It is no surprise that Never Trumpers and anti-Trump 2016 pundits are circling the wagons around the former president in the wake of the “Red Wave That Wasn’t,” but the criticism from Dr. Michael Savage — a longtime supporter of former President Donald J. Trump‘s — deserves to be looked at given the pair’s on-going mutual respect for each other that has lasted for more than a decade.
“I gotta tell you this, and many people are mad at me now. We all know what’s coming. I believe that [Florida GOP Governor Ron] DeSantis is the future of the Republican Party if they are to have a future at all,” the legendary radio host said during his opening monologue on his Thursday podcast.
The man known for coining the phrase “liberalism is a mental disorder” also pre-empted knee-jerk reactions from his audience by providing a detailed explanation of why he now feels that way.
“And let me tell you why before you jump down my throat and say, ‘Oh, you stabbed Trump in the back,” Savage said defiantly. “I care more about the country than I do about a man. I’ve said before — this is about a nation, not about any man.”
The radio host has good reason to explain his shift in perspective on the current state of affairs: Savage supported a Trump run for the presidency in 2012, 2016, and his re-election effort in 2016. To its credit, the left-wing Salon Magazine even published a reasonably balanced article in April 2016 from a Savage Nation listener, detailing why he is the “Godfather of Trumpmania.”
The simple reason for his early support is that the nationalist and populist platform that Trump ran on was nearly identical to Savage’s long-held mantra of “Borders, Language, Culture,” and so many other policy positions described by the host throughout his almost 30 years on the radio.
The San Francisco-based host even held his neck out for Trump when it wasn’t popular to do so and has been equally critical of the Left and the Republican establishment throughout his career.
For context, in January 2016, Trump said to Savage, “You have been an original backer from a long time ago and I appreciate it, Michael, and I’ll never forget it.”
At the time, the host added that his audience was “98 percent” in support of Trump, jokingly adding, “I’m sorry it’s that low, but I’ll work on the other two percent over the coming weeks.”
Savage’s reputation of speaking his mind regardless of how it might impact his bottom line made his comments on Thursday notable for those looking for a genuinely independent perspective and one made from wisdom and decades of reading the political tea leaves.
The author of “Trump’s War: His Battle For America” also explained that DeSantis’ relative youth bolsters his candidacy.
“And DeSantis is a young man. If DeSantis runs [for the presidency], he could win,” he explained. “And here’s the other part, he could then run for another term. If Trump wins, we don’t know if he could win because he has been made toxic by the evil media — wrongly of course, but he could never run again. He could only run for one more term. And then where are we going to be?”
Savage also was critical of some of Trump’s Republican endorsements, such as Pennsylvania’s Dr. Mehmet Oz — whom he called a “weirdo” and “the worst possible candidate in American history.”
In response to a headline that read, “Trump Rips Losing GOP Candidates Including One He Endorsed,” the host went on to blast the former president.
“You know Donald, that’s enough already. It’s enough already. Stop blaming everybody but yourself — in plain English,” he said. “I know it’s anathema to say that, but it’s enough already.”
He also pushed back on Trump’s claim that New Hampshire GOP senate candidate Don Bolduc lost because he backed away from insisting that the 2020 election was stolen.
“No, that’s not the reason at all. Nothing to do with it. Not everybody has to go along with the election fraud story to have won,” he added Thursday. “I’m sorry.”
The Ph.D. holder in epidemiology and nutrition sciences from the University of California at Berkeley also blasted “Kentucky Mitch” — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) – for “undermining” good Republican candidates.
He alleged that McConnell “threw dollars” to hurt strong GOP nominees during the election because “he wants to remain a minority in the Senate because he will remain minority leader.”
Savage also tweeted a photo from DeSantis’s wedding day, featuring the governor and his wife, Casey.
The Future pic.twitter.com/oLc7LreMMU
— Michael Savage (@ASavageNation) November 10, 2022
Of course, given the rich history of Savage and Trump’s relationship, it would perhaps be best to view the comments as a friend talking to a friend rather than as an adversarial pundit latching on to potentially shortsighted ideas about the future that seem popular at the given moment.
While Savage stopped short of full-on endorsing DeSantis or saying that Trump would definitely face defeat in 2024, his words will surely be taken to heart by his loyal audience.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.