|Last night, the Washington Post published a stunning profile of Ed Gillespie, digging deep into Gillespie’s decades-long career as a D.C. insider and his torturous transformation into a Trump Republican.
Here are eight key takeaways from the profile:
#1: Donald Trump Makes Ed Gillespie Really Uncomfortable — But He Won’t Admit It
Gillespie did not acknowledge Trump’s support for nearly 12 hours, and only after he was asked about it on a media call. He still hasn’t included it among his long list of endorsements on his campaign website. That afternoon, Gillespie was at his campaign headquarters desk, bristling as he faced more questions about Trump. No, he didn’t know the president would endorse him. No, he had not asked for Trump’s blessing. “Can we go off the record?” Gillespie asked before saying, “I’m not going to talk about this.” He referred further questions to his spokesman, who was sitting a couple of feet away. But Gillespie wasn’t finished.
#2: When Dick Armey Called Barney Frank “Barney Fag,” Ed Gillespie Defended Him
Gillespie emerged with a reputation as a master spinmeister, though not without enduring his share of crises, including one in which he had to defend Armey for referring to openly gay Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) as “Barney Fag.”
#3: Ed Gillespie Abruptly Ended a “Town Hall” After Being Asked About Robert E. Lee
“What’s your opinion of Robert E. Lee?” asked Tony Lundy, 57, a welder who volunteered that he thinks the Confederate general was “honorable.”“I appreciate your point — this is a conversation I think we need to have,” Gillespie replied, his tone as soothing as a therapist’s. But he added that he would not have that conversation then “because we’ve kept folks here for a very long time.” Moments later, after pledging to be “an honest, ethical, hard-working, principled, faithful servant leader worthy of Virginia,” Gillespie was out the door.
#4: Newt Gingrich Thinks Ed Gillespie is Not a Good Fit For Today’s Republican Party
“Ed’s a very competent, rational, thoughtful candidate who, in a more traditional Republican Party, would be a perfect fit,” said former House speaker Newt Gingrich, for whom Gillespie helped draft the 1994 “Contract With America.” “But there’s a growing level of anger about a wide range of things — a growing sense that Washington isn’t responsive. There’s a substantial minority that wants an emotional, hard-edged approach.”
#5: Former Pundit Ed Gillespie Is Now Against Punditry
“I just don’t have time to do this kind of punditry,” Gillespie said. “I’m just a candidate, I’m just out there talking about the issues.” Once a ubiquitous presence on Sunday talk shows, his pointed advocacy for the GOP often leavened by genial asides, Gillespie, 56, sometimes wears the pained expression of a man trying to tiptoe through a gunfight.
#6: On the Campaign Trail, Gillespie Calls His “Premier” Corporate Lobbying Firm a Small Business
He tells audiences that his grandfather was a janitor and that he himself was the founder of “three small businesses,” although he omits that he is including Quinn Gillespie & Associates, a premier Washington lobbying firm that represented major corporations such as Enron and Microsoft.
#7: Corey Stewart Voter: “There’s a feeling [Ed] can be bought”
“Ed’s part of the establishment,” Gary Randall said, his longish gray hair topped by a cowboy hat, explaining his support for Stewart. “There’s a feeling he can be bought,” said Donna Randall, distributing red “Save Our Monuments” stickers before Gillespie spoke.
#8: Ed Gillespie is One of the Architects of “Dark Money”
“It’s fair to call Ed Gillespie one of the principal architects of ‘dark money,’ ” said Sheila Krumholz of the Center for Responsive Politics, describing him as “about as influential and connected an insider as they come.”