October 16, 2019

Scaramucci Coming Back to Traverse City

SkyBridge Capital Founder to talk Trump, economy, and saving America at TC Economic Club dinner
By Luke Haase | Sept. 14, 2019

Anthony Scaramucci officially spent six days as communications director for President Donald Trump before being notoriously fired. Always an outspoken observer of national politics, Scaramucci is also an experienced hedge fund manager and investment banker. Northern Express caught up with him by phone in advance of his Sept. 20 speech to the Economic Club of Traverse City and heard plenty of his unvarnished opinions on the president and more.
 
Northern Express: Where are you at the moment?

Scaramucci: I’m in Palm Beach doing some marketing for my company, meeting with different financial advisors. You know, I beat up on Trump, and it’s kind of a part-time job, but I actually work for a living.
 
NE: You raised money for Barack Obama and later supported and raised money for Hillary. Then you called Trump a “hack politician” and tweeted support for Hillary in 2016. Then —
 
Scaramucci: Listen. Some of that’s true and some isn’t. These political operatives try to malign you. A few nights ago, they said I was at a Biden fundraiser. I was actually at a fundraiser for a children’s charity in the Hamptons, and Biden came in to accept an award for his dead son. I did give money to Hillary when she ran for [U.S.] Senate.

During 2016 I was with Scott Walker and Jeb Bush, and I went at Trump pretty hard, and we eventually declared a truce. When Jeb came out of the race, Trump recruited me. But now in his Twitter feed he’s basically saying he doesn't know who I am, so listen: I’m fully exonerated. I’m not responsible for him getting elected. But every single person has this relationship with him. They intensely dislike him, then they find a way to like him, then because of his morose personality, you just can’t like him. That’s basically a lifecycle of someone who interacts with Donald Trump — his wives, business partners, associates inside the White House. Barack and I went to law school together, but I’m an entrepreneur. I hate politics. But my buddies who were tight with Obama asked me to help. I liked him, and I still like him. Now, I’m not in love with his policies that strangle the economy.
 
NE: So what I wanted to ask was if you consider yourself a Republican.

Scaramucci: I’m a classic New York moderate Republican. I believe in a woman’s right to choose, marriage equality, some level of fiscal responsibility. So am I a Republican? Sort of. I mean, this is nuts right now. It’s full-blown tribal politics. I have to be honest with you. I’m a registered Republican, but I’m not agreeing with everything they’re doing right now. I don’t think guns in the school system are OK when 75 percent of Americans would like background checks and an assault weapons ban.
 
What I’m hoping to do now is maybe get some normal Republicans back in the process. Right now it’s a personality cult and a very dangerous thing for the country. Listen. I made a mistake. I’m an entrepreneur, not a politician. They say I’m flip-flopping by saying these things about Trump, but if you hire somebody who absolutely sucks at their job, you have to say, ‘I made a mistake,’ and fire them. That’s flip-flopping. There’s no publicly traded company that would accept Trump’s behavior from their CEO.
 
[Pauses to greet a group of guests, saying, “I’m beating up on Trump with a reporter right now … sure, you can take a picture with me. Come over here … .”]
 
OK, sorry. I’m back.
 
NE: Are there any Democrats running that you like?
 
Scaramucci: Again, I’m a Republican. I’m hoping we get someone confident and credible into the race, and I think Trump cracks like an egg. That’s what I think. Now I’ve been fired and wrong a couple times, but I’m a risk-taker. His approval ratings are a disaster. Don’t go by me; go by your own eyes. Congratulating himself about 9/11 or lying about the weather or child separation or racist tweeting? You’re OK with all this?
 
NE: Does it bother you that you’ve become somewhat of a caricature in the media? I mean, prior to politics you were an accomplished investment banker and named one of the “100 Most Powerful People in Global Finance.”

Scaramucci: No. No. Why would it bother me? My grandmother always said, “What other people think of you is none of your business.” I don’t give a sh-t. I grew up in a blue-collar household, and I went to Harvard Law School. I know who I am.
 
NE: Any observations about the state of the economy?  

Scaramucci: The economy is strong, and there will be no recession prior to the election. It’s going to slow down, unfortunately, because of the trade situation and what Trump has done there. But the economy is strong, and that is a danger to the Democrats.
 
NE: What will you tell the Economic Club audience in Traverse City?

Scaramucci: What I’d like to do is take people through where we are politically and what we need to do to save our country. A nonpartisan assessment. My message to people in Traverse City is, I’m personally less interested in left and right and more interested in right and wrong. So if gun safety comes from the left, even though I’m a Republican, let’s adopt gun safety.
 
NE: You were here in 2013 …

Scaramucci: Yes, I came to the Economic Club, and I said then, “We are heading into a deflationary time in our society because of excess labor.” So now I will talk about where we will be in 2025. It’s really a beautiful place you have there. I’m really looking forward to coming back. 

Tickets to the Scaramucci event are sold out, but click here to learn more about the Economic Club, which hosts multiple speaker and networking events in Traverse City each year.

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