Richard Viguerie on Wednesday praised the shakeup of Donald Trump's campaign, calling it "exciting" and telling Newsmax TV he hasn't "seen anything like this since the 1980 Reagan campaign."
A guest on the "Steve Malzberg Show," the chairman of ConservativeHQ.com said the addition of Steve Bannon and promotion of Kellyanne Conway completes a team of "movement conservatives" that already featured running mate Mike Pence and Sen. Jeff Sessions.
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"I've had a philosophy, 'Tell me who you walk with and I'll tell you who you are,'" Viguerie told Malzberg. "If you look at Donald Trump's campaign now . . . These are charter members of the conservative movement. It's very exciting. I haven't seen anything like this since the 1980 Reagan campaign against [Jimmy] Carter."
Viguerie said the campaign reset "is a step in the right direction" to win over the pockets of Never Trump Republicans.
"Don't focus on Trump, focus on Hillary," Viguerie said. "Trump as president, he might be wrong 20, 25, 30 percent of the time. But Hillary Clinton is going to be wrong 100 percent of the time . . . Her goal will be to destroy the conservative movement. Donald Trump will be helping to advance the conservative movement."
Viguerie told Malzberg that Republicans needed to do two things to win this election: Feature a candidate who's a fighter and unite the party.
"You can't be somebody like Jeb Bush who's not a fighter. So they've got a fighter in Donald Trump for certain," Viguerie said.
But uniting the party is where Viguerie said he's been critical of Trump.
"The base of the party, right now, is not all on board. The cultural conservatives are not on board, a lot of the movement conservatives are not on board. And Donald Trump, it's his responsibility to reach out and bring those people on board. He's not done a good job on that. He's been too critical of a lot of our conservatives heroes out there," Viguerie said.
"If he unites the base of the party, he will be the next president."
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