Donald Trump set conservatives on fire after his recent comments on trade deals and globalization. While he has quite a few critics on the right, some Republicans welcomed his words with open arms.
During a speech in Pennsylvania earlier this week, Trump laid out an expansive agenda on trade as president, vowing to either withdraw from or change major free trade agreements currently being used by the United States.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which supports Republicans traditionally, blasted the presumptive nominee, live-tweeting his speech with rebuttals and counterfactuals.
Mark Levon, the right-wing radio host, was also having none of what Trump was saying:
Trump mimics Clinton's protectionist and pro-tariff trade policies https://t.co/yoYjQBP5Uf
— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) June 28, 2016
Not all conservatives were against Trump’s propositions though.
Three former presidential candidates told Byron York of the Washington Examiner that they were thrilled to hear the speech.
Rick Santorum told York that “Trump nailed it,” adding:
“It was exactly what I think a lot of folks from my end of the state, and I guarantee you from all throughout the Rust Belt, have been waiting to hear from a presidential candidate for a long time.”
Meanwhile, Mike Huckabee weighed in positively as well:
“Trump is saying what I said in 2008 and 2016 — and the reactions were the same from the elites,” Huckabee said in an email exchange. ”
I was called a protectionist and a populist and attacked with millions of dollars of TV spots. Trump recognizes, as did several of us, that the political, financial, and media institutions have failed working class Americans. I’m glad Trump is getting traction for the truth.”
Pat Buchanan, who last ran for president in 2000, but gave President George HW Bush a major in 1992, told York:
“I think Donald Trump gave the best speech on trade from the standpoint of economic patriotism and economic nationalism of any candidate in this century,” Buchanan, who won the New Hampshire primary and three others in 1996, told me Wednesday.
“I’ve read it and re-read it, and I found it hard to believe at times — but there were echoes of my youth there.”
While committed Republicans and conservatives stay stout in their defense of free trade, the Pew Research Center points to a groundswell of support for Trump on the topic:
Trump trails Hilly Clinton by almost seven percentage points in the Real Clear Politics average of presidential polls and the Republican National Convention is not far away.
Expect more fireworks from Trump, even if they go against the desires of traditional conservatives.