James Robison Interviews Eric Trump, Pt 2: Service and Sacrifice
James Robison: I am curious about something. You have been unbelievably polite to me, and you and your wife Lara spent time talking with Betty and me about our concern for the future of our nation. You implied that you felt like your family would be willing to lose everything to try to help the nation. Did you mean to communicate that kind of spirit — that something had come over your family since your dad got in this and you’d be willing to lose everything for the good of the country if that is what it takes?
Eric Trump: I started saying at the beginning of the campaign that I always thought my father’s act was incredibly selfless. It’s amazing. I can’t tell you how often I have people who are members of one of our clubs say, “Wow, I am really impressed that your father is running. Here’s a man who has everything in the world. He has been the epitome of the American dream and to subject himself to this is really something. You’d certainly never see me signing up.”
I’ve heard that comment a thousand times. I give him a lot of credit. I certainly wouldn’t be doing it. He is the epitome of the American dream. He’s created the best of wealth. We have an amazing family, an amazing business and he has the opportunity to live a beautiful, calm, cozy life.
At the same time, he opens up the paper each morning and sees our nation’s leaders giving a hundred billion dollars to Iran, or he opens the paper and some new school district has just eliminated the ability for its students to say the pledge of allegiance, or some fire department in some town is ordered by the mayor to no longer fly the American flag on the back of a fire truck. Or, he sees the tree on the White House lawn has been renamed “Holiday tree” instead of “Christmas tree.” I could go on and on for hours. Those are the very things that made my father run, and those are the very things he cares about.
It’s not a fun, enjoyable process and quite frankly he’s gotten beat up every day. It’s the most grueling, exhausting thing you could possibly do and it takes a toll on everybody. At the same time, what are the options — to let our country slip away and let all the things we’ve talked about continue to fester? Or, you can get in there and do something about it.
There’s no question it’s public service. It might even be a higher degree of public service for someone who does not need the job. I spent a lot of my convention speech talking about that. It’s a pretty amazing thing that he did and I can tell you there aren’t a lot of other people who would have done it.
James: A lot of church and business leaders have heard that somehow your dad is really listening to people who love God with all of their heart. Why are you or your dad even interested in what we have to say?
Eric: You gravitate toward good people and you certainly are times ten. You also gravitate toward people who have the same belief structure. That’s something we also hold dear. You care deeply about this country and we care deeply about this country. You care about morals in society and we care about morals in society. You care about conservative values and we care about conservative values. We both care about religion in this country.
The very things that we care about are disappearing and the things you care about also happen to be disappearing. It united us as one common force. You do that with people who have the same common goals, objectives and thinking and beliefs. That’s ultimately what brought us together. There’s probably another hand in there bringing us together. There’s no question that’s exactly why.
James: I do love the country and people. Do you and your family feel like I love and care about all of you and have a personal interest in your lives? Does that come across?
Eric: There’s no question about it. No question.
James: One of the things I’ve shouted from the rooftop and I’ve said it to your dad and to every person: If leaders don’t hear and heed the voice of wisdom, we will not be able to solve our problems. Do you believe that your dad wants to hear wise counsel? Do you believe he will recognize it when he hears it, and do you believe he will apply it?
Eric: One thing that he does immensely well is he listens to a lot of people. They don’t have to be top executives. He listens to everybody from the lowest level construction worker to the highest level executive. Oftentimes he gets more wisdom from people who are lower on the totem pole because they are closer to the ground and have better instincts. I think he will certainly do that. There is wise counsel and he’s delivered a tremendous amount of it, and I think he will continue to. Quite frankly, the entire Christian community will continue to deliver wise counsel to him, and again it’s a topic he cares about and believes in and we believe in as a family. No question about it.
James: Your dad’s done an excellent job pointing out the absolute failure of political correctness, the horrible deception of biased, liberal, anti-God media, and the fact that the federal government is not the answer. He seems to say, “Get the federal government off our backs, and the American people can solve the challenges that we face if we can just cut them loose and let them go.” That’s what I hear him saying. If he’s not saying it, I’d shout it from the housetops. He needs to say it, every politician needs to say it and every American needs to demand it. How do you feel about what I just said?
