Leading conservative publication National Review, announced a bombshell on FOX News’ The Kelly File on Thursday evening, with nearly two dozen major Reaganite conservatives joining together to stop the candidacy of bombastic billionaire and reality TV star Donald Trump, who is running as a conservative Republican, but whose lifelong history is one of a liberal Democrat.
National Review, founded by iconic late conservative William F. Buckley, Jr. 60-years-ago, announced a special edition entitled, “Against Trump,” with the warning to the nation signed by the likes of Glenn Beck, Edwin Meese, Brent Bozell, David Boas, Katie Pavlich, Erick Erickson, Dana Loesch and many more.
The extensive piece ,”Against Trump,” by the editors of National Review, accuses Donald Trump of lacking the bedrock conservative values and principles that have long been held among conservatives:
“Trump is a philosophically unmoored political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus within the GOP in favor of free-floating populism with strong-man overtones.”
Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, on themes within the 22 essays submitted by top conservative leaders against Trump, had this to say.
“If you truly are a conservative, you believe in ideas and principles. It’s not just attitudes. It’s not just who you dislike. It’s limited government; it’s the Constitution; it’s liberty. Those are the things that truly makes this country special, and they are basically afterthoughts to Donald Trump. He almost never talks about them. And if you are truly a conservative, you have a consistent record. We all change our minds on a few things, every now and then, when the facts change, but he has been on the other side on big, hot button defining issues like abortion, gun control, taxes and even immigration.”
In addressing Trump referencing the fact that conservative icon and 40th president Ronald Reagan crossing the aisle to become a Republican after having been a Democrat and Trump’s claim that he had that evolution himself, Lowry takes down Trump’s comparison by saying how Reagan’s revolution was different, because he put his actions for decades into play which made his conversion abundantly clear. Trump, on the other hand, appears to have had his conversion a few months before deciding to run for president as a Republican.
“Ronald Reagan spent about 30 or 40 years marinating in conservative thought and advocating for conservative ideas. He just didn’t show up one day and say, ‘Hey, guess what. Now, I’m a conservative.’ And another problem with Trump, he seems to believe what this country needs is a really effective strongman to make the trains run on time. What we really need is the government to be cut down to size, restored to its rightful role, and then focus on the really important things like the borders, like creating conditions for growth.”
Megyn Kelly referenced one of the statements in the special National Review piece which discusses how this country was born, and it was not to be led by a bombastic bullying leader. She said, “One of the things one of the pieces points out is that the country was born in an effort to avoid a heavy-handed leader who thought he could just make it better and to re-empower the people to govern themselves as opposed to vest all this power in one man who said he could do it.
Lowry recognized that Trump is a very talented politician, a point he has proven throughout his campaign, and said that he has hit a nerve with the people. But, he says, conservatism is more than that.
“I think even on immigration, he is really conning people. This is someone who, three or four short years ago, was criticizing nice, pleasant, polite Mitt Romney for being too harsh on immigration. It wouldn’t surprise me if one day Donald Trump, if he gets the nomination, wakes up the next day and says, ‘You know what, deporting people? The best people in the country have told me it’s not possible. Forget it.’”
The show then turned to a panel of three of the 22 people who are standing with National Review and against the Trump candidacy for president. The panel consisted of The Blaze’s Dana Loesch, the head of Media Research Center Brent Bozell, and Katie Pavlich, who is both a FOX News contributor and editor at Townhall.
Loesch, who was stood on the frontlines with the Tea Party at it’s inception noted that you didn’t see Donald Trump there. In fact, as the Politistick reported earlier this week, Trump donated $50,000 to Rahm “Deadfish” Emanuel in December 2010 after the Tea Party wave which gave Republicans control of the House.
“I was on the first phone call the night a group of us were planning the first Tea Party rallies and founding the modern-day Tea Party movement. I didn’t stand out, I didn’t phone bank and I didn’t go door-to-door for an increased mandate for ethanol subsidies. I didn’t do it for imminent domain. I did it for principles over popularity, and when I’m looking at this primary, I feel as though a lot of this has turned into popularity over principles. That’s what conservatism is. It’s principles.”
“I know Donald Trump. I think he is a nice guy. I think he’s got a fantastic family. But’ that’s not enough to me, anyway, to win over the White House. I want someone who is a great leader and a staunch conservative and I don’t have to question their authenticity.”
Megyn says Trump supporters are going to accuse them of being establishment, and will say, “These people are establishment. They just don’t get it. We want someone who can go in there and screw with Washington they way they feel their lives have been messed with.”
Brent Bozell then had his say on that issue, sharing how he was fighting the establishment long before the rise of the modern-day Tea Party and addressed any attacks he might receive. He also explained what makes Trump’s contention that he is like Reagan, simply a converted Democrat, not true.
“Look, Megyn, anyone who knows me knows that I was fighting the establishment well before fighting the establishment was cool. I was fighting the establishment with the Buchanan brigades in 1992. So, why are we speaking out about this? To suggest that Trump has had some kind of road to Damascus transformation just isn’t true. Ronald Reagan spent 16 years working for conservative principles; giving speeches, traveling around the country, raising money for conservative organizations, supporting Barry Goldwater.”
