Is Steve Laffey the breakout Republican candidate of 2024 to take on Trump trends now
It’s not unusual in a presidential race for an unknown, dark horse candidate to break from the pack, catching fire in the debates and becoming part of the national conversation.
In 2024, Steve Laffey hopes that person that will be him even if the odds are long and the road to the nomination is tough.
His plan: to charge onto the New Hampshire debate stage and demand Republicans talk about ways to reform Social Security, the so-called third rail of American politics - as in if a candidate touches it, they die a quick political death.
But Laffey, a Republican and former mayor of Cranston, R.I., argues his background as a businessman - he worked at a brokerage firm - makes him the candidate for these tough economic times.
And he says he's not afraid to take on the tough issues.
‘I directly confront problems. That's my life,' Laffey, 61, said.
In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, he described how he’s better qualified for the White House than Donald Trump, how he thinks Mitch McConnell should retire from the Senate, and revealed his plan to save the country from going into a recession.
‘People are suffering and I'm haunted by the images. That's one of the reasons that I'm running for president,’ he said.
Republican Steve Laffey has launched a longshot bid for president but thinks he could be the candidate to catch fire during the 2024 primary
He supported Trump in 2020 but said the former president ‘doesn't have the ability to hire and fire the right people' and that hampered his ability to run the country.
‘My experience in hiring and, unfortunately, firing and putting the right people in the right place is far better than what Donald Trump showed as president,’ he said, adding: ‘I'm a financial expert. He, obviously, is not. He’s a real estate developer. By the way, if we need to build some buildings, I'm all in.’
That is how Laffey talks – the words and ideas coming at a mile a minute, one after another, as he throws out option after option for future policies or issues he wants the country to be talking about.
It's a verbal barrage of thoughts, words, famous names, and folksy candor.
Laffey, who bills himself as an 'American office holder, author, filmmaker and proven financial expert,' is likely to face a crowded field in the race for the GOP nomination.
Trump has already announced a second bid and Nikki Haley is expected to announce soon. Mike Pence, Ron DeSantis and Mike Pompeo also are all seen as contenders for the nomination - albeit no formal announcements yet.
Laffey says if he won, he would come into office with a list of people to fire and one of those people he thinks should leave is McConnell, the longtime Republican senator and leader in the upper chamber.
Laffey argues for term-limits and thinks McConnell has stayed past his time.
‘These people stick around way too long. Obviously I'm for term limits,’ he said. ‘But what's their plan to help the American people now?’
On his list of federal agencies to target are the FBI, which he says needs to be reformed, and the Federal Reserve, whose mandate he wants to change so its sole task is managing the money supply to target inflation at 0%.
Laffey argues this will make Congress operate within its budget and therefore rein in the national debt.
He is deeply conservative – inspired by Ronald Reagan and Herman Cain. Throughout his earlier political career he was endorsed by the Club for Growth.
He said Cain's rise in the 2012 primary - before he was hit by accusations of sexual harassment - inspired his current bid. Cain caught fire by proposing a simple - and catchy - tax plan: the 9-9-9 plan: 9% personal income tax, 9% federal sales tax, and 9% corporate tax to replace the country's current tax system.
If candidates like Cain - and Marianne Williamson on the Democratic side - can break through, he thinks he has a chance too, perhaps even on the power of his personality or his words per minute.
'I know how to fix education. I know how to fix health care,' he said in a seven-minute answer to a question on how he would fix the country's finances.
In that long answer, he mentions he is not depend on other's money - unlike other candidates - praises Cain's 9-9-9 tax system, describes how he would reform Social Security and accuses Congress of treating the debt limit like a 'reality show.'
'We need someone running for president to at least point this out and then catch fire,' he concluded, barely taking a breath.
Laffey is inspired by Herman Cain's 2012 primary