95.3 / 88.5 FM Grand Rapids and 95.3 FM Muskegon
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Republican And Trump Critic Ana Navarro Speaks On Election


With 16 days until the election, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and their surrogates are crisscrossing the country, trying to put in as much face time as possible in those all-important battleground states. Hillary Clinton's camp even pushing into red states, hoping to turn them blue this go-round. To talk about the state of play in these last couple of weeks, we are joined now by Ana Navarro. She's a Republican strategist, and she has been an outspoken critic of Donald Trump.

Hey, Ana, thanks for being with us.

ANA NAVARRO: Good morning. How are you, Rachel?

MARTIN: Doing well, thanks. So we're seeing Hillary Clinton's campaign sending people to Georgia, Arizona, even Utah - traditionally red states. What's going on? Do you think she can flip them?

NAVARRO: You know, she's got her base states pretty tied down, so she can now dedicate some of the resources - and God knows she's got resources and organization. She's got the money. She - you know, she built a large structure from a long time ago, and you are seeing that now pay dividends. She's being able to send folks to some of the states that look marginal.

I think that a place like Arizona is a very interesting place for her to invest because of Latinos, Latinos, Latinos. Donald Trump has something like 13 to 15 percent favorability with Latinos, which frankly, Rachel, puts him right there with a chupacabra. You know, he is Zika mosquito approval ratings with Latinos. And so, yes, think it makes all the sense in the world for her to invest in some of these places and see if she can have a historic win.

MARTIN: Donald Trump is trailing significantly in national polls. No matter how you map it out, his path to the White House appears to be a long shot. Do you see any way that he can pull it out?

NAVARRO: I have learned to never say never when it comes to 2016. I think this has been the most unpredictable, crazy election that can change on a dime because of external factors, that we have ever seen. A video, having nothing to do with, you know, the policies or the campaign can change the trajectory of this. Emails can change the trajectory of this. So I think we have to stay vigilant. I think the campaigns have to run hard till the very end.

It can tighten up in some states. Now, a lot of these states have already begun voting. That being said, things have happened in this election, whether it be the "Access Hollywood" video, whether it be the attack on the judge, whether it be email releases by WikiLeaks - that can impact and change the course of the election, even if it's not direct actions, that moment, from the candidates themselves.

MARTIN: We do know, though, that Donald Trump has had a real effect on the down-ballot races, forcing many Republicans running for Congress to either completely disavow him or just kind of quietly try to distance themselves and then see what happens. As you have seen that play out, what have been your concerns?

NAVARRO: I (unintelligible) that we're going to end up losing the Senate because some of these candidates just have not done it patently There are some candidates that have run their races, spoken about their races and distanced themselves from Donald Trump a long time ago. I tell you, Rob Portman in Ohio is one such candidate. We all expected him to have a very close race. He has run a picture-perfect race, and he has not allowed Donald Trump to be an effect, to be a factor in that race.

But John McCain, in Arizona, again, is running a very good race, running hard, running disciplined. And when he finally had his fill, he also ended up withdrawing his support and distancing himself from Donald Trump. But we've also seen some that have been a bit more wishy-washy - that have sit back, that have tried to be cute. And really, there's not that much wiggle room to be cute when you are running for statewide office. I think...

MARTIN: Just briefly, Ana - just in the remaining seconds we have - Donald Trump has lost a lot of Republican women. When this is over, how does the GOP recover those voters?

NAVARRO: Look, I think we're going to have to have a moment of reunification, reconciliation. I expect, Rachel, to be - there to be a lot of blame game come November 9. Some folks are going to blame establishment Republicans for losing the election. Establishment Republicans are going to blame other folks for choosing Donald Trump as the nominee. At some point, we got to stop blaming each other. We got to start focusing on the Republican values that we all share and see if we can reconstruct this party, rebrand this party, reunify this party and build back up from the ashes that Donald Trump will leave.

MARTIN: Republican strategist Ana Navarro.

Thank you so much, Ana.

NAVARRO: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.