In an exclusive hour-long sit down interview with Breitbart News, 91-year-old conservative icon and living legend Phyllis Schlafly declared that Donald Trump “is the only hope to defeat the Kingmakers,” and detailed why she believes Trump alone will return the government to the people. She warned that if immigration is not stopped: “we’re not going to be America anymore.”
Schlafly, born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1924, has been active in politics for more than one-quarter of all American history. She helped launch the conservative movement, create the pro-family agenda, and has led the fight against open borders trade and immigration policies. Thus, Schlafly’s proclamation to Breitbart News that front-runner Trump “represents everything the grassroots want” is certain to reverberate across the 2016 electorate.
Schlafly is also a Daughter of the American Revolution, author or editor of 20 books, a writer of nearly 2,500 columns, a lawyer, a mother of six, and a grandmother of 14.
The in-depth interview comes more than fifty years after the publication of Schlafly’s seminal work, A Choice Not An Echo, which inspired a generation of conservatives and defined the battle lines between the Republican grassroots and the Party elites.
Today, Schlafly tells Breitbart that the defining and most important battle is immigration. She said that current visa rates will “destroy our country,” and called for a pause on all new immigration, just like the county had during the middle of the 20th century.
The quick-witted conservative heroine also delivered a blistering critique of Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio, the two most prominent representatives of the Republican Party’s donor class. Schlafly said that “Rush [Limbaugh] is right” to argue that a Ryan-Rubio tag team in the Presidency and House Speakership would ensure the swift enactment of the donor class’s agenda.
However, Schlafly declared that Rubio will never become President—explaining that his “anti-American” immigration agenda is “why he’s not going to get the nomination.”
Throughout the meeting, Schlafly was energetic, quick to tell a joke, flash a wry smile, and smack her hands down on her desk for dramatic emphasis. Centering her dignified 91-year-old frame were two sharp, fast-alert blue eyes, which danced with life as Schlafly recalled memories of past conservative crusades she fearlessly led. One of those fights that changed the course of American history was Schlafly’s underdog triumph in defeating the so-called Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s; the amendment passed Congress as part of the new wave feminism and had been sent to the states for ratification. Because of her efforts, it fell three states short of being added to the Constitution.
Schlafly lit up as she further regaled Breitbart with tales ranging from her climbing out of the window ledge of a Congressional House Office Building as part of her effort to stop China from joining the WTO, to stories about her leading “study groups” throughout American homes in the 1950s to inform grassroots voters about the evils of communism. When an aide came to check in on our interview, Schlafly quickly shooed him away, allowing her to return to outlining her intricate views on the nation’s trade policies, and making it clear to everyone that, at any age, the indomitable Phyllis Schlafly—unlike countless Members of Congress—needs no handler.
Her eyes were equally sharp and focused in discussing the existential issues facing America today.
“Trump is the only hope to defeat the Kingmakers,” Schlafly told Breitbart resolutely. “Because everybody else will fall in line. The Kingmakers have so much money behind them.”
More than fifty years ago, Schlafly coined the term Kingmakers—or what Schlafly says is now “generally called the Establishment,” or donor class—to describe a select group of cosmopolitan elites who control the Republican Party and have historically determined the Party’s presidential nominee. Aspects of Schlafly’s Kingmaker theory have been articulated in, what is today known as, the “invisible primary” or “The Party Decides” theory.
As Schlafly wrote in 1964, these “few secret kingmakers… successfully forced their choice on a free country where there are more than 34 million Republican voters… They dictated the choice of the Republican presidential nominee just as completely as the Paris dressmakers control the length of women’s skirts.”
“The Kingmakers,” Schlafly told Breitbart, “have picked our last bunch of losers. And there’s one loser after another because they were more interested in maintaining their flow of money from the big donors and their cooperation with the Democrats—their bipartisanship—and that’s not my goal. I’m for America [Schlafly slams hand on table] and America first [slams hand on table again].”
When asked what is the “most pressing issue facing the country today,” Schlafly—without a moment’s pause—said, “Immigration. And that’s why Trump is doing so well. People recognize that is the biggest thing. In the first place, it’s just about destroying our schools. All of these kids, who can’t read in any language, are coming in and expecting to be taught by our English-speaking teachers. And it’s not going to work. And yet we have to babysit them all day.”
