Earlier this month, Donald Trump reached an agreement with the Republican National Committee to form a joint fundraising committee called “Trump Victory”. The fund will allow donors to funnel as much as $450,000 each into Republican coffers. The agreement is between Trump, the RNC, and the state Republican Parties in Arkansas, Connecticut, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Yesterday, the committee announced its leadership team and one of the Vice Chairs is Michigan’s own Ron Weiser, a wealthy fundraiser for Republicans and someone who is the perfect choice to be raising enormous amounts of money for a wealthy racist:
We all know how Donald Trump feels about Detroit and Michiganders in general. In 2006, he expressed his hope that the housing market would crash:
“I sort of hope that happens because then people like me would go in and buy,” Trump said in a 2006 audiobook from Trump University, answering a question about “gloomy predictions that the real estate market is heading for a spectacular crash.”
The U.S. housing bubble burst two years later, triggering the stock market crash of 2008 that plunged the U.S. economy into a deep recession, leaving millions of Americans unemployed.
Trump was speaking with Jon Ward, a marketing consultant who “masterminded all the initial education programs for Trump University,” according to his website. The audiobook is available on iTunes.
“If there is a bubble burst, as they call it, you know you can make a lot of money,” Trump said in the 2006 audio book, “How to Build a Fortune.” “If you’re in a good cash position — which I’m in a good cash position today — then people like me would go in and buy like crazy.”
Becoming wealthy at the expense of others is a hallmark of the Republican Party that Trump now leads and few states took a body blow as crushing as Michigan did when the economy collapsed in 2008. Trump’s comments led Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow to remark, “Many Michigan families were devastated by the housing crisis. Losing a home or a job is a worst case scenario for most families but for Donald Trump it’s an opportunity to cash in people’s misery. Rooting for economic collapse is outrageous! And it demonstrates once again that the last thing Michigan families need is Donald Trump. Anyone who is excited about families losing their homes isn’t looking out for the middle class, they’re only looking out for themselves.”
Trump is also on record saying the Detroit workers make too much money. Here’s what he told the Detroit News:
[Trump] said U.S. automakers could shift production away from Michigan to communities where autoworkers would make less. “You can go to different parts of the United States and then ultimately you’d do full-circle — you’ll come back to Michigan because those guys are going to want their jobs back even if it is less,” Trump said. “We can do the rotation in the United States — it doesn’t have to be in Mexico.”
He said that after Michigan “loses a couple of plants — all of sudden you’ll make good deals in your own area.”
Ron Weiser has similar disdain for people in Detroit. In 2012, he was caught on tape talking about how Republican prospects in the Motor City were vastly improved because of a lack of Democratic political “machines” in the city. In that speech, he had this to say about the people of Detroit:
“There’s no machine to go to the pool halls and the barbershops and put those people on buses and then bus them from precinct to precinct where they vote multiple times,” Weiser says in the video. “And there’s no machine to get ’em to stop playing pool and drinking beer in the pool hall. And it does make a difference.”
He added: “Obama has hired a lot of people to help him get that vote out. But if you’re not from Detroit, the places where those pool halls and barbershops are, you’re not going to be going at 6:30 in November. Not without a side arm.”
According to Ron Weiser, Republicans can make big inroads in Detroit because voters there are too busy playing pool and getting drunk in pool halls to be bothered to vote and it’s too dangerous to mount an effective get out the vote operation there. It’s equally offensive but the exact opposite of what Mitt “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” Romney said when he claimed the GOP will never get the votes of at least 47% of Americans because they are being given an ongoing gift by the Obama administration in the form of paying no taxes.
Republicans have failed to make progress in Detroit, of course. This is despite the fact that they convince a white Libertarian from Kentucky – Rand Paul – to help them open an “African American Engagement Office” there in 2013. And Democrats have actually had a very robust get out the vote operation in Detroit in every election cycle, as it turns out.
These sorts of comments and actions are precisely why Republicans have made NO inroads in Detroit and other urban cities. When a top funder as well as the presidential candidate of your Party disparage you and your fellow citizens in these demeaning sorts of ways, you’ll never earn their vote, no matter how much wishful thinking you engage in. It takes an incredible amount of chutzpah and bravado to think you can make offensive, insulting racist comments and then expect racial minorities to vote for you.
But cognitive dissonance is something Republicans are well acquainted with and Ron Weiser was a perfect fit for a leadership position in the campaign of a racist Republican candidate for president