Barring a contested convention, Donald Trump, a former Clinton supporting, pro-choice leaning, reality television star is on the brink of becoming the GOP nominee for the presidential election, having forced out presumed frontrunners Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. In trying to understand this game changing election for Republican Party, I sat down with Peter Fox, the current president of College Republicans here at Notre Dame, to hear his perspective on Trump, Clinton, and his personal pick for the GOP nomination.
“I think that he is certainly changing the way primary elections are run. He’s running a campaign unlike any we’ve seen in history really; a campaign that’s focusing on political correctness and its impact on the way the bureaucracy is being run and the way the government operates. I personally think that the Republican Party would do well by selecting a more conservative candidate, as Donald Trump, although he claims to be conservative, is not as ideologically pure as many would like. I personally support Governor John Kasich but understand that he essentially has no hope of receiving the nomination based on the number of delegates he has and is likely going to win in the future.”
Violence at Trump Rallies
“I think that the responsibility is fairly widespread amongst many different parties. Donald Trump’s rhetoric certainly is inflammatory compared to many of his peer candidates in the Republican and Democratic side. However these incidents of violence are being started more often than not by protestors rather than Trump rally attendees and blame can be attributed elsewhere from the Trump campaign and towards these rabble rousers of sorts who are looking to cause incidents and ultimately discredit Donald Trump’s campaign. But regardless of who ultimately is to blame for these bouts of violence at the rallies, I think the media certainly is blowing it out of proportion. The issues remain the same. Donald Trump has remained largely consistent in his rhetoric over the course of the campaign. He hasn’t changed that recently certainly. These incidents simply are being blown out of proportion.”
If Donald Trump is elected president I will…
“If Trump becomes president, I will wish him the utmost success in his role as commander in chief.”
“I support Ohio governor, John Kasich. I think that he supports the conservative values, level-headed values, that are important to me. He has government experience in turning around the economy of Ohio and executive experience as governor which is something that has proven to be important in previous nominees. And I think over the course of the debates he has shown himself to be the most level-headed and again for lack of a better word, adult candidate within the Republican field, avoiding the character assaults and attacks that other campaigns have fallen back on in an attempt to chip away at the increasing voter base of Donald Trump, who is utilizing those same personal attacks himself to far greater success.”
Being a Republican at Notre Dame
“I would say that Republicans make up the majority of students on campus. Whether or not all those are outspoken, remains to be seen. It is becoming more apparent as Donald Trump polarizes the Republican Party but certainly they represent the majority of voters on campus or politically active students on campus.”
Why Never Clinton
“Well frankly she is someone who should be indicted and possibly in federal prison for her mishandling of classified information on private servers. She broke the law and if she were anyone other than the former First Lady and former Secretary of State, she would be indicted and likely be in federal prison. She broke the law and should be treated as anyone else would be treated under the law. Beyond that, her bungling of Benghazi that resulted in the death of a U.S. ambassador and other American citizens shows her ineptitude in handling foreign affairs. She’s frequently misled the American people about her role in that tragedy. Her involvement in the creation of Hillarycare, on which Obamacare was largely based, during her time as First Lady shows her willingness and intention to support and expand Obamacare if elected and I think that is the exact opposite position that we should be taking as a country. And as a different direction, I think we should move towards the policies that the Republican candidates are supporting and advocating and regardless of who the Republican nominee is, it would be a better alternative than Hillary Clinton come November.”
My thanks to Mr. Fox for his candor and willingness to be interviewed.
Note: Interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.