Show NotesLt. Governor Dan Patrick of Texas joins Liberty & Justice Season 2, episode 4. Watch every episode of Liberty & Justice at http://www.whitaker.tv.
Dan Patrick was first elected Lt. Governor of Texas in 2014 and then re-elected in 2018 and 2022. He is a preeminent voice for principled conservative policies both in Texas and across the nation.
Lt. Governor Patrick is a leader in the fight to protect liberty, lower property and business taxes, create jobs and grow our economy, strengthen our grid by adding additional reliable thermal power, provide a high-quality education for all, secure our border, support law enforcement, and to protect life, religious freedom, and the Second Amendment.
Lt. Governor Patrick has been called by critics and supporters the “most effective Lt. Governor in Texas history” and has presided over the most conservative and productive sessions ever. He gives the credit to the Senators for any success attributed to him. “They do the long and hard work of passing legislation,” says Patrick.
Before being elected Lt. Governor, he was twice elected to the Texas Senate in 2006 and 2010 representing part of Harris County. He spent over 40 years in the media as a television anchor, conservative talk host, and successful radio station owner, putting a then-unknown Rush Limbaugh on the air in Houston in 1988.
Lt. Governor Patrick is heavily involved in his community, raising over $20 million for children with disabilities. He wrote a Christian best-seller, “The Second Most Important Book You Will Ever Read,” and produced the awarding winning Christian film, “The Heart of Texas.”
Things you might not know about the Lt. Governor: He joined a cattle drive in Montana, once got in the barrel as a rodeo clown at a Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo bull riding event, led a 13-piece Motown band in high school, and has a collection of authentic signatures from every U.S. President and the Texas Founders including Bowie, Crockett, and Travis.
Lt. Governor Patrick has been married to his wife Jan, a former schoolteacher, for 47 years. They are the proud parents of two children, Ryan, a former prosecutor, judge and U.S. Attorney, and daughter Shane, a speech therapist and registered nurse. They have a great daughter and son-in-law and are proud grandparents to seven grandchildren.
Matthew G. Whitaker was acting Attorney General of the United States (2018-2019). Prior to becoming acting Attorney General, Mr. Whitaker served as Chief of Staff to the Attorney General. He was appointed as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa by President George W. Bush, serving from 2004-2009. Whitaker was the managing partner of Des Moines-based law firm, Whitaker Hagenow & Gustoff LLP from 2009 until rejoining DOJ in 2017. He was also the Executive Director for FACT, The Foundation for Accountability & Civic Trust, an ethics and accountability watchdog, between 2014 and 2017. Mr. Whitaker is the Author of the book--Above the Law, The Inside Story of How the Justice Department Tried to Subvert President Trump. Buy Matt’s book here: https://amzn.to/3IXUOb8
Mr. Whitaker graduated with a Master of Business Administration, Juris Doctor, and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Iowa. While at Iowa, Mr. Whitaker was a three-year letterman on the football team where he received the prestigious Big Ten Medal of Honor.
Mr. Whitaker is now a Co-Chair of the Center for Law and Justice at America First Policy Institute and a Senior Fellow at the American Conservative Union Foundation. Matt is on the Board of Directors for America First Legal Foundation and is a Senior Advisor to IronGate Capital Advisors. He is also Of Counsel with the Graves Garrett law firm. Whitaker appears regularly to discuss legal and political issues on Fox News, Newsmax and other news outlets. He splits his time between Iowa, Florida and Washington, D.C.
Eposode TranscriptMatt Whitaker [00:00:35] Welcome to Liberty and Justice. I'm your host, Matt Whitaker. This week's guest is a great patriot and a great friend of mine. Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. How are you, my friend?
Dan Patrick [00:00:46] I'm great, Matt. We've we've shared a lot of time together over the last six years, seven years now that we've known each other on the Trump campaign. And then I don't think we've been on Fox together yet at the same time, but we make a lot of Fox appearances together, so.
Matt Whitaker [00:01:03] I'll give it some time. I'm sure we'll get to do a panelist together. Well.
