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WWL>Topics>>2-28-14 1:10pm Angela: on award-winning chefs

2-28-14 1:10pm Angela: on award-winning chefs

Feb 28, 2014|

Angela talks with three local chefs up for awards: Ryan Prewitt of Peche, Justin Devillier of La Petite Grocery, and Sue Zemanick of Gautreau's.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Well as our minds are on all things money -- rob let's not forget the Oscars are Sunday night. In our third hour from three to four were devoting the whole hour to the glitz and glam of the movie's not just the movies and stars nominated this year. But we'll talk with the movie historian and expert John -- you know. And with our own beloved movie expert -- Bork. But we begin today with another kind of Oscars. The Oscars of the food world the James Beard reports and we have a number of local show up to were nominated for the best of the best. Including our three guests who joined us for our open Mike segment where we get to know the special people in our community. We are thrilled to have Justin civilian. Owner chef of Le -- grocery. -- As a man executive chef of coach rose and executive chef of IDs restaurant. And Ryan -- Shia and co owner of cash. All three year James Beard nominees for bent shaft in the -- Right off the bat congratulations this is a -- I mean it really is -- -- And there are many others immigrant talk about this later but to have this preview in this building. You are giants in your industry and your hours and I think that's what the big deal. Sponsor we're gonna wishing well and I know some of -- been nominated before had any have you been to the actual ceremony Harry Smith and I have. Is it kinda like the Oscars it really is the Oscars of the food world it's a lot of fun we get dressed up. It's -- tie it just looks RA and a tuxedo. And it's a lot of funny -- -- everyone that you wanna see in the culinary world is there. So it is that that glamorous moment. On your world think a lot of us don't get to dress up like that is usually our kitchen uniforms but it's a lot of fun. Beautiful. I want to start the beginning each -- you has a beautiful story of how you got involved in the world that your him. But I really want and now to the very origin. Of was it's your mother's cooking wasn't the life and the family of cooking was it going to a special restaurant. That triggered something in news that sent. This could be great. Justin I think. You know for me I think I think first off it just comes from liking to eat you know when I was a youngster. It's really enjoyed eating in the idea of being able to manipulate what I eat you know and learn how to coach and all that. That's a big. Outdoors he -- a guy growing up so a lot of fishing in. You know wanted to act like Connecticut officially cut to access. Kind of started their -- Overall you know it's just I think just developed a passion over the years and and I decided that you know for had to work communities and I do. It. -- well my mother wasn't very good cook so I had to feed itself but. She a couple of dishes that were really -- you know pry prized pieces of hers and I had great grandparents that were amazing coaxed. So -- growing up I was in fact kid and relates to eat so. I want to learn how to and may -- that at my grandmothers were making. Okay. And it in the same vein as to you know I didn't really grow up sort of in my mom's apron strings and there's -- Warm and Fuzzy story about ruling -- with my grandmother or. Any of these sorts of things you know -- my culinary career began. From. Spending so much time in the farmer's markets on -- ciskei and really ages becoming enamored with the kitchen and the world of professional kitchen and and when I started doing it it it became clear quickly that. That's kind of where I wanted to be. And over the years I've been fortunate enough to work with people that were. Great mentors for me and and really kind of kept me on the right path. You know I never. Never really spent wasted years working in and bad restaurants. And sit through this sort of good choices but probably more luck my ended up working with people were able does sort of teach me. Promote me and gave me through there world's. And him ended up for an here. Well clearly they saw something in new. Knows just how wonderful to attribute things to people who will help you along the way. But it's the spar with them that they hadn't seen in all I'm sure all of you mentors and people cheering you on. So you went to the C saying yes it -- the -- correctly you were first in your plants. Com I wouldn't say it was first in my class that I did pretty well and -- don't really -- cute hair that. But you taught there for -- I did a fellowship in the seafood and fish department where. You know unlike justice and they just and he left to finish that it really do a lot fishing growing up I loved eating finished so wanted to learn how to take care of -- story received. Scaled gut to a fun stuff to it so I did that for a year after I graduated teaching other culinary students are. I thought it was interesting that. Both -- and Ryan come to New Orleans. So you came for. For brokers I came because it was so passionate about -- and it is as the place to be actually started working at commanders on first. -- -- -- And it was just weeks before the storm -- started you can cruise I was like it there and it took over -- three weeks before country. And you were here just a couple of weeks is that the damage here for weeks before the storm. And just and you had -- aunt and a lot petite but it was after the storm to you when your