Eric: Yes, you are shouting values and principles from the rooftop and being very loud about it.
James: We’ve got to do these things. We’re not going to make it depending on the federal government as our source.
Eric: I agree. Quite frankly you can’t leave it up to the federal government; government interference has to go down. Other things like religion have to come up in people’s lives. There’s no question about it. We can’t let government rule our lives. You’ll have a politically correct society that will just run rampant if you don’t. So many of the examples that I’ve spoken about — loss of religion in our churches, loss of religion off currency in our country, loss of reference to God in the pledge of allegiance, loss of religion in our society— if you’re not loud about it and if you don’t get out there to vote, religious freedom will be a thing of the past. We’ve seen that.
Seems like with so many of these different things the White House cuts one little thing today, another little thing tomorrow, then you have nothing. Quite frankly, you do need to shout from the roof and sometimes no one else will be there to shout. You won’t be heard and more of these things will disappear. My father has been the champion about all of this and he will continue to be loud about all of these issues, and I think come November — you know me very well now — I really believe we’re going to win and be able to reset the direction of the country that’s strayed these past years.
James: I saw very clearly this week your dad respond and the whole world saw it in his expressions that were real expressions of humility when he said, “I’ve said some things that would have been better not said or said differently — if I’ve hurt anyone, I regret it.” That got more momentum, as a matter of fact, I even said to your dad Sunday morning I saw the stronger Donald Trump last week, and then I heard you the very next morning say more than once, “I like the humble Donald Trump.” That didn’t imply for one moment weakness, compromise or backing down from anything important. What did you mean when you said, “I like the humble Donald Trump”?
Eric: He showed a great sense of humility, kindness, compassion and regret in a certain way. Those are all important factors. I give my father tremendous credit. He is truly a man of strength. He gives three speeches a day before thousands of people. It takes tremendous energy and compassion to do that. At the same time, when you say that many words, you can certainly stray and I think he’d be the first to admit that a couple of times he probably pushed the boundary too far. At the same time, when that happens you can repent and he’s done that some. He’s an amazing man who is a great leader, a very warm father and a generous, charitable person.
James: I don’t mind going on record to say — and I know this is expressed by others — I’ve never been treated with greater respect, never has anyone listened with the appearance of greater attentiveness than your dad and you also. I’ve given your father the opportunity to push back or discuss it, and the interest level is there to talk about it and try to learn. Do you think what I’ve seen in him and what many of my friends have observed (like Ben Carson or Mike Huckabee) is true of your father, that he has great potential to be taught?
Eric: I agree and I think Huckabee is a great example. I’ll never forget during the primary process when Mike was still in the race and on the stage they were battling. Political battles get very tough, very heated and very personal. Mike was on one of the Fox or CNN shows and they asked him, “What do you think of Donald Trump?” They were obviously baiting him and wanted him to come out swinging and say he’s a terrible person. Mike said, “He must be a wonderful man because he has amazing children. You don’t raise children like that without being an amazing person.”
The interesting thing is I had never met Mike at that time. I did a double take at the TV because I was waiting for something to come out of his mouth that he didn’t like him for XYZ. His answer was incredible. If you were to give 99% of other people that question they would have come out with a critical statement. I’ll never forget the graciousness of that or the humility that it took to say what he did, even though it was arguably against his self-interest. I realized then that Mike is an amazing person and I sent him a note saying, “I heard you just said this and it meant the world to us. It was incredibly nice.”
Ben Carson is another one who has become a real friend of the family, and he’s an amazing man. We need more people like that. If government was run by the Mike Huckabees and the Ben Carsons of the world, we would be in a very great place.
James: A loud amen. One of the things I pray is that your dad, our national leadership and the population will hear the wisdom that comes from men like Dr. Ben Carson and Gov. Mike Huckabee. I know them both very well. They care very deeply for the future of freedom and the blessings it offers of everyone.
Eric: That’s what my dad and family want for everyone.
To read part one of James Robison’s interview with Eric Trump, click here.