Kristol Also Dismisses Campaign Shake-up: ‘The Problem is Donald Trump’
Tell us what you really think, Bill . . . Weekly Standard editor William Kristol has been one of Donald Trump’s harshest conservative critics. He really let it hang out on today’s Morning Joe, calling Trumpism “a new low” consisting of “Third-World, authoritarian, populist, demagogic politics.”
Earlier, Kristol sniffed off the significance of the major shake-up in the Trump campaign, in which Breitbart executive chairman Steve Bannon and consultant Kellyanne Conway have assumed leading roles: “I don’t think it matters, because the problem is Donald Trump.”
What do LI readers think about the Trump campaign shake-up? About a week ago, Kellyanne Conway, one of the two people elevated in the Trump campaign, appeared on one of the talking-head shows. I came away very impressed by her smart, tough, disciplined and nimble performance, to the point I thought that were I were ever in a political fight, I’d want Conway on my side. Whether that will make any difference at this point in the Trump campaign is another matter.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: So, what do you think about the campaign shake-up, first of all?
BILL KRISTOL: I don’t think it matters because the problem is Donald Trump. His unfavorable rating has been consistently too high to win a presidential election, and Hillary Clinton’s you’d normally say is too high, but it’s about 10 points lower than Trump’s, and that’s what it’s about.
. . .
ROBERT COSTA: The history of Breitbart is really telling if you want to understand this whole Trump evolution. It started out as an aggregation website closely aligned with the Drudge Report. When Andrew Breitbart passes away, Larry Solov, Breitbart’s friend, and Steve Bannon come in and take over the company. And this is where Trumpism before Trump really starts to marinate. Jeff Sessions is the Alabama senator. He’s constantly publishing op-eds on it. Sarah Palin’s doing interviews with Breitbart. This anti-illegal immigration strain of the right-wing Republican populism starts at Breitbart in 2010, 2011 as part of the Tea Party movement. And that gives Trump a base.
JOE: Trumpism started at Breitbart, you think?
COSTA: The beating heart of Trumpism started at Breitbart.
KRISTOL: But after Andrew’s death just to be clear about that. And again, it’s one thing to be against illegal immigration as a policy matter. I was against the Gang of Eight bill, to say that you should have tougher policies. It’s one thing to say you should have less legal immigration. That’s a serious public policy issue. It’s another thing to start castigating people and defining people by ethnicity, race, religion and so forth. That is trump. Trump in that respect is very different from the Tea Party types. You can criticize them all you want. But most of them were not Trumpites in that respect. Trump is a new low.
WALTER ISAACSON: Because of the racism and anti-Semitism that’s crept in.
KRISTOL: Yeah! And the person denigration of people. It really is Third-World, authoritarian, populist, demagogic politics.
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