Is Tom Brady finally going to stump for Trump on the big stage?
Presumed Republican party presidential nominee Donald Trump said Friday night that he plans to have a “winner’s evening” of sports celebrities and champions addressing the convention in Cleveland next month according to the New York Times:
After regaling the crowd with the long story of how he successfully courted the endorsement of Bobby Knight, the former Indiana University basketball coach, Mr. Trump rattled off a list of other names of sports figures who he said have supported him. According to the candidate, he also has the support of the star quarterbacks Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger; Brian France, the chief executive of Nascar; and Dana White, the president of Ultimate Fighting Championship.
“We’re going to do it a little different, if it’s O.K.,” Trump told supporters at a rally in Richmond, Va. according to the Times report. “I’m thinking about getting some of the great sports people who like me a lot.”
Trump complained of politicians who spoke too long at the last Republican convention in 2012 and wants Brady and other supporters in the sports community to serve as examples of “winners,” a longtime favorite theme of The Donald that fits Tom Brady like a glove.
“Our country needs to see winners,” Trump told the crowd. “We don’t see winners anymore. We have a bunch of clowns running this country.”
— CNN (@CNN) September 16, 2015
In February, Trump, appearing on Boston Herald Radio, said he thinks the superstar Patriots quarterback would have campaigned for him in New Hampshire before the state primary if asked.
Trump also wondered if his friendship with Brady helped push him to the top in the N.H. polls. “Maybe it’s the fact that Tom Brady and I are friends and he says such nice things about me.”
Brady has tried to stay out of the election politics despite his affinity for Trump as a friend and sometimes golfing partner.
Trump last came out in support of Brady in April when the Patriots quarterback’s four-game suspension by the NFL was reinstated by a federal court.
“‘Let’s start by saying, ‘Leave Tom Brady alone,'” Trump said at the start of his campaign rally in Warwick, R.I. in April.
Trump told the crowd of supporters that Brady is a “great guy” and “it’s enough.”
Patriots owner Robert Kraft all but endorsed Mr. Trump on the eve of the Massachusetts presidential primary on March 1. Brady has long been tied to Trump, with the Patriots QB initially saying in September that it would be “great” if Trump won the election. But TB12 has been backtracking fast on the endorsement ever since.
“Can I just stay out of this debate?” Brady said in December on WEEI’s “Dennis & Callahan featuring Minihane” show when asked about his golfing buddy. “Donald is a good friend of mine. I have known him for a long time. I support all my friends. That is what I have to say.”
Brady — who put himself on the radar by having a “Make America Great Again” hat in his locker at Gillette Stadium at the beginning of last season and initially saying it would be “great” if Trump won the election — claimed he wasn’t actually endorsing the controversial candidate.
“I think that it’s just a different world than when I started in professional football. Even an offhanded comment like that… that people may run with,” Brady said on WEEI in September. “I mean it’s just people doing their job. I mean a comment like that, it’s — I try to have fun with certain things.”
“Whatever I vote is going to be my own personal choice based on how I feel. I don’t even know what the issues are. I haven’t paid attention to politics in a long time so it’s actually not something that I really even enjoy. It’s way off my radar,” Brady added.
The Donald sees things differently naturally, crediting his popularity in Massachusetts in large part to his ties to TB12.
“In Massachusetts, I’m at 48 percent,” Trump told The Washington Post in an interview last December. “You know why? Tom Brady said Trump’s the greatest. He says it to anyone who asks him.”
Trump won the Massachusetts Republican primary with 49.3 percent of the vote.
Now Trump is facing a Super Bowl showdown with Hillary Clinton, and he’s hoping the four-time Super Bowl winner and three-time SB MVP can help him win the big prize in November.