In This Episode
- Florida Governor Ron DeSantis officially exited the 2024 presidential race and endorsed former President Donald Trump. He made the announcement in a video posted on X on Sunday, just two days before the New Hampshire primary.
- Because of his departure, all eyes will be Donald Trump and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley in Tuesday’s primary. Democrats will also go out to vote, even though President Joe Biden will not be on the ballot this year. For more, we’re joined by Manny Espitia, former New Hampshire lawmaker and northern regional director for the progressive group Run for Something.
- And in headlines: the death toll in Gaza soared past 25,000 people, a grand jury is set to investigate local police in Uvalde, Texas for their response to the deadly 2022 massacre at Robb Elementary School, and California State University System faculty members will walk off the job this week to demand better pay and benefits.
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Tre’vell Anderson: It’s Monday, January 22nd. I’m Tre’vell Anderson.
Josie Duffy Rice: And I’m Josie Duffy Rice and this is What a Day where we can officially announce a job harder than rocket scientist, professional jar opener.
Tre’vell Anderson: There was this canister with asteroid samples that traveled 1.2 billion miles to get into NASA’s hands, and after taking almost three months, they were finally able to pry it open.
Josie Duffy Rice: They should have bought that thing on TikTok that will allow you to open any jar. [laughter] [music break] On today’s show, treacherous winter weather killed roughly 90 people across the country. Plus, the death toll in Gaza has passed 25,000.
Tre’vell Anderson: But first, Florida Governor Ron DeSanctimonious announced yesterday his exit from the race to become the Republican presidential nominee.
[clip of Ron DeSantis] If there was anything I could do to produce a favorable outcome, more campaign stops, more interviews, I would do it. But I can’t ask our supporters to volunteer their time and donate their resources if we don’t have a clear path to victory. Accordingly, I am today suspending my campaign.
Tre’vell Anderson: That was, of course, something we all expected would come, but perhaps just not this soon. As we know he did not win the Iowa caucuses last week, finishing in a distant second behind Trump. But that is really where the writing was already on the wall. Iowa was a state into which DeSantis had poured millions of dollars in an aggressive campaign, visiting all 99 counties in the state and in the process ignoring other early voting states like New Hampshire, like South Carolina. So we can tell he really was putting a lot of eggs in that basket. But this is why Josie, the old folks say, don’t count your eggs before they hatch.
Josie Duffy Rice: I saw online that he spent like $150 million dollars for 23,000 votes in Iowa, something around that number. So that’s like $6,000 a vote.
Tre’vell Anderson: Whew!
Josie Duffy Rice: This is the fiscal responsibility we keep hearing about from the Republicans you know. [laughter] Did he say anything else of interest when he ended his campaign? I was too busy cheering to like hear the rest of it, you know.
Tre’vell Anderson: Well, I am not sure if this is interesting or not, but he did endorse Trump. Take a listen.
[clip of Ron DeSantis] He has my endorsement because we can’t go back to the old Republican Guard of yesteryear, a repackaged formed of warmed over corporatism that Nikki Haley represents. The days of putting Americans last, of kowtowing to large corporations, of caving to woke ideology are over.
Tre’vell Anderson: Of course, it’s not like Trump needed his endorsement per se, but the fact that DeSantis did has prompted discourse about if he might consider being Trump’s running mate. Now, DeSantis has said that the VP position doesn’t offer him much of anything. But, you know, people be lying so we will just have to wait and see. Now, that basically leaves this thing as a race between Trump and Nikki Haley, and Miss mamas is out here ready to fight. Okay. Here she is giving a speech in Seabrook, New Hampshire yesterday.
[clip of Nikki Haley] When we win, the presidency in this country, I will do everything I can to prove to you that you made the right decision. But for now, I’ll leave you with this. May the best woman win.
Josie Duffy Rice: Mmm.
Tre’vell Anderson: [laugh] You’re not buying it?
