In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Saturday, June 15, 2024

Trump defies right-wing radio hosts

FILE - In this March 12, 2016, file photo, Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump speaks in Vandalia, Ohio. Trump wants to win the White House in November. House Speaker Paul Ryan wants to save the Republican Party for the future. Those goals put Trump and Ryan increasingly at odds over both tone and substance as the billionaire businessman barrels toward the GOP presidential nomination.  (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)
Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump speaks in Vandalia, Ohio. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

Donald Trump is trying to defy convention yet again in the 2016 race for president – this time, by winning an election in Wisconsin without the support of the state’s influential conservative talk radio hosts.

The Republican front-runner tried to lay some groundwork for his campaign in interviews Monday with three of the state’s leading conservative talkers, including WTMJ radio’s Charlie Sykes – to whom Trump confessed on-air not knowing that Sykes is a leading voice against his candidacy. Two interviews later in the day didn’t go much better.

It’s fair to assume Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker won’t be announcing he’s voting for Trump in the state’s April 5 primary when the Milwaukee-based Sykes interviews the two-term Republican on Tuesday morning.

“It’s remarkable how they drive the agenda in primaries,” said Walker aide Stephan Thompson of Sykes and other conservative radio hosts in the state. “They are the biggest endorsement.”

Walker would know.

He won the 2010 Republican primary for governor, and later the office itself, with support from Sykes and his unofficial counterpart in Milwaukee, WISN radio’s Mark Belling.

That year, Walker beat Republican rival Mark Neumann overwhelmingly among voters within earshot of Sykes and others on the air in Milwaukee – especially in the suburban counties that surround the state’s largest city. That’s the core of the metro area’s conservative radio audience and home to almost half of the state’s Republican voters.

Two years later, Sykes and other conservative hosts backed Mitt Romney in the state’s Republican presidential primary. The former Massachusetts governor won by crushing former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum by more than 20 percentage points in the Milwaukee area.

Trump didn’t appear all that ready for his round of talk radio interviews on Monday. For example, when asked about his past criticisms of Walker on Sykes’ show, the billionaire businessman failed to mention that he donated $10,000 to Walker’s re-election campaign in 2014.

The lack of preparation was notable given the importance of the state’s 42 delegates. A solid win in Wisconsin by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz would likely require Trump to win the five remaining winner-take-all contests to avoid scrapping for the nomination at a contested national convention this summer.

Sykes in the morning and Belling in the afternoon – both deeply critical of Trump and his candidacy – have built a wide following in nearly 60 years combined behind the mic. They reach a metro Milwaukee audience of more than 500,000 people a day, according to their stations, and more among those living in the state’s interior.

There are other conservative talk radio hosts at those stations, too, as well as other voices in pivotal parts of the state, including Jerry Bader in Green Bay and Vicki McKenna in Madison.

On Monday, Bader hammered Trump in an interview for his threats to file a lawsuit over how Louisiana selects its delegates to the Republican National Convention.

Trump went on to hang up on McKenna at the end of a combative interview, during which she challenged his incorrect assertions that Cruz’s campaign was behind an ad campaign that featured a risque photo of his wife, Melania.

“There’s just something about Wisconsin that’s got just a really robust conservative talk radio infrastructure,” said Collin Roth, managing editor of the conservative website Right Wisconsin, for which Sykes also writes.

Sykes endorsed Cruz last week and invited him to attend a conservative forum in GOP-heavy Waukesha County to Milwaukee’s west. Sykes had long been a vocal opponent of Trump, a fact lost on the billionaire businessman when Sykes interviewed him by phone Monday morning.

“Before you called into my show, did you know I’m a hashtag Never Trump guy?” Sykes asked, referring to a Twitter designation for people united against Trump’s candidacy. “That, I did not know,” Trump replied, even though it was Trump’s staff that called to set up the interview.

Sykes had asked Trump earlier in the interview if he would apologize for indirectly mocking Cruz’s wife. He was referring to Trump’s retweeting last week of an unflattering image of Heidi Cruz.

“I didn’t start it. He started it. If he hadn’t started it, nothing would have happened,” Trump replied.

“We’re not on a playground. We’re running for president of the United States,” Sykes replied.

Beaumont reported from Des Moines, Iowa.

