Country music star Charlie Daniels told The Daily Caller on Monday he thinks Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would have been a better president than Barack Obama, even though he’s hardly a fan of either.
Daniels said he thinks Obama has surrounded himself with an inner circle of policy and political novices, something that isn’t conducive to running a tight ship inside the White House.
The fiddler — famous for his “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” hit and others — added that while he’s no fan of the policies pushed by the former first lady and New York Democratic senator, he thinks Clinton would at least have run a productive White House.
“If you look at what Obama did, he went out and hired a bunch of amateurs — a bunch of greenhorns, people who didn’t have any experience doing anything,” Daniels said in a phone interview. “Being a great president is being a great leader, which means surrounding yourself with good people.”
“Look at who he’s got. Geithner? Come on, man. I mean, then there’s this guy who was the secretary of whatever it was who went out and had all these wrecks?” a reference to now former Commerce Secretary John Bryson.
“Where’d all these people come from?” Daniels added. “Where’d he find them? These people do not understand the way America works and, you know, I’ll tell you what — I’ve never been a Hillary Clinton fan, but I’d much rather see her be president than Barack Obama. That’s me saying something, that’s how bad I think it has gotten.”
If Obama gets re-elected — or if the country doesn’t generally change direction — Daniels said he expects riots in America’s streets.
“I see a danger in this nation, which is literally a part of there being so much class envy and so many distraught people in this country that you can see riots going on in this country — Rodney King-type riots going on in this country,” he said.
“I can see the economy of this country falling completely apart. I can see the day coming when there won’t be any more entitlement checks coming for the people who don’t understand why they don’t print more money, why they don’t go out and do it. I can see the dollar falling completely apart around the world.”
Daniels said he views this upcoming election as “the biggest election we have ever had.”
“I think the lines are more plainly drawn in this election than any one that I can ever remember — and I go back, and I wasn’t old enough to vote then, but I go all the way back to [Franklin Delano] Roosevelt,” he said.
“I remember all the elections since then — and, it’s just, what are we going to do? Are we going to be America anymore or are we going to become Greece?”
“Do we want everybody living on the state and when we run out of money going out and rioting in the streets and do we want all our businesses to move out of the country?” he continued. “Or do we want to encourage small businesses and encourage people to get off of entitlements and encourage people to have work ethic and stop this class envy thing that has run rampant and terrible and one of the most dangerous things that’s going on in the country?”
While Daniels said he won’t endorse any candidates (“I do not do that; that’s a one-way street for somebody in my position”), he thinks this election could be a make-or-break moment for America.
“If there is a change in the White House and the Congress, I think the day after that happens, you’ll see the stock market go up,” he said. “I think you’ll see small businesses starting to spend, and big businesses, starting to spend the money that they’ve got stashed away right now because they’re afraid to do anything with it. I think you’ll start to see the economy starting to turn around from day one.”
As a small business owner himself, Daniels said he isn’t pleased with Obama’s now-infamous “you didn’t build that” remarks directed at businesses.
“I have kept 25 people steadily and gainfully employed for 30 years,” Daniels said. “I have a 401k plan for my people, I have health insurance for my people. The government had absolutely nothing to do with it whatsoever, except putting in rules and regulations that make it tough — and it’s not nearly as bad on me in my profession as it is on a lot of other people in other professions.”
“Government, as it stands now, is an enemy, not an encouragement, to small businesses. One of the things that people don’t understand — and it goes along with the class envy thing — when you take money away from one person, you think, ‘well, we’re getting the fat cats.’ What you’re really doing is you’re taking it away from their employees.”
“When you take money away from me — when you raise my taxes — what you’re doing is you’re taking money away that I could go buy a new bus with and put it into the economy. I could give my people bigger Christmas bonuses. There’s all kinds of ways I could spend it to help the economy.”
“When the government gets it, it’s gone,” he said.
On the issue of gun control, Daniels added that he thinks Obama, if re-elected, would try to take Americans’ guns away with strict nonsensical gun control laws.
“It’ll come up again,” Daniels said of attempts to limit the Second Amendment. “They’re going to do it again — they’ll keep on pounding away. Obama claims now that he wants people to have the right to bear arms — I honestly don’t think he feels that way.”
“We know what Eric Holder’s about. Eric Holder should have been impeached, fired, put in jail or something a long time ago.”
Daniels points to Rahm Emanuel — Obama’s former White House chief of staff and current mayor of Chicago — as an example of how the country is in need of a change in leadership.
“We’ve got a mayor of Chicago who’s got wholesale murder going on in his city but he’s more concerned about Chick-fil-A’s stance on gay marriage,” he said.
“That is downright stupid. Is that leadership? That’s our problem: we don’t have leadership. These people don’t understand.”