Dan Patrick [00:01:07] Since we think alike, they never what two guys that think alike are on the same panels or, you know.
Matt Whitaker [00:01:12] Yeah. I mean, you know, heaven forbid you have somebody that, you know, wants the best for their country and wants the people to flourish. I mean, that's it, you know?
Dan Patrick [00:01:19] Yeah, but.
Matt Whitaker [00:01:20] Those are radical ideas.
Dan Patrick [00:01:22] Darn radical ideas. But we're radical just because we love America. You know, we we want to salute the flag. We want to protect like the Second Amendment, keep business alive. You know, the you know, that's radical these days. You know, we give it all to God and somehow we're radical because we do that. And I know both of you are strong believers in our faith and committed to our Lord. Say so. But that's radical today.
Matt Whitaker [00:01:43] It's not. And we should not be afraid to say that. You know, I think that is so important. Our founding fathers knew how important faith was. You know, and it's just I think oftentimes the left tries to push faith out of the public square. And, you know, that is, I think, the wrong instinct. I think the right instinct is, you know, we're a better country when there's more people of faith that are in leadership. You know, it's it's just that simple.
Dan Patrick [00:02:13] Yeah. You know, Matt, it's interesting. I don't see a lot of the battles that we have in front of us today, necessarily, Republican and Democrat. I see darkness and light, good and evil. Now both sides can claim good. But so far, the Bible, the old and the New Testament have been pretty much a standard that you can put your hand on and say, this is the good, you know, Bible basic information before leaving Earth is how you could do biblically. And some people don't get that. But I think there's a lot of anger in the country. And some of that anger is maybe with people who don't have the same peace in their lives that maybe believers do. And look, I respect all faiths and religions. And for those who don't believe, I respect that as well. But just because we believe those of us who are Christians shouldn't we shouldn't have to hide that under the basket. In fact, the Bible talks about, you know, that we shouldn't have to do that. And and the Bible has said, you know, we will be we will be attacked for our beliefs. And and so, you know, I'd rather someone said, Dan, where you're running for office again, I just got elected. As you know, last year I was lieutenant governor two years, two terms of senator. And they said, well, aren't you afraid when you talk about God, it could cost you votes? I said, I'd rather get kicked out of office than kicked out of heaven.
Matt Whitaker [00:03:27] Yeah, but isn't that true? Isn't that so? Yeah, it's a great frame. So, Lieutenant Governor Texas, it's often said that it's the most powerful lieutenant governor in the country. And so tell me why that is often said. What is it about the lieutenant governor in Texas that makes it maybe a little more powerful than the sort of the number two in the line of succession?
Dan Patrick [00:03:50] Sure. So after the Civil War, at least this is what history tells us, and that's been kind of passed down to by some say, lieutenant governor's most powerful office in Texas. I disagree with that, by the way. I believe that the governor and lieutenant governor, we have different roles and that someone like Rick Perry and Greg Abbott, very strong personalities as governor. And also something that's changed because we had the first Republican governor back in the eighties was Bill Clements. And then George Bush came along the course before being president, but he had a Democrat Speaker of the House and lieutenant governor. So so it's only been since Rick Perry. It's only been since 2003 Republicans have run the state in terms of every statewide elected office and the majority in the House and Senate. So it's changed the role of the governor a little bit. And but the history is that the Texans weren't really happy with the kind of the carpetbagging governors that the the union sent down here after the Civil War. So a lot of powers not in the Constitution really, but in the role that we create in the Senate really led to that being the lieutenant governor, powerful. So there are only seven states where the lieutenant governor does not run on the same ticket with the governor of Texas. One of those I run separately. I mean, my campaign was $26 million this year. That's a big campaign in Texas because the big state for media markets and the governor probably spent, you know, three times that. But but so we run separately. And what makes this position different in Texas is the lieutenant governor of Texas. And I'm not talking about me personally, but the power of the office is because I appoint every chairman of every committee. I appoint every member of every committee, and the lieutenant governor alone decides which bills comes to the floor. So it's very much like a majority leader. You know, it's the Chuck Schumer, it's the Mitch McConnell, you know, in the various states who are listening to this podcast are watching. They most likely have a majority leader of the majority party to make those decisions. And so that's the role that lieutenant governor and and that that gives you a lot of clout. And of course, I have to have a great body. And I do. We have 31 senators and Texas. Each one represents just under a million people. So it's a few senators for a lot of people. And I have great senator, I have 19 Republicans, 12 Democrats. And I always say, Matt, that the good things that we do and done where we have passed the most conservative bills in history ever are the Texas Senate that we continue to do. So it's the work of the senators. They're in the committees, they're on the floor with the debates. They get all the credit and I give it to them. And if something goes wrong, it's on my shoulders. I just try to make sure nothing goes wrong.
