Elections

Brownback: GOP voters’ anger with Obama helped lift Trump

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback says he’ll support Donald Trump’s presidential bid, but he’s hardly enthusiastic about backing his party’s presumptive nominee.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback says he’ll support Donald Trump’s presidential bid, but he’s hardly enthusiastic about backing his party’s presumptive nominee. The Wichita Eagle

Gov. Sam Brownback says GOP voters are taking out their anger at President Obama on all elected officials, helping propel Donald Trump to the nomination.

“The Trump phenomenon is really something and I’ve been searching for what is it, because that was, in my estimation, an excellent field of presidential candidates that Donald Trump defeated on the Republican side,” Brownback said Wednesday.

He said he had discussed the phenomenon with his friend Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, whose own presidential campaign failed to gain traction, and concluded that Republican voters’ anger at President Obama has been transferred to anyone in public office during the past eight years.

“They’re mad at President Obama, but they didn’t even talk about him anymore. It’s like they were just mad at anybody who had been public office because they hadn’t stopped what Obama had done,” Brownback said. “They see the country deteriorating before their very eyes and standing in the world and they are mad. But it’s not even about President Obama. It’s about you were in public office and you didn’t stop it.”

He said part of Trump’s appeal is the billionaire’s promise to “take control” of the problems facing the nation. He compared it to a military leader stepping up to lead in the past.

“If the choice is between Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, I’m supporting Donald Trump,” Brownback said.

All three candidates have problems with some segment of their respective party’s base, he said, predicting that frustration with the candidates of both parties could result in low voter turnout.

“I think there’s danger that a lot of the electorate will sit this one out on both sides of the aisle. I mean, what’s the enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton? But that’s what you’re staring at as the probability,” he said.

Brownback said he’s glad that U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, a former Brownback aide who the governor described as a dear friend, will meet with Trump on Thursday. He hopes that meeting will resolve some issues that party leaders feel with the presumptive candidate.

“There’s issues that people are still wrestling with, but you can’t deny what the mood of the electorate is,” he said.

Bryan Lowry: 785-296-3006, @BryanLowry3

  Comments