Schlafly explained that immigration represents an existential issue for the nation: “If we don’t stop immigration—this torrent of immigrants coming in—we’re not going to be America anymore because most of the people coming in have no experience with limited government. They don’t know what that is. They look to the government to solve all of their problems, and as soon as we have a high majority of people who think that, it’s going to be a different country.”
“We have thousands of young people, who are first time entry into the job market and they need a job—they need an entry level job—and they are frozen out by these immigrants coming in. And there’s nothing un-American about saying, ‘No.’ We said no to everybody [during the mid-20th century]… we paused in taking anybody in and we had every right to do that. That’s one of the indicia of a sovereign power,” Schlafly said.
When asked if she thought it was time for another immigration pause, Schlafly said, “I certainly do. I think we ought to have a total pause until we catch up—and, in indelicate words, as Trump said, ‘until we know what the hell we’re doing.’”
With regards to Trump’s call for a temporary pause on Muslim migration, Schlafly said, “I think all the polls show that the country is with Donald Trump on that issue… It is certainly not our duty to let in everybody who wants to come to this country. Probably the whole world wants to come into this country. There’s more freedom, more good things, more plenty, and more welfare handouts [laughs] than any other country.”
“We’re a sovereign country and if we don’t want to let anybody in, we don’t have to let anybody in,” Schlafly said. “We closed our doors [during the mid-20th Century]… and those are the years when we became a great country. We don’t need to open our doors for anybody.”
“Except for the obvious financial interests of the big corporations who want the cheap labor, I can’t think of any other reason that even makes any sense,” Schlafly said about Republican lawmakers’ desire to continue large-scale visa issuances. “Because it is ruining our country… and the Democratic Party all thinks thinks they’re going to be Democratic votes. And they’re breaking our bank by bringing them in because they all immediately go on U.S. welfare. And it’s not just welfare– it’s all the associated things. The children go in our schools, and we’ve had to hire all of teachers who speak foreign languages to teach these foreign children– there’s no reason why we we should do that at all. And these commentators who talk about the Constitutional rights of the immigrants– they don’t have any Constitutional rights. They’re not entitled to any U.S. Constitutional rights unless they’re residents in this country, and they’re not.”
Schlalfy detailed her views on the current revolt taking hold throughout the nation and reshaping the political landscape. “The real fight is within the Republican Party to get it to nominate grassroots-type candidates who the public wants, and not just some echo of the other side,” Schlafly told Breitbart.
I think a lot of people are misled by this goal of bipartisanship, which I don’t believe in. I think we are a two party country and that’s the way we have to play the game of politics—the way it is, not the way we wish it had been. And that’s why I say to the Third Party people, if you’re a third party person, I suggest you move to Europe. They have lots of third parties over there—[Schlafly laughs] you can join one of them—but we don’t. We are a two-party system. And as Rumsfeld once said, “You go to war with the army you have, not with the army you wish you have.” And what we have is a two-party system. And I’m certainly not trying to shape up the Democratic Party—I think that’s beyond my capabilities—but I am trying to shape the Republican Party.”
“That’s been one of my major goals,” Schlafly stated unapologetically as she leaned back in her chair. With her mid-length black skirt, neatly tucked-in denim button-down shirt and perfectly set hair, Schlafly seemed to epitomize the image of the indefatigable, joyful warrior. Schlafly spoke plainly and calmly like a general, who—far from being war-weary from past skirmishes—thrived on battles of principle and relished the coming challenge ahead. Indeed, the rebellion now coming to a head within the Republican Party seems to represent the build-up of the revolt, which Schlafly has led—at times, almost single handedly—for the better part of a century.
In Schlafly’s view, the philosophical battle within the Republican Party centers around the Kingmakers and their chosen candidates—who prioritize the needs of other nations and global corporatists—versus the Republican voters and the few representatives, who put the interests of the American people first.
Schlalfy explained that the Kingmakers, for financial reasons, are invested in promoting “America Last” policies. “They think their world is advanced—their financial interests are advanced—by bringing in low wage people,” Schlafly told Breitbart. “And that’s not what we [i.e. the American people] want to do, that’s just taking jobs from entry-level people in the United States.”
As Schlafly wrote in 1964:
“Highly placed New York kingmakers work toward ‘convergence’ between the Republican and Democratic parties so as to preserve their America Last foreign policy and eliminate foreign policy from political campaigns… The New York kingmakers, for pocketbook reasons, are extremely anxious to prevent any curtailment of the foreign giveaway program… [which] might come about by the election of a president who did not put the welfare of America secondary to the welfare of every other country from Albania to Zanzibar.”
