Wayne Allyn Root is a conservative politician and commentator. Originally from New York, Root lives in Las Vegas and has led a colorful life, working as a radio commentator and a sports handicapper, among many other things.
He’s also the author of several books about American politics, including one about the popularity of Donald Trump. Root has been a friend of Trump’s for many years, and some observers say the two men have a lot in common.
On Thursday night, Root is slated to be the opening speaker at a rally Trump is holding in Las Vegas.
Here’s what you need to know about Wayne Allyn Root:
1. He’s the Son of a Butcher
Root grew up in Mount Vernon, New York, a neighborhood just outside of the five boroughs (it sits right on the border between the Bronx and Westchester). He describes his father in loving, over the top terms. In one of his columns Root wrote, “I’m a son of a butcher, small businessman, serial entrepreneur, home-school father, capitalist evangelist, warrior for the middle class, Reagan conservative with libertarian leanings and relentless believer in the greatness of America.”
Root went on to talk about his own many remarkable accomplishments.
“I’d never been to Las Vegas when I decided to become King of Vegas,” Root wrote. “I turned my oddsmaking talents into a million-dollar industry leader. My odds and sports handicapping advice was featured in media across the globe, attracting more than 3 million callers and clients. Only in America.”
2. He Called Trump ‘One of the Handsomest Billionaires Who Ever Lived’
Back in 2016, when Trump was running for election and women were accusing him of sexual misconduct, Root came up with a surprising defense for his friend: Root argued that Trump was so handsome, and so desirable, that women just threw themselves at him, so he never “had” to grop anyone.
Root went on The Right Side, a talk radio show hosted by Joe Messina, and said, “If you’re a Christian, you just can’t spend your life worrying about the words of Donald Trump from 11 years ago, or what women he groped 30 years ago. I don’t believe any of it anyway. I believe Donald Trump is one of the handsomest billionaires that’s ever lived; I don’t think he ever had to grope a single woman ever. I think they threw themselves at him, so it’s all a lie.”
Root admitted that Trump isn’t a “perfect Christian,” but said that Trump was “the perfect guy sent from God and from central casting to be the vicious guy we needed to save America, save capitalism, fight the Clinton crime cartel and save Christianity from these vicious, vicious people. They’re terrible, dirty people and a nice guy could have never won this war. Only a dirty player could win the war, so I think Donald’s the perfect guy, sent by God to fill the perfect role and save us all.”
3. He Ran For President as a Libertarian in 2008
In 2007, Root announced that he was running for president. A former Republican, Root announced that he would be seeking nomination on the Libertarian ticket. Many people doubted thta Root had much of a chance — after all, Root lives in Las Vegas, and makes much of his living handicapping sporting events — which, for better or worse, is not a job often associated with presidents.
In the event, former congressman Bob Barr won the Libertarian nomination and selected Root to be his candidate for vice president. At the time, Root told the New York Times that the 2008 race was just a dry run for his future political career; he said he plans to be elected president in 2020.
“Bob Barr and I are going to get a million to three million votes this year,” he told a Times reporter. “In 2012 I expect to duplicate Ross Perot’s number of 19 million. In 2016 I expect to be a credible third-party candidate, and in 2020 I plan to win.”
4. Root’s Many Books Include One Called ‘The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide’
Root is a best-selling author whose many, many books can be loosely divided into two categories: books about gambling, and books about politics. The gambling books include works like “The Joy of Failure!: How to Turn Failure, Rejection, and Pain into Extraordinary Success” and “The Zen of Gambling.”
The political books include the sinister-titled “The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide: How to Survive, Thrive, and Prosper During Obamageddon.” The “Obama Survival Guide” promises to prepare readers for the coming of a “socialist” president. A teaser for the book reads, “Build your wealth.Protect your faith and family.Secure your freedom. Don’t just survive Obama…learn how to outsmart his big-government, socialist system and thrive!”
5. Root is Married to a ‘Stunningly Beautiful Blond Goddess’ and Has Three Kids
Root writes about his wife, Debra, in glowing terms. In his book “King of Las Vegas,” Root describes Debra as a “stunningly beautiful blond goddess” who speaks five language and has a PhD in homeopathic healing. He writes that she used to be a singer with Ginger Baker and Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. He also calls her a “spiritual dynamo” and brags that she gave up show business to be his wife.
The Roots have three children: Dakota, Hudson, and Remington. Dakota qualified for the junior olympics in fencing and reportedly got a perfect score on her SATs. Root describes Hudson approvingly as a “macho Daddy’s boy” who is “strong as a bull” and describes his youngest, Remington Reagan, as strong and promising (Remington was just two when the book was written).