Longtime conservative activist Richard Viguerie says the window of opportunity is closing fast to stop a narcissist from winning the Republican nomination and he has says only determined conservatives or Donald Trump himself can stop it from happening.
Viguerie has been a movement conservative for well over 50 years. He pioneered the use of direct mail in political campaigning. He is now chairman of Conservative HQ and is author most recently of “Takeover: The 100-Year War for the Soul of the GOP and How Conservatives Can Finally Win It.”
As voters in more than a dozen states prepare to vote on Super Tuesday, says the non-Trump candidates are losing a game of catch-up because they let refuse to define Trump much earlier.
“They did not define Trump until the last few weeks. The law of the jungle is to eat or be eaten. The law of politics is define or be defined. Republicans and conservatives failed, quite frankly, failed to do a proper job of defining Donald Trump,” said Viguerie.
In last week’s debate, both Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz went after Trump and that has spilled over onto the campaign trail. Rubio is getting more attention as he uses some of Trump’s own tactics against him while Cruz has stuck largely to policy differences. Viguerie says jokes about Trump’s tan and other characteristics is not the kind of defining that needs to be done.
“That’s irrelevant. What does that have to do with anything. We’re talking about electing a man (Trump) who has potentially may have serious psychological problems. I think he’s a serious narcissist. That should be frightening to America to put a narcissistic person in charge of our nuclear arsenal,” said Viguerie.
“I’m just very concerned about his mental stability and his moral background or lack thereof, which he brags about. He has no grounds that drive him morally,” said Viguerie.
But while Viguerie believes Trump is definitely the wrong choice for president, he says the voter passion that is driving Trump’s success is intense and legitimate.
“They are white hot with anger at our leaders in this country, particularly Washington Republican leaders. The Republican primary voters are just furious,” he said. “They’re angry at the lies, the betrayal of the Republican leaders. They’re the ones that created Donald Trump. They can’t do anything about it now. Only the conservatives [can].”
In addition to labeling Trump a narcissist, Viguerie also calls the front-runner a “pro-business liberal Democrat” and encourages conservative candidates and activists to do the same.
Viguerie says of the three best-performing GOP candidates, Trump is obviously in the best position to win, followed by Cruz. Viguerie says Rubio is longest shot of the three.
“Trump’s base is his dollars, his billfold of $10 billion. Rubio is the establishment candidate and he didn’t have that base until recently. He’s been going up in the polls because the Washington establishment Republicans are moving his direction and Cruz’s base, of course, is the conservative movement,” said Viguerie.
“That’s what makes Cruz such a formidable opponent for Trump because conservatives make up the vast majority of primary voters,” said Viguerie.
Viguerie not only admits Trump is a heavy favorite right now but that the options moving forward look bleak for grassroots conservatives. He says even if Republicans can somehow stop Trump at a brokered convention, Trump’s supporters would be so disillusioned that Democrats would have a big edge heading into the fall.
But not as big of an advantage, he says, if Trump is the nominee. He says the recent David Duke flap is an example of controversies that would doom Trump in the general election.
And that’s not all.
“When the Democrat machine spends a billion dollars on defining him if he were to be the nominee, he would be hard-pressed to get 40 percent of the vote in November. There’s no way Donald Trump can be elected after the Democrats get through defining him,” said Viguerie.