wife. Took over. -- I started up -- That's allowing cooked in like 2004 when it opened up. The opening -- of up -- tertiary was. The access to -- -- hairstyle -- exiting shipped to decreasing at Paris island as a restaurant I spent a lot of time out and obviously had a lot of respect for him so I kind of made that move alongside him and where did. And La petite form. And then the storm hit and when I got back I kind of took a different job because you know there's so much stuff going on -- looking for work. And then he won a reopening. With that easier staff so he gave me institution of job I think I would never got to accept your best known normalcy as -- that. So I had to -- to this issue of job -- there and then he decided to. Embark on it in a different. That the different restaurant and to cover shot and 2007. And then. Had the opportunity to purchase part of the company in 2010 and that's when my wife Kim Gordon you know. It's kind of an even kind of plugging away -- -- since then. It's just very interesting to me the dynamics of pre storm post storm. I think a lot of people. Like myself who came back very early working when it was so desolate spot on my god we're never gonna get our our restaurants back. To -- personal to see them come back and then to see this understand over 300 new ones in the last eight years is mind blowing. And I'm just curious what you'll think about what is it in our environments. Today this is encouraging that. You know everybody flourishing and and jumping year. I think a lot of us were so devastated after Katrina we wanted to. Put back you know put all of restaurants back in the city and in doing that -- a lot of opportunities open up for people from outside of New Orleans, Louisiana. The just wanted to move here and make a difference and we're struggling after Katrina and there were very few restaurants open it was hard to get a good meal. And then it after that just blew up everybody has 234 restaurants now. An incredible. I mean that to take an opportunity that came about perhaps much. Earlier than it might just because of the storm. Is incredible yeah I mean I. -- and all that unfolded like but like. You got the opportunity takeovers -- it definitely. Wasn't in my. Tony I think. I attended -- -- myself and things like that and that definitely wasn't in the picture when I was thinking at the time says will actually a little bit hesitant to take the job to begin with and then. He has kind of figure be positive about it and you know see where you're -- But you know back to right after Katrina I mean we when we first came back we had just me in the -- and they're doing like. I think three and a three item menu you know and so that's kind of -- Japan where the restaurant issue is at at that point in Niki said now it's just so unbelievable. I think also you know people expect he'll always expected good food and come to New Orleans and I think you know. People like Brian soon. You know there's other you know other -- friends of mine that are kind of on the younger side of things. It bringing guys. A real. Focus on more of like a modern. All around kind of style you know. I try to say that without. We are signed disrespectful to the old style unknowns troops and a lot of respect for that and that's you know definitely like -- a lot of my creative process but. It's important to kind of stay up with other people are doing around the country and around the world so. I think that's -- things. And that's a wonderful thing we're gonna take a break and come back and I'm gonna ask Ryan what it was like to serve that first meal urgent. Right after this I'm Angela under the W while we're talking to three James Beard. Award winning nominees. For the upcoming awards and were cheering them on. And we keep saying they are ours but they chose to come to New Orleans thank heaven. And we're talking about Justin to billionaire owner chef of flocked to grocery. Sue as a manic executive chef of coach rose an executive chef of chapter of I these restaurant. And Ryan Pruitt the -- and co owner of cash. Ryan you came to New Orleans and a month later hurricane hits. You go back to Memphis you come back again ready to justify your -- herb saint -- and I understand it was just. You know an incredible experience -- that first meal I mean people must've just been on their knees thanking you. Well it was that it is a very emotional time I think for a lot of people and and being a newcomer to the city you know I wasn't really prepared for how. The whole scene in the dining room turned into -- you know homecoming for so many people and there are so many you tables were hugging each there and and long was just so happy to be back in in this restaurant and back in the world the world of dining and the sort of sense of normality was just sort of bringing up this huge outpouring of emotion for a lot of people. And for me seeing that sue early on in my my history here in New Orleans was was very. I have a big turning point you know I was able to see how people really cared about this town and how people really care about their. The feud in the dining experience and how integrated it was into their lives and he had that in heaven itself is a very unique piece of New Orleans culture that that food and dining and and the culture that surround. It is so intrinsically connected. To the city. -- people that live here. And it's you know it becomes a cliche at times but what is the truth I mean. Dude dining the people the experience. The restaurants you frequent the new restaurants you try are all. Comment and frequent topics of conversation. And it all