The Republican Party is in a fight to the death with the tea party, and only one of them will be left standing at the end of it, TV host Glenn Beck tells Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview.
“Either the tea party will eat the Republicans or vice versa,” he said. “The Republicans make me nervous, quite honestly.”
Beck was speaking as he launches his GBTV, an Internet-based television channel that he has personally funded after parting ways with Fox News earlier this year.
He said that if the typical “John McCain, Lindsey Graham kind of Republican” wins the internal party battle, the GOP will be finished. “It will go the way of the Whigs,” he said.
“The Republicans have one last chance to redeem themselves and if they go with a big government kind of guy and the tea party doesn’t understand that service… and conservative small government values go hand-in-hand, we may lose the soul of our country.”
He said both parties have found themselves in ideological battles, but the difference is that the Democrats have already lost out to the Progressive wing of the party.
“There is a real battle for the soul, not only of the nation, but also of these parties that is going on right now,” Beck said.
When it comes to the candidates vying for the Republican presidential nomination, Beck said he likes Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry the most, although he feels Rick Santorum is strongest on defense.
“I like Michele Bachmann a lot, she’s a fighter, she’s never going to give up, she’s wickedly smart,” he said.
“Rick Perry, I have some issues with – immigration reform is one of them. I’d like to talk to him about that, hear some more from him on that, I don’t like, necessarily, his past on that.”
But he also made it clear that he does not believe President Barack Obama is dead in the water when it comes to next year’s vote. He said no-one should underestimate the president’s political machine.
Using the same term he used to describe Bachmann, he said, “They’re extraordinarily, wickedly smart – emphasis on wicked.
“Remember it was Howard Dean that said during the last election, ‘We’re three to four years ahead. We’re planning our moves three and four years ahead.’ I believe they are there.”
About his new venture, Beck said that GBTV currently looks like the TV news, but he is working on plans to make it completely interactive.
“You’ll be able to say, ‘Wait a minute, I don’t understand,’ if I’m talking about QE3 and monetizing our debt. You’ll be able to pause it in real time, ask it a question and it will take you to old monologues that will explain it.
“Or if you say ‘I understand that, I want more’ than what you’re getting from me on the screen right then, you’ll also be able to go forward and educate yourself.
“What we’re building really is a platform of education and entertainment within parameters of the culture that is the Glenn Beck audience.”
He said he wanted to make the channel completely self-financed so he is not beholden to anyone.
“In the end I only answer to God, my wife and me, that’s it. I don’t want anyone between me and the viewer. I want to make sure that what I say is one-on-one and there’s no filter and no restriction.
“I’ve funded this myself entirely. We had several very large investment houses come to us and say, ‘We’d like to invest.’
“We’re not interested, and it’s not that I don’t want to grow my business. If I had a huge influx of money I could do a lot more than we’re doing now and I could do it faster. I just don’t want to be beholden to anyone.”
Beck has built a studio in Dallas. He said his company has grown from six employees just four years ago to more than 100 now.
“I’m a small businessman,” he said, joking “I would actually ask that the president doesn’t come to highlight my business.”
Among the shows planned for the network, he said is Liberty Treehouse, aimed at children aged between 8 and 14. “It is geared also towards parents who are trying to teach their kids values and principles that go with the United States government in an entertaining sort of fashion.”
Other shows, he said include “history programs, documentaries, all the way to game shows that all kind of revolve around the theme of educate yourself and empower yourself.”