THE INFLUENTIAL welcomes Mr. Roger Stone, the founding father of today’s political consulting. Roger Stone is a Trump confidante, seasoned political operative, speaker, pundit, and New York Times Bestselling Author featured in the Netflix documentary “Get Me Roger Stone”. A veteran of ten national presidential campaigns, he served as a senior campaign aide to four Republican presidents including Nixon, Reagan and Donald J. Trump.
Mr. Stone served as Chairman of Donald Trump’s Presidential Exploratory Committee in 2000 and Strategic Consultant in 2012. He resigned from the Trump campaign to publish his book - “The Clinton’s War on Women “- the definitive oppo dump on Bill and Hillary. A well-known voice in politics for over forty years, Roger Stone often gives insights on behind-the-scenes political agendas at StoneColdTruth.com and StoneZone.com, as well as InfoWars.com, where he hosts an hour long show five days a week.
SLEVIN: Roger, welcome to THE INFLUENTIAL forum and thank you for spending a few moments to share your insights on the global phenomena known as Donald J. Trump. As a former Florida GOP mayor, who first ran for office in the 6th grade (promised more pizza and won), I love the story of your first political “dirty trick” during your elementary school years. What did you do and how did that set the course of you becoming one of the founding fathers of today’s political consulting?
STONE: My elementary school located in a reliably Republican suburb of New York City was holding a mock election in 1960 between JFK and Richard Nixon. Because my family is Catholic, and because I thought he had much better hair, I was a Kennedy supporter. I positioned myself at the end of the cafeteria line telling each one of my classmates that if Nixon was elected, we would be required to go to school on Saturdays. This nifty piece of misinformation worked like a charm. The faculty was shocked when John Kennedy swept our first-grade mock election. This was my first experience with the power of misinformation. Of course, I have never used it since.
SLEVIN: I want to take this opportunity to say on behalf of millions of republicans, THANK YOU for keeping Donald Trump on your radar to run for president. You were a man ahead of your time when it came to Donald J. Trump. You observed his leadership qualities as far back as 1980’s when you asked him to run for president in 1988. Thankfully, Trump went all in to run for the highest office in politics and won.
What’s your assessment of Donald Trump’s political instincts, emotional intelligence, and most importantly, Trump’s appeal to voters? What made Trump such a successful first-time Republican candidate, let alone presidential candidate and President?
STONE: Donald Trump operates completely on the basis of gut instincts. He has little regard for polling and focus groups, as well as the politicians who use them as a wet finger in the wind. He has an extraordinary understanding of the sensibilities of the middle class and an unerring ability to speak their language. His greatest asset is probably his authenticity. There is nothing cookie cutter or fabricated about Donald Trump. He is real and genuine. Even when he makes mistakes, they merrily reinforce the fact that he’s not a confection, reading off talking points written by someone else. He is a patriot with a deep understanding of Americana. While not a dogmatic ideologue, he is a populist conservative whose political instincts are extraordinary. At the same time, he understands the importance of imagery and understands that in the age of mass communications, how you look is often more important than what you say. When I first met him in 1979, I pitched him to support Ronald Ragan’s campaign for president; he told me Reagan would win because he had “the look”.
SLEVIN: Let’s talk GOP. For decades, rank and file republicans have been angry and frustrated with the Republican Party establishment. The GOP elitists actively trivialized any republican who identified themselves as Reaganites, and then later Tea Party. As a faithful Reaganite, who is a proud Trumpster, how do you currently see the Republican Party and where do you think the GOP will land under President Trump’s leadership?
STONE. Donald Trump’s nomination and election was the hostile takeover of the Republican Party. Like every Republican president since Lincoln, Trump now has an opportunity to remake the GOP in his own image. We are no longer the party of country club shitheads like the Bushes, who are not conservatives, but are in fact, crony capitalists only interested in lining their own pockets and the pockets of their already wealthy elitist friends. The establishment wing of the Republican Party can challenge Donald Trump with a John Kasich or a Mitt Romney in 2020: Trump will crush them again.
I read a long piece recently in Esquire magazine by Sam Tanemhaus which contended that the Reagan Republicans in Washington like David Frum remain deeply opposed to President Trump. This is entire misreading of the current situation within the GOP. Those who continue to oppose Trump are the same people who opposed Reagan. Bush Republicans are deeply committed to the status quo and they’re opposed to the President’s reform agenda.
SLEVIN: Do you see Hillary-Pining Never-Trump republicans eventually calling uncle to President Trump and his growing record of success, or are these folks too beholden to their elitist self-interests? How much of an electoral factor are Never-Trump republicans in the next few election cycles?
STONE: The establishment Republicans of today are part of the two-party duopoly that has driven the country into the gutter. The changes in the Republican Party are as permanent as they were after Barry Goldwater‘s 1964 ascendancy to the presidential nomination. Richard Nixon could not have been nominated in 1968 without the support of the Goldwater wing of the Republican Party. It is notable that Goldwater himself, Senator Strom Thurmond, Senator John Tower, Senator Carl Curtis and William F. Buckley Jr all supported Nixon over California Governor Ronald Reagan for the 1968 nomination. As I said previously, Donald Trump or the Trump candidate will easily turn back any challenge from the party’s establishment wing in 2020. The dye is cast.
SLEVIN: How do you compare the Trump Movement of 2016 to the Reagan Revolution of 1980? How are they similar and how are they different?
STONE: Trump is the natural heir to Reagan. Those who oppose Trump opposed Reagan. George H.W. Bush was a usurper who betrayed the Reagan revolution when he violated his own pledge and raised taxes. The Trump Revolution feels very similar to the Reagan Revolution in that it’s non-elitist phenomena. Neither Reagan nor Trump enjoyed much support from elected Republicans at the federal level and both have remade the party as the party of working people.
