On June 10, Club 45 USA – a group that touts itself as the “largest Trump Club in the nation” – welcomed as guest speaker political consultant, author, lobbyist and strategist Roger Stone, well-known having worked on the campaigns of Republican politicians including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Jack Kemp, Bob Dole, and Donald Trump.
After showing appreciation for a comment that compared him to President Trump – of whom Stone is a strong supporter – he went on talk about the many factors surrounding the upcoming 2020 Presidential election and provided a quick analysis of the current crop of candidates vying for the Democratic nomination to run against Trump in the race.
“I don’t know that the Democratic field is complete,” Stone said, referring to the 20-plus Democrats that have currently thrown their hats into the race. “I don’t know, given the volatility of our politics, if any of those candidates have some prospect of being nominated given the inherent weakness of the two, perhaps three front-runners…those being Vice President Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren.”
Stone alleged that the Socialist wing of the Democratic Party is on the upswing, and because of that, he said, someone such as Senator Sanders cannot be underestimated as a political opponent in the upcoming election.
However, Stone reiterated his confidence that, regardless of the opposition, Trump would indeed be serving yet another four years in office come 2020.
Specifically to Bernie Sanders, Stone noted “He has the advantage of having run once before, he has the advantage of having a ready-made organization in every state, and he has the advantage of having a very good list of previous donors and previous volunteers,” he said. “Don’t count Senator Sanders out. It’s anybody’s race. But I don’t care who the Democratic candidate is, I think President Donald Trump is extraordinarily well-positioned for re-election.”
Despite his steadfast belief that Donald Trump will indeed be re-elected to another term, Stone cautioned the members of the audience not to grow overconfident.
“Make no mistake about it, this will be a difficult and hard-fought race. Not because of any failure in the President’s record, but because of a relentless attack on the president by a mainstream media that will give him no credit for his accomplishments, but we’ll nit-pick him on every major item,” he said.
Stone also spoke of another obstacle facing the Republican Party in 2020; he alleged that conservative voices are being censored on the Internet. However, he said, the internet functions as a double-edged sword, as it is nonetheless the very same platform that allows conservatives to bypass what he called a “biased mainstream media” in order to communicate directly with their followers.
“2016 was the year in which the mainstream media lost the monopoly on political discourse. Only through the rise of alternative media, based in the Internet, was Donald Trump able to win because it gave him a platform for his counter attacks…and Donald Trump is the greatest counter-puncher in American politics,” he said. “We’ve seen the deplatforming of conservative voices, libertarian voices, Republican voices, Pro-Trump voices…they’re taking away the President’s megaphone. We cannot allow the coverage of the 2020 Presidential campaign to revert back to the old, ‘fake news’ media.”
Stone has experienced legal woes recently following the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States election conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. On January 25, 2019, Stone was arrested at his Fort Lauderdale, Florida, home and charged in an indictment with witness tampering, obstructing an official proceeding, and making false statements, charges to which Stone has pleaded not guilty.
Stone touched on his current legal situation at the Club 45 meeting, albeit only in the faintest of terms due to numerous gag orders that have been imposed upon him by the judge overseeing his case. Choosing his words very carefully, Stone would only vigorously proclaim that he would be found innocent after due process had run its course.
“Here’s what I can tell you… I have plead not guilty and I will be vindicated of each and every charge,” he said. “I have vowed a vigorous legal defense, but the cost of doing so is astronomical…it’s in excess of $2 million. I would gladly put up the money myself, but due to the relentless attacks of the fake news media, I am currently close to being bankrupt. But I will not fold, I will not yield, and I will fight.”
Stone informed the audience that he had merchandise on sale at the event, including “Roger Stone Did Nothing Wrong” t-shirts and hats, and Roger Stone paperweights – consisting of an actual stone with his autograph on it – jokingly referring to it as a “Roger” “stone”, as well as copies of his latest book, entitled Stone’s Rules.
Stone noted that the proceeds from merchandise sales go towards helping him and his wife with their expenses. He also pointed out that any interested parties wanting to donate to his legal defense fund could do so at StoneDefenseFund.com.
Stone ended the speech by confirming the long-standing tales that yes, he does indeed have a portrait of former President Richard Nixon on his back, situated directly between his shoulder blades, joking that “I’m the only person you know who has a dick on the front and the back. That’s about as risqué as I get, folks.”
However, he said that the Nixon tattoo was not acquired out of political motivations; instead, he was inked with the likeness of “Tricky Dick” for the life lessons that the former President Had instilled upon him.
“It’s a reminder that in life, when you get knocked down, when you suffer defeats, when you are disappointed and rejected, when you keep reaching for something that eludes you and you’re ready to give up, that is the time you get up off the canvas, dust yourself off, and get back in the game,” he said. “To me it is a sign of persistence, of resilience. ‘A man is not finished when he is defeated,’ President Nixon wrote. ‘He is finished when he quits.’ I will never quit!”