Bob Livingston backs Donald Trump: We haven’t seen 'unusual appeal' like his since Ronald Reagan _lowres

Former House Speaker Bob Livingston-designate leaves after a closed-door meeting with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Monday, in Washington. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Former New Orleans-area Congressman Bob Livingston was one of several Republican establishment members to throw their support Monday behind Donald Trump’s presidential bid.

Now partner in the Livingston Group, one of Capitol Hill’s most influential lobbying groups, Livingston attended a gathering Trump allies put together in hopes of wooing members of the GOP power structure to back the New York City real estate developer and reality television star’s presidential campaign. Trump has been running as an outsider, often sharply criticizing elite in both major parties.

“The American people are expressing themselves loudly in just about every state, most of the primaries and he’s getting most of the votes,” Livingston told CNN. “And for me that’s very, very important. I want to see the American people heard and I want to see Donald Trump president.”

Bloomberg Politics quoted Livingston saying, “Donald Trump has an unusual appeal, the likes of which we haven’t seen much since Ronald Reagan.”

Livingston represented Louisiana’s First Congressional District seat from 1977 to 1999. He chaired the powerful House Appropriations Committee in the 1990s and was in line to become speaker of the House but resigned amid scandal over an extramarital affair.

Livingston had helped rally support behind former state Rep. Woody Jenkins’ unsuccessful run for U.S. Senate in 1996. Jenkins is a co-chairman of the Trump Louisiana team.

As a lobbyist, Livingston’s clients include Sasol, Tulane University, the city of New Orleans, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Verizon Corp.

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich along with prominent Republican lobbyists Trent Lott, who was a senator from Mississippi and former U.S. Senate majority leader, and Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, also backed Trump.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, of Texas, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich are the two major GOP candidates still in the race against Trump.

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