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0000017a-3b40-d913-abfe-bf44a4f90000Howard Wilkinson joined the WVXU news team as the politics reporter and columnist in April 2012 , after 30 years of covering local, state and national politics for The Cincinnati Enquirer. On this page, you will find his weekly column, Politically Speaking; the Monday morning political chats with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik and other news coverage by Wilkinson. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Wilkinson has covered every Ohio gubernatorial race since 1974, as well as 16 presidential nominating conventions. Along with politics, Wilkinson also covered the 2001 Cincinnati race riots, the Lucasville prison riot in 1993, the Air Canada plane crash at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 1983, and the 1997 Ohio River flooding. And, given his passion for baseball, you might even find some stories about the Cincinnati Reds here from time to time.

Jerry Springer: Trump Doesn't Understand What America Is All About

Howard Wilkinson

PHILADELPHIA – Jerry Springer is many things to many people.

To those who have were in Cincinnati in the 1970s and 1980s, he was a Cincinnati council member and mayor; and later a local TV news anchor.

For millions of others around the world, he has been in recent decades the host of a raucous TV talk show that is likely at any time to break out into chair-throwing fights.

But to those who know him best, he is an immigrant to this country, the son of Jewish parents who fled to London to escape Nazi oppression, and someone who had many family members slaughtered in the Holocaust.

And a man who takes very seriously what he calls the "idea of America."

Thursday morning he stopped by the Ohio delegation breakfast to talk about that idea – a nation of freedom where all have been welcome, whether fleeing from oppression or seeking a better life for their families.

That idea, Springer said, is under threat.

The threat, he said, is Donald Trump.

"Now we have somebody running for president who wants to replace the Statue of Liberty with a wall," Springer said.

With Trump's candidacy, Springer asks, "are we telling the world that we don't really believe this – this American idea? If that's the case, then don't be standing up in the seventh inning stretch singing 'God Bless America.'"

In this election, Springer said, "we’ve got to save the America idea. We have to show that our sons and daughters who have died protecting it did not die in vain."

Trump, Springer said, "disrespects the presidency."

"He thinks he can run for the presidency as an entry into politics?," Springer said. "Seriously?"

"You don't bring the apprentice into the White House," Springer said, referring to Trump's reality TV show, "The Apprentice."

In one way, Springer suggested, he is like Trump.

"I'm a talk show host of a reality program," Springer said. "But I shouldn't be president of the United States."

"Don’t worry, though," the 72-year-old international celebrity said. "I can't run. I wasn't born in this country."

Howard Wilkinson is in his 50th year of covering politics on the local, state and national levels.