Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy said Thursday he shares a "historical past" with Donald Trump — they are both former reality TV show stars turned politicians, but at the same time, he noted that the presumptive GOP presidential nominee is still not well known on Capitol Hill.
"Obviously, Donald is a lot more famous," Duffy, who was on MTV's "The Real World" in 1997 and appeared on several other related network series episodes, told Fox News' "Fox & Friends"
program. "I was an MTV guy back in the day."
But rather than focus on their shared past, Duffy noted that Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan's highly anticipated meeting, which wrapped up Thursday morning, was important for both of them.
"They have to come to some agreement on policy and ideas of where we take the country," said Duffy. "These guys don't know each other very well. If you look at the other 16 candidates who ran for president, they're politicians. Everybody on the Hill knows them. And sometimes they know their families. No one really knows Donald Trump. And so this is a good meeting to start to build those relationships, build that trust and then start that process of unifying our party."
Both Trump and Ryan have different visions for the future and the party, but Duffy said that Ryan's plans on fixing the nation's entitlement programs, which Trump opposes, are important for the nation's future.
"We are $19 trillion in debt, unless you get to the entitlement programs," said Duffy. "For the next generation of retirees, if you don't modify this plan, you can never balance your budget. And it's going to eat America alive. So I mean, Donald Trump has to, I think, has to have some real conversations about the debt and our deficits."
And once Trump understands that, Duffy said he believes that Paul will be able to say "'hey, listen, we have to have a come to Jesus moment here. You are going to have to deal with entitlements or we can't fix this economy or the debt.'"
Further, he said that Trump could reach out to lawmakers who don't know him, including announcing who his advisory teams would be, and who he'd consider for his Supreme Court nominations.
"If he had conservatives that we all knew were advising him, I think we would all feel a lot more comfortable in his candidacy," said Duffy. "But these are things that are in his court that he has to do to rally the base to him."
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