The former Australian politician says Trump is likely to be re-elected.
“The thing about Donald Trump is that he is authentic in private,” Hockey told Alan Jones, host of Sydney’s 2GB radio, on Aug. 31. “And publicly, people see him as authentic.”
“He is one of the most formidable politicians I’ve ever seen in my life,” he said.
“If I were a betting man, I’d say that you would bet that he would be re-elected,” he added.
Hockey said Trump has delivered what he has promised, drawing on examples of the U.S President having cut taxes, strengthened the U.S. economy, withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and pulled out of the Paris climate agreement.
“He is someone who can go back to the American people and say emphatically, ‘Here is what I promised. Here is what I have delivered’—and when did you last have a president like that?” Hockey told 2GB.
Hockey, who has played a couple of rounds of golf with Trump, commented that he has a “very inquisitive mind.”
“He’s always asking questions about ‘what do you think of this? what do you think of that?'”
“He’s underestimated by a lot of people,” Hockey said. “And there’s real momentum behind him in the United States.”
U.S. and Australia
Hockey said he had previously underestimated the significance of the relationship between Australia and the United States.
“[The U.S.] are our closest allies in the world and every day they help to protect Australians from terrorists, from major threats. It’s such a crucial relationship,” Hockey told 2GB.
“Australia has military personnel in 32 U.S. states. We are the 2nd biggest purchaser of U.S. military equipment. At an intelligence level, we are arguably their closest partner. Very few people realize that.”
The Trump administration has often sought counsel on policies because Australia has not been judgemental about the president or the administration, Hockey said.
“They respect u.s. for not going down the path that so many other countries have of constantly forming judgments,” Hockey said.
Hockey regards his role as the link between Australia’s prime minister and the U.S. president and says it is important that the relationship between the two be maintained. Hockey said he has “no doubt” the new Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, will do well in this regard.