Matt Whitaker [00:06:23] Well, what so I mean, this I'm not asking any insider information. I mean, this is a nationwide show. And so they'll for sure be Texans watching. But what are your legislative priorities? What are you going to bring to the Senate floor this year that you can talk about? You know, if they're secret bills? Yeah, I'm sure there's not. But what did you campaign on? What did you promise your. Fellow citizens that you would be the advocate and the the leader on.
Dan Patrick [00:06:48] Well, and and it's a great question, even though for people who don't live in Texas, because the truth is, as Texas goes, so goes the nation, particularly the other red states when we pass a bill. Other states will follow very often, no matter what it is. And even the federal government, when Donald Trump was president, he he based some of his legislation on based on what Texas had done before he was ever in office. So it is important I mean, just something like a textbook. We're so big when we order textbooks, they're not going to make a textbook for each different state. So, I mean, California, New York, maybe, and Texas, are the red states kind of follow. So it is important. The biggest thing coming into this session is and there are big issues and I'll hit those quickly. But the biggest thing is we have somewhere near a $50 billion surplus surplus. They want to put that in perspective. I think the highest we've ever had is six. And, you know, that's, you know, the entire budget of Oklahoma or New Mexico together is probably not more than 12 billion. So our surpluses, 50 we have 29 citizens. We're a nation state, ninth largest economy in the world, soon to pass Italy to be the eighth largest. I think they're ahead of us and we'll catch them very quickly. But I was on Tucker Carlson, Matt, in March, early March during COVID of 2020, and I did this famous interview. Turned out to be that where I said, look, I'm a senior citizen, which I am. I have grandchildren, which I have seven of them. I don't want to shut down the country because of COVID. If it's in those days, remember, it was all about the seniors were at risk and the seniors are at risk and still are at risk. And I urge all them to be careful with their health. But we'll take care of ourselves. Don't sacrifice the country for the senior citizens. I want this country to be the free country that I grew up in for my children and their children. And so you can't imagine the threats that I received from all around the country. You can't imagine, you know, the left, said Dan Patrick, lieutenant governor of Texas, wants to kill senior citizens for, you know, for the economy. It was just awful. And he had me back. But in fact, Tucker came on. So, you know, I don't think I've ever had such a reaction from any guest up at that time. And he had me back six months later and a year later. And we were right. Yeah. And, you know, Florida and Texas opened up soon, Matt. And so this $50 billion surplus, think about this in large part is because we took off like a rocket ship because we had our kids back in school, we opened our businesses, etc., etc.. Look at New York and California. People are fleeing from those states and and and there are the hole. So it's clear what we did was right. So part of this session, Matt, is about the money and we're going to return a lot of it to the taxpayers. It's their money. We're going to save a lot of it for the future. And that's $50 50 billion surplus. Plus we have another 20 billion or more in our rainy day fund. We are in better financial shape than almost all the states combined, almost, and most of the countries on the planet. So it's you know, how we spend that money is critical. We're conservatives. We don't spend all the money for our issues. There's no secret that we had a hurricane, a hurricane winter storm Uri, a few years ago, and our grid failed and people died and the economy was hit and businesses suffered. So our number one issue is to be sure that we strengthen the grid with more natural gas power. All this Green New Deal BS is nothing but B.S. Matt, and have proved it because our wind didn't work. The 1 million were frozen. And so all these people that say we're going to go green, you have to have dispatchable power. You can depend on it every state. So that's the big issue. School choice will be a big issue. Tax relief, always a big issues. But but that's the we were the test case to show that the Green New Deal does not work.
