In what appears to be a first for a sitting Republican congressman, Rep. David Rouzer (R-NC) predicted on Friday that Donald Trump would be his party’s presidential nominee.
During a radio interview on the Tyler Cralle Show, Rouzer discussed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent praise for Trump as the “absolute leader in the presidential race.”
“I think he’s probably right,” Rouzer said. “Trump’s probably going to be president.”
Rouzer went on to affirm his prediction for Trump’s success in the Republican primary — “I think he’ll be the nominee” — regardless of whether he goes on to win the presidency.
Listen to it (relevant section begins at 6:10):
Rouzer’s prediction is buttressed by polls that have shown Trump as the Republican frontrunner virtually since he entered the race in June. Despite a slew of statements and policy positions that would have sunk a normal candidate’s campaign, Trump is currently enjoying huge leads in national polls as well as early primary states like New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Trump’s antics have earned him the scorn of most Republican establishment figures who, along with the media, have predicted his demise weekly for the past six months.
Rouzer’s prediction of a Trump victory seems to be the first time a prominent GOP figure has broken from that mold. Whether the North Carolina Republican is a lone voice or a sign of the dam breaking remains to be seen.
Rouzer, a first-term congressman, has not made an official endorsement in the 2016.