JERUSALEM – The Trump revolution is like the Reagan revolution in that both leaders connected with the average American and in November those Americans went out and voted for the first time since Reagan, transition team member Becky Norton Dunlop told Breitbart Jerusalem at a conservative summit held Monday in Jerusalem.
“I travel around the country a lot and see people who say ‘we have to save our country,’ and they went out and voted for the first time since Reagan,” Norton Dunlop said at the Jerusalem Leaders Summit at the Waldorf Astoria in Jerusalem.
The media has been rife with comparisons between Trump and Reagan for a host of reasons (apart from their rhyming first names) that include their age, shared background in the entertainment sphere, and the fact that both lagged behind in the polls in the final weeks of the presidential race.
For Norton Dunlop, however, a distinguished fellow at the Heritage Foundation who served as a senior official in the Reagan administration, most of the similarities concern the circumstances each candidate found himself in.
Both Reagan and Trump, said Norton Dunlop, inherited a country in “turmoil, an economic mess.”
“We’ve had eight years of stagnant economy, the world is in a difficult situation, the military has been hollowed out so we really don’t have the military strength that a world power should have [in order] to have ‘peace for strength,'” she said.
“‘Peace through strength’ was one of President Reagan’s policy statements and I think Trump has adopted it,” she said, adding that Trump’s statements on bolstering U.S. defenses was a “big signal.”
The Heritage Foundation, a DC-based think tank that is a conservative buttress on Capitol Hill has, according to Politico, “emerged as one of the most influential forces shaping President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team.” Yet the same article claimed that only a year ago the Foundation dismissed Trump as a “big-government enthusiast and left-wing sympathizer.”
Norton Dunlop said that while Trump cannot be considered a traditional conservative, he “has embraced many of our ideas.”
“We didn’t know Donald J. Trump because he wasn’t a part of the political landscape, but we were happy that he was sending his people to be briefed [by the Foundation] and while he might not be considered a traditional conservative, he has brought around him traditional conservatives,” she said.
“Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, David Bossie – these people are people that we know and work with on regular basis,” she added.
Norton Dunlop added that she knew Andrew Breitbart, the founder of the eponymous news site and Bannon’s predecessor, well. “He was always very colorful and energetic. We were just absolutely shocked at his death,” she said.
Asked if there was any truth to accusations that Bannon had steered the site into becoming an alt-right platform for white nationalists, Norton Dunlop answered, “People who don’t have good intellectual arguments call other people names.”
“I don’t even know what the alt-right is. And if the alt-right is white supremacists, there is no way that Breitbart is a white supremacist website, it’s just not.”