Josie Duffy Rice: Not buying it. And I wish I bought it because given the two terrible choices of Trump and Nikki Haley, I will take Nikki Haley. But I don’t think it’s going to work. [laughter] Related to this question of what Nikki Haley’s future looks like, let’s turn to tomorrow’s New Hampshire primary. All eyes will certainly be on Donald Trump and Nikki Haley. Trump remains the clear frontrunner right now, but Haley is turning her attention to unaffiliated voters in the state who can head to the polls as well. And Democrats will be too, even though President Joe Biden will not be on the ballot this year because of this complicated fight where the DNC wanted Biden to appear on South Carolina ballots first for that state’s primary in a few weeks. It’s a whole thing. But Biden will not be on the ballot. But there are still a lot of important down ballot races in New Hampshire for Democrats to vote on, like the state’s governor race, for example. So let’s get into that. And how much the people of New Hampshire grilled Nikki Haley over these past few weeks. I spoke with Manny Espitia, he’s a former Democratic representative of New Hampshire’s State House as well as the Northern regional director at Run for Something, a progressive group dedicated to recruiting and supporting young candidates running for down ballot office. He’s also worked for other groups like New Hampshire Young Democrats and Free and Fair New Hampshire in the past. So it is safe to say he knows what’s up in the Granite State. When I talked to him earlier, I started by asking him how Nikki Haley is faring in the state.
Manny Espitia: You know, what’s funny is I was I just left a baby, we did a like a little baby shower for my my wife and I.
Josie Duffy Rice: [gasp] Exciting.
Manny Espitia: Very excited. But, you know, here in New Hampshire, we do talk a lot about politics, so. You know, people were talking about it at the party. They were like, you know, what do you think the chances are? And I just said, well, two things. One, I think she’s going to drop out right after the New Hampshire primary, just like Ron DeSantis. They didn’t even make it to the New Hampshire primary. He’s out. And, you know, I think second, I think, you know, our governor’s endorsement kind of flatlined her campaign. Ever since she got endorsed by Governor Sununu, he just kind of she was heading up and then it just flatlined. I don’t think she’s really got much of a shot anymore at this point. I mean, obviously she’s going to come in second because the field is literally empty now. So, you know, I think she’s put up a good fight, but I think it’s over.
Josie Duffy Rice: So you’ve served in the state legislature in the past. What is it that voters want to hear from the candidates, Democrats included, as they make their case for why they should be the president this November?
Manny Espitia: So I always say that New Hampshire may not be the kind of place that, all right, we don’t necessarily always pick the right person to be president, but we’re very good at weeding out the field. We will take out candidates. We will expose them for who they are. Um, we ask them the real questions. I mean, speaking of Nikki Haley, she was asked during one of the town halls, you know, what was the cause of the Civil War? And her answer, you know nothing to do with slavery.
[clip of Nikki Haley] I mean, I think the cause of the Civil War was basically how government was gonna run. The freedoms and what people could and couldn’t do.
[clip of unknown person questioning Nikki Haley] Thank you. And then in the year 2023, it’s astonishing to me that you answered that question without mentioning the word slavery.
[clip of Nikki Haley] What do you want me to say about slavery?
[clip of unknown person questioning Nikki Haley] No. Um, uh, you answered my question.
Josie Duffy Rice: Mmm not the best.
Manny Espitia: Not the best. And it was just that’s a very key, like New Hampshire moment. That’s just one of those things that people say, you know, only here in New Hampshire do we get those real life moments where we interact with candidates, where we actually, well you know, we ask these questions and they’re expected to answer. They’re expected to, you know, be genuine, be authentic. And if they’re not, voters see right through it, voters can kind of smell the B.S.. And so, you know, folks are asking questions to candidates about, you know, the future of this country, whether it’s the economy, whether it’s housing, whether it’s immigration. And I think, one of the things I like about the state.
