Elections

Phil Ruffin: Tsunami is coming and his name is Trump

Businessman Phil Ruffin walks to the podium before speaking on Wednesday, the third day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
Businessman Phil Ruffin walks to the podium before speaking on Wednesday, the third day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Associated Press

America needs a leader and an innovator, billionaire Phil Ruffin said in support of his longtime friend Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night.

Ruffin, a Wichita businessman who has known Trump 20 years, told delegates stories about Trump’s business acumen.

Trump bought a property in Palm Beach, Fla., for $40 million, which Ruffin thought was a bad deal.

But Trump managed to sell it for $100 million.

“Because that’s what Donald does. He takes something and makes it better,” Ruffin said.

Trump never gives up, Ruffin said. He believes in himself so much that even if he hits a dead end, he finds a way to make it work.

He also pays every penny he owes, be it a few pennies or millions of dollars, Ruffin said, trying to undercut claims by people who have done business with Trump that Trump fails to pay his bills or underpays his contractors. Politifact rated the statement false.

Ruffin veered frequently from his script during the speech, and improvised while the teleprompter struggled to keep up.

What makes Trump special is that once he gives you his word, he will never go back, Ruffin said.

“His handshake is better than any contract you can ever write,” Ruffin said.

Ruffin talked about Trump as the most hardworking businessman he has ever seen. Sometimes he works 20 hours a day, Ruffin said.

He said he was apprehensive when Trump first told him he wanted to run to be president of the United States. But Trump was so confident and determined that Ruffin said he immediately believed he could do it.

“I love America, our system is broken, and I am going to fix it,” Ruffin said Trump told him.

Ruffin pointed to delegates from different cities – Chicago, New York, Miami and Las Vegas – and reminded them what Trump has done for their city, the hotels he built and the jobs he created.

“He is tough, he is smart, and he knows what he is doing,” Ruffin said.

Ruffin finished with: “A tsunami is coming. His name is Donald Trump.”

Among the reaction to the speech:

Contributing: Associated Press

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