Rick Harrison, the co-star of the popular reality television show Pawn Stars, has endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio for president—but he thinks that Donald Trump would make a better president than Hillary Clinton.
“First off, I think Trump would do a lot better job than Hillary ever would. I think anybody would. My 14-year-old daughter would,” he said during an exclusive interview with Breitbart News after a rally with Marco Rubio in Las Vegas last week.
But Harrison was clear that he still believed Marco Rubio was the best choice for president, arguing that Trump lacked key life experience.
Harrison, who’s dad served in the Vietnam war, said he was mostly raised by his mother and grandmother and only made it through ninth grade before dropping out because he was suffering with epilepsy.
Trump, he argued, didn’t know what it was like to struggle economically, making it difficult for him to identify with the everyday problems faced by Americans.
“He’s never heard the words when he was a kid, ‘No, son we can’t afford that,’” Harrison said, referring to Trump. “I’ve never met him, he sounds like a good man and everything, but I still don’t think he could relate to poor people in this country.”
Although today he is the co-star of a famous reality show, Harrison remarked that he was forced to make tough decisions as he grew up, at one point deciding to live in his car for a few months so he could pay child support. That was an experience, he argued, that Trump didn’t understand.
“I think it’s absolutely great that he’s gone from millions to billions,” he said, referring to Trump. “But you know, I think a lot of people have a hard time relating to that.”
Rubio, he explained, knew what it was like to grow up in a family that wasn’t rich, pointing out that his father had worked as a bartender and his mother had worked as a maid in Las Vegas.
“I’m pretty good at reading people, I think he’s a genuine guy,” he said, referring to Rubio.
Harrison said he knew a few Trump supporters and he understood the appeal of the billionaire and former reality star – but he added said he still lacked substance on the issues.
“I can understand why people support him, he’s a bomb thrower and people are really frustrated,” he said. “But he has five word sentences and nothing following up on it,”
In the conversation with Breitbart News, Harrison talked about the difficulty of starting a business in the Obama economy, pointing to the regulation and red tape that prolonged the process.
Rubio, he said, was “one of those guys who believe that if you make it easy to do business, people will do business.”
“We lived in a country where if you want to try hard enough, you can do it,” he said. “Right now you can’t.”
He described the business regulatory process in the eighties that allowed anyone to start up a business in two weeks – a process that could now take two to three months.
“When you have a young couple sitting at the table going ‘let’s start our own business’ – it’s just crushing … it’s getting harder and harder out there,” he said.
Harrison pointed out that more government environmental regulation was choking manufacturing, sending jobs overseas. The rosy picture that Obama painted about employment and jobs, he argued, wasn’t reflecting the reality of people’s experiences or the labor statistics.
Under Obama, he said, people were leaving the workforce and an increasing amount of workers were forced to take multiple part time jobs to make it.
“I think Obama’s up on his ivory tower and he doesn’t see these things, he doesn’t get out there and talk to people – real people,” he said.
Harrison also praised Rubio’s ideas on education – particularly on the importance of teaching high school students trade skills.
“What we have now is a system where – get them out of high school and if you don’t go to college, they just throw you in the street,” he said.
Children graduating High School, he said, were sorely lacking any trade skills to help them get jobs working as plumbers, mechanics, welders, or machinists.
“Kids come out of high school, they don’t know how a motor in a car works,” he said.
In spite of economic and education concerns, Harrison said he was also growing more concerned about the rise of the Islamic State and Obama’s frustrating inability to address it.
He said that he watched the president’s speech from the Oval Office earlier this month, but was very disappointed in the results.
“He didn’t get up there and lead, he’s up there just saying ‘Well what we’re doing is working’ – when it’s obviously not, I mean this is how far he’s out of touch with reality,” he said.
The war against ISIS, he pointed out, was trying to hard to be antiseptic rather citing the statistic that a majority of military planes were coming back from bombing runs with their missiles still attached.
“War is never going to be a pretty thing and that’s what you have to accept as commander-in-chief,” he said.