Editor’s note: Below are the video and transcript of remarks given by Christopher Ruddy at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s 2018 Restoration Weekend. The event was held Nov. 15th-18th at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida.
Christopher Ruddy: Thank you Mark. I appreciate you coming to my hometown. NewsMax, I don’t know if you know this is based in this area. We used to be based in West Palm Beach. We’re now down in Boca, although I live a few miles from here, and there was a famous French historian, and he always began his lectures with a history of geography. He said it in French, but from my life, and our experience, history’s been geographic, because about 20 years ago, when I first came down here, I met this fellow named Donald Trump, and he was speaking to a group, sort of just like this, in Palm Beach to talk about his presidential campaign in 1999; and this he was thinking at the time to run on the Reform Party, because he was unhappy with both political parties. Sound familiar? So, some things have never changed, and I’ve had a tremendous friendship and relationship with the president. I think it’s anybody that looks at the history of this, and I know many of you have been online for many years, you’ll see NewsMax was really the first adopter to treat the president– then the billionaire candidate–as a serious candidate when a lot of the media was pooh-poohing him.
Thank you, and I thank our evaluation; but you know another guy that was very prescient about Donald Trump was David Horowitz, and I’ll tell you a story. About a month before the president was elected, when everyone thought he was going to lose, I called David, and I said, “What do you think?“ And he said, “I think Donald Trump’s gonna win.“ And I said, “I think you’re right. I think the people are going to reject this media jihad against him and he will win.“ I said, “I think we should publish a book and come out on Inauguration Day with the book.“ And that book came out. It was called Big Agenda. That book was on the New York Times List for 12 weeks, 3 months. It had no competition, because nobody thought he was going to win for president. We actually decided to publish that book before Election Day, and David started writing it. He had it done in 4 weeks. Because to meet the deadlines; I don’t know if you know in book publishing, it takes months ahead of time. We came out that week, and I think, David’s been a North star for me for many years, and whenever I look for where NewsMax should position ourselves, I always think of David, because I think he’s a guy that’s outside the Beltway, outside the bubble and he’s thinking in terms of how do we make America stronger, and greater, and he’s been right time, and time again.
My own personal odyssey with media begins when I am 19 years of age and I show up as a student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This was 1984, and back then, even to this day, Israel has a very negative perception vis-à-vis the media in this country and the world, but back then I would say it was even worse; and what astounded me as a clearly open-minded, wide-eyed college student at the time was how inverted the truth was about Israel.
When I showed up, Israel was the mean, aggressor, authoritative nation beating up on the poor Palestinians, who were repressed by the Israeli government. I was shocked being in my dorm on Mount Scopus. My dorm mates were all, mostly Israeli, but we had a lot of Arab-Israeli, Palestinians; they were much matriculating with all the other students. No problem. They were very happy to be going to University, and the top university in the nation. This was very surprising to me, but also to discover the Palestinians and Arabs if you went up to the Galil, they quietly liked the Israelis. They were sharing in power. They had not a little power. They had a lot of power in the Knesset. They had the best standard of living in the whole Middle Eastern area, including some of the Arab states. If you look over the past 30 or 40 years since then, you will find that when one of these terrorist instances–and I always look because it sort of confirms what I saw there as a student–they’re almost never an Israeli Arab. They’re someone that came in out of the West Bank that was funded by Hamas, because they know how good it is; but they also know how legitimate that democracy is, and that was an eye-opener for me, because you have the inversion of the truth. My professor, who I’m still friends with, Dr. Mordecai Nissan, some of you may have heard of him. He said to me once, and I’ve never forgotten it. He said, “The liberals forget, you can’t lie about the truth.“
We see it with Donald Trump. They can’t understand why the public hasn’t bought all the lies. I mean if you tune in to CNN and MSNBC, they can’t understand that the Senate majority actually increased in the states that Donald Trump campaigned. They think that all of the constant lies and, a lot of times, manipulations and distortions, are somehow being accepted by the American people; but seeing through the truth and you know the facts don’t lie.
Obama left the economy at 1.5 percent. That was his GDP growth. His last 3 years. Trump immediately brought it to 3 percent. It’s gone over four, it’s been averaging close to 4 percent. This is enormous, we haven’t seen an economic increase like that since the Reagan years. That’s all Donald Trump, if you just look at the consumer confidence and business confidence, all President Trump and his policies.
David’s book Big Agenda laid out and said, the president was going to do all of these things. If you read the book, you will see that book’s been a roadmap to the whole Trump presidency, and it drives the liberals nuts that he’s actually fulfilled his promises, and isn’t it rare that you’ve had a politician that actually completed his promises?
