February 29, 2016 12:03 PM
In an interview, former First District Congressman Jack Kingston talked about his support for Senator Ted Cruz as a presidential candidate, what he thinks of the outsider candidacy of Donald Trump, and what he expects to happen on Tuesday when people cast their votes in the SEC Primary.
Kingston spent the weekend attending rallies for Cruz in Atlanta and Perry, which he described as well received, and with a lot of energy. Kingston supports Cruz because he thinks there’s a need for a disruptive conservative as the GOP candidate in 2016. Noting how Uber has run circles around the conventional taxi industry, Kingston called for a similar type of change in Washington, saying that kind of leadership is needed to address major issues.
Cruz appeared at an October, 2014 rally in Savannah sponsored by Kingston, and has made other appearances with the congressman since then. While one might think that Cruz’s claim to be an outsider to be at odds with Kingston’s insider 2014 campaign for Senate, Kingston pointed to Donald Trump as the real outsider in the race, and had few good words for him.
If you think about Trump’s record, he’s given thousands of dollars to Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer. What kind of conservative does that? He’s called for universal health care. He’s called for gun control. He likes Mayor Bloomberg. What kind of conservative would do that?
When Trump says Planned Parenthood does a lot of good things, they also do abortions, and money is fungible. So when you get your federal dollars, that gives them money to do some things they can then free up other money for abortions. And it just shows a shallow misunderstanding of the matter of hand on Trump’s part.
When he talks about how we’re going to increase military spending, and not touch any entitlements, and we’re going to do it by cutting out waste, fraud and abuse, he has a major math problem. We absolutely have to cut waste, fraud, and abuse, but the big money is in entitlements, which is now about 70% of the budget.
His speeches are a series of pronouncements that sound good, but there’s no substance to it. And when you try to get to substance, he turns around and just starts saying ‘liar.’ [I saw] him throwing a bottle of water around on stage [Saturday]… and I think, “this is going to be the Commander in Chief who has his fingers on the nuclear trigger? The guy who is going to send your sons and daughters to war? The guy who is going to pick the justices for the Supreme Court? I’m not comfortable with it.”
I asked Kingston if he thought the more aggressive tone taken by Cruz and Marco Rubio might be able to slow Trump’s momentum down, and he said,
I think that if people will listen to them, it will make a big difference. When Marco starts talking about Polish migrant workers building Trump Tower and being underpaid and then never getting paid at all. Whe he talks about people enrolling in Trump university and never getting a diploma, it should be very concerning for any Republican.
How does he think the vote will break down on Tuesday? In Georgia, Trump is on top, however he feels that Cruz and Rubio will get more than 20%, and therefore will get some delegates. He said that Cruz is likely to get the biggest prize with a win in Texas, but Rubio can keep up with a win in Florida on March 15th. Kingston was confident that Cruz will do well in Arkansas and Oklahoma, and thinks that he is within striking distance in Tennessee. Cruz, said the former congressman, will do very well in Georgia.