Hedge Fund Founder Would Support Trump If He Wins GOP Nomination
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
In the run-up to her the presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton's Democratic supporters had a slogan - ready for Hillary. Now some Republicans are ever so reluctantly coming around to getting ready for Donald Trump.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Republicans have been shifting slowly as Trump moves closer to the nomination. Some remain unalterably opposed. But Trump could take a big step forward today, depending on the results of the Indiana primary. And some of his critics are deciding what to do next. That includes some Wall Street types, like Anthony Scaramucci, who founded the hedge fund SkyBridge Capital.
Is it time for the Republican Party to embrace Donald Trump?
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI: Well, listen. The people that have declared themselves as registered and self-declared as Republicans have embraced him. He's got more votes than anybody else. And so I think you're asking me is it time for the Republican leadership to embrace him. I would say yes. It's definitely time. I speak as a person who has gone 0 for 2 in this process. I was with Governor Walker. That didn't work out for me. I was with Jeb Bush. That didn't work out for me. And so, you know, my point is that I'm a team-playing Republican. I'm hoping that whatever soreness he's inflicted upon others, people will put that aside and they will become team oriented and coalesce around him.
INSKEEP: Meaning that you are endorsing Donald Trump.
SCARAMUCCI: Well, no, I didn't say that. I said that I will support the nominee for the presidential party - no question about that. And so...
INSKEEP: Who seems to be heading to be Donald Trump.
SCARAMUCCI: It seems to be him. And so if you're saying to me, am I 85, 95 percent there? Yes, I am. I'm not going to take - I'm not going to walk back what I'm saying. But I just think when he's declared the nominee, I'll be standing there trying to help him.
INSKEEP: And it sounds like, as you evaluate Donald Trump, whether you've endorsed him or not, you do not see a man who is a danger to the country as some others have.
SCARAMUCCI: I don't. I think that's rhetoric - Donald Trump's rhetoric. And the bombast of that rhetoric has gotten him into the pole position. But I think every presidential candidate - and we can go back to Lincoln - has had some level of moderation of their rhetoric when it gets converted into policy.
And so no, I'm not happy with that rhetoric. I've shared that with Donald Trump personally. I don't like the rhetoric. But I think he's way more rational. And I think he's way more thoughtful than the average person thinks. And I think it will be a very close election, Steve. You know, I think this thing starts out 48-48. And there'll be a battle for the remaining 4 percent.
INSKEEP: Donald Trump has spoken specifically against hedge fund guys, as he's called them. Do you take that personally?
SCARAMUCCI: I have taken that personally in the past. I've responded to Mr. Trump's rhetoric. I like to defend our industry. I think our industry is unfairly criticized by politicians in general on the left and right. So my point is, I think it's the wrong thing for Donald Trump to do that. I have shared that with him.
Unfortunately for myself and people in my industry, we've got another 10-plus years to go before we'll get back to some normalized standing in the country. So I'm looking for at least another decade, Steve, of social leprosy and being a pariah.
INSKEEP: OK. And are Republicans thinking - some Republicans that you talk with, anyway - thinking look, we may not love Donald Trump, but we need a nominee so that we can then go ahead and have an organized campaign and try to save the Senate, whether we win the White House or not?
SCARAMUCCI: Yeah. Well, exactly right. The Republican establishment is still going through the acceptance period of a death, OK? The establishment candidates...
INSKEEP: Oh, the stages of grief you're talking about?
SCARAMUCCI: The stages of grief - yeah. The acronym for listeners is SARAH, S - A - R - A - H, shock, anger, then rejection or denial and then acceptance. And then the last one, the big H, is for help. And so a lot of my buddies out there in the establishment need help coming around to the reality that your policies, your personality has lost this election.
But you are fellow Republicans. And it's time to pull together on behalf of the party. And I would tell my fellow Republicans out there, support the eventual Republican nominee because if you're worried about the House and Senate, that's your best chance of keeping the down-ballot secure in November.
INSKEEP: Thanks, very much.
SCARAMUCCI: OK. Nice to talk to you.
INSKEEP: Anthony Scaramucci is founder of the hedge fund SkyBridge Capital. And he also contributes to the Fox Business Network. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.