Interview
"Trump is a used up bullet and if Reagan were alive, the Republican Party would see him as a left liberal"
César Martínez Gomáriz is a Latino consultant who has worked on almost every Republican campaign in the last 20 years. In 2020, he joined The Lincoln Project to prevent Trump's re-election. LPO interviewed him exclusively.

Cesar Martínez Gomariz is a Mexican consultant and expert in political communication who has lived in the United States for 40 years and resides in Los Angeles. In 2020, he joined an ambitious mission: to work together with a group of specialists to prevent Donald Trump from achieving his re-election. His mentor was Lionel Sosa, the legendary Mexican-American communications consultant who managed to put Ronald Reagan, George H. Bush and George W. Bush to the White House.

Sosa and Martinez Gomariz joined forces with Mike Madrid and Stuart Stevens in the Lincoln Project, a Political Action Committee created to speak to Latinos about the need to close the Trump cycle in power. Their campaign ads, calling on Hispanics to "botar a Trump" ("Throw out Trump"), were seen by hundreds of thousands of people.

Martínez Gomariz is a political consultant with 25 years of experience and director of MAS Consulting. He has worked on Republican campaigns in the last decades. He advised Bush and Dick Cheney presidential formula in 2000 and in the re-election campaign. And later he worked for John McCain in 2008, Mitt Romney in 2012 and Jeff Bush in 2016.

He says that the Republicans decided to give "the keys of the Party" to a strange character and he considers that Trump is a "used up bullet" that only some "brave women" as Liz Cheney dare to challenge. In addition, he warns that his first great plagiarism was to steal the Make America Great Again brand from Ronald Reagan to do the opposite of what he proposed. Although he does not speak for the Lincoln Project, the Latino consultant does not rule out being part of the space again with the same objective as yesterday.

"We accomplished our mission: to prevent Donald Trump from being re-elected. We spoke to the voters, whom we had always asked to vote for Republican candidates, and we said "no this time". Let's give democracy a break. We must prevent this accident of the Electoral College and democracy from repeating itself," he says.

Will you be together again to frustrate Trump's plans?

If it is necessary in the mid-term elections, we will do it with great pleasure because Trumpism is still alive and we must be careful. Logically, if he runs for 2024, we must be ready to prevent him from being re-elected.

Unlike other former presidents, Trump has not retreated from the political scene, endorsing candidates in every state, staying center stage and seen as favorite. What must Republicans who reject his leadership do to defeat him this time?

First we need to understand that Trump broke all the rules of political civility that used to exist in the Republican internal first and then in the generals. In 2000, the election was defined by 537 votes in Florida and by a decision of the Supreme Court 6 to 8 weeks after the election. Vice President Al Gore accepted the results and certified the election in favor of George W. Bush. Biden's victory was normal and Trump decided not to accept it. That has damaged democracy in the United Stated. Why? Because democracy is not only counting votes, it is believing in the electoral process.

Few Republicans dare to challenge him.

There is (the case of) Liz Cheney, who is about to appear with her head held high.

Humillada por la derrota en Wyoming, Cheney no se retira y prepara su venganza contra Trump

Do you think in a national future for her despite the crushing defeat she suffered in Wyoming?

I think so. There will be a time where the Republican Party will turn and wonder what happened. Why did we hand over the keys to the Party of Lincoln, Ronald Reagan and great personalities who did a lot for the country to an outsider just for being against the system? Cheney says ‘I am not going to comprise the country for following a political charade like Trump'.

There will be a time where the Republican Party will turn and wonder what happened . Why did we hand over the keys to the Party of Lincoln, Ronald Reagan to an outsider just for being against the system? Cheney says ‘I am not going to comprise the country for following a political charade like Trump' and she is going to appear with her head held high.

You define Trump ‘an accident of democracy'.

And of the Electoral College, which has certain forms. When you win the State, you win the total votes of the Electoral College. It is something archaic and sometimes democracy surprises.

Being him still in the center means that democracy remains damaged and urgently needs to be repaired?

Democracy must be protected. Our vaccine is participation. Trump is a person who has never, not even in his private life, accepted defeat. He is something who wants to win at all costs. We know that he took classified documents from the White House, he says "I was the CEO of the United States Corporation for four years and I am taking them home." That is not how things work. The Trump brand has always been a very important media brand, he has always known how to use it. But he sold smoke and mirrors. In the North of Baja California, in the South of California, he built a resort and promised people that it would be wonderful. But he sold smoke and mirrors. He is very used to selling smoke and mirrors, and this is how he gets what he wants.

The raid in the house of a former president has no precedent.

There are a lot of processes against him for taxes reasons. I pay more taxes than Trump; anyone pays more than him, and he does not care. He thinks he is above the law. He has two impeachment attempts. Never before the FBI seize documents at the house of a former president. It is complicated. Now, the dangerous thing is that he has created a series of very radical followers and he likes to motivate them a lot. The words a president says can be dangerous. We showed it in one of our ads: Trump denounced the Latino invasion in the South of the United States and that ended with a massacre in El Paso.

The FBI raid earned him support even from rivals like DeSantis and Pence. Can these investigations frustrate his plans to be a candidate or will they victimize him?

First of all, the law is the law. Let's see what the documents say. In political terms, it will help him with his base. The opinions between those who want him and those who do not want him are so marked that it is difficult to change. The variable voter is the one who has to analyze and think: "Do we really want to return to Trumpism?" But it is also important that the Democrats offer options. Also on the Democratic side many people do not want Joe Biden to run. We must be very clear: Biden has already done the most important thing he had to do: that Trump was not re-elected and that we recover the democratic system. That is a great achievement and I respect him for that. But now the country needs something fresh, something new. There may be interesting primaries in both Parties.