plays into the hole through culture of the town. You know I've said for years there are many very good food cities but they're very few great months. And I would put New Orleans among those great ones I'm saying shake your heads to thank you. One do you believe we are one of the great ones and kind of along what you're talking about Ryan what is it that makes this so special. Well I think for the longest time people think considering New Orleans to be such a great food city. But I also think that they never really came here and tried the great restaurants when I'm with -- at the restaurants were incredible and they're only getting better and better it just was saying earlier it's like. You people are coming to town to -- into tried to for restaurants and I think we really grown as a three community especially since Katrina. And I mean. You know a lot of cool organizations like the holier market in the currency farmer's market -- in all those people are. Just as important to what everyone gets clinic in New Orleans has the shops and restaurants you know that the net that goes all the way down to it you know it gets pretty organic when you know like it. As neighbor -- you know really nice to issue its a rating or whatever it is it like there's some funny things are gone. That are just as important as everything else so it's the whole cents a community is definitely huge part of that and I think you know I mean I. It's only had taken out of -- the you know aftermath of Katrina is definitely that. That sense of community in the food world everyone you know everyone. Is. Competitive but not like you know everyone has friends like you know I'll call soon if I need to -- you know -- -- he. -- -- -- -- -- -- And we all week he's right we already get along in other cities is a lot more cutthroat and one of the reasons I left New -- because I couldn't you know move up. In my career and I would've just been -- line cook for you know fifteen years and barely being able to pay my Iraq. The moving down here it's just people are nicer -- -- number I was saying earlier they just keep tight talk about where they where the next what is opening up next and we just -- the truth it's that it. When you see. A when you'll go to a restaurant and you have different. Maybe and standards that thought process is when you now. And you do you see this one isn't gonna make it or this one will. You're looking at -- And it. I think to some degree after a year approach every you know in in many ways being a -- Bruins are dying experience in a lot of ways because your constantly work -- -- constantly. Looking around the dining room and trying to figure out the systems in and analyzing everything to death and so you have disorder -- for me I have to sort of consciously. You -- on that because my wife is tired of hearing me talk about -- You -- is it it it makes for a less pleasant experience that. Yeah I mean I just think it's in the nature of -- restaurant people to walk in to a place and analyze everything you -- have from the the weighed it should treat it different to ward today way that the bar treats you to the -- the main user drops -- how many servers are on the forward to that. Temperature to the music you know all these things kind of come at you constantly bit. You're sort of trained Ted pay attention to these things says. You know if you walk into our restaurant and things are just completely off which isn't a very rare experience that. Yes you know you see it in the second. That's second following news for you don't notice anything. I. And everything's encouragement and block or. So like like you've had experience is like -- you think oh my god and -- I mean I think. You know to a degree he and I try not -- definitely make an effort not to -- that -- anything have to make an effort not to not to be that way but -- You know I think. I'm like I'm with Ryan I mean I don't I don't really get the a lot of -- so when I do you have like a couple races and it. Creature have a night usually order the same thing and I mean I love trying new restaurants that. I also. Like to. No I don't gonna get when I when I only have like one data you'll go for dinner -- -- excellence so. They I mean he can help you can't open. You know look around and you know. My parents enemy because time Soledad of the temperature and they you know you know ultimately in a restaurant you wanna feel comfortable -- that. You know a very comfortable experience in the opposite side of that like if you ever tell somebody. 81 be uncomfortable but obviously not. I could have gotten a let me Ashland is I did issue with Tom Fitzmorris who was on our station as well food critic and and I made the comment that. At this stage of life and I love food and I love all kind. But I'm at a point in line where it's too noisy it is in a good experience so we leave and we don't go back and sometimes we miss him hungry for the but it's just one of those things that you know ten years ago that may not been effective today it is like satin top and and he made the statement that that is done on purpose. So that you will. Subconsciously eat more quickly it won't be lasting sit and talk thing so you can move around and that people can come is that the case. Now I couldn't disagree with that statement more I mean there's new restaurant. I have ever been to in my life where someone is consciously trying to make use EU I mean. If that's the case that would be. Such an anomaly that I can imagine that a place like that whatever survive. I mean there's no I mean I would never do anything to intentionally chased people out of the restaurant -- against every. Tenant of hospitality that you have to. You know hold inside yourself to be in the restaurant business. I'm very happy to hear that because. Oh my gosh now. It is the experience it is wonderful to the atmosphere and being with people even if -- -- your husband. And the ability to talk and joy and share. And there's some just sort of ash. So I'm very happy to hear that that is not Albert. Kind of thing I'm trying to get people to stay. And I work harder than than the other also I think talent -- -- -- saying yeah I'm never reading. About fast food chains have these bright colors and they want it they make money by turning -- in getting more people in the door. Where it's fine dining at the lights keep people around longer as the more along Tuesday. The more eat the more. After. You know can't you know I think that -- I think they kind of a mood and all that kind of goes back to the hole like level of comfort like that you can give someone an experience where. You know they're really comfortable they're gonna come they're gonna come back here restaurant you're gonna become one of their fair restaurants that -- like I love our restaurant. Because I you know I can chill out out of us a line had a good dinner making no level of comfort is really important -- after China. -- people on -- tables I think that that and it doesn't mean it's not conducive to comfort. -- passed right now yeah absolutely we're gonna take -- -- because we have to go to the newsroom and Chris Miller but we'll be right back. Just in civilian a suit is Emmerich and Ryan freeway yeah. -- I'm guessing on that that there is dead in -- -- -- these names soon. Emmerich and as a -- yes only the thought don't panic it's just -- Enron and they are all nominated for James Beard awards they have been fabulous restaurants. Here locally and we're kind of pick and their brain on. One how they got into what they're doing but their thoughts on on non restaurant and today. Also what has happened I think in your world. Which is a wonderful thing to watch is it's become. So glamorous I mean and -- I'm not joking and I think you all are superstars. And do you think that this I -- twenty years ago this wasn't happening it is now and do you think that it is the advent of television that. -- doing the bam in the Food Network in all the fabulous shows I know both of you have been on Justin and not since have you been on television. -- that's not something to report. It it's just like a different world and is that a wonderful thing. But I think bit. You know just how that industry's kind of evolved to a you know to an extent I think he obviously is different types of avenues of media the that are out there but you know twenty years ago. I was in the industry and that -- fitness and about twenty years ago. Twenty years ago I think that like it it was uncomfortable for -- even going to their dining rooms you know and I was kind of like. When I was first coming up it was like that was -- -- -- A big thing like you know kind of having a presence and iron kind of making rounds in the night and talking to guests this -- are kind of and historically. Socially awkward little bit and you know I just think that's the the evolution of that of getting out there and doing has just gone the way of you know media and especially with. You know all the social media stuff out there. People wanna see more of the people who took their period. I think people are more interest in feed these days and in them back on my grandmother was cooking for the family that's what she was doing that she attend. You all for housework take care of the kids that you know it was more of a chore and now I think Hitler and doing more cooking for pleasure at home. And watched being able to watch -- on television and learn things from them and see what it's like in the eternal competitive aspect of it. You know it's reality TV and it's just as fun about it. I just hope that it continues on with people being so passionate about -- selected because like I'm just missing it was not always like that and music music and having music videos him -- you don't see music videos anymore so I hope we don't go that direction. And so tell me your experience. On T well I did -- a -- season three which I don't know I was on their but I appreciate them picking me. And vacuum back for season five and I did a lot better and had a really fun time. But I have to say I'm sure just agree it's one of the hardest things doing what you. The way you're passionate about what you think you're good and then being chased around by camera and being -- up the whole time. And then you throw in the whole aspect of being. Times and giving your giving your ingredients instead of getting to choose what you wanna work with Camille Little bit -- daunting and trying. Art and I wanted to go home every day in everything I think had mild mild PT EST. I heard -- I still have nightmares and -- any time it came in your face. And you know that your mind. That automatically changes every military -- you forget the year might and you get used to the cameras and that's when that that's -- its interest thing you know that's an -- that shows -- -- But it was overall a good experience. Here. And I had fun. I think I think her experience were little bit different sources. A slightly slightly different shares gained so and here's -- line is -- top chef top but it's more of that once it it was more like establish -- And a mine was more like kind of emerging chats. And there's a little bit different format but I had a blast I mean. I don't know if I would do it again because