SLEVIN: President Trump has changed the paradigm of presidential communications by using Twitter to communicate directly to the American people. Trump has inspired a legion of social media influencers. There are tens of thousands of these Twitter influencers, who are promoting President Trump’s #MAGA agenda to millions of their Twitter followers. This interview will be read and shared by them, so what exclusive message do you want to convey to President Trump’s most loyal and active supporters across the Twitterverse?
STONE: There is no doubt that 2016 marked the end of the main stream media monopoly on political discourse in this country. No longer do the three television networks and the two Cable News Network‘s control the narrative. Technological advances now mean that a majority of Americans get their political news via the Internet, giving rise to a robust and vibrant alternative media. Make no mistake about it, this revolutionary development is seriously being threatened as Amazon, Google, Facebook and Twitter are using manipulation of their algorithms, shadow banning and out right disenfranchisement to limit the reach and communications strategy of President Trump and his supporters.
Even as we speak Facebook is closing down the pages that contact and conduct a dialogue with millions of the President’s supporters. This censorship seriously threatens all we have accomplished in the last year. While it’s true that the President’s Twitter and Facebook feed will probably not be shut down, the access of his supporters will be unless someone in his administration wakes up soon and realizes how dangerous this threat is.
I myself have been banned for life on Twitter, because I have violated their extraordinarily vague rules of conduct. Yet certified nut job, Keith Oberman, can threaten to kill the President and advocate for his assassination, while his Twitter feed remains intact. It is no secret that I plan an all-out assault on Twitter, which includes lawsuits, protests, civil disobedience and street theater to bring the Twitter Nazis who I call “twatzis” to their knees.
SLEVIN: Recently, Florida Congressman Ron DeSantis formally announced that he was running for governor of Florida. Frankly, his candidacy a few months ago was considered a long shot by politicos inside the Tallahassee beltway. That all changed when President Trump tweeted his endorsement of Congressman DeSantis for governor of Florida a few weeks ago. What’s your take on it?
STONE: I am somewhat surprised that President Trump has decided to endorse Ron DeSantis since DeSantis most definitely did not support the nomination of Donald Trump. I do think DeSantis has been a most effective advocate for the President in terms of blowing apart the cover-up of the egregious corruption within the Obama Justice Department and the partisan hit squad assembled by special counsel Robert Mueller. At the moment, I am more focused on persuading Hulk Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, to challenge Governor Rick Scott for the U.S. Senate nomination in 2018. At a minimum, I hope to convince Hogan to body slam Scott in every debate. If the governor is under the impression that his personal responsibility for $1 billion in Medicaid fraud is no longer an issue, he’s wrong.
SLEVIN: You have worked with some of the best political consultants in the world. Who do you see as a rising star(s) in political consulting?
STONE: Elnatan Rudolph and Jacob Engles are two of the very best young political consultants working in Florida today. They both harness great political instincts with a keen understanding of modern campaign and communications technology. Tony Fabrizio, now living in Fort Lauderdale, is without question the greatest living Republican pollster and survey researcher working anywhere in the country.
SLEVIN: Roger, how can readers learn more about the Trump Revolution?
STONE: If you want to know how Donald Trump pulled off the greatest upset in US political history, there is no better source than my book, The Making of the President: How Donald Trump Orchestrated a Revolution. Contrast this with the recent book by Cory Lewandowski, which portrays the President in a negative light and is being used by the President’s critics as further evidence of his mental imbalance. My book is a serious political analysis of the trends and tactics that allowed for Donald Trump’s historic and improbable victory.
SLEVIN: What advice are you offering President Trump going into the 2018 and the looming mid-term elections? What can you share with us?
STONE: The move by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to crackdown on state legalized medicinal marijuana is not only a violation of the President’s solemn pledge to protect the access of millions of Americans to cannabis which they use as medicine is political suicide. It will cost the President a key number of states including Florida. Sessions won’t prosecute Obama’s NSA for illegal spying on Americans, won’t prosecute the massive fraud of the Clinton Foundation and is on a jihad against medical marijuana which is at 60 to 70 % approval in all of the key swing states. The President needs to fire Sessions- right after he fires that asp in the bosom Rod Rosenstein. Go to my article, Never Mind Mueller, Fire Rosenstein Now.
SLEVIN: Where do Trump’s Twitter Influencers go to keep up with the latest on Roger Stone?
STONE: You can follow my political analysis at StoneColdTruth.com as well as StoneZone.com. You can also watch me every weekday on the War Room on infowars.com at 5 PM EST as well as the Alex Jones Show every Wednesday at 3 PM EST on InfoWars.com.
SLEVIN: Roger it has been a pleasure talking to you in this exclusive interview for THE INFLUENTIAL. As we get closer to the 2018 mid-term elections, I hope that we could do another interview to get your insights on the impact of President Trump’s policies and politics heading in November.
About Patrick Slevin - Twitter: @patrickjslevin
Influence Magazine named Patrick Slevin one of Florida’s “Great Communicators” in 2017. Slevin is recognized by Campaigns & Elections Magazine as one of the nation’s top political “Movers’ & Shakers. He is a two-time winner of the PRSA Silver Anvil Award of Excellence for Crisis & Issues Management. He is a former Florida mayor who has worked on two presidential campaigns. He heads his communications and stakeholder engagement firm, SL7 Consulting, based in Tallahassee, Florida.
About THE INFLUENTIAL
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