ROBERT ARDINI FOR PRESIDENT
Robert Ardini - the 2016 Republican Nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives in Trump’s New York Congressional District - is challenging the President for the 2020 Republican nomination.
“I support President Trump and hope and pray everything he is doing will be hugely successful. And it may. Trump is a lucky guy. But if left to my own devices, I would do some things differently when it comes to the national debt, budget deficit, foreign affairs, term limits, gridlock, and health care. And, the most effective way I can bring attention to MY solutions, is to step up and run for President.” - Robert Ardini
Robert Ardini, Republican Candidate for President in 2020
When Ardini sought a House seat in 2016, he received 50,000 votes despite having run in an overwhelmingly Democrat District. That District is often referred to as the highest-profile Congressional District in the country because of its affluent residents such as Trump. In that 2016 election, Ardini received nearly twice the number of votes as Trump in the Manhattan portion of their mutual Congressional District.
“That campaign was the ride of a lifetime. So much so, I just published a book about it: Running for Congress in Trump’s Backyard. One full chapter is devoted to Trump and my dozen attempts to introduce myself to him and Melania. I thought that he would, at the very least, like to be familiar with the Republican running for the U.S. House in his own Congressional District; but that wasn’t the case.” - Robert Ardini
Ardini wasn’t seeking a campaign contribution from Trump, nor was he looking for the mogul to host a fundraiser for him. All that Ardini wanted was for Trump to send out one tweet suggesting that NYC Trump supporters visit Ardini’s campaign website.
Ardini adds “What’s ironic is that many of the alleged actions Trump and some of his people are presently being questioned about, took place at the very same time Trump and his team were ignoring my overtures. If only they focused on what, in my opinion, they should have been - showing a little interest in helping Trump’s local Republican get elected to Congress - they might not be in the hot water they are today!”
But Ardini is quick to say that his challenging the President for the Republican nomination is not any kind of retaliation for Trump ignoring his campaign. Ardini points to a quote from his book: “After all, he (Trump) really must know what he’s doing because he’s the President and I’m not.”
Ardini has had a varied career. He was an Advertising Executive, Trustee, Investor, Editor/Publisher, and Small Business Owner. His success in these roles gave him the financial independence to now be in a position to devote his life to making our country a better place. His 2016 campaign for Congress was his first run for political office. He is a self-described Libertarian-leaning Republican, and Roman Catholic. He considers himself very conservative on fiscal matters, and moderate on most social concerns. His number one ‘pet issue’ is the space program. He states: “Where would we be if Spain didn’t fund Columbus’ voyage to the New World?”
In terms of giving back to the community, the first volunteer position he held was in fourth grade. He was Student Body Treasurer of his elementary school. By the time he was 35 he had been President of five different organizations - garden clubs, professional societies, even his apartment association. And, by age 40, he had already served a three year term on the national Board of Directors of The American Rose Society. He is now 58.
Some other key facts about the candidate include the following:
HEALTH: Pope Francis and Ardini have something unique in common; they both lost a lung early in life.
TRAVEL: Ardini has been to all seven continents.
MUSIC: He is a classical pianist and is a student descendant of Beethoven. (That means that if you trace back his student-teacher relationships a few generations, you’ll find Beethoven.)
BACKGROUND: Ardini is of mostly Italian and German descent and was born and raised in Queens, New York. (President Trump and Ardini share not only the same present day New York Congressional District, but also the same place of birth.) In subsequent years, Ardini moved a few times but has always lived within a 15 mile radius of where he was born. His late father was a NYC Department of Sanitation worker and his late mother was an immigrant stay-at-home mom. Ardini currently resides in Long Island City, NY in a high rise overlooking the East River and Manhattan skyline.
EDUCATION: Ardini is a graduate of NYC’s prestigious LaGuardia High School of Music and the Arts. (That’s the school on which the movie and TV program “Fame” was based.) His Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing was conferred by the University of the State of New York with some of the coursework having been done at The Juilliard School.
ROSES: A passion of his is growing roses (our national flower) and is recognized as an expert by The American Rose Society.
