DALLAS — If you haven’t heard the name Tomi Lahren, chances are you’ve seen her face on your Facebook page.
The 24-year old host of TheBlaze.com’s “Tomi” often pops up in social media feeds with her viral YouTube segments attacking Black Lives Matter or Colin Kaepernick or any of the many liberal policies she disdains. Some clips have drawn well over 1 million views.
On the latest episode of “The Jamie Weinstein Show” podcast, Lahren discusses her views on numerous political issues, what conservatism means to her, her support for Donald Trump, her influences and much more.
- On being a conservative and a Republican (4:18)
- On the issues, from immigration to trade to foreign policy (7:05)
- On meeting and working with Trump (19:01)
- Why she has focused on issues of race in America (21:50)
- Why the polls aren’t accurately measuring Trump’s support (25:22)
- On the Clintons’ ‘body count’ (27:58)
- Defending herself from critics (29:14)
- Who should lead the Republican Party after Trump? (32:01)
- How to become the next Tomi Lahren (36:11)
- Tomi’s visit to Trump Tower (41:05)
- On her influences (42:07)
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Lahren has been mentioned as a possible future star on Trump TV, if such a venture ever comes to be. She helped drive the speculation when she told The Ringer that she might leave TheBlaze after her contract expires in a year. In her interview with “The Jamie Weinstein Show,” however, Lahren tried to put a damper on such speculation, stating she is happy where she is.
Still, Lahren seems to be close with Trump world, discussing in the interview a recent trip to Trump Tower. She even appeared on a Trump campaign live stream after the third presidential debate, which some speculated was a dry run for a Trump-branded media network.
This is not to suggest Lahren is a Trump clone. She’s not. In fact, she supported Marco Rubio in the Republican primary. And while she displayed a Trump-like conspiratorial streak in our interview, suggesting the Clintons actually had some of their political enemies murdered, she also went out of her way to praise Paul Ryan and suggest he could be the future of the Republican Party (very un-Trumpian).
Here’s a very small excerpt of our conversation (to hear the rest, you’ll have to listen to the podcast):
On the meaning of conservatism
Conservative to me means someone that has an appreciation for the Constitution, that has an appreciation for a limited government and has an appreciation of our nation’s founding and our history. That also means a lot of our values are rooted in the Christian faith and I’m proud to be a Christian but I think that also in recent years we’ve deviated from that somewhat and I don’t think that’s entirely a bad thing.
On the three most important issues to her
First and foremost, immigration is important to me. I think immigration has implications for everything else that is done. So securing the border, that would be priority one for me. That is to me most important.
Two, national security is also very important to me. We need to lift the rules of engagement. We either need to declare war or we need to get the hell out. We can’t do this half-way air support, strikes here and there, half-baked strategy that we’re currently pursuing right now. So national security is the second issue that to me is also very important.
Third is just things that revolve around limited government, and that’s removing government in ways that it has been implemented and Obamacare is one of them. EPA regulations on small business is another. The war on coal, another. Energy independence is very important to me.
So I would say immigration, national security and then economic independence/limited government and that also revolves around energy, so to encapsulate it for you.
On social issues like abortion and gay marriage
I always say I don’t care what you do, I just don’t want to pay for it. So I describe myself as fiscally conservative socially moderate and I will stick by that.
Same sex marriage, it’s not a big concern to me. Abortion is not one of those issues that is most important to me. I’m not one of those pro-lifers that is so adamant in their beliefs. Socially, I am far more moderate because I don’t think it has as many implications for the average American that’s just working to stay afloat right now. So socially I am more moderate and I do think most millennials tend to be.
However, I do have a faith and I do believe in religious freedom and I do believe in what Indiana has been able to do with religious freedom laws and things of that nature because I think that the First Amendment is so important and it needs to be preserved. But personally, yeah, I am socially more moderate.
On who she would like to lead the Republican Party if Donald Trump loses in November
There are a lot of great voices but I will say this. I don’t think it can be one voice in particular. There are also people on the outside that I think would have a very positive effect. I love Governor Pence. I think he’s fantastic. I think he’s done great things. We saw him in that vice-presidential debate. I think he was fantastic in that debate as well.
Paul Ryan, I’m a fan of Paul Ryan. I don’t agree with a lot of the things he’s done and said in regards to Donald Trump but I still agree with a lot of the policy positions of Paul Ryan and I think he’s bringing the conservative Republican message to a whole new audience. He’s got poverty as a part of his platform. I think it’s important so I think he’s a great leader.
But I also like folks like Colonel Allen West who I think would bring a very interesting dynamic to our party as well.
We’ve got a lot of really bright, great leaders. Now don’t be confused by the fact that I’m a Trump supporter that I don’t think that the other 16 weren’t fantastic because I do think the other 16 were fantastic.
On what she reads
I’m going to be honest with you, I’m not a reader. I don’t like to read long books. I like to read news. So I couldn’t tell you that there was a book that I read that changed my life. More so, I love to read news and I love to read commentary and I love to watch TV. I love to watch news. I’m a watcher and I’m a writer. A reader in the sense that I like to read news but I have a very short attention span, so sitting down with a book is very difficult for me.
On the writers she most assiduously follows
Allen West writes a lot of commentary that I like to read and that I appreciate. SE Cupp was someone that I also like to read. She was someone that I think also changed the game. She was a fierce female conservative and though her and I obviously disagree on many things at this point I love the way she writes and I love her style. So yea, SE Cupp, Allen West and there are just so many great voices within this party, so many great writers. Even if they are Never Trumpers I still like them.
On the criticism she is too young and lacks the life experiences to be a pundit
Well, Jamie, I wasn’t aware that there was an age requirement on a brain. I’m able to gather things in my life. Someone that looks down on someone that’s 24 years old and says that you can’t have an opinion or you can’t voice your opinion because you’re too young is absolutely and utterly ridiculous. Furthermore, I got to where I am not because I’m a dummy and I don’t force people to watch my videos. I’m not where I am because I have somehow stronghold and made people watch me and made people understand me and made the resonance happen that has happened. People watch me and they agree with me because they do. So if people are upset that other people support me and watch me, that seems like a personal problem to me because clearly there is a giant portion of this country that enjoys watching me. Whether they watch me because they love me or watch me because they love to hate me, you can’t disregard what I’ve been able to do in my young age.
So yea, I’m very proud that I’m 24 and I feel sorry for those that have to look down on me because of my age and because I’m a woman and because I have blonde hair and because I have tanned skin and because I’m generally an attractive person. If they think that that means that I’m not allowed to have an opinion, a brain or a career, well I guess that speaks to their intelligence and their tolerance level, doesn’t it, Jamie?
On her belief that the Clintons kill their political enemies
You know, sometimes we look at patterns and we look at things that are happening and sometimes you can’t dismiss everything as a conspiracy. …I will let your listeners go on and look at some of these examples and they can decide for themselves but there has been some mysterious circumstances that have surrounded. We just saw, what with the DNC leaks and then what happened to a person that worked for the DNC that was in charge of that?
On her belief that polling is underestimating Trump’s support
It’s these pristine people [pollsters] that go out and they think Trump supporters are “irredeemable,” they’re “rednecks” or “hillbillies.” They’re “racists,” they’re “bigots,” they’re “intolerant,” and so if you say you are a Trump supporter you are admitting to what the media deems as a deplorable human being, so I don’t think that they’re being forthright but when they get in that voting booth I think that they’re going to change their tune because they’re going to be looking at their country.
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