My role as a media person is not to propagandize. It’s to tell the American people the truth. Conservatives always have believed, if you tell people both sides in this country, invariably they’re going to pick the conservative argument on things, because it’s the most reasonable, rational, and based in truth, and we have seen a growth when I started NewsMax in 1998. Our company started with a little bit of money, but I had 40 percent revenue growth with no additional capital over 16 years every single year. Today, Com Score we reach about 20 to 30 million people a month online. Some of you will get our emails, and hopefully you get them often during the day, we have about 6 million email subscribers. We have about 1,500 partner websites that carry our news and information that reach about 1 billion patriots a month.
Thank you, and about 4 years ago I said to myself, you know what? This country’s changing, we’re not reaching as many people as we should. We’ve seen in this election by the way, it’s generally a good election for us, but the warning signs are there. The two biggest states for Republicans are Texas and Florida, they’re clearly going blue. States like Arizona and Georgia, once clearly Republican, states are now trending blue as well. We have a big fight of head of us in the next few years. Because remember, the Republicans were closed out of Congress for almost 50 years, 50 years, and so that could happen again if we’re not careful, and I think one of the reasons they controlled Congress for 50 years was that they dominated the three big networks, and it was only until the 90s and the late 80s when Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, NewsMax, Drudge Report, FrontPage and others, started reaching millions of people did we break that power monopoly that they held in Washington. We need to keep it going. That’s why about 4 years ago I launched a cable news channel.
I was told that, “You know they’re not going to let any new cable channels in. Nobody’s gonna give you coverage.“ We are now signed as of today by all the five major TV operators: AT&T, DirecTV, U‑verse, FIOS, Dish, Spectrum and Comcast. Were going on Comcast at the end of the year starting in 10 million homes we’ll roll to 18 million. So we have a huge opportunity we feel. Fox is great, but Fox is changing. I think a lot of people, if your eyes are wide open, you see it, they’re changing, and I was out this summer with a major Fox host, and he said to me, the very few people on that in that channel are actually supportive of the president, or like him, and I think you see that in little comments they make, but still Fox is better than anyone else and NewsMax is not out against Fox, but we need to have more than one voice we’re dependent on in the cable news arena and we are very well situated so we’ve gone through Phase 1 getting the distribution and now were increasing our programming. You may not know this but Bill O’Reilly does a weekend show at NewsMax called No Spin News. It airs four times on the weekends. He’s on several times a week. People like Greta have been on, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Eric Boling, Glenn Beck was just recently on. We are a place where not only some of the conservatives you know can still have a platform, but we are bringing up new and younger conservatives as well. I might add we are actually hoping to go public in the next 12 to 18 months. We are seeing such a rise, so if anyone’s ever interested in participating in that or joining in that, just drop me an email, and my email is very easy to remember which is [email protected] We’ll definitely keep you on the list, and keep you informed of developments on that, or I’ll see you later at the Alan Dershowitz event.
Alan is a good friend at NewsMax, comes on all the time, and in fact I introduced him to the president, and maybe Alan will share this, but when I introduced him at Mara Largo about the first month the president was in office, Alan said to him, “Mr. President., I voted for Hillary Clinton.“ Of course the president didn’t like hearing this, still doesn’t like to hear it, and in fact he recently said to me, “Does Alan have to say that all the time on TV?“ And then I said, “Actually, it helps you that you won him over.“ And he said, “Yeah, but could he say that he regrets it?“ True story. True story, but Alan said to him, “I voted for Hillary, but I like everything you’re doing, and if you keep it up, I’m going to vote for you, and support you publicly in the next election.“ So. Now, Alan hasn’t officially come out to say that, so don’t quote me on saying that he’s going to support, he said, if he likes him at the end of the 4 years, and you can let Alan, I shouldn’t be speaking for Alan. I might get in trouble, he might sue me, so I better be careful. But Alan is, to me, Alan’s the personification of what NewsMax is about, which is getting people that are fair-minded and speak the truth to have a platform, and I think that’s the epitome of what David’s been doing through the years, and I’m actually really upset.
David and I were chatting, this constant labeling that the left does about conservatives that they’re so threatened by, as you know, they’ve been saying the worst things about David Horowitz. Someone accused him of being a racist. I have to tell you, I’ve known David for over 20 years. I met David in the 90s when I was covering the Clinton White House. David’s probably the least racist person I’ve ever met in my life, and talk about, he spent his whole life being racially inclusive, and trying to bring in people to the Republican Party, which is so important for the future of this country, and for the conservative movement.
I want to thank you all for being fans and followers of NewsMax. It’s very heartening, and I can tell you, we’re going to continue living out that mantra of my professor, Professor Nissan who said, “The liberals forget, you can’t lie about the truth” and then were going to keep telling the truth, like David has been doing for so long. Thank you.