The Kingmakers’ fetish for putting America last, which Schlafly detailed more than fifty years ago, remains true today: “people say it sounds like the same old story over and over again,” Schlafly said of her book’s thesis.
For instance, when donor-class favorite Paul Ryan was pushing Rubio’s amnesty agenda in 2013, he declared that the job of a U.S. lawmaker is to put himself in the shoes of foreign citizens and then work to improve these foreign citizens’ quality of life. Ryan said:
“Put yourself in another person’s shoes, which if you’re in elected office, that’s what you kind of have to do that almost every single day. The job we have—and what we do is we take different people’s perspectives. The gentleman from India who’s waiting for his green card. The DREAMer who is waiting. We take all these different perspectives. We process it through our values and our morals and our principles. And then we come up with the answer to try and solve this problem. That’s basically what we do in our jobs.”
Likewise, Marco Rubio said during the first Republican debate that the people who do not get enough attention in determining U.S. immigration policy are the foreign citizens living in foreign countries, who apparently call Sen. Rubio’s office to seek representation and complain about the wait time to enter the United States.
“And let me tell you who never gets talked about in these debates. The people that call my office, who have been waiting for 15 years to come to the United States. And they’ve paid their fees, and they hired a lawyer, and they can’t get in.”
What Sen. Rubio did not mention is that the U.S. has admitted 59 million immigrants since 1965, and that one quarter of today’s population is either foreign-born or a child of a foreign-born parent. Sen. Rubio also did not mention that every three years, the U.S. voluntarily admits a new population of immigrants the size of Los Angeles. For instance, over the next ten years, the U.S. will issue more green cards to foreign nationals than the population of the three early 2016 primary states– Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina– combined.
Rubio’s 2013 Gang of Eight bill would have tripled green card issuances, and his 2015 Immigration Innovation Act would have allowed an unlimited number of foreign students to get American green cards.
In Schlafly’s view, Trump stands in stark contrast to these candidates who put the interests of foreign citizens and global corporations above the interests of the American people. Schlafly explained that Trump’s America First platform on the critical issues of immigration and trade sets him up as true enemy of the Establishment—or “Kingmakers”—and, as such, he is the only candidate who cannot be co-opted by them.
“I don’t think he’ll make inroads with the Kingmaker types—that is—the big business [types],” Schlafly said. “Because he’s not doing what he’s told [Schlafly chuckles]. They like people to do what they’re told.”
Breitbart followed up: “And you think all of the other candidates will just do what they’re told?
“I do,” Schlafly said.
While Schlafly spoke warmly of Ted Cruz, she said that she’d ideally like to see Cruz on the Supreme Court during Trump’s administration. “That’s the place I think Cruz should go,” Schlafly explained. “He’s eminently qualified for that. And that would be a perfect solution for him… his qualifications are enormous… His education and his experience. He would be eminently qualified for that and very good at that.”
Schlafly argues that the reason the Kingmakers view Trump as their undisputed enemy—and, by extension, see him as being unable to be co-opted—is because Trump refuses to adopt their longstanding “America-Last” platform and, as a result, he is not afraid to talk about the issues that matter to American voters.
In her 1964 landmark book, Schlalfy explained that the Kingmakers want “to nominate candidates who would sidestep or suppress the key issues” by compromising with Democrats on the issues that matter to Republican voters. In so doing, the Kingmakers create a sort of monopoly consensus on particular issues—and, as a result, voters are denied their ability to choose a candidate who represents their interests, since each party’s nominee represents merely an echo of the other side. For instance, the Kingmakers’ choice-candidate this election, Marco Rubio, shares President Obama’s same goals on mass immigration and trade– with both men trying to make it easier to import cheaper foreign goods and labor.
Schlafly explained that echoing the Democrats’ policy platform on the critical issues of the day makes a Republican candidate weaker—not stronger. For instance, while Rubio’s campaign team has sought to promote declarations from liberal operatives that a Clinton-Rubio match up “scares” Democrats, Schlafly explained in 1964:
“One of the favorite tricks of the Democrats is to try to get the Republicans to pass over their strongest candidate and nominate instead a candidate who will be easy to beat. For example, in 1948 the Democrats cooperated with the Kingmakers to persuade Republicans to nominate a [bipartisan] ‘me too’ losing candidate, Tom Dewey, instead of the Republican Majority Leader, Bob Taft. The Democrats said they ‘hoped Republicans would nominate Taft’ with the same reverse psychology that Brer Rabbit pleaded with the fox, ‘Oh, please don’t throw me into the briar patch!’”