Josie Duffy Rice: Right. So we can’t talk about the New Hampshire primary without talking about how Biden is not on the ballot. He is the first sitting president in more than 50 years to essentially skip over the Granite State. And that’s because there is this drama after the DNC alleged that New Hampshire officials scheduled their election too early. So Biden focused on South Carolina instead. You’re part of the campaign to get people to write Biden in on their ballot this Tuesday. Why is that? What’s the goal? Why is it important?
Manny Espitia: We’re having this primary, Joe Biden’s not on the ballot, but we take our civic responsibility, like, extremely seriously. You know, the New Hampshire primary is it’s going to happen, and we’re going to make damn sure that people know that he is the best candidate, and he is our pick to, you know, lead our country. And honestly, I think, you know, we want to make sure that folks know his of his accomplishments, whether it’s the Inflation Reduction Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, you know, things like that, that I think are actually making a difference in people’s lives. Things like reducing the cost of insulin and like, you know, fighting for things like trying to reduce our student loan debt. He’s the best candidate. And we’re just going to make sure that he comes out on top on Tuesday.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah. Aside from the presidency, there’s another crucial race happening in New Hampshire for the governor’s office. The Republican governor of New Hampshire, Chris Sununu, declined to run again. And so Democrats are trying to flip the state blue. Can you tell us more about why that effort is so crucial?
Manny Espitia: Yeah, so we have two major candidates right now, former Mayor Joyce Craig from Manchester and Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington. I want the House majority. I want the state Senate majority because it legitimately will make a difference in people’s lives. But the key will be making sure we get the governor seat. So I think at the end of the day, that’s going to be a super competitive race and their opponent is going to be right now the, you know, front runner looks like Kelly Ayotte. Chuck Morse, who’s a state senator, is also running. But so it’s going to be a tough race. Everyone’s going to be fighting for that. The I’m sure the DGA and uh, and the Republican Governors Association, whatever, they’re going to be throwing in a boatload of money. So it’s it’s going to be a contentious race. It’s gonna be an exciting one. And I think I live in Nashua, and my city is one of the cities that really is a big determiner. So if we win Nashua most likely will win the state.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, absolutely. Manny, thank you so much for being here. This was great. And, uh, good luck on Tuesday.
Manny Espitia: Oh. Thank you. It’s been a pleasure.
Josie Duffy Rice: That was my conversation with Manny Espitia of the progressive group Run for Something. And that is the latest for now. We will be back after some ads. [music break].
Josie Duffy Rice: Now let’s wrap up with some headlines.
Josie Duffy Rice: The death toll in Gaza has soared past 25,000 people. The Gaza and Health Ministry announced that grim number yesterday, and one of the deadliest days of the war happened this past weekend. 178 Palestinians were killed in one 24 hour period. Meanwhile, Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu continued to double down against a two state solution even after President Biden tried to press him on the matter in a call on Friday. Netanyahu later said in a video statement, quote, “I will not compromise on full Israeli security control over all the territory west of the Jordan River.” It’s a stance, that is to say the least, increasingly at odds with the international community. Yesterday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had this to say.
[clip of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres] The repeated refusal yesterday to accept the two state solutions for Israelis and Palestinians is totally unacceptable.
Tre’vell Anderson: A grand jury is set to investigate local police in Uvalde, Texas, for their response to the deadly 2022 massacre at Robb Elementary School. The move was first reported by the Uvalde-Leader News on Friday, and it comes after the Justice Department released a report last week detailing the police’s failures in the shooting that killed 19 young children and two of their teachers. Many former law enforcement officials have already resigned or been fired following the massacre. Now, members of the grand jury will meet twice a month to hear testimony from witnesses in order to determine whether Uvalde’s District Attorney Christina Mitchell can bring criminal charges against some of those officers. Kimberly Mata-Rubio, the mother of a ten year old girl who was killed in the Uvalde school shooting, released a statement on Friday saying, quote, “I am glad people are finally seeing the truth. Our children and those two teachers were failed.”
