Published April 08, 2010
This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," April 7, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: From coast to coast, governors, lieutenant governors and attorneys general are all turning on each other. Last night, the stunner out of the state of Arizona. Arizona's governor, Jan Brewer, said, in essence, the heck with her attorney general. She got herself a new statute bypassing her state's attorney general and then announcing right here she is suing the feds on behalf of Arizona over health care! And also last night, Nevada's governor, Jim Gibbons, likewise said, essentially, the heck with his state's attorney general. He signed an executive order and even found his state a free lawyer to sue the feds on behalf of the health care.
And Tonight, though, there's more. There's another state, another announcement, this time from Missouri lieutenant governor Peter Kinder. He joins us live. Good evening, sir.
PETER KINDER, R, MISSOURI LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR: Thank you for having me, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, sir, your governor does not want to sue the federal government over this health care and join the lawsuit down in Florida or even initiate his own. What are you going to do?
KINDER: Greta, I'm going to be filing suit before the end of this month in federal court on behalf of Missouri. I have a statutory obligation as the chief advocate for our state's senior population. Seniors are going to be hurt perhaps among the worst of any segment of the population by this ill-conceived, misbegotten federal health care reform that will devastate our state's budget, that will rob from Medicare and thereby hurt seniors, that will cause practitioners to quit the practice of medicine and send millions of new people into their offices into a shrinking pool of providers. It's going to cause queues (ph). It's going to cause a diminution in quality of care.
But the real issue here, Greta, is one of infringement of our liberty. It's a shrinking of our freedom. And you know, the pretext for the federal bill was the interstate commerce clause. That is, the Congress may legislate constitutionally in spheres that involve interstate commerce. We don't have any interstate commerce here. If the interstate commerce clause can be stretched so far that you or I, existing in the state of Missouri or the state of Idaho or North Dakota, and breathing, are engaged in interstate commerce, then we no longer have any limits to federal action and to what Congress may do to us.
For instance, they might pass a law saying we may only -- you may only buy -- or you may buy only a GM or a Chrysler car. You may not buy a Toyota or a Ford. There is no more principle limiting -- constitutional principle limiting Congress's action if you accede to this.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, now, you, by what you just say and by your plans, your announcement tonight that you're going to sue, your governor and your attorney general must both be as mad as wet hens over this. I mean, they are not happy. They've both taken a pass on this. What is going to be their response? Or how are their feelings about you essentially going rogue, for lack of a better word?
KINDER: Well, the governor is arrogant and dismissive, and the attorney general is -- has not responded to the letter that I wrote him in January. The governor has not responded to letters I wrote him in January -- December and January, and I called him out publicly on statewide television, asking him to take a position on this bill that is going to wreck Missouri's budget at $500 million a year. We're in deficit now. I've cited the Democratic governor of Tennessee, who said that this will wreck Tennessee's budget.
This is not necessarily a partisan matter at all. The Democratic attorney general of Louisiana has joined this battle with Republican attorneys general, and I hope more of my friends on the Democratic side will join us.
I will tell what is happening in the state of Missouri. A bipartisan majority has voted for the Health Care Freedom Act, dozens of Democrats joining every Republican for a constitutional amendment that will bypass the governor's desk and go straight to the voters of Missouri to decide this question at the November election.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you have statutory authority to do this? Is there a Missouri statute says, OK, if the governor, the attorney general won't do it, well, OK, the lieutenant governor can do it?
KINDER: I believe I can -- Greta, I didn't hear all your question, I heard just the last part -- through my status as a constitutional officer of state government and my statutory responsibility to advocate for Missouri's seniors. We talked to very competent, very experienced legal counsel, and we're moving ahead before the end of this month.
VAN SUSTEREN: And it's going to be fascinating to watch. But as I can imagine, for at least -- you're not going to be too popular with the governor and the attorney general. And of course, we're going to be watching. Good luck to you. Thank you, sir. And I hope you come back as do you file suit. Thank you, sir.
KINDER: Thank you kindly.
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