Republican presidential contender Donald Trump’s meteoric rise to the top of the political world was a shock to the system. But if she were alive today, former first lady Pat Nixon would be saying, “I told you so.”
In an interview Monday with Yahoo! News anchor Katie Couric, historian Douglas Brinkley echoed suggestions that Trump’s rambunctious campaign style is similar to four-time Democratic presidential candidate George Wallace. But he also believes the billionaire businessman is akin to another well-known political figure — former Republican President Richard Nixon.
“He’s also a lot of Richard Nixon,” Brinkley said of Trump. “We keep thinking Reagan is the big conservative figure of our era, but Nixon was dominant in the Republican Party. And I see Trump learning all the tricks from Nixon.”
“I’ve listened to all the Nixon tapes, and it’s like ‘Get ’em! Get those guys! An eye for an eye! A tooth for a tooth!’ And so it’s a darkness to Nixon,” he continued. “Yet, he was very competent. He won two massive presidential elections. One in ’68 and ’72.”
But, as it turns out, the connection between Trump and the former Republican president goes much deeper than style and personality. In fact, Pat Nixon predicted Trump would eventually launch a presidential bid — and win — according to the Washington Post.
After watching Trump in an interview on the “Phil Donahue Show” in December 1987, Pat Nixon was so impressed with the real estate mogul that she shared her predictions with Richard Nixon, who wrote a letter to Trump.
“I did not see the program, but Mrs. Nixon told me you were great on the Donahue show,” the former commander in chief wrote. “As you can imagine, she is an expert in politics and she predicts that whenever you decide to run for office, you will be a winner!”
The 29-year-old correspondence was sitting in the Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, California, until it was discovered last year in a biography about Trump titled “Never Enough.”
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