Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform and another remnant of the neocon old guard, admitted that Trump has won him over.
“…Yes, he’s a fiscal conservative, he wants to pay down the national debt, rein in spending,” Norquist told Time Magazine. “One of the things that’s helpful with Trump is that he has been in business.”
“When somebody comes up with a regulatory idea, he has a sense of who that would hurt, what jobs that would kill, that would never occur to Obama.”
When Time pressed him on Trump’s “laughable pledge” to reduce the national debt, Norquist stepped up to bat for Trump, saying “all he’s doing is laying out what direction he wants to go in.”
“Presidents only get to set directions, they don’t get to say how far you go in the direction you’re talking about—that’s what Congress decides. And what Trump did well during the campaign is say I’m focused on jobs, I’m focused on the jobs, I’m focused on the jobs. The one thing Obama never talks about is jobs. He wants to cure the environment at the cost of jobs, he wants the EPA to do this at the cost of jobs, he wants global warming at the cost of jobs. He never talks about all the jobs that he’s killed.”
This comes just after Speaker of the House Paul Ryan wrote in an op-ed that he’s finally decided to endorse Trump, noting “through these conversations [with Donald Trump] I feel confident that he would help us turn the ideas in this [conservative] agenda into laws to help improve people’s lives.”
“That’s why I’ll be voting for him this fall,” he added.
Are the remnants of the neocon party finally starting to warm up to Trump?
Or do they finally see the writing on the wall that is their inevitable decline and hope to salvage what little influence they have left over their constituents?
The upcoming months will reveal the answer, but the old guard Republicans won’t be throwing Trump a house-warming party anytime soon.