The Missouri auctioneer bidding it all for Trump's backing - Politico
Nov 28, 2021 2 mins, 20 secs
Billy Long displays a tie he had signed by former President Donald Trump during an interview on Capitol Hill.

Immediately after taping the announcement of his Senate candidacy on Tucker Carlson's show, Billy Long paid former President Donald Trump a visit.

As Long recalls it, Trump was a bit surprised.

During their August meeting at Trump Tower, Long argued to Trump that if Republicans nominate someone other than him to keep retiring Sen.

Trump told the imposing 66-year-old that he remains open to a Long endorsement but is in no rush.

Built like a lineman, Long recalls in his thick “Missoura” twang lengthy anecdotes about everything from paying $37 for that tie in Nevada to handing home-printed $45 bills to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

These days he’s barnstorming the state in what he calls the “Billy Bus,” festooned with a blown-up picture of Long in a cowboy hat.

Long is working closely with longtime Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, both because she’s “brilliant” and because she’s willing to go with Long whenever he wants to talk to Trump: “I would hope it would help me a little bit, having Kellyanne on my team.” He said Conway can’t get him the endorsement, but it’s one more way Long appeals to what’s often driven Trump’s thinking: loyalty.

He was there,” said another early Trump backer, Sen.

Long voted against certifying Trump's loss on Jan.

Hartzler’s campaign cites 538 numbers showing she voted with Trump slightly more than Long did.

Billy Long, left, an ally of President Donald trump, told reporters he opposed the GOP health care bill, known as the American Health Care Act.

Jason Smith (R-Mo.) could also still enter the race; like Long, he’s got a close relationship with Trump.

Summing up the field, Long says his opponents should be “writing revisionist history textbooks, because they're all revising their history with Trump.” He hits Hartzler as inauthentic and insufficiently conservative; her campaign manager responded by citing Long’s campaign spending: “Billy is not focused on fighting for Missouri, he’s just looking for his next big meal.”.

A Greitens spokesperson said that “Billy Long is a much better comedian than he is a Senate candidate.”.

A former talk radio host, Long is not on Fox News every chance he gets, eschewing a frequent tactic by Republicans who speak to Trump over the airways.

Long estimates he’s been on cable news only about three times in his career.

Go sit at Mar-a-Lago and tell him you're not leaving till he endorses,’” Long said.

Even as he predicts Trump would thin the crowded Missouri primary with an endorsement, Long says he won’t drop out if the former president chooses someone else

The Trump endorsement would matter.”

“I can't be somebody fake," Long said

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