Jesse Ventura: Trump Has Taken the Exact Wrong Lessons from His Supposed Icon

Actor, Author, and Politician
The temptation is to dismiss Donald Trump as being too dumb to win the presidency. But simple-minded isn't the same thing as unintelligent, says former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura. Trump's strategy for success is to build up fear and mock his opponents with a display of utter vulgarity. It's the kind of strategy you might see in a professional wrestling match. But this behavior has nothing to do with the politicians that conservative voters count among their icons — notably, Ronald Reagan.
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TRANSCRIPT

Jesse Ventura: Donald Trump is not a fool. He’s been a friend of mine for 25 years. I call him a friend. I don’t agree with him on many of his issues. We’re 180 degrees apart. But Donald Trump is not a dumb man. You don’t acquire the wealth and the power in the private sector that Donald Trump has by being stupid. No. Donald Trump, he does things for a reason and you can bet when he does things, there’s a reason behind it. But to insinuate or to think he’s stupid, oh you will lose to him then — because if you go in with that attitude, he’ll beat you. He saw what they did with the Reform Party. He was with us back in the Reform Party back in the '90s where Pat Buchanan came in with these legions of people, took over our party, got the nomination, and then didn’t even run. He took the money and retired his previous campaign debts and destroyed the Reform Party. Trump was there then. He saw it. Well he’s doing the same thing to the Republicans that they did to us. He’s in the middle of their run. They don’t know what to do with him and he’s leading. Back in the '80s the icon of the modern day Republican Party was President Ronald Reagan, right. It seems to me Ronald Reagan’s, one of his most, most famous quotes was, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." I would have to say Ronald Reagan today is turning over in his grave over the thought that the Republicans want to build a wall between Mexico and the United States. Well if they’re going to do that, they shouldn’t be racist. They should build one on the Canadian border too because, after all, the hijackers of 9/11 came from Canada. They didn’t come from Mexico. They came via Canada. And so the whole thing’s ridiculous. Do we want to live in East Berlin? No. And Ronald Reagan would not support this. In fact Ronald Reagan probably wouldn’t even be a candidate in the Republican Party today.