“Honestly, if I were a Democrat, I would call me up and say, here’s a lot of money for a primary challenge – and we have talked to a lot of Democrats about this, obviously – against Donald Trump.”
The fervent Never-Trumper Bill Kristol appeared on This American Life podcast’s latest episode ‘The Wannabees’.
“If I were a Democrat, I would call me up and say, here’s a lot of money for a primary challenge against Donald Trump.” – Bill Kristol
The episode goes through aspects of the 2020 presidential election, focusing on the Democrat primaries and lack of Republican challengers to the sitting President.
Back when he helped start the Weekly Standard, Kristol stood alongside many he now fights against. He recently helped start a new publication, The Bulwark. But he remains better known for being anti-Trump than The Bulwark’s editor at large.
“I think if you were taking on a standing president from within your own party, there are kind of two paths. You can do it quietly, out of view, or you can do it the way Kristol has– by never shutting up about it on television and newspaper articles,” This American Life’s David Kestenbaum explained.
Recently accused of being in secret cabal to find challenger to Trump. Answered there’s nothing secret about it. Wish I’d had the wit to quote Burke: “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) May 21, 2019
Kristol conceded that a primary challenge against Trump was “pretty unlikely to succeed”. No candidate in history has won a primary challenge against a sitting president.
Kristol conceded that a primary challenge against Trump was “pretty unlikely to succeed.”
However, some sitting presidents who have been challenged in the primary lost the general election. This, Kristol said, is his strategy. He pointed out that the last three presidents were not challenged in the primaries for their second term.
Kestenbaum told Kristol, “You were pointing out, oh, [history] is on my side, in the sense that a sitting president challenged tends to lose. But that means what you’re doing is just an act of internal sabotage.”
“Well, people can say that,” Kristol replied. “They said that about the French who didn’t go along with Vichy. I mean, what are you supposed to do?”
After the baseless comparison of Trump and his supporters to Nazi collaborators, Kestenbaum attempted to discuss the historical statements being made. Kristol cut him off.
Kristol suggested Democrats should be calling him, and he says he has been talking to some, about running someone against President Trump. He said, “that’s actually the single best thing you can do to weaken Trump.”
“We don’t know which of [the Democratic candidates] will actually be a good nominee against Trump. The one thing you do know is if Trump has to spend money against the primary challenger, if he loses 32% of the vote in New Hampshire, which is entirely possible, and it’s embarrassing, it would be helpful to weaken Trump.”
Establishment Republicans like Kristol suffer as much from Trump Derangement Syndrome as the left does.
This prompted Kestenbaum to inquire what Kristol’s desired 2020 outcome is. “Is your goal to run somebody who’s going to win the nomination and maybe the presidency? Or is your goal just to take down Trump?”
Kristol responded, “Both. Obviously, the first would be the best. But I would regard the second as an adequate result, and I think actually an important result, if I can say.”
Establishment Republicans like Kristol suffer as much from Trump Derangement Syndrome as the left does. He doesn’t care who wins in 2020 – as long as it isn’t Trump.
Kristol is looking to sabotage Trump in the next election. Despite the state of the left – the near entire 2020 Democratic field wants healthcare for illegals and illegal immigration itself to be decriminalized – Kristol would rather see one of the left’s loons as President than ‘suffer’ under Trump for four more years.
You can read the full transcript of the podcast here.
Sofia Carbone is a junior editor at Human Events