NO PARROT TO PARTY POLICY
In theory, Ardini thought it would have been prudent for him to first garner experience in the U.S. House of Representatives, or the U.S. Senate, before fathoming a run for his party’s Presidential nomination. He ran for the House in his Congressional District in 2016 but, despite receiving 50,000 votes, he still lost because his District is overwhelmingly Democrat. He considered running for the U.S. Senate, but it’s been over 25 years since a Republican was elected to the Senate from New York.
In practice, Ardini knows things worked out for the best. He explains: “Had I first served in Congress, I may have become overly partisan. I’ll explain. When you’re elected to Congress - whether as a Republican or Democrat - you are ‘encouraged’ to vote the party line. Because if you don’t, you might find yourself with less significant or fewer committee appointments, limited financial support at re-election time or, worse yet, a primary opponent!”
REALISTIC PATH TO VICTORY
Ardini is clear that he is ‘in it to win it’ and has a strategy to make that happen. He states: “My path to victory is hinged on doing well, in both the Iowa Caucuses and the new Hampshire Primary. I absolutely need that national exposure to generate interest in my campaign in the other 48 states. Normally, it would be difficult for someone unknown outside of New York to make an impression in those two states; however since the usual party stalwarts - such as Rubio, Ryan, Santorum, etc. - generally don’t run against the incumbent, I may have a slightly easier time at it. In fact the incumbent often runs unopposed, so it may simply come down to a Primary between the President and myself.”
Ardini is aware that, in terms of fundraising, he can’t expect to compete with the President’s ‘machine’ so he won’t even try. He plans to conduct a ‘Bernie Sanders grassroots-type’ campaign where the bulk of his donations stem from small individual contributors. He wants to be thought of as the ‘alternative Republican choice to Trump.’
Now that Ardini has officially declared himself a candidate, and his campaign infrastructure is up and running, he will be spending as much time as possible speaking at Republican groups in Iowa, and New Hampshire, in an effort to garner widespread support.
To date Ardini’s greatest obstacle has been the Republican Party itself. He has contacted the National Chair more than once to express his interest and seek direction. He has also attempted to communicate with the Chairs of the Iowa Republican Party - in hope of getting a list of Republican Clubs and their contact information in each of Iowa’s 99 counties. However all of these efforts have gone unanswered to date. According to Ardini “This is perfectly normal. When you have an incumbent up for re-election, the last thing you want is a Primary Challenger. So I never expected to be welcomed with open arms. But I will persist!”
TRUMP’S PERSONAL ATTACKS
When asked about running against an incumbent famous for personal attacks - “Little Marco,” “Crooked Hillary,” “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer,” to name a few - Ardini says he is not concerned: “Trump is never the FIRST to ‘go personal’ so all I have to do is stick to the ISSUES and we’ll have a very civilized campaign. That’s what I did for my 2016 Congressional run, and I got a lot of good press for running a respectable campaign and not participating in any mud-slinging.”
HIS OWN PUBLICIST
Ardini has taken the unconventional step of serving as his own Publicist - at least for the early stages of the campaign. With a degree in Marketing and lots of career experience in Public Relations, he feels that no one can articulate his positions on the issues better than himself.
This is yet something more he may have in common with President Trump, who is rumored to also have acted as his own Publicist years earlier. However, unlike Ardini, Trump is alleged to have presented himself (over the phone) as a different person using a name other than his own.
MORE ON THE BOOK
Running for Congress in Trump’s Backyard begins with brief reflections on early life experiences that served as a launching pad for Ardini’s race. He explains how the late Anna Nicole Smith became an essential element. Then the author offers an abbreviated step-by-step account of events from the time he simply 'expressed interest' all the way through election night.
The book offers an insider’s view of the Manhattan Republican Party and the esteemed Metropolitan Republican Club. Expect President Trump, Ivanka Trump and even Kellyanne Conway to factor in prominently.
Ardini’s account is also a must read for anyone considering a first run for Congress. In an entertaining style, he streamlines the process, identifies problems and opportunities, and talks strategy.
Part 2 of the book is devoted to Ardini’s positions on the issues - the very issues with which he disagrees with Trump. Don’t expect boilerplate Republican rhetoric from this politician. After all, his campaign slogan is “A Moderate Republican Even a Democrat Can Like.™