Leading pro-Brexit politician Nigel Farage has come out to back US Republican nominee Donald Trump. He told Trump supporters to “get your walking boots on” and campaign for the controversial billionaire to clinch the upcoming November US election.
Donald Trump has been a contentious figure from the start of his presidential campaign, but the last month has seen particularly damaging headlines undermine his political ambitions.
He’s lost two campaign managers over the summer; caused uproar in his own party for mocking the mother of a dead war hero; and recent polls reveal he has just single digit support among key demographics like African Americans. Some political commentators say he’s too divisive to be able to gather enough support to win in three months.
But on Wednesday, the bombastic reality TV and real estate mogul sought to unite his cause to others on the right: the euroskeptics across the Atlantic.
They will soon be calling me MR. BREXIT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 18, 2016
Appearing before 15,000 activists in Jackson, Mississippi, Trump said:
“On 23 June, the people of Britain voted to declare their independence — which is what we’re looking to do also, folks! — from international government.”
Enter, Nigel Farage: a British politician who spent years agitating for the UK to get a referendum to exit the EU. In June this year, he got his wish, earning the praise of right-wing conservatives across the world from Trump himself, to Marine Le Pen of France’s National Front.
— Official Team Trump (@TeamTrump) August 25, 2016
Trump introduced Mr. Farage as a man who “brilliantly” led the UK Independence Party’s to gain control over the UK’s political future.
Mr. Trump is hoping for his own political reckoning to sweep the US, but he has poll after negative poll to contend with.
The message from Farage? Forget the polls.
“You can beat the pollsters. You can beat the commentators… Remember, anything is possible if enough decent people are prepared to stand up against the establishment,” he said.
Despite his full-throated support of Trump at Wednesday’s rally, Farage has previously admitted that he is not entirely comfortable with some of Trump’s outspoken rhetoric.
In July, he admitted to British journalists that Trump’s policies on opposing gun controls and blocking Muslims from entering the US, left him feeling decidedly “left wing” and confused.
“I think it’s absolutely mad that you can go to a supermarket and buy a rifle without basically proving who you are. I think some of that stuff [on gun law] is really strange… We may speak the same language, but the cultural differences are really big,” he added.
Nigel Farage to share platform with Donald Trump tonight: YouGov found 31% UKIP voters have favourable view of Trump https://t.co/fPitSSY6a7
— YouGov (@YouGov) August 24, 2016
And a British YouGov poll earlier this month, found that only 31% of UKIP voters have a favorable view of Trump.
As far as political endorsements go, it’s unclear how much of a boost Farage’s appearance at a Trump rally will give the embattled Republican candidate. It’s unlikely that many of Trump’s Mississippi supporters had ever heard of Nigel Farage before he delivered his speech.
Since the UK referendum, Mr. Farage has stepped down as UKIP leader and maintained a lower profile domestically, and on the world stage.
So, as well as forgetting US pollsters, Trump supporters may very quickly forget Farage altogether as well.