Matt Whitaker [00:10:36] Yeah.
Dan Patrick [00:10:36] It does not work.
Matt Whitaker [00:10:38] And, you know, we'll go back to, you know, sort of this idea of, you know, the 50 plus the 20 and, you know, the left, at least in my experience before, you know, Republicans took over. And Iowa, you know, they always anytime there was a surplus, they wanted to lock that spending in. They were, you know, invest. But they're not really investing. They're just, you know, throwing money at their at their interest groups, mostly teachers and schools. And that's obviously an important function of state government. I'm not suggesting you shouldn't, you know, invest in teachers schools. What I'm saying is you just can't take your surplus, throw it all in, you know, ongoing expenses and then have that locked in. So when the economy we go into a recession or some other unexpected event that you you know, you've got all sudden you're cutting state government. And I think you made the most important point that I just I love. It's music to my ear. Anytime I hear an elected official say that it's the people's money. And, you know, I know that you believe that because first of all, you you know, you were more the people than you were ever an elected official, you know, So you didn't come to politics as a as a young man.
Dan Patrick [00:11:43] No, I was in my fifties. Yeah, and I'm still about 50, but I've been doing this a while now, and. And what? What is important? And look at California. A few years ago, they had a 50 some billion dollars surplus, and then they had a $25 billion deficit. They spent all the money. What you and I'm a small business guy on a still own a radio station. I was I was a in Scranton, Pennsylvania. For your Pennsylvania followers. I was an ODP up there back in the seventies. And I was an Al Roker and I were two young guys who got hired on in Washington, DC back in the late seventies, and I came to Houston as a sportscaster. There's another Dan Patrick, but I'm about ten years older than the other. Dan And that's how I came to Houston. And then I bought a couple of radio stations and a guy called one day by the name of Rush Limbaugh. No one had ever heard of him in 1988. He couldn't get on the air. My radio station had more cars and people listening to it. We were 40th out of 40, I think, in the rankings. I put this guy rush on, what did I have to lose? And I put him on the air and within 90 days we were number one between 11 and two because he was saying the things that people were thinking that no one did. You you have to. And I love the guy. We became best friends. You have to remember what I what I rebel, what a revolutionary show that was. Because in those days, talk radio was asked a doctor asked the farmer, you know, what's your favorite recipe where you go on your summer vacation? Don't talk about God, don't talk about politics. Rush broke those barriers down. He is the Babe Ruth of AM Radio. He is the Babe Ruth of Fox News. I mean, he started at all. I mean, Sean HANNITY started filling in for him. It became Sean HANNITY. So so that's my background. And I'm a business guy and I and I just look at it as business. And and so it is about it is about managing the money. We did something back in Texas, and I've been trying to do this for a while. We finally got it passed. We passed a constitutional amendment that the people ratified easily that we cannot increase spending more than population and inflation. So out of this $50 billion surplus we have, we can only spend about 12 billion without raising the cap or cap. We're not going to bust the cap. And see, that's the problem with the federal government, every state. Except I think Vermont has a balanced budget. Our founders were beautiful in writing the Constitution, except two things term limits and a balanced budget. And so in Washington, when they get extra money, they spend it on things they can't maintain. So that's why they borrow more to maintain them in taxes. And the budget I've just introduced with John Hoffman by chair of finance, the budget we've introduced Matt, our big dollars are like one time investments. When we decide to give raises to teachers or we decide to put more money into law enforcement property tax cuts, we have to be sure we can maintain that because you can't go back and take it back. I mean, people you know, and if there's a terrible depression or whatever, we understand those things can happen. You have to cut. But we hope that doesn't happen under Biden. It could not a depression, but we could have a deep recession. But my point is, you have to budget that money and spend it so you can afford to keep doing certain things which are programs. And on the bigger items. And people say, well, what are you going to do if you can only spend 12 with the other 38? Well, we'll save some of it. And we can do some constitutional things where we can spend a one time dollars and do some one time really good things. And that's what we'll do.