Instead, Schlafly told Breitbart that Republicans should advance a nominee who represents the interests of its electorate. “I think that we need to respect the will of the majority. Republicans ought to be a grassroots party. And the grassroots certainly agree with Donald Trump on most issues, but certainly on the immigration issue.”
“I certainly think he represents everything the grassroots want,” Schlafly said.
On the issues of trade and immigration, the polling data is clear. According to Pew, 92% of Republican oppose any growth to immigration levels, and an overwhelming margin of almost five-to-one Republican voters believe that so-called free trade deals are damaging wages, rather than improving them.
By contrast, Schlafly explained how Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan align with the Kingmakers’ agenda. Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan are “not representing what grassroots Republicans want,” Schlafly said.
Schlafly agreed with Rush Limbaugh’s assertion that with Rubio as President and Ryan as Speaker, then in the “first 12-to-18 months, the donor-class agenda is implemented, including amnesty and whatever else they want.”
Breitbart: “Rush Limbaugh said… that if Marco Rubio is President and Paul Ryan is Speaker of the House, the donor class’ agenda will be passed within the first 12 to 18 months of the next administration.”
Schlafly: “Well, Rush is right.”
Schlalfy, however, seemed to immediately rule out the possibility that Rubio would be the Party’s nominee because of his extreme views on immigration. When Breitbart asked Schlafly about Rubio’s push to “increase immigration at a time when 92% of the GOP electorate would like to see immigration levels not increased,” Schlafly said simply, “Well, that’s why he’s not going to get the nomination.”
“The majority of Republicans do not want open borders,” Schlafly said. “They think we should stop our immigration.”
In an October 2015 op-ed Dave Brat and Jeff Sessions wrote, “It is not mainstream, but extreme, to continue surging immigration beyond all historical precedent. And it is not rational, but radical, to refuse to recognize limits.”
Schlafly said that she agreed with Brat and Sessions’ analysis. When asked if she thought Rubio was “too extreme to be the Republican nominee,” Schlafly said, “Yes, I do.”
She explained that the 2013 immigration plan Rubio co-authored and ushered through the Senate was not only “anti-American,” but was also “dangerous” and that members of the Gang of Eight “were completely not with the majority of the American people at all.”
Breitbart asked Schlafly for her take on how Rubio had not been asked about his signature achievement in the U.S. Senate– the Gang of Eight bill– during the first four Presidential debates. Schlafly laughed and suggested that the establishment media is doing the Kingmakers’ bidding: “They’re protecting him,” she said.
Schlafly issued a clear warning to Republican publications, such as National Review, whose writers seem to boost Rubio’s campaign despite Rubio’s support for President Obama’s transformational immigration agenda. Indeed, Rubio’s campaign spokesman Alex Conant seemed so appreciative of a recent National Review piece that he marked it as a “pinned tweet” on the top of his twitter page and declared that it “raises the bar for all future ‘must-reads’”.
Schlafly rebuked the argument that Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio are conservative in spite of their views of immigration. Schlafly warned that Republican publications’ boosting of Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan will come at the expense of the nation’s peril. “If they’re not right on immigration they’re going to destroy our country,” Schlafly said.
Schlalfy, who has previously argued that if the country continues mailing green cards at the current rate, it will amount to suicide for the Republican Party, told Breitbart that this election is critical: “If we don’t get this election right, it’s going to be bad news for America,” Schlafly said.
With the Iowa caucus only three weeks away, in Schlafly’s view, America has the opportunity to make a choice—one that she wrote about more than fifty years ago:
I can look back on campaigns in which I saw Republicans on the local level working their hearts out for a cause they believed to be just, only to realize, after it was all over, that the kingmakers had given them a candidate who would not campaign on the issues. I speak with the voice of the countless Republican Party workers who don’t want this to happen again; in the words of the greatest Republican slogan of this century, they have “had enough”…
At this crucial point in American history, will we send in our bat boy? Or will we send in our Babe Ruth—a man who is not afraid or forbidden to take a good cut at all major issues of the day?