Conrad Black: Trump's rise is 'kind of magnificent'
Meredith MacLeod, CTVNews.ca
Published Friday, November 4, 2016 11:45AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, November 4, 2016 11:52AM EDT
The U.S. electorate should vote for Donald Trump because he’s a “complete outsider” who isn’t responsible for the mistakes leading the nation in the wrong direction, says conservative political commentator Conrad Black.
The former media mogul acknowledges he finds Trump’s public persona “bombastic and outrageous and rather garish sometimes” but that’s not who he is privately.
Black also said allegations his friend is a misogynist are “complete rubbish.”
Black appeared on CTV’s Your Morning on Friday, to promote his new book featuring a selection of his columns written over 45 years, Backward Glances. But he spent the majority of the time talking about the outcome of the U.S. presidential election on Tuesday.
“I’m sure it will come as a great relief to your viewers to learn that I cannot sit here and say, hand over heart, that Donald is on his way to Mt. Rushmore,” he said, chuckling.
“But the country has had 20 years of terrible mis-government. And for 32 years, one member or other of the Clinton or Bush families has held the office of president, vice-president or secretary of state,” he said.
“They are fine people. I’m not a Bush basher or a Clinton basher, but it’s gone horribly wrong.”
He said 10 years in the Middle East resulted in handing most of Iraq to Iran and creating ISIS. He says the U.S. national debt doubled in seven years while 15 million people have “fallen out the workforce.”
“I think you want someone who is not complicit in these mistakes and Donald is the only one. I mean it’s down to two candidates and (Clinton) is complicit in some of the mistakes, although she is a capable person.”
Black, who has written biographies of past U.S. presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, says it’s “refreshing” and unprecedented in the United States to have a “complete outsider” take over a political party.
Trump has been repeatedly disparaged by pundits who predicted he had no hope of securing the Republican nomination and would be routed in a landslide in the race to the White House, says Black.
“They consistently underestimated him and though he is somewhat outrageous, it’s kind of magnificent in a way.”
He said a secretly-recorded tape in which Trump makes widely-condemned explicit and vulgar statements about grabbing, groping and kissing women, is a “terribly grating way” to refer to women.
“But it was 11 years ago. He doesn’t talk like that. His language in person is a lot less coarse than Mrs. Clinton’s. She’s not on the short the four-letter words and things sometimes and he is. He’s actually quite puritanical in a way. He doesn’t smoke, has never touched drugs, doesn’t drink and he’s actually quite polite as a person.”
Black, who once controlled Toronto-based newspaper empire Hollinger International, added that coarse private conversations have nothing to do with doing the job of president.
This is far from the first time Black, a British lord who has had his Order of Canada stripped over U.S. convictions for fraud and obstruction of justice in 2007, has publicly defended a man from whom many conservative elites have tried to distance themselves.
Black penned a piece in December titled, "Trump Is The Good Guy," for the conservative National Review in the midst of the GOP nomination race.
“What an honor to read your piece,” Trump then tweeted. “As one of the truly great intellects & my friend, I won't forget!!”
Black responded: "Many thanks, Donald and all good wishes in helping to clean up the American government. Honored to be your friend."
He predicted in March that Trump would “mop the floor” with Clinton.
Polls showing a neck-and-neck presidential race likely don’t represent the electorate, says Black, and Trump consistently outperformed the polls in the primaries.
Trump supporters may not be the type that the average Canadian warms to, says Black.
“I mean they wear battle fatigues to paint ball parks and shooting ranges on the weekends and fall asleep every night with a case of Budweiser in their lap. But they’re citizens and they have a right to vote and they’re aggravated,” said Black.
“And Donald’s their man and they’re going to come out in astounding strength in some states. I mean, good old corn-fed boys but they’re there.”