While pundits, even on the right, scoff at real estate mogul Donald Trump and proclaim there is no upside to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s involvement with him, New York Times columnist David Brooks isn’t quite ready to dismiss Trump.
On Friday night’s broadcast of PBS’s “NewsHour,” Brooks called Trump “a buffoon” but added that he did bring some “positive” elements to the Romney campaign.
“First, on Trump, I sort of — he is certainly a mixed blessing,” Brooks said. “Let’s put it this way. But I do think there is a positive side to the blessing. The negative side is obvious. He’s a bit of a buffoon. But the positive side is there are a lot of people, a lot of entrepreneurs, a lot of immigrants who go to Trump University, who buy Trump books, who like the idea of Trump Tower. He is a symbol for a lot of Americans of social mobility, of starting a business and making it. And so I do think he brings an audience, an important audience around. So it’s not automatic that you would want to write the guy off.”
Brooks also weighed in on former President Bill Clinton, who has taken to the trail and is giving his opinions on the 2012 presidential race. Brooks argued that Clinton should follow former President George W. Bush’s example and remain above the political fray.
“For President Clinton, I don’t think he should be out campaigning, because he’s former president,” Brooks added. “He has his independent thoughts. He is going to say what he thinks. And he thinks, which I think is true, that Romney has a sterling record. Well, that’s not going to be the strict talking point of the campaign. I sort of like President Bush’s strategy to just stay out of the campaign. I think former presidents should make pronouncements, not try to be surrogates for candidates.”