Tags: Donald Trump | Fox News | GOP2016 | Jeb Bush | Newsmax TV | Steve Malzberg Show | Roger Stone

Roger Stone: I Left Trump Because His Message Was Getting Lost

Roger Stone: I Left Trump Because His Message Was Getting Lost
(Wire services)

By    |   Monday, 10 August 2015 05:04 PM

Republican political consultant Roger Stone tells Newsmax TV he quit as adviser to Donald Trump because the billionaire developer's presidential campaign was getting lost amid petty "personality fights."

"I left because I was having no impact, because the issues and the vision that had gotten this campaign to first place in the polls and already achieved history, was getting lost in these personality fights, was getting sidetracked," Stone said Monday on "The Steve Malzberg Show."

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"Politics is about big issue themes and a reform agenda for America. Trump was speaking out on immigration and the economy and the way the Chinese and the Mexicans are taking us to the cleaners in our trade agreements.

"Trump was really resonating on these big picture issues and then his campaign went into a cul-de-sac in which he argues with well-known television personalities who are not running for president. It was counterproductive."

Stone was referring to Trump's explosive battle with Fox News star Megyn Kelly, who during last week's first GOP presidential debate, asked the billionaire developer off the bat about having called women "fat pigs" and "slobs."

Trump, who thought that slant was unfair, shot back with a remark about Kelly bleeding, which some thought to refer to her menstrual cycle — although he denied that implication and wants an apology from her.

But Stone said that despite the controversy, Trump came out on top.

"I thought Trump came out of the debate fine. In fact, I actually think he won the exchange with Megyn Kelly because he converted it from a discussion of women and his comments about women to a discussion of being politically incorrect, which he has no fear of," Stone said in a separate interview Monday with John Bachman on Newsmax Now.

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In a separate interview with 'The Hard Line" host Ed Berliner, Stone discounted assertions from some pundits that Fox News was tough on Trump because it's "working" for Hillary Clinton.

"I reject the notion," he said. "I don't agree with that but I do agree with this: Trump can still win this race if he would drop back to the core conservative messages that got him to number one."

He said the Republican Party must unify if they hope to recapture the White House and that means ending the squabbling between candidates, and especially with Trump.

"This was [Ronald] Reagan's great strength. Sure he beat George Bush and John Connally and Howard Baker and … he did it in such a way that he could bring everybody in and have a united party," Stone told Bachman.

"If the Republican Party melts down into internal squabbling that cannot be put back together, then they will surely lose. That's one of the reasons why the major candidates: Bush, Walker, Rubio have not engaged Trump and they're wise not to engage him.

"On the other hand, Trump would be wise not to engage news personalities and stay focused on the big picture themes that brought him to the number one position in this race."

Stone said despite officially severing ties with the campaign — Trump initially said he fired Stone — he still plans to assist the front-running GOP candidate behind the scenes.

"I am helping him. I'm helping him right now … only in an informal way. First of all, I remain a strong Donald Trump supporter. He's the one man with the financial independence and the guts to take on an entrenched, broken political system," Stone said to Steve Malzberg.

"He doesn't need the lobbyists, he doesn't need the special interests, he doesn't need the special pleaders, he doesn't need a billionaire to finance his super PAC.

"He is a billionaire. It's going to take somebody with total complete financial independence to take on the ruling class and only Trump can do that."

Stone said his connections to Trump go back decades.

"I'm a long-time Trump loyalist. I had wanted him to run for president since 1988 when I arranged for him to speak to the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Chamber of Commerce lunch and a group of my friends very enthusiastically in New Hampshire organized the first draft Trump for President Committee," he said.

"I wanted him to run in 2000 when he looked seriously at the Reform Party nomination because Ross Perot and Gov. Jesse Ventura were both urging him to run and he, like me, was not impressed with Al Gore."

"He is unscripted. He is unhinged. He is unhandled. He is unmanaged. He's a voracious reader, he's a quick study, he's a very, very smart guy and therefore I have rendered my advice."

But Stone added that he can't spill the nuts and bolts of his recent talks with Trump.

"I have a confidentially agreement with his campaign and I am honoring it," he said.

But he denied reports that he had advised Trump to attack former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush during the debate.

"That's not true at all. What I did was prepare some comments if Jeb Bush went after him, so that if Trump were attacked by Bush, Trump would be prepared," Stone said.

"Look, voters need to know that Jeb Bush got a $4 million taxpayer-financed, personal bailout from the federal government when Daddy was vice president. They need to know that. So that's preparation."

Stone also criticized Bush for what he said was his "terrible" performance in the debate, quipping, "this guy was so boring his podium almost fell asleep."

All of the publicity surrounding Trump, whether it be positive or negative, has in no way hurt his poll numbers.

According to a poll by Morning Consult conducted Aug. 7 to 9 of 2,029 registered voters, Trump leads his nearest rival by nearly 3-1 with 32 percent support. Bush in the No. 2 spot has just 11 percent support.

Every other GOP contender clocks in with less than 10 percent support:
  • Retired pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson is in third place at 9 percent;
  • Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio are tied for fourth place with 6 percent;
  • Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is at 4 percent, a decrease from 7 percent the previous week.

What's more, the controversy appears to have boosted Trump, giving him a 7-point increase in support since the previous survey.

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Republican political consultant Roger Stone tells Newsmax TV he quit as adviser to Donald Trump because the billionaire developer's campaign was getting lost amid petty "personality fights."
Roger Stone, adviser, Donald Trump, Megyn Kelly, personality
Monday, 10 August 2015 05:04 PM
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