Wisconsin radio host Charlie Sykes jumped into national prominence a few weeks ago when he provided the template for how to interview hairspray aficionado Donald Trump. Ahead of the Wisconsin GOP primary, which Ted Cruz surprisingly won due largely to the Stop Trump movement, Sykes peppered him with tough questions during a radio interview and didn’t allow Trump to dominate the conversation. Media critics pointed to the segment as the type of interview that Trump should have been subjected to far earlier.
Of course, for the most part, the mainstream media kept on doing what they were doing, and despite the Wisconsin hiccup, Trump would steamroll his way to essentially securing the GOP nomination. However, Sykes has not given up the fight for the conservative movement, which he feels is in danger of being overtaken by Trump’s virulent racist rhetoric.
Appearing on The Kelly File Monday night, Sykes lashed out at both Trump and weak-kneed Republican politicians who have offered their support to him. In Sykes’ view, those endorsing Trump are destroying the party for generations, as minorities and women will run away from the GOP in droves. Also, those embracing Trump will have to live with the fact that they’re also embracing his bigotry, ignorance and penchant for conspiracy theories.
MEGYN KELLY (HOST): My next guest got national attention when he took on Donald Trump in a fiery radio interview just ahead of the Wisconsin primary. Joining me now, Charlie Sykes. Charlie, good to see you. And sure enough, Trump went on to lose the state of Wisconsin but win the GOP primary. And nonetheless you say you remain never Trump. Before I ask you about Paul Ryan, why? Because you know the argument against that is that’s a vote for Hillary Clinton.
CHARLIE SYKES: Yeah, well Donald Trump is a serial liar, a con man who mocks the disabled and women. He’s a narcissist and a bully, a man with no fixed principles who has the vocabulary of an emotionally insecure 9-year-old. So no, I don’t want to give him control of the IRS, the FBI, and the nuclear codes. That’s just me.
KELLY: Tell us how you really feel. It doesn’t sound like there’s a lot of wiggle room there, Charlie.
SYKES: I do see the raft swimming towards the sinking ship. But at some point — if you understand, and this is not just ideological, it’s not just the fact that he’s abandoned one position after another or that he has the penchant for internet hoaxes or conspiracy theories. I mean a week ago tonight, remember, he was peddling the notion that Ted Cruz’s dad had something do with the JFK assassination. So there are people who say that just because of party loyalty we’re supposed to forget all of that. I just don’t buy that. Because I’ve cautioned my fellow conservatives, you embrace Donald Trump, you embrace it all. You embrace every slur, every insult, every outrage, every falsehood. You’re going to spend the next six months defending, rationalizing, evading all that. And afterwards, you come back to women, to minorities, to young people and say, that wasn’t us. That’s not what we’re about. The reality is, if you support him to be president of the United States, that is who you are, and you own it.
This is dead on. For the short term, conservatives and Republicans may think this is a good move to endorse Trump. They see Hillary Clinton as the worse choice and think that Trump is at least a Republican, so best to get him in the White House. But that fact is, by latching onto Trump, they are tying the party to his openly racist and hateful platform. They are officially making the Republican Party a party of white resentment.
It is up to prominent voices within the GOP and conservatism to speak out against Trump. The more they stay quiet, or openly support the man and his views, the louder that message is to an increasingly diverse and tolerant America.
Below is video of the interview, courtesy of Media Matters: