NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland — Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX) told Breitbart News exclusively at the popular Black Tie & Boots Inaugural Ball here that his Democratic colleagues skipping President-elect Donald J. Trump’s inauguration “need to get with the program.”
“They need to get with the program because I went to Barack Obama’s,” Williams said in an exclusive interview backstage at the ball at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. “The problem is in the House, for example, and in the Senate, we represent people—and not all of them think like we do, but we represent them. They need to be representing all the people and the idea they do not want to come I think is wrong and I hope they’d rethink it.”
Approximately 50 House Democrats have decided to protest Trump’s inauguration on Friday.
Williams, who is the president of the Texas State Society—the organization that hosts the event—added that while a couple Texas Democrats have joined the boycott, most of Texas’ delegation has a strong bipartisan working relationship.
“In Texas, we have a pretty good bipartisan relationship,” Williams said. “I got a good friend in [Democratic Rep.] Henry Cuellar. But look, these guys are sent up here to represent people—and they need to represent people, whether they think like they do or don’t. I do that. Everybody else does that. When Barack Obama won, we didn’t go hit the streets.”
The Black Tie and Boots Inaugural Ball is a staple every inauguration year, featuring thousands of tuxedo-wearing Texans and wannabe-Texans donnie cowboy hats, big belt buckles and of course cowboy boots. This year’s record crowd of more than 10,000 cheered along to The Beach Boys and The Gatlin Brothers among others, as Williams and more members of Congress including Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) spoke to the crowd from the stage between sets of the main bands. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was present, too, and Trump’s son Donald Trump, Jr., came in later in the evening as well.
The eldest Trump son, who will take over his business operations at the Trump Organization as the president-elect becomes President of the United States on Friday, spoke from the stage as well saying his father and his father’s team have built a working relationship with Cruz—a huge step forward for the two firebrands after a bitter presidential primary. Even legendary basketball coach Bobby Knight—a staple campaign trail surrogate for Trump—was there, and delivered a rabble-rousing introduction for The Beach Boys.
“In a Donald Trump administration, there will be no bullshit!” Knight shouted as The Beach Boys took the stage.
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) January 20, 2017
Williams told Breitbart News that Texans are fired up for Trump, and the Black Tie and Boots Inaugural Ball energy showed it.
“It’s pretty exciting. I know Texas is the only state that can pull something like this off,” Williams said. “It’s the biggest ever, and I think it’ll be the most successful. But look I think a lot of people are energized. This is a bipartisan group. People are energized. If you’re a Republican or conservative, you waited eight years for this. But we pull it off because Texas has a culture that’s a little bit different than most states. We got people that want to wear boots—they may not be Texan, but they want to wear boots. They want to have a big belt buckle on, they want to have a hat. They want to feel like a Texan. As a Texan, we welcome that. So you combine all of that with a victory and I believe literally saving our country on Nov. 8—a lot of people are excited at the entertainment we’ve got, we got The Gatlin Brothers and The Beach Boys—it makes for a special evening. Coach Bobby Knight helped me introduce The Beach Boys and he gave a little pep talk to everybody. So that was great.”
Williams said that out of Trump’s speech at his inauguration as the 45th President of the United States, he’s hoping for some key answers on how to help Americans out right away,
“I’m a businessman—I’m in Congress, but I still own a business,” Williams said. “He’s a business guy—and I think he’s already showed that he’s looking at America like a business, that America has customers. Three-hundred-and-thirty million customers are out there asking for a return on investment, and he’s going to give it to us. I haven’t seen his speech, but I know he’s going to talk about tax reform, he’s going to talk about healthcare, he’s going to talk about the military, he’s going to talk about giving America back to the greatest asset America has and that’s Americans. Let the government collect our taxes, defend our borders, protect our infrastructure and get out of the way. I think that’s the direction we’re heading, I think he’s going to reach all of that and I think he’s going to motivate a lot of people. I think he’s going to talk about America being exceptional, America needing to be the superpower in the world. And those are the things we want to do and those are the things we are going to get back.”
Williams added that the businessman mindset winning elections is in his view the “new norm,” not a fluke with Trump.
“I think, when I first ran for Congress I had never run for office,” Williams said. “I had been helping people and I didn’t think they were getting represented from a business standpoint. I ran on a business platform and won, and he did the same thing. People get the message and it was Republicans and Democrats sent a message of ‘I’m tired of people telling me things that never happened, I’m tired of nothing getting done, I’m tired of the highest tax rates in the world, I’m tired of the military being devastated and hollowed out, I’m tired of no energy policy, I’m tired of the debt,’ and they can’t run their business that way. Donald Trump answered those questions and he got elected.”
Williams took a shot at the media too for getting it “so wrong” in 2016, so bad they’re basically irrelevant now.
“The media got it wrong because they didn’t want it to happen so they were in denial, just like not wanting to call Pennsylvania when 90 percent of the vote was in,” Williams said. “The media has gone left, they’ve gone so far left they’re not even a factor anymore. The idea he’s going to do his Tweets and do all his stuff—why would it not be alright for Americans to hear unfettered comments from the President of the United States? The media—they are what they are. But they didn’t get it right because they didn’t want to get it right. They did not want this to happen. It happened and now they got to get over it.”
Williams is also pleased with Trump’s picks of Texans like Rex Tillerson, the ExxonMobil CEO, and former Gov. Rick Perry to be in his administration. Tillerson will be Secretary of State and Perry will be Energy Secretary.
“I know Rex Tillerson—good man, another business guy,” he said. “I know Governor Perry—I was Governor Perry’s Secretary of State. I know them both pretty well and couldn’t be better picks. But they were picks done from a business standpoint. Looking at America as a holding company with 50 small businesses, what’s best to do that? We got a guy that understands this and has worldwide experience running one of the biggest companies in the world. He’s a great pick.”