When some local residents woke up on Saturday morning and checked out the top stories on The New York Times’ website, many were surprised to see a familiar face.
Leading off one of the Times top stories was former Republican candidate in the 12th Congressional District race, Eugene Yu.
The Korean-born Republican with deep roots in Augusta ran and lost against Congressman Rick Allen in both the 2014 and 2016 races.
But this time, Yu wasn’t being interviewed by The New York Times because of a political race.
Instead, he was being asked about President Donald Trump’s “fire and fury” comment last week regarding North Korea.
“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” Trump said from his golf club in New Jersey. “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen… he has been very threatening beyond a normal state. They will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.”
As a result of Trump’s remarks, The New York Times interviewed people from around the country about whether they were concerned about a future conflict with North Korea.
Yu told the times that he fully supported Trump’s statement against North Korea and its president, Kim Jong-un.
In fact, he said he was “thrilled” with Trump’s comments and couldn’t have said it better himself.
Yu insisted that it was the only kind of language a dictatorship understands.
“All of these North Korean experts in Washington — if they are so expert on the North Korean issue, we would have never been dealing with this today,” Yu told the Times reporter at Augusta’s Golden Corral restaurant. “We should have been dealing with this 10 years ago. They’re still saying, ‘We’ve got to have six-party talks, we’ve got to give this, we’ve got to have that.’ We’ve had enough.”
When some residents saw Yu photographed and quoted in the Times, they immediately thought that he was planning another run against Allen.
After all, in 2016, Yu described Allen on several occasions as a “RINO,” or a Republican In Name Only.
“In my opinion, he might as well resign from the Republican Party and go to the Democratic Party,” Yu told the Metro Spirit. “But people aren’t paying attention, so they just don’t know.”
Yu has campaigned in the past with the slogan, “A vote for Yu is a vote for you.”
He has told voters that he sincerely believes that he can make a difference in Washington, D.C. by listening to the concerns of his constituents, not lobbyists or career politicians.
“These career politicians are like bad salesmen,” Yu told the Metro Spirit during his campaign. “They are smooth talking, selling a bad product to folks.”
So does Yu’s latest appearance in The New York Times mean that he contemplating another run?
Not necessarily. Let’s not jump to conclusions.
After all, guess who else was featured in the Times’ article?
None other than WGAC Radio Talk Show Host Austin Rhodes.
Rhodes told the Times that President Trump had limited oratorical skills, and compared him to the rock singer Meat Loaf: “No matter what he sings, whether he tries to sing a Meat Loaf hit or opera, he’s going to be Meat Loaf.”
But in this case, Rhodes said, perhaps Trumpian bluster was exactly what was needed in response to North Korea as well as a number of troubled Middle Eastern countries. “You need to be ridiculously blunt,” Rhodes reportedly said. “Maybe this is the guy for the times, because Obama was not.”
And guess who else was in the story?
Congressman Rick Allen.
The Times reporter also attended a meeting of the Columbia County Republican Women group which was held in the back of a local Chinese restaurant that featured Allen as a speaker.
The reporter was surprised to discover that, in an opening prayer, a woman asked God to help make America great again.
Allen reportedly spoke to the crowd, assuring the members at the meeting that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, knew “exactly what to do” in this situation.
“So you can sleep well,” he reportedly told the group.
Only in Augusta, folks.