We must be very clear: Biden has already done the most important thing he had to do: that Trump was not re-elected and that we recover the democratic system. But now the country needs something fresh, something new. There may be interesting primaries in both Parties.

Does the FBI victimize him?

For the time being, this victimization, this thing he is doing is useful for Trump. But the timing is very important. If he had already launched his candidacy, it would have been very difficult for the FBI investigation to happen. But as he had not launched it, the timing damage him and they had a few minutes to try this. A candidate with a criminal investigation cannot launch his candidacy. That is what makes the difference.

En el momento más inoportuno, el FBI complica a Biden y permite a Trump victimizarse

You say that during the four years of Trump's presidency a political system began to be created whereby the candidate creates the Party and not the other way around. Are there irreversible changes that will survive Trump?

Let's go back in Republican history. There was always a more radical wing and there were always moderates like Reagan, Bush, Mc Cain or Romney. They understood that there were always strips where they could grow, such as the Latino vote, which today represents 50% of population growth. In 1992, when the election was Clinton - George H. Bush, a man named Ross Perot appeared. Perot was the one who said "the giant sucking sound", that sound that is going to take away our jobs in the United States, referring to Mexico because of the Free Trade Agreement. He was harsh with the most radical voters of the right wing and the reformist party. He had 20 points and it costs Bush Sr. the presidency. It was literally the best thing that could happen to Clinton. That memory scared the Republican Party when Trump started making noise outside and they said we better have it inside the house. He grew, grew and grew, and suddenly he got the house. The problem is that after January 6, they could have said well, Trump has already fulfilled his purpose. It is true that he has a base that can be easily moved but I do not know why they did not look for an alternative. I do not know if it is Stockholm Syndrome.

Why does nobody dare?

Liz Cheney, my respect. There are brave women who can stand up to Donald Trump. There is also Adam Kinzinger, the congressman veteran of the Iraq war. They have the courage to say "We do not have to accept this". I thought it would happen after January 6, but it will happen, maybe after November. In the end, the parties are made by people. You cannot depend on a single brand because instead of being the Republican Party, you are the Trump Party. For the sake of democracy, you cannot depend on one person.

Who can challenge him?

We must wait until the mid-term elections are over. I do not think the numbers are enough for Trump. He has already lost a federal one, he has already lost mid-term elections, he is a used up bullet but they insist in keeping him.

You said that Trump bought the Republican Party. Is it possible that someone intends to displace him and at the same time raise his inheritance?

Trump did not buy the Republican Party: he hijacked it. He took it. He made a hostile takeover, a hostile offer, and he kept it as if it were a company. For the sake of the Party, there should be a primary to see the results. An open primary would be something good for both parties.

Why do you say so?

People are not happy with politicians, they are not happy with politics. Well, we are going to represent new blood, new people, new generations.

Latinos are 50% of the population growth in the United States. It is very important that both parties speak to them. If a Republican speaks bad of a Latino, he or she will feel offended. But alsoi f the Democrats think they have a Latino in their hand, they will be wrong.

During the 2020 campaign, the Lincoln Project worked with the Latino voter and specifically targeted each of the 20 nationalities. How should they speak to that Latino voter today so that he/she reject Trump?

Interesting, right now the Latino voter, like all the other voters, are worried about the inflation. This is very important. They are also worried about the sad proliferation of guns. It is crazy. The second constitutional amendment was to defense themselves in case the English returned, it was not to fill the streets with R15. There are many things that must be addressed and Latinos are 50% of the population growth in the United States. It is very important that both parties speak to the Latino voter. If a Republican speaks bad of Latinos, they will feel offended. But also if the Democrat believes that he already has the Latino in a hand, he or she will be wrong. In South Texas, Trump has grown. We must remind them that Trump began his campaign by insulting Latinos.

How do you interpret Trump's message on Fox about lowering the temperature to prevent terrible things from happening? Does he want to negotiate? Is it too late?

As I said before, the words of a president have consequences. When Trump says we must lower temperature, he says it for him, he means that his hosts can perform acts of vandalism. I think he wants to intimidate democracy and we cannot allow that. He thinks that bullying is a form of politics.

Tucker Carlson said something similar on Fox News because something tremendous could come.

Tucker Carlson and Trump sing the same song of confrontation, of hate, of fear. That is very dangerous, and terrible things can happen in a country that sadly has more guns than inhabitants.

Guns are a key issue. Republicans in Texas seem to be very supportive of gun use and they oppose any gun control.

It is difficult, the second constitutional amendment was basically to have a mixed militia to defend themselves in case there was an English reinvasion. These are very archaic things. If people have guns for self-defense, that is fine, but an R15 is a war weapon, it is not for a 18-year-old to carry. I am agains guns, and I do not understand it. But it is something in the DNA, specially in some states, of the Republicans. The NRA has gigantic power, with Republican congressmen and senators and they cannot be moved. It is amazing.

Trump picks up Reagan's MAGA idea but you decide to confront him with it. Why do you say that Trump betrays the Reagan legacy?

Donald Trump's first plagiarism was stealing the line Make America Great Again. But Reagan's MAGA was something more linked to production, to give back pride to the country. There were very long lines for fuel, there was the time of the hostages in Iran at the time of Carter, the United States was discredited and Reagan wanted to exalt the country again. But let's remember that Reagan was not a racist. As California governor, he actually had a very good relationship with Mexico and he also signed the amnesty in the ‘80s for millions of undocumented migrants. They do not look alike at all. If Reagan were alive, he would be seen as a left liberal within the Republican Party.

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