Former Congressman Pete Hoekstra didn’t quite get the date he was dreaming of in the 2016 dance for the Republican Presidential nomination, but when it comes to the battle against Hillary Clinton in November, the ex-House Intelligence Committee Chairman is no wallflower, he’s hitting the campaign trail hard, determined to help beat her.
Hoekstra, previously one of Ohio Governor John Kasich’s biggest supporters after they served together in Congress, says he’s committed to electing Donald Trump as the next President.
Hoekstra believes Kasich should back Trump, pointing to his speech in Wisconsin earlier in the week as a reason why.
“Kasich ought to be standing up and cheering that speech,” Hoekstra said. “That could have been a John Kasich speech. I’m proud we have a leader in Donald Trump who says we will fight for every vote. It’s long overdue for a Republican to talk to the African American community and say, how’s Dem leadership working for you? Are your kids educated? Are your streets safe? Is your economy growing? Trump is saying, not only can we have the conversation, we have solutions to offer,” Hoekstra said.
Hoekstra was invited to Trump’s major national security roundtable in New York City earlier this week. He says Trump impressed him.
“He had good a pretty great cross section of people-law enforcement, military, political” Hoekstra said. “Trump was exactly like a President or CEO would be in a meeting, listened, asked questions, gets feedback, tells jokes…There was no chaos, it was flawless-Trump has all the characteristics of a leader.”
Hoekstra believes Trump is strong on ISIS.
“He doesn’t pontificate,” Hoekstra said. “He knows what we need to do overall to defeat ISIS, now he’s asking, what specifically can we do? When and how will we do it? What are our limitations? He’s turning Monday’s speech and turning it into a sound security strategy,” Hoekstra said. “Hillary doesn’t talk about her foreign policy experience because it’s all turned out so badly.”
Hoekstra believes Michigan is in play in November largely because of frustrated union workers.
“I have always had a great relationship with the Teamsters, and a lot of their members are excited about Trump,” Hoekstra said. “They like his trade policies. And after 25 years of NAFTA, shouldn’t we at least take a look? Where Ford or Chevy makes a car might not make a difference to the CEO of Ford or Chevy, but it means everything to the workers on the line and the American people. Trump gets that, Hillary never has. Trump can win Michigan and she knows it-she’s failed us again and again.”
The big meeting invite, along with Hoekstra’s credentials and advocacy for Trump across national and Michigan media outlets, has created buzz that Hoekstra may serve in some capacity as a part of the Trump administration.
Hoekstra tells CI his focus is on beating Hillary Clinton in November, but would give any such offer immense consideration.
“I’d love to have the responsibility of being the White House groundskeeper” Hoekstra said. “Cut the grass, water the flowers…In all seriousness, my focus is on November and beating Hillary Clinton. Obviously, if Donald Trump asks you to serve, you take a major look, but that’s not why I am in this, I love the private sector.
Faith Steketee is the popular former Ottawa GOP Executive Director who was also involved with Paul Mitchell’s fight against Prop 1. She says Hoekstra is the politician she trusts the most and she’d love to see him serve in some capacity.
“Pete isn’t driven by an agenda, he’s driven by doing what is right,” Steketee tells CI. “Of all the politicians I’ve known (and it adds up to be quite a few), I have the very highest respect for Pete Hoekstra. He’s a straight shooter and honest.”