Tags: Trump Administration | GOP2016 | Hillary Clinton | Marco Rubio | MidPoint | Rand Paul | J.C. Watts

Ex-Rep. J.C. Watts on Hillary: 'A Force to be Reckoned With'

By    |   Tuesday, 14 April 2015 02:33 PM

Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton might never convince ordinary voters that she's one of them, but that's no reason to underestimate her just-launched second presidential run, says former U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts, an Oklahoma Republican who is backing Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky for president in 2016.

"It's hard to give a leopard new stripes," Watts told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV Tuesday, referring to the rebranding of the six-figure speechmaker and former secretary of state as a woman of the people. "She is who she is."

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"But nevertheless she's going to be a force to be reckoned with," said Watts, an Oklahoma University college football standout and Sooner favorite son who went to Washington and then on to the private sector.

"She's a worthy opponent, and I say that with the utmost respect for her political skills," he said. "And when you've got an infrastructure of media behind you, that's going to protect you, she becomes pretty doggone formidable."

Watts surveyed the growing presidential field on Tuesday, crediting Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida — who joined the more populated GOP column on Monday — with a good campaign launch.

But he returned to his own choice, Paul.

"So many politicians these days — and I can speak to the Republican side of the aisle — they don't want to take on the difficult issues simply because they're afraid that somebody's going to vote them off the island," he said, dropping a reference to the reality-television elimination contest, "Survivor."

Paul, he said, "has not been afraid to engage the American people," and on some of the country's most difficult issues.

One question, said Watts, is whether the political climate today allows for the kind of honest and thorough exchange that voters and candidates need to have.

"We're in such an instant, quick-fix, give-it-to-me now kind of society, with social media and microwaves and everything that can give it to us instantly, our attention span is about a half a minute long," he said.

The shortened attention span promotes political messaging based on idea that "the more we can dumb it down and appeal to people's emotions," the more it will resonate, he said.

"We encourage the American people to ignore their intelligence and we appeal to their fears," said Watts.

He didn't exempt the news media, saying that when people do tune in for information, it's often "to have our opinions affirmed."

He quipped that for every 15 minutes people spend watching the flurry of opinionated news on Fox, MSNBC, and CNN, "find a good episode of 'Andy' Griffith to bring themselves back in the balance."

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Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton might never convince ordinary voters that she's one of them, but that's no reason to underestimate her just-launched second presidential run, says former U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts.
J.C. Watts, Hillary Clinton, Rand Paul, 2016
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2015-33-14
Tuesday, 14 April 2015 02:33 PM
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