Rise of the ‘Trumpocrats’

Published 5:19 pm Tuesday, October 4, 2016

With 30 minutes to go before his latest appearance with FOX News on Tuesday morning, Christian Rickers admitted to still being nervous about appearing on television. He was also scheduled to appear on MSNBC at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

“It’s a little unnerving,” Rickers said of the exposure he’s gained as a lifelong Democrat throwing his support behind Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. “I’ve never done television interviews before.

I’m very nervous, but people have been telling me I’m doing OK. I just talk from the gut … and try to be earnest.”

Rickers — who calls himself and others like him “Trumpocrats” — splits his time between his hometown of Kenbridge and Richmond. He said he’s voted Democrat since 1998 and was even a delegate for President Barack Obama in 2012.

“I worked on the campaigns for both Gov. Mark Warner and (then) Gov. Tim Kaine and worked in both their administrations.”

Warren appointed Rickers as a special assistant for the Department of Housing and Community Development; Kaine reappointed him.

Why, with all the Democratic work behind him, would he not support candidate Hillary Clinton?

“No one, along with her husband, is more responsible for job losses,” Rickers said. “With the policies they’ve instituted … just recently Ford announced it was moving its small car manufacturing to Mexico. Why are we letting this happen again?”

Rickers pointed to job losses in Kenbridge, too.

“We used to have 20 plants in Kenbridge; now we only have one,” he said.

Rickers said Trump is the only one of the two candidates “who is going to make real change” if elected.

“He’s not perfect; he says a lot of stupid things,” Rickers conceded, “but the core of his campaign is on target.”

Rickers’ appearance on MSNBC was scheduled to take place in Farmville and he said he hoped getting there wouldn’t be as bad as it was in Hempstead, N.Y., around Sept. 26. That’s when Rickers traveled to Hofstra University to attend the first Presidential Debate between Clinton and Trump.

“They shut down all of Hempstead, even pedestrian walkways,” he said. “I think I walked 15 miles that day.”

With just a few minutes to get back on TV, Rickers said people wanting to learn more about the movement involving Democrats backing Trump can visit www.trumpocratspac.com.