“Doing all those things that advanced the conservative movement for decades before he ran for president. Donald Trump did NONE of it until three months ago. Up until three months ago, this is a man who said he was a proud Democrat. This is a man who said he is a proud supporter of HIllary Clinton. This is a man who said he’s a proud supporter of Planned Parenthood. This is what he said he was. So, I think people need to say, “It’s been a lot of fun up until now, but do we care only about rattling the cages in Washington or do we as conservatives want to fundamentally change this course of destruction that we’re on, and Donald Trump has no record of ever supporting any of these things.”
Megyn then turned to Katie Pavlich to discuss a piece written by Bill Kristol. She said, “The pieces talk about that he’s the very epitome of vulgarity. Saying that he is whatever he pleases to be at the moment, the only principle being the triumph of his will. It’s a harsh litany of accusations against him. Does it run any risk of having the opposite of its intended effect.”
Pavlich shared passionately that it boils down to principles, and not simply someone who comes along at the last minute and says the right things.
“I think there are a lot of people supporting Donald Trump who are going to continue supporting Donald Trump, but as we’re seeing with the race in Iowa, there is a rift between Donald Trump and people who are looking at Ted Cruz as a conservative option. Again, this does go back to principles. We need to ask ourselves whether we are willing to set the precedent with Donald Trump and just throwing away years and years and decades and centuries of conservative principles and values simply because a candidate comes in and says the right things.
Kelly quickly shot back, “He says he is a conservative. He says he is.”
There was no hesitation in Pavlich’s voice when she responded. She contended, “But, he’s not, Megyn. He can say that he is just like he says that he is a lot of things, but the fact is that Donald Trump, his liberal past, is not behind him. He has gone out on the current campaign trail and espoused liberal ideas and big government propositions and proposals.”
She continued, “So, to say that his liberal past is behind him, that he’s somehow changed and he’s a conservative just doesn’t mesh with the facts. Conservatives historically have prided themselves on voting on records and voting for candidates who’ve been loyal to the Constitution and loyal to conservative principles. Donald Trump is not that candidate.”
Kelly then references an article within that issue of the National Review which states that addresses Trump’s ugliness in persona. She quotes, “Donald Trump is the living, breathing bellowing personification of all the nasty characteristics Democrats routinely ascribe to Republicans.”
Kelly says this is what you hear from some Republicans about Trump is that he is influencing a generation of young people who are deciding what they are and that he’s not the best brand for the GOP.
Bozell asserts that the issue with Trump negatively influencing the next generation goes beyond that. He says a President Trump would be a horrible image for America.: “Frankly, I think
“Frankly, I think a President Trump would be a terrible face of America to the world. This is a man who takes everything personally. Everything is about himself. He’s an absolute narcissist. He’s doing what he thinks he needs to do to win the presidency for himself. I’m surprised he’s not going to call it the Trump White House when he wins. That’s what he cares about.”
“I would say to my fellow conservatives, if this was a race between Jeb Bush and Donald Trump, you’ve got an argument maybe because you know where Jeb Bush stands. In fact, there are several conservatives in this race. In fact, personally speaking, I’ve endorsed Ted Cruz for the reason that he is the real conservative in this race with the real record and a past and a future, and real programs. Donald Trump, what are his programs?”
What would Dana say to those Tea Party supporters of Trump who view them as establishment and believe there is nothing they can say about Trump to change their minds.
Dana responded, “I would say this. First off, I’m not even a registered Republican because I haven’t thought they were conservative enough for a very long time. I’ve never gone out there and said, ‘You know, we need to subsidize big corn in Iowa. We need to subsidize ethanol. We need to call for an increase in that mandate.’”
“That is not a conservative principle. there is no way you could look at it, Megyn, that what he called for this week on the campaign trail…that is not conservative It is not conservative to bastardize the Fifth Amendment and say that eminent domain, we can actually collude with private businesses, and not for public use, to go after private property owners and take their property without even fair compensation or just compensation as it’s written constitutionally.”
“As far as the Second Amendment, look, I love conversions. I hope that he’s a convert on this issue because this is an issue close to my heart. I’m here at Shot Show right now. This is the first time I’ve ever known Donald Trump to make an appearance at any kind of gun show whether it’s NRA or Shot Show. He was for an assault weapons ban a couple of years ago. Is it an authentic conversion and that is not bad or establishment to ask.”
Will this banding together of these 22 powerful and influential conservative leaders have an impact on the caucus in Iowa, New Hampshire, or the outcome of the election in general? Only time will tell.
But, something tells me these 22 conservative leaders will not remain silent in their vehement opposition to the Donald Trump for President campaign, and many of them have the daily microphone to push back against his candidacy.
WATCH Top Conservative Leaders Unite to Dump Trump, part 1.
WATCH: Top Conservative Leaders Unite to Dump Trump, part 2.