Donald Trump Jr. told Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Saturday entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy “basically ended” former Gov. Nikki Haley’s (R-SC) “political career” during Wednesday’s debate, and the Republican establishment is trying to prop up Haley as a “last hope” alternative to former President Donald Trump.
Trump Jr. joined guest host and Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow for nearly 30 minutes during Saturday’s show, in which Marlow asked him for his reaction to the debate at the top of the program, noting that he himself “was not overly impressed with what” he observed.
“Yeah, listen, honestly, the only one who was impressive on there was Vivek, frankly. I think he basically ended Nikki Haley’s political career,” Trump Jr. said before taking aim at Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL).
“DeSantis has shown in long-form he’s just not any good at these things. When he made a surge when he was sort of running for a year by having an influencer campaign kind of create an image and a persona that doesn’t actually exist, people were like, ‘Are you not worried Don? Aren’t you worried?’ I go, ‘No, because I’ve done 30 events with him.’… He’s too awkward. It’s never gonna flow. He doesn’t resonate with people. He doesn’t understand people,” Trump Jr. said.
He emphasized that he was not complimenting Ramaswamy.
“That’s not a compliment to Vivek necessarily, because I like what he’s saying, but I also think he’s the smartest guy on that stage, and I also think he’s smart enough to tell us perhaps what we want to hear,” Trump Jr. said of the 38-year-old. “You know, I don’t know where he was politically – I understand what he was trying to do business-wise – but I don’t know where he was politically in ’16 or ’18 or ’20 or even ’22. That’s not an endorsement; it’s a, you know, ‘Hey, I like what he’s saying. He’s smart enough to read that room and figure out what the people actually want,’ which is actually an accomplishment in conservative politics, where most of D.C. doesn’t actually understand that, or they do, and they just don’t care, and they do the opposite. It was pretty lackluster, other than that.”
Marlow followed up, asking what these debates accomplish, considering Trump holds commanding leads over his challengers in the primary. Notably, Trump has 60.3 percent of support in the RealClearPolitics GOP primary polling average, leading his nearest opponent, DeSantis, by 47.6 percentage points. Marlow also noted that, in his view, DeSantis “missed his moment,” and “Haley is running as a sort of establishmentarian.”
“The Republican establishment, which does not represent the Republican or at least the conservative base in America anymore, they want an alternative [to] Trump because they want that control,” Trump Jr. said. “They want to be able to do nothing. They want to not be able to deliver; they want to be soft on China, because there’s a couple of the billionaire donors are saying, ‘Oh, you know, we can be tough on China and in name only, but it’s going to cost us half a cent on our widget if we actually make something in America or support American manufacturing, so we can’t actually do that.'”
Trump Jr. added that establishment donors have “flipped over to Haley” in a last-ditch effort to stop Trump and retain control.
“And so you see it, it’s controlled by the donor base,” he said. “The same people that used to support DeSantis because they thought he was the guy to take out Trump so that they can have their dancing monkey in the White House – someone who needs them, who needs their dollars – they flipped over to Nikki Haley, and they’re trying to make that the last hope so that they can have that kind of control. It’s really sad, because that’s what this is about.”
Notably, the New York Times reported in December that billionaire mega-donor Reid Hoffman, who has admittedly been to convicted sex offender Jeffry Epstein’s island, donated $250,000 to the pro-Haley PAC Stand for America Fund, as Breitbart News noted. Hoffman, who has previously donated to the Democrat Party and President Joe Biden, made the donation solely to stop Trump.
This comes as Haley has also received an endorsement from Americans for Prosperity Action, which is linked to establishment conservative mega-donor Charles Koch and his late brother David. ABC News Chief Washington Correspondent Jonathan Karl reported the group plans to spend tens of millions in the primary to stop Trump.
Breitbart News Saturday airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern.