Steve Deace: ‘Americans don’t know what Conservatism is’

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The groups whose slogans were “Never Trump,” “Stop Trump” and “Anyone but Trump” have all failed. For the Republicans, it’s just Donald Trump now.

Some Republicans are so unhappy with it that they don't want to call themselves Republicans anymore.

Steve Deace is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host and author. He has rescinded his Republican card as Trump has presumably become the Republican Party’s nominee, but he said it’s not a short-term protest.

“It’s been building for a while, he said. “I say this as someone who was wooed by him and his team early on, long before many of the people that are on his team now were ever there.”

Deace said a couple years ago, he had a steak dinner in New York City with one of Trump’s people.

“They said, ‘Hey just spitballing here. If we were thinking about running for president, who would you hire in Iowa?’ And I said, ‘Chuck Laudner.’”

Deace said he got to know Trump well, “as much as you can get to know a billionaire.”


“In the end, campaigns don’t build character, they reveal it,” he said of Trump.

Deace said that at some point, Conservatives have to draw the line.

“We have watered down our belief system for so many years to accommodate electability to the point now that most Americans don’t know what Conservatism is,” he said.

Deace said Conservatism has been linked so closely to the Republican Party that when Republicans fail the country, which he said has been a lot, Americans feel that Conservatism has failed the country as well.

Deace said he’s not sure what he’ll do if November’s ticket is Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

If we lump candidates into social conservative labels, like Mike Huckabee in 2008 and Rick Santorum in 2012, Ted Cruz, in this atmosphere we’re in right now, seemed like he had the best chance of those three to get Deace’s party nomination.

Deace said there were a few things that happened to Cruz that were unavoidable, like a “ratings-obsessed media.”

He said he’s very confident if the networks had given Cruz 60x more coverage than anyone else, he would be the Republican nominee. But he said that doesn’t mean Cruz is a victim.

The biggest mistake made by Cruz’s campaign, in Deace's opinion, is that they botched the story that Ben Carson had the election stolen from him.

“They couldn’t get off that for two weeks, couldn’t blow it up. And that ruined all of their post-Iowa momentum that many of us spent six months building up. If there’s one thing I could change, it was that."

Deace said what was particularly harmful was the situation made Trump the alpha.

“If you apologize that you didn’t’ do anything wrong, you look like a beta. That’s where trump was able to get to the right of him for the alpha male voters. And Ted could not get that back,” Deace said.

On May 6, Deace published an opinion piece on USA Today, titling it: "I hope Trumpians get what they want and choke on it."

On the Insiders, Deace continues to talk about the Christian Conservatives who tapped out over the last election cycles, and how Cruz was supposed to be able to reach those voters.

Watch the full interview above.

Up next…

Steve Deace comes back for the Insiders Quick Six.

About the Insiders
The Insiders with Dave Price features in-depth conversations with top politicians, decision makers and influencers from Iowa and across the country. It's Iowa’s Sunday morning tradition that provides unique insight into what's happening, and it's the show that holds elected officials accountable.

Catch the Insiders Sunday at 9:30 a.m. on Channel 13.

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