Matt Whitaker [00:14:58] Yeah. And it's doing things that are in the best interest of the, you know, your fellow citizens so that they, you know, have a prosperous future. I mean, it's, you know, it's again, it's stuff that we just know in our you know, it's woven into our DNA almost. But it just is amazing that people on the left don't get this. But, you know, again, it's just different.
Dan Patrick [00:15:19] I think there's a I think there's a lack of business experience by a lot of Democratic candidates. And by the way, the Democrat Party is not the Democrat Party that it used to be. It's been taken over by the left. And you know what? I blame the moderate Democrats. There aren't many left, but I blame the Democrats for letting the woke left take over their party. That's their problem. And we now have to take on the woke left. We're facing. We're facing a different opponent now. And and so they just don't have a lot of business people in their party. And some of the things they say are just ridiculous. Let me give you example on these electric vehicles. Biggest scammer, the if you take four electric vehicles and charge them for at the same time at a station, you know, a charging station out front of a 50,000 square foot department store, they use as much power in 20 minutes charging for vehicles as that whole 50,000 square foot department store does during that 20 minutes. And they talk about, you know, electric vehicles are going to be great. Who's going to buy a car that when you bring it home overnight, you have to charge it for 7 hours or you go to the gas station, takes you 20 minutes to get some a semi charge. People don't want to be in the gas station these days for more than 5 minutes. It's not a good place to be. And so you've got to go to the gas station, 20 minutes to get a semi charger. What if you're like the 20th car line? Wait, because now you go in, you go out 20 minutes a time for a car. It's people are just aren't going to do it. And you and you're going to be driving around the country and your plan half your time looking where you can get a charge. I mean look I'm renewables are fine. It helps clean the air and all those things are fine, but they have overdone it and electric vehicles are just a part of it. They'll be a part of American transportation, but they're not choice. This idea of it's going to be all electric vehicles in 25 or 50 years in California. What did they do the first day after he said that? Newsom said, don't plug in tomorrow. We don't have the power. And where do they think the power comes from? The natural gas, the great, the electric. These people are goofy.
Matt Whitaker [00:17:19] Yeah. So we only have a few more minutes here. This time goes so fast and you're such a great guest. But what I guess a two part question in this one is I'd like you just to talk a minute about kind of you know, Texas is clearly wildly successful. You know, there's people emigrating here both domestically and internationally. I know that that's a that's an issue. But hopefully we can get our handle on what's what's been the key to Texas. Is it just lower taxes, less regulation, or is there more to it? Is it more like something about the people that are here and the, you know, the can do spirit? And then second, I want to hear just a little bit. I know you did this big bus tour right before you got reelected, and I really want to hear kind of what was on the people's minds as they you know, they were able to like tell you what they thought you should do or what they appreciated about, you know, their you know, their the the role that you play. And I I'd love to get a little flavor of your bus tour.
