One of New York State's most influential conservatives, Herb London, is urging conservative Republicans across the Empire State to vote for Ted Cruz in Tuesday's upcoming primary election.
"Donald Trump is the extension of a reality show and not a conservative," London, who heads the New York-based London Center for Policy Research, told Newsmax.
Ted Cruz is "a genuine conservative who embraces and understands the conservative philosophy," he said.
A scholar and past president of the Hudson Institute, London ran for state comptroller and governor as a Republican. A frequent conservative presence on television and radio talk shows, he is widely respected, and in 1990 as the gubernatorial candidate to the Conservative party, drew more votes than any third party candidate in state history.
Four years later, London narrowly lost the office of the state comptroller on the Republican and Conservative ballot lines.
London said conservatives should be wary of Trump.
"His turn-around on social issues in an abbreviated period challenges credulity," he said. "His endorsement of key features of Obamacare was a telltale sign he's no conservative, even if partially walked back."
Trump has angered conservatives by saying he backed a single-payer system similar to Britain's and Canada's, which many on the right see as nothing less than socialized medicine. Social conservatives have been angered by Trump's strong support for Planned Parenthood and pledge to continue funding them, albeit with some caveats.
London is also worried that Trump will not abide by constitutional limits on presidential power.
"I don't think Trump's comments on executive authority reveal any understanding of separation of power in Article 1 [of the Constitution]," he said.
Trump, London said, "has a complete lack of intellectual curiosity and no grasp of major policy questions. If a 15-year-old did not know what the nuclear triad was, he would have immediately Googled it and found out. Trump didn't know what it was in a televised debate and, three weeks later, was asked about it again and still didn't know."
As for the developer's signature straight talk and "political incorrectness," London simply said: "Don't confuse vulgarity and boorishness with defying political correctness."
London, who has advised Cruz on foreign policy, made it clear he admired the Texan as "someone who is a genuine conservative and truly embraces and understands policy."
London also deemed Cruz's use of term "New York values" as "misguided" and suggests he should use the term ‘New York Times values.'
Complaining about its high tax rates, London had famously described New York as the "Vampire State" rather than the state nickname the Empire State.
As for Kasich, London quickly dismissed him as "one who has been drinking too much 'Kumbaya liquid.' Look, he may have worked with Democrats when he was chairman of the House Budget Committee but that was 20 years ago.
"Partisanship is here to stay for a while," he added. "It will take a true conservative as president to deal with it. And Ted Cruz comes closest to that in the field of Republicans left in the race."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
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