Josie Duffy Rice: In some very tragic news, 91 people died due to last week’s intense winter storms that stretched throughout most of the country, that’s according to CBS. The news outlet found that most of the deaths happened in Tennessee and Oregon. The governors of both states declared states of emergency after severe ice storms tore through neighborhoods over the weekend, blowing down infrastructure and icing the roads. And Portland officials found three people who were electrocuted to death after a powerline fell on their car mid-drive. The only survivor was a baby who was in the backseat. Casualties also happened in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Washington, Kentucky, Wisconsin, New Jersey, and New York. And tens of thousands of people across the country are still without power as a result of the severe weather conditions. Cold weather is expected to last for the next few days nationwide.
Tre’vell Anderson: California may have some of the country’s highest housing costs, but it will soon give first time homebuyers a helping hand with round two of a popular loan program. It’s called the California Dream for All shared appreciation loan. State officials announced that starting in April, people can apply for no interest, no monthly payment loans that will cover downpayment and closing costs. To qualify, you have to be a first time homeowner and your parents must not own a home. So this is a big deal for people who can’t rely on generational wealth. It’s also open to people who’ve been in foster or institutional care, and repayments on the loan only kick in when the home is paid off, resold or refinanced. Round one of this program took place last April, and it was so popular that it ran out of funds in just 11 days. But this extension goes a long way in tackling the state’s housing crisis. Right before round two was announced, California Governor Gavin Newsom joined Pod Save America last week to talk about that crisis and more.
[clip of Governor Gavin Newsom] California. We’ve led the nation in terms of high costs and NIMBYism. That’s led to low production and led to a supply demand imbalance that is quite literally strangling the ability for middle class to make it.
Tre’vell Anderson: You can listen to that full interview with Newsom on tomorrow’s episode of Pod Save America.
Josie Duffy Rice: Nearly 30,000 faculty members in the California State University System, or CSU, will walk off the job today to demand better pay and benefits. Starting at 8 a.m. Pacific Time, professors, librarians, counselors and coaches from all 26 Cal State campuses will go on strike for the next five days after universities failed to meet their union’s demands for a new labor contract. Their union, the California Faculty Association, is asking for a 12% salary increase across the board for its members. School officials have only offered faculty a 5% salary bump so far. This comes after CSU came to an agreement with more than 1000 of its trade workers on Friday. Those workers are set to join CSU faculty in their strike in a show of solidarity, while they vote to ratify their new deal. CSU said over the weekend that classes will not be canceled because of the strike, but students across the state have no idea what their school’s expectations are if their own teachers aren’t coming to class. Yeah, that’s to me, sounds like classes might be canceled.
Tre’vell Anderson: Listen, when I was in school, we had this, like rule. If the teacher wasn’t there within ten minutes.
Josie Duffy Rice: I’m out.
Tre’vell Anderson: Then you could leave, it was fine.
Josie Duffy Rice: I’m out. Yeah.
Tre’vell Anderson: You know.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah.
Tre’vell Anderson: I would advise that for all of the students here.
Josie Duffy Rice: That’s sounding like a rule that a lot of people are about to take into consideration. And those are the headlines.
Tre’vell Anderson: That is all for today. If you like the show. Make sure you subscribe. Leave a review. Give NASA tips on how to open up jelly jars and tell your friends to listen.
Josie Duffy Rice: And if you’re into reading and not just Ron’s single state plan to ruin America like me. What a Day is also a nightly newsletter. Check it out and subscribe at Crooked.com/subscribe! I’m Josie Duffy Rice.
Tre’vell Anderson: I’m Tre’vell Anderson.
[spoken together] And get back to Florida where you belong Ron.
Josie Duffy Rice: Except not while I’m there. I’m going to Florida in a few months. I’d like him to be out of town when I am there, if you could make that work. [music break]
Tre’vell Anderson: What a Day is a production of Crooked Media. It’s recorded and mixed by Bill Lancz. Our show’s producer is Itxy Quintanilla. Raven Yamamoto and Natalie Bettendorf are our associate producers, and our showrunner is Leo Duran. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka.