MTSU professor talks Donald Trump, Andrew Jackson comparisons - WSMV Channel 4

MTSU professor talks Donald Trump, Andrew Jackson comparisons

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Donald Trump visits Franklin on the campaign trail. (WSMV) Donald Trump visits Franklin on the campaign trail. (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

President Donald Trump will lay a wreath on President Andrew Jackson's tomb at the Hermitage during his Nashville visit this week, in honor of Jackson's 250th birthday.

Prior to Trump occupying the Oval Office, the president at times drew parallels between himself and the seventh president. During the November election, Trump's political team talked up his admiration for President Jackson. The president’s first order of business upon assuming the presidency was to hang a portrait of Andrew Jackson prominently in the Oval Office.

Trump confidante and political adviser Newt Gingrich says with Donald Trump, you get the personality of two previous presidents.

"He has the disruptive power of Andrew Jackson and the sheer energy of Theodore Roosevelt," Gingrich said.

John Vile, Middle Tennessee State University professor of political science and a presidential historian, said he sees a Jackson, Roosevelt personality in Trump, but Vile said the Jackson personality is more prominent.

"They are both larger than life figures, they are both politically incorrect, both are fiercely protective of their families, both are very forceful men," Vile said.

On the Roosevelt comparison, Vile said Teddy Roosevelt had similar views to President Trump on immigration.

"Roosevelt was very concerned about people who were less than 100 percent American," Vile said.

Where the comparison ends though, Jackson had a distinguished military career. And unlike President Trump, Jackson came from humble beginnings, pulling himself up by his bootstraps. Where the two align is in their political support. Jackson pulled his support from rural America.

"While he (Jackson) owned slaves and all of that, his identity was far more with the common man," Vile said.

Fast forward to the 2016 election, a similar pattern emerges for Trump.

"If you look at Trump, where is he getting his support? A lot of it from middle to lower class, particularly white people, who consider themselves left behind," Vile said.

Vile sums it up this way.

"I think it's partly Trump’s way of saying, I'm not always politically correct, I'm a big tall man, where I go, people pay attention to me," Vile said.  

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