Even as a veteran, much of his criticism comes not from the left-wing media and Democrats, but more so from his detractors in his party – from the more moderate to liberal members of the Republican Party and NeverTrumpers who believe he’s too close to Trump’s style, strategy, and direction. One elected official even went as far as publicly saying that the party has lost its way under his guidance. That official and many others believe the party should track closer in the direction that the Democrats are moving.
"They that have lost their way,” Waurishuk said, “That’s not going to happen under my leadership. We as the county Republican Party are standing behind the platform and our constitutional and conservative principles," he explained.
Waurishuk also said that the mainstream media marches out his Republican detractors to present "meaningless comments and negative and false-narratives based on rumor and innuendo" to criticize the Colonel. He noted it’s always the same people, with the same old lies and misinformation that only creates division within which tends to support their real intentions.
"We just side-step it and work around it," he told The Florida Report. "It’s the local version of what’s going on both at the state level, and in certainly in Washington."
That said, many still believe he is too conservative. Waurishuk, however, believes his conservative approach is needed now more than ever.
"Both the President and Gov. Ron DeSantis are both governing under very conservative agendas, and we need to ensure that agenda is supported and reflected within the Hillsborough and the county Republican Party," he said.
Being a career military officer, Waurishuk has hardened his stance, positions, and approach on politics – he’s hardcore and passionate.
“Right now, we are dealing with the consequences of political corruption and the impact of a deliberate and hardline Socialist and a Progressive globalist political agenda," Warishuk exclaimed, noting we need to pay attention as a nation and as a Party.
”We have to protect our flanks from those who want to make us susceptible to the tenants of more liberal Progressive thinking that will only erode our way of life in this county and our Party.”
The Colonel’s long-term strategy is to focus on the strengths in the party that advocates for and supports and promotes the values and principles of the Republican Party platform and the Constitution. From volunteers, members, and candidates to donors and fundraisers, he believes there must be a common thread across the board. Throughout his tenure in the GOP, as both the county party’s state committeeman, and following his election, and re-election as chairman, he has sought to build on and capitalize on the party’s conservatives to do the heavy lifting. He has been resolute in this effort to establish and implement policies and strategies to complement and support Gov. DeSantis’ and President Trump’s conservative stances that actually have been highly favorable to both Republicans and Democrats. Just as with DeSantis, he sees a large number of Democrats in Hillsborough switching their votes in 2020.
At the same time, he sees the opportunity for the county’s more conservative supporters and political leaders to serve as force-multipliers to increase support for Republicans and President Trump’s 2020 re-election, which of course will be critical in changing the political landscape of a forever predominately clue county.
He regularly reminds party leaders and voters that Hillsborough has never been a red county, based on historical election data. But he sees a trend and Trump has the ability unlike any other previous president to win. He believes it and is optimistic for Trump to win the county in 2020, including down-ballot Republicans in tow. He believes solid party unity will be key. He noted, he and the Hillsborough County GOP and RPOF Chairman Gruters and the state county parties are corroborating with the RNC and Trump Campaign to make that happen statewide.
“Despite what is mentioned in the media, as a member of the RPOF Executive Board, I see a solid working relationship between the counties, the state party and the Trump campaign and the RNC," he said.
This month, Chairman Waurishuk made the point that we are now one year out from the 2020 election and noted we are well underway on multiple fronts. Since the summer, the Hillsborough County Republican Party has been out in force, partnering with the Trump Victory Campaign to register voters county-wide for 2020. Once again, the Colonel strategized to what he and his planners believed was the best approach for Hillsborough County.
During the summer he recommended to the RPOF and the Trump 2020 campaign that because of the size and strategic importance of the county that Hillsborough should be a Trump campaign region in and of itself. Next, he recommended to the Trump Campaign and the RPOF that a young former USMC Marine, David Huston, be selected as the Trump Victory Regional Director to assist him in the “Get Out The Vote” effort for Hillsborough. He also noted that Huston, who serves as the President of the USF College Republicans has the drive, fortitude and determination to get it done – and he said he’s been aggressively effective in helping Hillsborough lead Florida in voter registrations.
To capitalize on this in Hillsborough, he has gathered his seasoned experienced staff and planners, and additional volunteers to start prepping to “Get Out The Vote” for 2020. In August he implemented and established a coordination and corroboration group known as the “President’s Forum.” The forum is a hybrid organization within the county party made up of not only the officially chartered county Republican Club presidents, but also those from the independent, non-chartered Republican, conservative political organizations and clubs which include the Florida Federated Women, Florida Federated College Republicans, Tampa Bay Young Republicans, 9/12, Tea Party, and Trump clubs, as well as other groups that are willing to come forward to support President Trump and Republican candidates in Hillsborough.
Colonel Waurishuk stressed that the party is strategically focusing on updating, expanding, and corroborating databases from voters and non-voters to volunteers to ensure he can effectively engage more residence of Hillsborough County than ever before. Waurishuk laid out an aggressive campaign from soliciting candidates and educating them on the expectations of voters, the trials and tribulations of campaigning, and the elected positions and what is involved. Essentially, a reality check. He talked about regular MAGA meet-ups, watch parties, volunteer education and training, various types of rallies -- to Reagan and Lincoln Day Dinners -- critical components of attracting and keeping volunteers engaged. On the latter topic, the Colonel spoke of several over the next year for both fundraising and keeping members, volunteers and voters committed and occupied, with big-name speakers and leaders from the political arena.
On Nov 23 the Hillsborough County Republican Party will hold its 2019 Lincoln Day Dinner, with the theme “Celebrating Women” at the Event Factory in West Tampa and will showcase Trump 2020 Campaign National Spokeswoman and Fox News regular Kayleigh McEnany as its Keynote Speaker. The event will focus on the contributions of Republican women with several awards presented. As Special Guest speaker attendees will hear from U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz and close confidant of President Trump. Also, as is always the case, guests will hear from local Republican elected officials, including U.S. Congressman Ross Spano. Finally, RPOF Chairman Sen. Joe Gruters will provide an update on the 2020 Florida election cycle and the upcoming 2019 Statesman Dinner in December in Orlando.
Looking to the future, Chairman Waurishuk, providing a glimpse into 2020 dinner speakers, hinted about bringing in a person who will likely be one of, if not, the most sought after speaker over the next year or so – not mentioning their name, he did say, it will happen. At the same time, he anticipates perhaps several Trump 2020 rallies with the President in Hillsborough, noting in 2016 and 2018, Mr. Trump made 7 visits to Hillsborough. The Colonel was involved in the planning for all of them, serving as a keynote speaker and or the emcee in several.
“The party has many challenges going into 2020, but nothing we can’t deal with," he said. "Every day we are hit with obstacles and potential tripwires, either circumstantial or deliberate.”
Waurishuk, however, believes his great team will certainly help him navigate and resolve those challenges. He recognized that having the Trump campaign co-locate and working side-by-side will serve the party for 2020, seeing this as a potential benefit for the county and state down-ballot candidates and Republicans running for reelection.
“Our party will no doubt be in the battle for the heart and soul of the county, the state of Florida, and America,” he explained. “We are going to do all we can to make sure we are ready and prepared for whatever the opposition throws at us. We will be working closely in our county, with our county and state Republican races, working closely with the RPOF, and the Trump 2020 Victory Campaign as part of Florida’s overall effort to ensure we help secure a second term for our President Trump.”
"Every Republican’s vote contributes to the overall effort.” The Chairman noted. "This will translate to wins for our state and local elected officials in Hillsborough county.”