I have enough family and sentenced her to be away for seven weeks or think something like that but I am. It was a it was a blast and had recommended to a young ship that was in. -- in doing it. It just it is interesting to see if you call the evolution of what's happening in in your industry. But I think it's because a lot of people do love food -- but it is almost a performance -- -- -- Every night. And -- every afternoon when -- creating something so they wanna see that artists so walking through is a treat for somebody sitting on my god here comes the shaft. You know that's just a nice thing one more thing you have to do. In a day probably Phil let's talk about that briefly. It is hard work. It is your -- have to be incredible. There's no doubt about it. It's it's definitely now receiving and she's I mean there's and do it and it's it can be very unforgiving it can be very overwhelming. You know I'm married I have a family as well and you know the balance of those two things can be very tricky at times but it I think I'm very fortunate to have a life has been always been very supportive of my career and yeah she has her career to -- but yet she still you know I'm still able to work these ridiculous hours all the time and in everything's still functions. Whom -- now and I feel like. They have -- longer and longer idea this you're sort of constantly striving to create a balance for yourself play. Yeah I think in my head at some point I have to develop a hobby it's not just working and going you know I mean there's got to be. They're asked to be something else on the line and say you're sort of always trying to carve out this time for yourself and carve out time for your family. And allocate yourself a little bit better now but it's tricky I mean you know I love being in the restaurant. Love cooking I love what I do you love the people. And of that. Excuse me that atmosphere of it you know the energy added I mean those are all things that. That all of us that -- yes really just really enjoy I mean that's the reason you do it and you know it can be it can be addicting it times in you just. It's the rush it's you know it's that that action mean there's always something going on and you know I think it. It helps for you people who have brains -- costly go in different directions to have things that are constantly going on in different places. Yeah I know that's that's kind of how I -- -- relax mentally as when there's action everywhere. Canning a hundred deadlines every couple Obama. There's multiple things going on the kitchen how you have to be ready by winners and your restaurant opens 5 or 6 o'clock if you do luncheon. There's no time you know if you if you burn something massively up. -- start all over so it's really important to be. To have eyes everywhere and know what you're doing. And you have to manage people and yet that's an area -- that's it. And and that's from the front to the back -- managing people for the very thing Ryan was talking about the whole experience is it. From the time you walk in the front door so you want everything clicking that's big. And it's. It's a team sport I mean. I think it's very important to realize the restaurants are run on the hard work of of numerous people I mean there is no. One individual that makes a restaurant work you know there's there's I mean we have. Over fifty people that work it passion every single one of them is absolutely. Integral in the whole system coming together and working. Mean your dinner happens because it touches so many different people's hands. Expensive you know it's not just the -- it's that it's the whole building it's coming together to make that experience. I think people realize either how important is to have all your employees there I mean people don't really call off and restaurant. Think things will fall apart if you don't have every person that you need in there it's not like other jobs where he Collins said -- can call in some. A backup person Cummins of our employees are really important to us and I feel so let -- such agree staff. But that -- created a place they wanna work. While we saw a lot of time together -- see them more than -- and you my friend to -- sailing world. We spent a lot of time together so we really have to get along so when did you have time to date. On that after eleven N and I. It's Monday through Saturday and opulence and -- and you have one day off Justin. While taking -- the weekend off from Maria good I decided that this morning but. No I mean we have we have we went to doing seven nights a week at dinner and we do. Fired six -- six days a week of lunch and brunch so. It's really insisting it actually opened a lot of doors like before my stuff you still have to have Sundays and Mondays off -- days are closed. And now that guys are still with me from that area. Are the other -- -- slightly -- can actually get a Friday off and I don't want -- you know you can kind of manipulate the schedule that way so. You know it's it's. I mean it's really long really long hours and there's a lot you know there's a lot that goes into a bit you know. Like we're saying I mean it's all that's that's the fun and that's really part of the fun of it you know sometimes when you're. When you're there really -- or my favorite as they really early but I love getting him before anybody and having the kitchen to myself for a little bit but. -- it is it's what we -- and I -- I guess who we are in and so I don't mind it. Stay with us we're talking to the great shifts right after this. -- hobbies. But my biggest obvious -- it's like yeah. Exactly I -- It's. -- it