Praise for billionaire battling Trump

From Miami, Michael B. Fernandez has launched a national ad campaign against Donald Trump.
From Miami, Michael B. Fernandez has launched a national ad campaign against Donald Trump.

A Cuba-born billionaire from Coral Gables has leapt onto the tracks to stop a runaway freight train in the form of another really rich guy, Donald Trump.

Michael B. Fernandez, founder of MBF Healthcare Partners, is courageously jumping in where powerful Republican donors, politicians and, unfortunately, even some GOP candidates running for president — have feared to go. Mr. Fernandez is saying “Enough!” to Mr. Trump’s racist, xenophobic — and wildly popular — rants. And he is spending in the millions to get his message out to the rest of the country.

Mr. Fernandez, known locally as a patriotic political donor whose opinion matters, this past weekend purchased several full-page ads in major newspapers, including the Miami Herald, denouncing the tone and spirit of Mr. Trump’s campaign, whom he calls a “bullyonaire.”

Others powerful voices frustrated with the trajectory of Mr. Trump’s campaign should do the same. There’s nothing to lose but the very values and principles that Americans of all stripes say that they hold dear. Mr. Fernandez says that the stakes are that high should Mr. Trump become the Republican nominee — and eventually president.

“I am stunned that the American electorate could fall for this clown,” he told the Editorial Board. “So it must not be the clown, it’s the circus that is represented by those in office in D.C., that they are targeting their anger to.”

Jeb Bush, lost in the weeds, is Mr. Fernandez’s preferred candidate. He says he has donated $3 million to Mr. Bush’s struggling quest. But Mr. Fernandez describes himself “as a reasonable conservative, but an American first” and says that he is not driven by his support by a particular candidate but by his love for this country. Mr. Trump has lied about the rate of black crime, mocked a physically challenged reporter, insensitively referred to a group of Jewish Republicans as “you folks” and spewed vitriol against immigrants.

Mr. Fernandez himself is an immigrant who made the bulk of his fortune in insurance and real estate and is grateful to the country that opened its doors to him and his parents as they escaped Fidel Castro’s dictatorship in the early 1960s.

Here’s an excerpt from Mr. Fernandez’s full-page ad: “Today, in our midst, one “popular” man stands first in the polls. The more divisive and outrageous he is, the more he appeals to some people. … Mr. Trump portrays himself as someone who can do no wrong … But his words and actions tell us who he really is — a destroyer.”

Those are fighting words, and Mr. Trump is, if nothing else, a master pugilist.

However, Mr. Fernandez told the Board, “For him to succumb to attacking a poor Cuban immigrant who only inherited great values from his parents would be below the blue-blood standing of a silver-spoon-fed brat who inherited millions.”

And the businessman is in this for the long haul. “I’ve budgeted a seven-figure amount between now and November” for his ad campaign against Mr. Trump.

It’s past time for responsible Republicans to follow Mr. Fernandez’s lead. The question to Mr. Trump is the same that attorney Joseph Welch asked Sen. Joe McCarthy during his hearings to flush out imagined Communists: “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?”

Unfortunately, we suspect Mr. Trump’s response would be wholly disappointing and worse, proudly bombastic. Commend Mr. Fernandez for engaging this most unpresidential presidential candidate.