“My opposition to Donald Trump was wrong,” said Dennis Prager, describing Donald Trump as a “great president” whose political successes are connected to a disregard for the left-wing and partisan Democrat news media narratives.
Prager’s comments came during Thursday’s episode of his eponymous radio show. While Prager has said that Trump was his last choice during the Republican primaries, he supported him vigorously in the general election against Hillary Clinton.
“The only way to govern [while advancing] the principles of conservatism,” said Prager, was to disregard left-wing and partisan Democrat agitation pushed across the news media landscape. Prager said:
I was wrong. My opposition to Donald Trump was wrong, in retrospect. I was wrong. I had friends who supported him, and I didn’t understand them. I said, “Are you not aware of what he said about John McCain? Isn’t that enough to disqualify the guy?” They perceived in him what I did not perceive in him, that these over-the-top statements – as objectionable as the statements themselves may be, and none of them defended the statements – nevertheless, what they perceived was accurate: a man who doesn’t give a damn about what the press says about him. That is the only way to govern. It is the only way to advance the principles of conservatism in the United States is to not give a damn.
“[Donald Trump] is so much better a president than Mitt Romney would’ve made,” said Prager, describing Romney as “tepid” and concerned with appealing to news media outlets such as The New York Times. A president’s actions are a more important metric of presidential success than a president’s demeanor, said Prager:
Would I like Donald Trump to have Mitt Romney’s temperament, or for that matter Barack Obama’s temperament? Yeah. So what? I would like a whole host of things. People are packages. What a president does is more important to me than a president’s demeanor. He is so much better a president than Mitt Romney would’ve made. Mitt Romney would’ve awakened every day to read The New York Times editorial page to see how he’s covered. Mitt Romney gave us Romneycare in Massachusetts. I campaigned for Mitt Romney, he would’ve been a better president [than Barack Obama]. Any Republican is better than any Democrat, that’s just the way it is. Having said that, Romney would’ve been a tepid president. Nothing comparably conservative compared to Donald Trump.
Concerns with a president’s demeanor should be secondary to broader analyses of a president’s impact, said Prager.
“He has turned out to be a great president with big communication flaws, in the way he tweets and some of the things he says and his temperament,” said Prager. “My temperament is the opposite. I love dignity. I love understatement. Okay, so be it. So what? I’m not sure I’d be as good a president as he. How do you like that? That’s how good he’s been.”
In April of 2017, Prager invited ostensibly conservative NeverTrump news media figures to celebrate Trump’s presidency. “Do conservatives — or non-leftists, for that matter — appreciate just how terrific Donald Trump has been as president?” he asked. “And how lucky we are that he won the presidency?”
“What I do know is that they ought to be deeply appreciative of him, and deeply grateful for luck or providence, and certainly for Trump himself, that he was elected president,” continued Prager. “First, it is unlikely that any other Republican would have defeated Hillary Clinton. Second, he has not only surpassed many of our expectations but also thus far governed in a manner more consistent with conservative principles than any president since Ronald Reagan, and arguably Calvin Coolidge.”