In an interview on Bloomberg Politics’ “With All Due Respect,” co-host Mark Halperin asked longtime Republican strategist Mary Matalin to comment on Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s reluctance to support Donald Trump.
As she answered that it was “perfunctory but premature”, she dropped the bombshell that she had left the Republican Party for one that “continues to represent those constitutional principles that I agree with,” the Libertarian Party.
She said the Republican Party has failed conservatives, and she has chosen to move on. When pressed about whether she left the Party because of Donald Trump becoming the presumptive Republican Party nominee, she insisted it as not. She said she was open to Trump and that he could be great.
Co-host John Heilemann asked why she’d ever leave the Republican Party.
“Because I’m a Republican in the Jeffersonian, Madisonian sense,” she said. “I’m not a Republican for party or a person and the Libertarian Party represents, continues to represent those constitutional principles that I agree with.”
Halperin again tried to make it about Trump, but Matalin wouldn’t bite.
“Let me make this clear here, Mark and my friends there. I am never Hillary, I am always liberty,” she said. “As you know, and I’ve said it publicly here and in many places, after two successive blowout elections for conservatives with a non-response from Washington, a lot of conservatives are angry with the party. The party was falling apart. I can still vote for Republicans. I will never vote for Hillary and never Trump means always liberty and Libertarian.”
Matalin said she was open to Donald Trump. “I’m a provisional Trumpster. I don’t know enough about Trump. I know, like, three things about his economic policy. We know everything we need to know about Hillary.”
Earlier she said of Trump and Hillary, “I’m a never Hillary and I’m a provisional Trump,” she said. “I like his attitude. I like his strategic chutzpah. I like that he had the gall to put macro messaging over micro targeting and I like what I know about his economic policy. I just don’t know enough. I think he could not only win, he would in a landslide if he could stop his high schoolboy antics with women, otherwise he’s going to force suburban women to Hillary.”
“I think he could peel off some African Americans, some non-traditional millennial voters on the jobs message. I think he’d be great if he reigns it in a little bit.”
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