President Donald Trump is a blue collar billionaire, according to his son, Donald Trump Jr.
“He’s very much more like the people of this state,” Trump Jr. said. “He would rather eat a pizza, drink a Coke, and watch a ballgame.”
The 39-year-old said his father wasn’t the type to take play ball in the backyard with his kids, but he would take them to work sites.
“Other little kids were playing with little trucks, and we got to go to work sites and play with big trucks,” he said. “I can drive a D10 Caterpillar as well as I can drive my car.”
The President’s firstborn headlined a fundraiser for Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s gubernatorial campaign. Tickets to the dinner event in Overland Park cost between $200 and $2,000. It drew about 400 attendees inside the DoubleTree Hotel, and tens of protestors outside. Kobach spoke briefly before hosting an informal discussion with Trump Jr.
The Kansas Secretary of State was an early Trump supporter, and Kobach said very early in the 2016 race, he thought Trump would win–not just the Republican nomination but also the Presidency.
“The person who wins is the person the average man or woman would rather have a beer with,” Kobach said.
Trump Jr. was a close advisor to his father’s campaign.
“It has to be the greatest political upset, maybe ever,” he said.
Still, he saw signs that his father was heading to a win. There was a notable enthusiasm gap between Trump supporters and supporters of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, he explained. The polls were also suspect. He said the Trump campaign polled via Internet and via telephone. Statistically, they should have yielded similar results, but the telephone polls showed about 15 percent less support for Trump than the Internet polls did.
Conservatives may have been afraid to speak their mind freely, but Trump, Jr., believes that may be changing.
“I think (Trump) has given conservatives the felling they can speak again,” he said. Meanwhile, journalists don’t even bother pretending that they’re unbiased now.
“At least they’re being honest for the first time ever,” he said.
He said he was surprised to learn how much the media can manipulate things and take quotes out of context. He said journalistic bias has taken the most powerful man in the world and made him an underdog. Twitter is a way for his father to go around the media to speak to his constituents directly. Though the President is often criticized for his tweets, his son says they show his human side, and his supporters recognize his sense of humor. Kobach agreed.
“Never before has America been able to hear what the president is thinking in real time,” Kobach said.
The event raised about $100,000 for Kobach’s 2018 gubernatorial race. The Kansas Secretary of State faces a crowded Republican primary field, which will include Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer. Colyer is likely to be an incumbent as Gov. Sam Brownback awaits confirmation by the U.S. Senate for a role in the Trump administration.
The event holds some historical significance. It’s unusual for a President to offer support to a Republican gubernatorial candidate, especially one who is likely to be running against an incumbent. Kobach is the widely considered the frontrunner in the primary race, which to date includes 10 announced candidates.
Kobach spoke little about his campaign during the fundraiser, though he said he’s running for Governor because Topeka faces a “crisis of leadership.” He said the state has a spending problem, and called the recent $1.2 billion tax increase “outrageous and unnecessary.”