By Ben Kamisar
Special to the Las Vegas Tribune
The daughter of acclaimed movie star John Wayne lauded Donald Trump as a candidate evocative of her late father as she endorsed him at an event Tuesday.
“America needs help and we need a strong leader. We need someone, like Mr. Trump, with leadership qualities, someone with courage, someone that’s strong — like John Wayne,” Aissa Wayne told the audience at an event with Trump at the John Wayne Birthplace Museum in Winterset, Iowa.
“If John Wayne were around, he’d be standing right here.” Trump later praised Aissa Wayne for her endorsement, joking about whether the iconic star of Westerns including “True Grit” would have approved of the endorsement.
“John Wayne would be very proud of you right now, I think? Maybe he would say, ‘What are you doing?’” Trump said. Trump went on to note that he’s a “long-time fan” of John Wayne and said that he met the actor before his death in 1979.
“I met him one time and it made such an impression. When you talk about bigger than life, there aren’t too many people bigger than life,” Trump said. “He said some things to me that were very special.”
Ethan Wayne, the president of John Wayne Enterprises, noted in a statement that Aissa Wayne “acted independently of both organizations and the Wayne family in her endorsement of Donald Trump.”
“No one can speak on behalf of John Wayne and neither the family nor the Foundation endorses candidates in his name,” he added.
By Ben Kamisar