Donald Trump has had an eye on Peyton Manning, former Denver Broncos quarterback, for close to a year and now Manning is on Trump’s team. Manning, a two-time Super Bowl champion, spoke following Trump and Vice President Mike Pence at a recent Republican retreat in Philadelphia. He donated to George W. Bush in 2004, Mitt Romney in 2012, and even Jeb Bush in 2015, but not to the winning candidate for the GOP. When Manning revealed that he would be alongside Trump and Pence at the retreat, it started rumors that he may be considering a political career.
In February 2016, prior to the Super Bowl featuring the Broncos Vs. the Panthers, Trump expressed his admiration of Manning to CBS News:
‘I very much have always liked Peyton Manning. He is a very good guy. I know him. And he is a very, very good guy. So, I have to go with the person I know and I like. I like the other team. I think the other team looks fantastic. Probably, they would be favored by something. But I will stick with Peyton, because he is a very good guy.’
Just four months prior to Trump expressing his support of Manning, both Peyton and Eli Manning had given donations in the maximum amount of $2700 to Bush. Following the donation, Bush bragged about his support for Manning in the Super Bowl, during his announcement of rooting for the Broncos to win specifically because he received a check from Manning.
Trump bragged to ABC’s David Muir while speaking to the CIA:
‘I got a standing ovation.In fact, they said it was the biggest standing ovation since Peyton Manning had won the Super Bowl and they said it was equal. I got a standing ovation. It lasted for a long period of time. … I know when I do good speeches. I know when I do bad speeches. That speech was a total home run. They loved it.’
Donald Jr. also kissed Manning’s ass when he Instagrammed a picture of himself with the former Bronco at the Mississippi county fair. Before all the publicized admiration from Trump, Manning hesitated to speak of him.
Manning denies hearing Trump call him a good guy and avoided saying if he was rooting for Trump during the Iowa caucus but commented:
‘I’ve met Donald Trump, I’ve played a round of golf with him a few times out in Tahoe … The times I’ve been around him, he’s been extremely nice to me. I’m rooting for the Broncos … I’m just a meathead football player. That’s all I know.’
Manning has decades of political contributions to Republican party members. In addition to the $2,700 he donated to Jeb Bush, he also has $5,000 given to Romney Victory Inc., a maximum $2,000 to George W. Bush in 2004, and is a well-known donor to Republicans in his college home, Tennessee.
Manning donated to Tennessee Senator Bob Corker in 2006 and 2009. Corker was being looked at for Secretary of State before being erased from the drawing board when Trump called the 5’7” Senator too short for the post. His height was just an additional issue, added by Trump’s team, to combine with accusations Corker had invested in friend’s and donor’s companies.
He also gave $2,600 to Senator Lamar Alexander and $2,300 to, previous Law & Order actor, Senator Fred Thompson in 2008.
The newly retired Manning may be an excellent candidate for a political career given his longtime involvement in politics and his positive self-image he has maintained over the years. In March, the Manning brothers are on the itinerary to speak at the annual Long Island Association luncheon that has previously hosted George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney, and Rudy Giuliani.
Featured Image via GettyImages/ Doug Pensinger