Dan Patrick [00:18:26] So let me do the segment first. I'll finish on the first one. So real quick, I did a I had a double decker bus. It it burned a lot of expensive Joe Biden diesel oil, gasoline. And we did 130 cities in 17 days. You know, Texas is a big place. You know, when you cross the border from Louisiana into Texas to Texas to New Mexico, it's over 700 miles. That's like the whole East Coast, almost like a long way. So a lot of places to go. So we went all over rural Texas and I just met the greatest people. It's a highlight of my life. Forget the politics of it. Great food everywhere, great sights. I met a visitor because we did eight, ten, 12 stops a day and they want the border secure. We're doing all we can so the busses are up. We normally spend 400 million a year on border security of our money. We're now we're up to. 2 billion plus a year of our taxpayer money. We should have to do that. We just need a new president. 24. It was under control, as you know, the last year dropped. It's a disaster more so that the bus tour was wonderful. I loved it. You know, you have to remember this. And I want to say this quick. We run out of time and answer your number one is America is now a red country. If it's but it's rural America and Texas. Rural Texas 20 years ago was Democrat. These were conservative Democrats. Obama ran them out and now the folks running the rest of them out. So we're we as a party in Texas, we'll lose Dallas, Houston and San Antonio on Saturday and Austin. But we will win 77% of the vote as we did. Abbott and I again run separately. We both got 77% of rural Texas. If you look at Ohio, it's all red except Cleveland, Cincinnati, North Carolina, Red. Except Raleigh and Charlotte. Pennsylvania, all red except Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and Georgia. All red pretty much, except Atlanta. A few other mid-sized cities. And so it's Americas red. And and so that's where we are. And we have to remember that. And and so to your first question, what makes us unique? Everybody just loves Texas. You grow up watching Westerns. You think John Wayne made all of his movies in taxes. Most of our Monument Valley in Utah or Arizona, but they summit in Texas, the Alamo, for example. So there's a part of Texas. We all want to be a cowboy. Okay. Secondly, we don't have an income tax here. We have relatively low cost of housing compared to other states. It's gone up a little bit with inflation. We are the place you can still come and live the American dream businesses. We passed tort reform 20 years ago. One of the first things Rick Perry did. And so frivolous lawsuits are out of the way and that attract businesses. We have we're the fourth lowest cost of energy. So, you know, businesses are paying $0.35 a kilowatt in some states and $0.10 here. So they come here. So all of those things. But there's a mystique that we have that we all have. You know, I always you know, we've added 11 million people since 2020. I mean, 22,000. So the 18 million people in 2000, there's almost 30 million today. And we project 45 million by the year 2050 or more. And they're coming here for a lot of reasons. But we're the America that all America used to be. And that's what we're about. We love God. We love the flag. We love our police. We love our military. We're going to fight for this country. And when Texans travel the world, man, and someone says, where are you from? We don't say America. I mean, we love America. We say Texas. That's as you know, whether they used to watch Dallas in the eighties, you know, or John Wayne or just the today, Texas, they don't know where states like Delaware are. I mean, if you said I'm from Delaware, who would know what they do now because they know where a Corvette is parking garage with a bunch of documents. But but, you know, people don't know, you know, you're from Montana. Where's that? Well, I should I should take that back. Yellowstone has changed that. But but you get my point.
Matt Whitaker [00:22:12] I know I.
Dan Patrick [00:22:13] Have. And I like to say that the millions of people who have come here, that no one, Matt, has ever moved to Texas since I moved here in 79. No one's ever moved to Texas. They arrive here and Texas moves into them.
Matt Whitaker [00:22:26] Well, but I.
Dan Patrick [00:22:27] Get the cowboy hat and they get the boots and they learn it's rodeo, not rodeo. And we all get the DNA of Travis Booty and Crockett and dammit, we're going to fight for Texas. We're going to fight for the country and we're going to fight for the world. The world needs a strong America. And a strong America must have a strong Texas because we're the ninth largest economy in the world. We've got it all. And, you know, they say in Texas, it's not bragging if it's fact. So we love America, we love taxes, and everyone's welcome. Just bring your Republican politics with you. At least check the other ones at the door.
Matt Whitaker [00:22:58] All right. Well, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, thank you for being on Liberty Justice with me. Everywhere we watch this note, it premieres every Friday on C PAC now, and it's distributed across all of the podcast networks. And everything I'm doing is on Whitaker TV, including this interview discussion and all my TV appearances. And so, Dan, thank you for your time. I really enjoyed it and can't wait to see you again, my friend.
Dan Patrick [00:23:26] Hey, Matt, Thank you. It's been an honor to be on your a true patriot and we'll be working down the trail together.
Matt Whitaker [00:23:32] All right, my friends, you say bye bye.