WASHINGTON – Entertainer and political activist Pat Boone told PJM he’s “90 percent” satisfied with President Trump’s job performance but encourages him to stop using Twitter or hire a professional comedy writer to inject “wit” into his tweets.
The singer and actor said Trump’s opposition in Hollywood is having the reverse effect and bolstering his support in the rest of the country.
Boone endorsed Trump’s travel ban, which is tied up in the courts, comparing the restriction of travel to the U.S. from several Muslim majority countries to combating the Ebola crisis.
“You know, I even was advising him, urging him because we’ve been friendly over the years, and when he was campaigning and he knew I was supportive of him – though I was kind of keeping my powder dry and not doing anything publicly until it might really pay off, which it did in the last week before the election, I was asked to do robo calls,” Boone said during an exclusive interview with PJM at the recent Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority” conference in Washington.
“We were able to raise the funding necessary to do three million robo calls calling seniors and Christians, many of whom databases showed were not going to vote. And I was saying it is your Christian and civic duty to vote, because if you don’t vote for the Republican Party then you are casting your vote for the Democrat platform,” he said. “You need to look not at the people, not to candidates, you may not like either one, but look at the platforms.”
Boone said the robo calls were conducted in the battleground states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Michigan.
“Those were close elections. I love to think that maybe those calls that I made, three million of them, to people who, in many cases, were not planning to vote but they did perhaps get off the couch and go vote, and that maybe that made a difference,” he said.
Boone compared Trump to President Reagan, saying that he has “set out” to do “everything he said he would” during the campaign. Boone also said Republicans were never as “demeaning” to the opposition as the anti-Trump crowd, adding that their conduct is making conservatives even “more supportive” of Trump.
“I was urging then the candidate Trump, a friend, to just tone down his name-calling and rhetoric because it seems so un-presidential, and said get a tape out of Ronald Reagan’s debates and see how he differed categorically with his opponent but with humor and respect and it made people like him and not reject what he was saying because of the manner in which he was saying it. And I said, ‘I’ll bet your wife is saying so’ and he laughed, agreeing, saying yeah, that his wife was wanting him to tone down his acerbic rhetoric, but of course he did it his way and he still is,” Boone said.
“However, the thing I love is that, like Reagan, he has set out to do everything he said he would do and we elected him to do that – is so different and refreshing, and of course it steps on a lot of viper’s nests. It raises hackles and people are just adamant, there’s almost a psychosis, ‘we’ve got to get this man out of office’ and even we conservatives who weren’t happy about Obama’s election twice were never as demeaning and ridiculing, all the comedians, I mean, they love to just make Trump look like an absolute fool and it’s actually making a lot of us even more angry and more supportive,” he added.
PJM asked Boone to elaborate on the areas where he thinks Trump needs to improve.
“Well, I think just being more presidential and see, he’s having to learn the job, for anybody it’s a learn-as-you-go job. Nobody comes into the office of president without having to learn as he goes and I remember the panic, and I’ve told him this, when I was a little kid and FDR died and a little haberdasher from Kansas City, Harry Truman, was vice president but nobody ever expected him to be president, and suddenly he was and my parents said ‘we’re doomed, what does this guy know about how to be a president’? Well, it turned out that Harry Truman learned as he went and was a man with some backbone and a man with principle,” Boone said.
“He was a Democrat but he was a solid president … he was not unaccustomed to profanity in his private life and once in a while it erupted, but he made different difficult decisions, dropping the first atom bomb that stopped the second World War saved a lot a lives, Japanese and American. He fired MacArthur for insubordination and then he considered his greatest achievement that he put America on the side of Israel in 1948 when all of his advisers were saying, ‘hey, we don’t need an Israel, we want friendship with those Arabs and oil nations,’” he added.
Boone continued, “He was a novice at the presidency as Trump is now, but this is a job you learn as you go and you will make mistakes and flubs but if you stick to your principles you can win.”
Boone was asked if he thinks Trump should continue tweeting as president.
“I don’t, personally. I see why he likes to do it because it’s an immediate connection to a lot of the electorate, but I think he could have that – if he’s going to do tweeting, I would like to have an accomplished comedy writer, political writer, fashion them for him so that he says things with wit and not just, you know, like in-your-face or just flat assertions,” Boone suggested.
“He laughed when I said I bet your wife is telling you this, it doesn’t seem presidential, not that he cares that much, but it would build a lot of confidence in a lot of people if he would just restrain the rhetoric, go ahead and do the job, do everything he came to do, be almost like a Calvin Coolidge, maybe, just quietly set about to do what you came to do and not worry about what people say about it,” he added.
Boone agreed with Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord but recalled yelling at the television, urging Trump to say that he believes in climate change.
“If in 20 years we do everything that the climate change people worry about I want us to do, we might affect the global temperature by one or two hundredths of a percent or something – we wouldn’t even notice it. It’s an overblown issue,” he said.
“I was yelling at the TV, saying, ‘Tell them you believe in climate change.’ The climate is constantly changing up and down like the temperature in this room, for that matter. It’s constantly changing up and down – it always has and it always will, so yeah, you believe in climate change but you don’t believe in all these Band-Aids – these billion-, trillion-dollar Band-Aids they want to put on something that cannot be solved by those Band-Aids, that we’ve got to have what energy we have currently and utilize it, but meanwhile develop inexhaustible energy for the future and that’s nuclear fusion,” he added.
During the interview, Boone referred to Trump’s proposed travel ban as a temporary measure that should be taken as a way to cure an epidemic.
“Well, I keep wanting to remind him and I have, I don’t know if it got to him, but when he’s talking about it he seems so either prejudiced or anti-Arab and I want to remind him to remind the American people of the Ebola crisis, when this terrible thing broke out in Africa and we sent doctors and nurses there to help, but when they wanted to come back to this country, if they’d been exposed to the Ebola virus and could not be proven yet not to be carrying it, they could not come back into America because we were looking out for the American people,” he said.
“We didn’t want an epidemic to spread and there was one or two cases where a doctor or a nurse came back and had been affected and had to be isolated and quarantined. And I said, look, for people to take temporary measures to protect ourselves against an epidemic like ISIS – it is a very virulent epidemic, to say the least – to take measures until we get it all sorted out is an expedient, it’s not prejudicial, it’s an expedient thing to do. Quarantines are actually a medical approach to stopping the spread of disease and it’s logical,” he added.
Boone said the opponents of the travel ban should care more about American citizens than “who we might offend” in certain countries by temporarily restricting travel to the U.S.
“The countries from which these trained killers come, and they’re not always from their country, they may be bred in Iran and then they go to Libya or somewhere else, Yemen, and get documented and may even come here to this country and get schooled even more before they do San Bernardino or one of the other huge disasters,” Boone said. San Bernardino terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook was born in Chicago, while his Pakistan-born wife Tashfeen Malik lived in Saudi Arabia before coming to the U.S. on a spousal visa.
“But we’ve got to care more about the freedom-loving and hard-working citizens of this country than we do people we might offend who may or may not be terrorists,” Boone added. “If you’ve got a quarantine for a while until you get it all sorted out, to protect those of us who are just going about our business and don’t deserve to be killed in some ambush, then you do it.”