Real estate mogul Donald Trump would be a giant among Republican candidates for president, political analyst Roger Stone tells Newsmax.TV. The New York billionaire has a Kennedy-like charisma that could take on President Barack Obama, Stone said in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV.
“I think Trump is going to run,” Stone said. “I think that he, as a patriot, as someone who is unabashedly American, is completely fed up with the way this country is being abused abroad, with our economy. As the most prominent and probably best-known businessman in the country he knows how to create jobs, he knows the business of America is business . . . I think he’s very serious about running.”
Stone’s observations mesh with Trump’s own comments in a Jan. 3 Ron Kessler column poste
d at Newsmax.com.
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Stone, who said he worked with Trump during his flirtations with running for the presidency in 1987 and in 1999, said polls that show him competitive with President Barack Obama are encouraging. Trump is much better known than others mentioned as possible presidential candidates, Stone said.
“In a wide-open field, Trump is a giant in a field of pygmies,” he said.
Stone, in handicapping the rest of the field, said many of those being touted as candidates have too much baggage, such as having past liberal positions on social issues, lacking national exposure, being limited to one region of the country, missing experience, or being polarizing.
Although some of those negatives could be applied to any candidate, including Trump, Stone said Trump’s wealth would free him of special interests. Trump could pour up to $200 million of his own money into a campaign, and he has name recognition from his “Apprentice” television shows that others envy, Stone said.
“He has, let’s face it, a John F. Kennedy-like charisma to match Barack Obama,” he said.
Trump is a fiscal and economic conservative who would take a hard line on the Chinese and OPEC, said Stone, who also said Trump opposes the war in Afghanistan.
“I think the number one issue (for Trump) would have to be the war in Afghanistan,” he said. “But a very close second is the fact that we are constantly being taken advantage of by all of our trade partners, particularly the Chinese. Most favored nation trade status for the Chinese, not under President Trump. Not anymore.”
Stone cautioned that the new House Republican majority must “avoid extremism” or face being replaced.
“If we are going to repeal Obamacare, which we should do, we need to propose an alternative, a free market based alternative that would extend more affordable health care to more Americans. I think we and the Democrats share that goal. The problem is their answer to the problem is socialism, and our answer is the free market.
“So it’s not enough to be the party of no, it is not enough to be the party of opposition,” he said. “Now we have to be the party of ideas, and I think we have to put forward a number of very positive proposals in terms of economy, job creation, and healthcare.”
The GOP is positioned well to retake the Senate in 2012, said Stone, although he acknowledged the difficulty in defeating an incumbent president. But the odds will improve if Obama faced a serious primary challenge, he said.
“Absent that I think conservatives are counting our chickens a little too early,” he said. “Obama is going to formidable — beatable, but extremely formidable.”
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