. It’s word salad. But the point is, there are so many great female politicians that could step into that, those shoes. Name a couple. Elizabeth Warren, I”ll start.

Farron Cousins: Elizabeth Warren, Katie Porter.

Mike Papantonio: Katie Porter would be great.

Farron Cousins: She would be phenomenal.

Mike Papantonio: I mean, she can speak. It’s not word salad, you know.

Farron Cousins: And she, unlike Harris here, takes on those corporate interests. I mean, Harris, let’s not forget as Attorney General of California, she’s the one who lets Steve Mnuchin and these other criminal bankers walk away.

Mike Papantonio: That’s right. Yeah. Stole billions.

Farron Cousins: They had them cold.

Mike Papantonio: Stole billions of dollars. Yeah.

Farron Cousins: They had all that evidence. Spent years compiling it. She refused to do anything about it. Look, she’s got a negative 10 approval rating with the public.

Mike Papantonio: I forgot about that.

Farron Cousins: She’s underwater by 10 points. She hasn’t been in media recently. So we know the administration, they’re trying to keep her back.

Mike Papantonio: Of course.

Farron Cousins: And if you wanna use her to her strengths, send her out there to be the happy, smiling face and Biden can be the fighter.

Mike Papantonio: What is the first attack that we are gonna get for talking about her? What are the commenters gonna be?

Farron Cousins: It’s misogynism, misogyny and then racism.

Mike Papantonio: Misogyny and racism. Rather than thinking about what are we really saying, that’s the easy go-to. Well, you know what, we’re gonna say it anyway. It’s not that. It’s not racism, it’s not the fact that she’s a woman. There are plenty of women of color that could do a great job in that, in that position. But it ain’t her. I can tell you that. She’s like an albatross around the neck of the Democratic party and they can’t get rid of the bird.

Mike Papantonio: Can you believe it? After a public pressure campaign that’s now spanned years, Eli Lilly has announced that they’re gonna cap the price of insulin to just $35 a month. A major win for consumers. Not hardly. This is the worst PR scam I’ve ever seen. Let me begin with saying this. It costs $7 a vial, $7 a vial to create this insulin. Right? Now, they were trying to sell it for, the numbers are staggering, 200, almost $250 per vial. Pick it up from there.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. This is 100% a PR stunt. It is not even really a win for consumers because technically they didn’t change their policy. It was always $35 per month. The way they figure this out is they do these incentives and the rebates when you go through insurance. So even though you see the sticker shock of, you know, $200 for the regular Eli Lilly insulin, you were not paying that. What you’re paying for, of course, are the more expensive additives, because sometimes the insurance won’t cover the original one. So this is all a big smoke and mirrors type thing. Eli Lilly always had this policy. They’re just trying to get the public, they’re trying to get Bernie Sanders off their back, is what this is.

Mike Papantonio: Okay. Let’s talk about, let’s talk about insulin just a little bit. This is a product that has been around for almost a century. Okay. The people who developed the product gave it to a university in Toronto and said, just use it. It’s not ours. It’s free. You take it, you help people with it. The truth is, then you had Eli Lilly, Sanofi, Nordisk, all of these awful people that run the pharmaceutical money making process says, hey, well, we’re gonna buy it and we’re gonna, we’re gonna make it so expensive that at some point people are having to cut down on the amount of use. They’re actually cutting their use in half just so they can make it. Bernie Sanders comes out, he says, uh-uh, you got some splaining to do. Soon as they do that, they come in here with their lies. Their lies are this, oh, we, this is expensive because of R and D. We’ve had research and development. There’s been zero research and development. It’s been around for a century. There’s no, there’s been no, there’s been no scientific advancements at all. It’s the same product that that character gave away almost a century ago. And now all they’re doing is raping American consumers who are sick with diabetes and we’re not doing a thing about it.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. And this is kinda like the Moderna story we talked about a couple weeks ago. Bernie Sanders threatens the CEO to explain why you’re jacking up the price of the COVID vaccine. Then finally Moderna’s like, okay, we’re not gonna do it. Bernie Sanders puts all this pressure. I mean, back in his 2020 campaign, he traveled across the border to Canada with a group of diabetics to witness them firsthand having to buy insulin in bulk in Canada because they couldn’t afford it here in the US. So he has been at the forefront of this for many, many years. He put the pressure on them. And he’s smart enough to know this is smoke and mirrors. So I don’t think he’s done either.

Mike Papantonio: Okay. They’ve been sued and here’s what the suit says, that they’re saying, Mr. and Ms. Lilly, you met with the other manufacturers. You talked about and discussed what they were charging. You came up with a price fixing scheme. You sold that price fixing scheme to government. You did it in a way that you increased the cost of your product from $25 to $275 over this period of, this period of time. It’s price fixing, it’s antitrust. They’re gonna get sued. And you know what? I’m gonna have the opportunity to take the depositions. Interesting. Just happens to be, I will be taking those depositions and I promise they will be a blood bath because there’s no defense to what these folks are doing. And the very fact that they’re making this look like, like some, like they really care about us. That they’re trying to really give us a break is nonsense.

Farron Cousins: Right. And as you pointed out, it only costs $7 to make a vial of insulin. They would turn a huge profit if they turned around and sold it for $9, is what the reports tell us.

Mike Papantonio: Right. Well, that was how it started out.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: Started out, well, we’re gonna charge a reasonable amount because people will die, you know, they’ll die without their insulin. And people are having to use half amounts, just cut their amount in half, which is extremely dangerous.

Farron Cousins: I mean, we’re talking about what, 7 million people in this country that are on insulin daily?

Mike Papantonio: Yes, yes.

Farron Cousins:: If they only paid a $2 markup on these vials, you’re talking about $14 million for every vial these people made make.

Mike Papantonio: Pigs.

Farron Cousins: It is, yeah.

Mike Papantonio: Pigs at the trough. That’s what’s working here.

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.