is soon as the manic. Just under Bill Ryan Pruitt. Shouts of three phenomenal restaurants in our town. And that I should say that Ryan of cash Su coach rose and IDs and of course Johnston from La -- grocery. -- what fun lives you have hard working line you have. And you were talking about balance so let's talk about what we do when we do have time off -- In the commercial that we're talking about -- cause which is really tremendous thing. But sue is never done this so now having competing at this first year -- -- and like that mean it's a great. And just and you're going to be doing -- We're going to be returning to defend our title from last -- one. This is unbelievable I mean it is huge yes so we have a team that's our third year doing -- and tears. We Ernie and I don't think her name was on the top thirty that much -- we somehow pulled out. And yeah I don't I mean maybe one of the guys on the team pay the judges. It. I think not I have to say this because just an N -- grocery. We're so generous and gave their restaurant for a night to WR BH radio which is for the -- different handicap. And we had a fabulous fabulous dinner where everyone was blindfolded and Justin would come down and announce what we're gonna have. And sort of where was on the plate so you could. Make an approximate it was such a wonderful experience and one of the things he gave among the entire restaurant was. A pig roast her for like twenty people or something does and I somebody one that did the idea aren't. No it's going to be I think reviews in the beginning of April and Cory gets all the guys from the harsh because teams so. You know committed them to something I think without asking him and told him afterwards but that's part of being on team -- got to you know -- -- definitely yeah. Now let's give me your thoughts -- our final minutes. On where you see. New Orleans going and the restaurant the world and it's now a senior citizens of the city as well as business people. Your hopes. I think the quality of restaurants were discontinued juniper improved here I -- I think -- they're more businesses that open. The more people that are just dedicated to producing good feud using local products and creating great restaurants is just going to continue. I think it. -- has had a great future ahead of it mean we're we're. Sort of -- across through as Marie have this wonderful local population and we -- a vacation destination for so many people they were able to really. -- a small town with the world influence. I think it's only gonna get better and better and I think a lot more people are gonna be moving to the city and we'll help. To -- volleys restaurants on every day get a little concerned that there are more and more restaurants being opened and I worry that they're not going to be enough people to dine at them but I think that was only gonna get better. I think I think that you know. A lot of shots that are clicking here now and a lot of my friends at least this up -- traveling a lot more than I think chips used to so I think most see a lot of more room you know. Just different influences may be some. Little more ethnic Stefan. -- -- expand -- expand the horizons of you know New Orleans food and I mean I guess. There originally in the nets wouldn't owns it is racism but he kind of melting pot of matchup cultures so I think we'll continue see that is on a. And a new level well let me tell you we all wish you much -- In the competition the change your competition but continued success and in great lines that you give to watch. So thank you very very much we'll be right back. We have so many wonderful wonderfully talented people who are nominated for the James Beard awards this year and among them the three fabulous guest we have in the studio. We would be remiss though we didn't say that Donald -- conclusion on who. You partner with. Is the -- and for the outstanding -- and that's a big deal and and the wonderful. Join club injure. Upper line just such a wonderful -- for outstanding restaurant tour and bright -- is nominated for outstanding service and others. But I want to -- so you're going it is the Oscar night you're not going to be in your chef's outfit you're gonna be dressed town just. It's tuxedos for the guys and. You know Townsend. Justice for early -- is that really a buildup like -- filled up for the Oscars yeah I mean it's only did he get their demands -- limos outside his red carpets there is. Paparazzi it's pretty crazy yet that has seen pressure and where is its. It's eloquently and -- and it's really nice and there's a party union pre parties imposed parties and you're really -- Felix. Very special like a princess for one night that you just -- Parents that's right and it. Wearing a lot. Something really fabulous I hope it's one of my favorite events to actually get to buy new dress new -- issues haired and -- and -- just SC. Latin teacher and the precinct where it's -- And you will look like. Well I don't maybe -- in velvet room. I want and not have to make it to the finals. And then when is the actual event. This Monday after the second cricket -- -- -- We need cheering you on and I really mean you're delightful people hard working great people and talent and you chose enough and it means -- -- so. Continued continued success to. Opinion all right we're gonna go over to the newsroom yes we are Chris Miller's there but stay with -- because after that Ian -- is gonna join.

There's lots of fingerpointing going on in the Republican party. If the Republican party is divided, can it fight President Obama?
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