Reggie Jackson said he first met Donald Trump at Yankee Stadium more than 30 years ago and the two have maintained a friendship throughout the years.
Slugger Reggie Jackson says Donald Trump needs to step out of the batter’s box over his idea to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico to control immigration.
“We need to control it and we need to do something about it, but we can’t do it like that,” Jackson told the Daily News Wednesday. “We need to be concerned about more jobs here and people coming in here that we don’t really want, but if it’s not for the Latin American community, we don’t have any cooks in our Italian restaurants. We don’t have any cooks at the steakhouses.
“We don’t have anyone to do that kind of work, so be careful. If you want to go have a good meal tonight at Napoli or wherever the Italian restaurant is, it’s not Vito – it’s Manny. So be careful.”
Jackson – whose father was half Puerto Rican – has never been shy about expressing his opinion on just about any subject, so it was no surprise that the Hall of Famer had plenty to say about Trump and his pursuit of the White House.
Jackson said he first met Trump at Yankee Stadium more than 30 years ago and the two have maintained a friendship throughout the years.
“I can walk in his office at any time, have coffee, a milkshake or a meal; I’ve always been welcomed there,” Jackson said. “I remember saying to him 15 years ago, ‘Donald, you’re running for President of the United States?’ and he said, ‘Reggie, can’t a guy have a little fun?’ I’ve had an appreciation for who he is. The bravado, to me, is not who he really is.”
Jackson later added: “I think he’s fun. I think he’s got a big heart. I think we’re going to find out, because he’s going to have some battles. Being smart and having a good heart will overcome.”
While Jackson had plenty of complimentary things to say about Trump, he sees flaws in the approach Trump has taken during the campaign.
“I guess if I had something to say about him, I’d like to see him be more ‘We,’” Jackson said. “I listened to his comments today; he’s starting to get with the ‘We’ stuff. This is what ‘we’ need, this is who ‘we’ are, this is the changes ‘we’ need to make. That, I’m for.”
Donald Trump should be careful with his plan to build a wall between the U.S. an Mexico, Jackson said, because certain jobs in the country, such as restaruant gigs, are held by immigrants.
Jackson said Trump’s attacks on his opponents – specifically Florida Sen. Marco Rubio – have been a mistake.
“I think he’ll change,” Jackson said. “I think he’s going to get his arms around ‘We.’ I don’t like to see the fights and the bickering, especially when you’re the leader. My father always said, ‘Reggie, don’t elevate a lightweight into your arena. You’re a heavyweight; fight with heavyweights. Fight with the owner, don’t fight with someone or elevate a guy. What are you doing? He might sucker-punch you and knock you down. Stay away from that. Fight people your own size.’ Rubio? Wish him luck. You don’t need to fight him. You’re so far ahead of him, you’ve got to give him an address of where you are. He can’t see you.”
Jackson hasn’t spoken with Trump in some time, but said he hopes to in the near future.
“If I would have something to disagree with him with, I would tell him – and I will tell him, because I do have things I want to say,” Jackson said. “Because if he’s going to be the leader of our country, then I’m at a point in life to where I’ve got some impact when I say something, so I don’t want to say something silly.”
Unlike Yankees great Paul O’Neill, who attended a Trump rally in Florida, Jackson never directly endorsed Trump.
He actually said he believes Ohio Governor John Kasich is the best candidate of the group.
Mr. October had some strong feelings about the November election. But like many Americans, Jackson, 69, said he is fed up with the divide between Democrats and Republicans, leaving him looking for alternatives to the same old politicians.
“I, for one, want to see political change,” Jackson said, citing education as the most important issue in the country. “I’m like most Americans, I believe; I’m not happy with where we are, politically. I’m for all. I’m neither Democrat nor Republican.
“I think that someone with enormous wealth and someone that has no skin in the game should be our leaders. I’m not happy with our leadership. The Bill Gates of the world, for me, want to change the world and make the world a better place.
“I wish that guys that want to make a change in the world like him and (Warren) Buffett, would be involved in our direction of managing who we are as a nation. We’re the leaders of the world. We need to do things that are good for the world, not just us. We need change politically; we need change in our leadership. I really don’t want a politician in Washington. I want a guy that’s going to be doing things for all of us.”
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