Transcript for Bill Kristol: 'I'm pro-Carson and anti-Trump'
I would never mock a person that has difficulty. I would never do that. I'm telling you, I would never do it. I would never do it. I would never do it. I don't care if I liked the person or didn't, and I don't know this person. Donald Trump there defending himself, saying he didn't make fun of a disabled "New York times" reporter and the powerhouse roundtable is here. "Weekly standard" editor bill kristol. Maria Cardona and Matt Bai and ABC news' cokie Roberts. Cokie, do you believe him and does it matter? Nothing seems to matter to his base voters. They say whatever he says is fine. I think it was important that John kasich is now beginning to call him out. It's about time that others in the republican field start to say the emperor has no clothes and that is the case of course. Is that the case, bill kristol? The case Donald Trump is not telling the truth. And he -- I mean, he clearly knew what he was doing when he mocked the "New York times" reporter. He makes the pseudoapology that he seems to get away with. Was it an apology -- No, I said it was a pseudo-apology. This is thing that amazes me. About trump. We all get that he shoots from the hip. He's a straight talker. He says what he wants. He has absolutely zero capacity. He has demonstrated zero capacity in his campaign to say I'm sorry. I think that could be, to me, that's disqualifying in a leader. If you can't even reflect on the things that you say in the heat of the moment. And the voters don't agree, the latest Fox News poll shows he's viewed 40% honest. 55% not honest. But it doesn't seem to matter. And that's probably the worst part of this for republicans. Because it doesn't seem to matter to his voters and in fact, when he double-downs on his lies and untruths, when he blames the media for any misstatements he thinks they made, it makes his voters that much more about supporting him. Kasich says he doesn't have the majority of the voters. Kasich seems to be the one to be taking on Donald Trump now. And Cruz, Ted Cruz has taken the other side. The latest poll, Ted Cruz is number two in Iowa with 23% in the quinnipiac poll just behind trump at 25%. He will not attack trump. Where does that go? I think it could go all the way for Ted Cruz, he's very much sailing in trump's wake and hoping that trump will fall and that the voters will come to him, so he's doing nothing to alienate them. He took on the establishment in Texas and won and represents Texas in the senate, big state, I mean, he could make it. We just can't underestimate that the elected officials take on trump, it helps trump in a way because people have a deep distrust of our elected officials' competency and honesty. I mean, look at the leading candidates for republican nomination. Two first-term senators. All of these governors who have been in office, Rick Perry, 14 years. And other people's cases, two years. Maybe Christie can make a run. It's striking. We keep underestimating. I agree. Chris Christie just got that Manchester union leader endorsement. I think at any time that kind of endorsement is going to help it is now. But what I was going to say, probably this cycle more than any other, what the media says doesn't matter. In fact, could hurt a candidate in this primary process. At this point, I don't see a path where Donald Trump probably doesn't become the nominee. Oh, nonsense. Listen to this, bill. Said before that will but what can he say that he hasn't said before that will make his -- Hold on. 20% of the republican vote -- But if no one else drops off and he starts gaining -- That is where the superpacs make a difference. Exactly. You're shaking your head, Matt. The question, look, we know what we got with trump now, you have an inelastic base of support. He couldn't shake that today. The question is, the question is, you know, can he grow it? He has shown no capacity to grow it. What you're really looking at, the question you have to ask yourself is, can the governing establishment of the republican party at this point be like the tea party in 2012? They remained split, that's the scenario. I don't think establishments behave that way. I think, ultimately, they do congeal around one or two candidates. If that's the case, they'll eclipse Donald Trump. I want to talk about Ben Carson, you heard Ben Carson in Jordan meeting with refugees before the Paris attacks, you wrote that you regretted about having been so dismissive of the Carson's candidacy, he has the mind and soul of candidates. You still feel the same way? I do. I regretted lumping Carson with trump. I said neither was qualified to be president about two months ago. I think trump in my opinion -- I have come to loathe Donald Trump whereas I like and admire Ben Carson. He's a dekrunt human being. I think that interview showed that. He went over to Jordan, he's trying to think things through. His recommendation of sending more aid to the refugees in Jordan isn't crazy after all. I'm pro-carson and anti-trump. Ultimately, Carson won't be the nominee, either, which does the raise the question to cokie's point. And Chris Christie is in a little moment because of what happened in Paris. And terrorism once it becomes the primary issue it really does sink everybody else. -- Singh everything else. If people don't feel safe, nothing else matters. He's the best pure retail candidate in the field and that's why I think the union leader endorsement does matter. At this point. I think that establishment does have to congeal somewhere. He has a lot of strength as the candidate. We're running out of time. We'll let you guys go. Thank you.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.