Nigel Farage, the architect of the United Kingdom’s Brexit vote, is touring the Republican National Convention this week but insists that he doesn’t want to meddle in American presidential politics.
That said, the former United Kingdom Independent Party leader, declared that he wouldn’t cast a vote for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton “if you paid me.”
“My analysis of Hillary Clinton is that there is this sense of entitlement, as if this country now has its own hereditary principle…,” he said. “That sense of entitlement puts me off.”
Farage discussed Brexit, Obama, and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at a McClatchy-sponsored breakfast Wednesday at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
He said he’s a Trump fan and is looking forward to hearing the celebrity real estate mogul speak in person. He likes most of what he’s heard from afar, but admits that some of Trump’s more controversial statements have given him pause.
“I can see what he’s trying to do – he’s trying to get some big messages out there, some big wedge issues, he’s trying to reach voters who are frustrated and perhaps a little bit scared,” Farage said. “I get what he’s doing, but occasionally the style of it makes me wince a little bit.”
He added: “I’ve been called ‘over the top’ once or twice, but I think some of Donald Trump’s comments are pretty out there…. To say you would ban all Muslims from coming to America….”
Farage, who was invited to attend the GOP convention, echoed the sentiment of Trump and many other Republicans in his disdain for Obama.
He resented Obama for inserting himself into the Brexit debate, urging U.K. citizens to vote to “remain” in the European Union rather than “leave” it.
“Obama came to the United Kingdom…actually I should always be grateful, eternally grateful to Obama because he came to our country, he was rude to us, he told us what we should do and he led to a big Brexit bounce of several points. So thank you, Obama, for helping us win this referendum.”
Not wanting to follow Obama’s example on Brexit, Farage said American voters shouldn’t expect to see him on the campaign trail with Trump or any Republican or conservative candidates.
“I shouldn’t do that,” he said. “I don’t think interfering in somebody else’s politics, directly, is the right thing to do.”
McClatchy, which has 29 newspapers and websites across the nation, hosted a conversation with Farage and a roundtable with Kevin Madden, who was 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s senior communications strategist, and two McClatchy journalists: Jim Morrill, political correspondent for The Charlotte Observer and Jamie Self, politics reporter for The State newspaper of Columbia, S.C.