- The Washington Times
Sunday, July 17, 2016

The official theme of the 2016 Republican National Convention is “Make America Great Again,” but the unofficial mascot might be Captain Jack Sparrow.

Supporters of Donald Trump are embracing former House speaker Newt Gingrich’s comment last week that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is “like a pirate.”

Trump convention manager Paul Manafort said Sunday that one goal of this week’s nominating event is to help voters get to know better Mr. Trump, including his resemblance to ocean-faring swashbucklers.

“They haven’t seen him up close and personal,” said Mr. Manafort on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “They have a perspective of the man, but this convention is going to focus on the whole pirate personality.”

Mr. Gingrich on Sunday said the comparison is appropriate because, “Pirates are folks who are outside the regular order who get things done, who are colorful.”

“Just go watch ‘Pirates of the Caribbean,’” said Mr. Gingrich. “I think it’s a term mostly folks understand. He’s not an establishment figure. He’s not a traditional CEO of a bureaucratic corporation.”

Mr. Trump may not wield a sword or sport a parrot on his shoulder, but “again and again, he’s doing things that are outside of the norm, and I think he will be quite frankly a president who will be very different from our normal presidents,” Mr. Gingrich said.

Mr. Gingrich made his earlier comment after Mr. Trump chose Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate, saying that a pair of pirates might not be the best combination for the presidential ticket.

“In a lot of ways, my entire career has been a little bit like a pirate,” Mr. Gingrich said Wednesday on Fox News. “I’ve taken on the establishment in both parties. [I’m] very prepared to fight in the media.”

What’s more, Mr. Trump wouldn’t be the first pirate elected president, the former House speaker said.

“Andrew Jackson and Theodore Roosevelt would have loved the term,” he said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “And both of them lived it out.”

The Republican National Convention runs July 18-21 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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