On the Trump train

Cole McCafferty helps season steak at Tony Luke’s on Frankford Avenue. When he’s not cooking, he’s showing his support for President-elect Donald Trump. MARIA YOUNG / TIMES PHOTO

Count Cole McCafferty among those overjoyed at last week’s surprising results in the presidential race.

Cole, 11, endorsed Donald Trump in a video in August 2015. The youngster, then 10, said in the video he liked Trump’s views on ending illegal immigration, stopping the flow of jobs to China and addressing the national debt.

“Mr. Trump, you’re hired,” Cole said in the video, using a Trump line from when he hosted The Apprentice.

Now that Trump stunned Democrats by beating Hillary Clinton, Cole would entertain a job offer from the president elect, though he knows he might get edged out by Rudy Giuliani for secretary of state.

For now, Cole will stay employed at his dad’s Tony Luke’s franchise at 6716–18 Frankford Ave. in Mayfair. There, he makes fries and pork, portions onions, sweeps and cleans.

So how did Cole get to know and admire Trump?

It started when he read Trump’s books The Art of the Deal and The Art of the Comeback.

“I liked them. They were success stories. He’s a winner,” Cole said.

Cole lives in Old City. He’s a sixth-grader at St. Mary Interparochial School, at 5th and Locust streets.

In a recent standardized test, he scored in the top 2 percent nationwide.

His favorite TV show is Shark Tank, interesting because one of the “sharks” is Trump hater Mark Cuban. Cole also likes Pawn Stars.

Besides following the presidential campaign, working at Tony Luke’s and keeping good grades, he likes to play basketball.

Looking ahead, he wants to attend Roman Catholic High School and the University of Pennsylvania, Trump’s alma mater.

At Penn, he’d like to study medicine or law, with an eye toward politics.

“I’ve always been interested in politics, but this was the only campaign I’ve followed so far,” he said.

Early in the nominating process, he liked Trump to win the Republican nomination.

Cole did not care for the Democratic candidates.

“I didn’t like Hillary Clinton. I thought she was crooked,” he said.

Cole is no fan of Clinton’s primary rival.

“Bernie Sanders was preaching a United States where everything is free. That’s not possible,” he said.

Two of Cole’s top issues are lower taxes and the fight against terrorism.

During the campaign, he created a Twitter account and a For Cole’s Future Facebook page. He also made a series of follow-up videos to the one endorsing Trump.

One video was taken in front of a statue of a coal miner in Nanticoke, Luzerne County, where his mom’s family lives. The statue is a likeness of his late great-grandfather.

The Times Leader and Citizens’ Voice newspapers interviewed him.

Cole did not appreciate it when Clinton, in support of so-called “clean energy,” said at a town hall that, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business,”

“My great-grandfather was a coal miner. He died of black lung disease,” he said.

Coel also filmed videos in front of the Rocky statue, Independence Hall, during the Democratic National Convention and in the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.

In front of Independence Hall in August, as Trump slumped in the polls, Cole declared himself the candidate’s political adviser, urging him to focus on the economy and terrorism.

During the convention, he held a Trump sign between cardboard cutouts of Clinton and Sanders at a Center City hotel before being asked to scram by a security guard.

“He said, ‘You can’t do this. Get out of here.’ ”

The most popular video was inside the Cathedral, after reports that the Clinton campaign had made disparaging comments about Catholics.

In the video, Cole calls Clinton “deplorable,” the word she used to described half of Trump’s supporters.

“I am outraged at your campaign’s anti-Catholic bigotry,” Cole said.

The video has 789 comments, 6,252 shares and some 316,000 views.

While Cole has received a lot of support during the campaign, not everyone agrees with his political views.

On Facebook, a Florida man commented, “Someone kill this f — — — child”

Brian McCafferty, Cole’s dad, was shaken by that comment, but happy that his son otherwise had wide support.

“I’m proud of him,” he said.

The elder McCafferty, a Father Judge High School graduate, was impressed by the number of people who watched his son’s videos, especially the one in the Cathedral.

McCafferty also points to the publicity Cole received in Luzerne County, where Trump won by 20 percentage points. Four years ago, Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney by 5 percent.

Luzerne County helped Trump win the state by almost 66,000 votes, and McCafferty thinks his son helped.

“He had an impact on this Pennsylvania election,” he said.

One highlight of the campaign for Cole was attending Trump’s appearance in Newtown, Bucks County as a VIP. He shook Trump’s hand and met decorated Vietnam War veteran David Christian.

Another highlight, of course, was finding out Trump had won an improbable victory.

Cole’s bedtime is 8:30 p.m., and he had a big test the day after the election.

“I woke up the next day, and the first thing I did was check my phone to see if Donald Trump won, and he did,” he said. “I felt very excited.”

Someday, Cole hopes to be president.

“I would start off as mayor or senator and work my way up to president,” he said.

Cole, who’ll turn 12 on Dec. 30, is hoping to attend the Trump inauguration on Jan. 20, and expects to be invited to Eric Trump Foundation events.

In the meantime, he is hoping post-election demonstrations in Center City stay peaceful, but he thinks they should stop.

“It’s not going to change that Donald Trump is the president elect,” he said. ••

Cole McCafferty was happy with last week’s presidential election results.