GOP Basque Fry aims at ‘Never Trumpers’
GARDNERVILLE — An urban, black Wisconsin sheriff elected as a Democrat joined Republican leaders at a rally on a northern Nevada ranch Saturday urging the GOP faithful to put aside any reservations they may have about Donald Trump and help defeat Hillary Clinton.
Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. took aim at the “Never Trumpers” he says could end up getting Clinton elected president if they skip the November election.
“You cannot tell me you love America but you’re willing to allow that to happen,” he said in a speech to about 1,000 people at the 2nd annual Basque Fry sponsored by Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt.
Clarke, who has become increasingly popular in GOP circles since he criticized the Black Lives Matter movement in a speech at their national convention in Cleveland, said Republicans need to rally behind the nominee despite any differences in individual political philosophies.
“Take your ego out of it and put your damn country first,” he said to cheers. “One team, one goal. We’ll sort all that other stuff out after we win.”
Former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton also pleaded for party unity as he took the stage in front of a barn 30 miles south of Carson City.
“We should be very worried,” the former ambassador to the United Nations said, partly because Clinton will “entice a few weak-kneed Republicans to support her.”
“Everybody who normally would have been expected to be a Republican voter in November who stays home or succumbs to the temptation of voting for a third-party or independent candidate is giving Hillary another ticket to the White House,” he said.
Bolton’s own political action committee is supporting a Nevada politician in his bid for the Senate as Republicans work to retain their control.
Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., is in a tight race against former Democratic Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto for the seat being left vacant by retiring Democrat Sen. Harry Reid.
Heck, a doctor who’s served in the Army Reserves for 26 years and was promoted to brigadier general two years ago, said it’s the only Democratically-held seat in the Senate that Republicans have a chance of winning this year.
“We need more people with military leadership skills in the U.S. Senate,” Heck said. He said Clinton would pursue the same failed policies that have jeopardized national security under President Barack Obama’s administrations.
“Our adversaries no longer fear us. Our allies no longer trust us,” Heck said. “It has made our nation weaker and less safe.”
Laxalt, the grandson of former Nevada Gov. and U.S. Sen. Paul Laxalt, organized the event on the Corley ranch that dates to the 1860s.
Laxalt said everywhere he goes in Nevada people tell him how much they miss his grandfather.
“They say he said what he meant and did what he’d say he’d do,” he said. He said Trump is cut from the same mold.
Clarke called Obama’s presidency “a disaster,” adding that Clinton would bring four more years of the same.
“At least our guy isn’t a liar,” Clarke said. “At least our guy isn’t corrupt.”