Follow Thomas Beaumont and Scott Bauer on Twitter at: and

Copyright © 2016 Capitol Hill Blue

Copyright  © 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

18 thoughts on “Trump defies right-wing radio hosts”

  1. These right wing radio hosts are vicious liars who always support the worst candidate possible. They all supported George W. Bush as he slaughtered hundreds of thousands in Iraq based upon only his own lies and caused to USA to plummet into a Depression in 2008. Now they support Ted Cruz, who was a citizen of Canada until 2014, was born in Canada and is ineligible to even become president. You would think a Republican radio guy would OPPOSE Cruz for being ineligible, but they support him. Cruz is so unpopular even within his own party that he has only won 3 state primaries, one of them his home state. Yes he has won some caucuses, but they require only that you turn out a small number of fanatics. You can’t win a general election with a small number of fanatics. Trump has won 17 state primaries. Plus Cruz tried to shut down the government and ruin our country’s credit rating.
    Trump won fair and square, stealing the nomination from him would be the crooked thing to do. Count on Cruz and Romney to do the crooked thing.

  2. But Sykes & Co. didn’t keep Obama from winning Wisconsin twice. I’m glad that Trump is breaking up the status quo in the GOP.

  3. “I don’t normally vote GOP, but when I do; I Vote for TRUMP” -Unknown
    Stay true fellow patriots, save our Republic by vote all the crooks out!!!

  4. There are a lot of pot-heads in Wisconsin. You have to be lucid to make good decisions. So I’m guessing they’ll vote for Hil-liar-y.

  5. A vote for anyone else but Trump is a vote for Hillary Clinton. Keep that in mind as you go to the polls, Wisconsin.

    • Thats just not true. Just the opposite. Even Kasich does better against Hillary where Trump polls out by double digits against her and/or Bernie!!!!

  6. Sykes: you do not want to tell the real truth because you would loose listeners. You are like all other talk show personnel, do what ever even if they are half truths or statements that cannot be solidly proven one way or other, to gain audience viewer ship. shame on you and all other commentators that distort and use rhetoric to gain audience.

    #1. Herbert Hoover ordered deportation of all illegal aliens to make jobs available during the depression?
    #2 Harry Truman deported over two million illegal aliens after World War 11 to create jobs for returning veterans?
    #3 Dwight Eisenhower in 1954 deported 13 million Mexicans, so World War 11 & Korean War Veterans would have a better chance at jobs. It took two years, but they were deported.

    Don’t forget to pay your taxes, 20 million illegals are depending on it !

  8. I am for Mr. Trump to take back our country from people like you .these radio shows are bunch of liars they never tell the truth. Go Mr Trump

    • Liberal idiots here. I wish Charlie Sykes was running for president. He has a brain whereas trump does not. Also, he did not lie to trump in any way. Trump does not listen to anyone or anything other than his ego. Hasn’t the U.S. had enough of that for the past seven years. You trumpkins need to pull your respective heads out of your butts!

    • Oh, you must mean the radio shows that Trump spends half of every morning calling?? And then hangs up on anyone who calls him on his whacko behavior….THOSE RADIO SHOWS…ya, ok.

    • Don’t believe any of these Radio Host’s, They are all in the Pocket of the “GOOD OLD BOYS” They have been bought and Paid for! Go Trump!

  9. At least he had the balls to go on these shows. Clinton. Obama, or Cruz would never go to a hostile show and face the music.
    Trump is a man’s man, love the guy. He is the kind of guy you want in a foxhole with you.
    I am behind him all the way.

    • Trump is a mouth not connected to a brain and you want this yahoo to have his finger on the nuke button! Obviously, I’m sorry to say, you don’t think much about American families or the concept of leveling out the disparity between the haves and have not people of this country. Do you really think this billionaire is going to help the middle class of this country? Oh-wait! Are you one of the haves? Then of course I understand your backing of Trump and your train of thought.

    • Hilarious! In a foxhole with Trump, he’d soon convince you that YOU were the leader and have you run out among whizzing bullets to get him a phone to call into some new show for a fix of his insatiable need for attention! You on the other hand would be nothing more than a body shield for the great orange hole….

    • try rereading that. He admitted he had no idea Sykes was part of the anti=Trump campaign. He went there blind and totally unprepared as he did on the phone portion as well. Trump is in no way a person built mentally to be President of the UNITED STATES. I am amazed there are any right minded thinkers that would support a problem mouth and bad attitude dude like him

Comments are closed.