Kristol on Donald Trump: 'I Think He Will Lose Iowa'

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8:39 | 12/27/15

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Transcript for Kristol on Donald Trump: 'I Think He Will Lose Iowa'
Time for us to elevate this debate from sound bites without solutions and start discussing how we'll make the country better. I'm being called to lead by helping to clear the field so that the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive, conservative alternative to the current front-runner. We spent a lot of time developing detailed policy papers. Clearly, there wasn't a lot of interest in those policy papers. The future of the country will be in your hands if the president of the United States. This is not a game show, this is not a reality show. Gop governors and senators left by the wayside in Donald Trump's wake. All taking a parting shot at the republican front-runner. We're back now with the powerhouse roundtable. Taking on where the gop stands now and where we're heading in 2016. Bill, how is it, why is it that, despite this relent series of attacks on Donald Trump, nothing stops it -- in fact, the guys who hit him the hardest are gone. I think the republican primary voters don't like the media, so trump's words with the media helped trump. They don't like the republican congressional leadership. They have really tucked themselves into -- a certain chunk of the republican electorate has talked themselves into disliking. The question is, is that 25% of the republican primary electorate? 35 .? Could it be 45%? You have been predicting his demise for months. I have, and I'm sticking with it. What's the point of changing now? That's pathetic. If I'm right I can say I'm early. If I'm wrong, I won't get any credit here in late December. No, I think he'll lose Iowa. Once he loses Iowa that's a big moment. So much of trump's appeal depends on his mystique. I'm a winner. I'm a winner, I'm ignoring the usuals in politics. If there's an actual vote in Iowa, and you see it on the screen, if it's Cruz 47,000, trump 41,000, I think at that point the sort of -- the mystique is gone. At that point I think he's very vulnerable. Do you think trump can be a candidate like anyone else? I think the question is, what can happen? If he loses Iowa, what's his playbook? He doesn't seem to have one at the moment. What does he do next? He doesn't seem to be fund-raising a lot. He's not hiring pollsters. What does it look like when he goes past February? At trump headquarters, on 5th avenue in trump tower, there's almost nobody there. He has a campaign manager, a press secretary. This a shoestring campaign. A winning campaign so far. A shoestring by a billionaire. Yes. I have been really amused watching the republican establishment try to bring it back to some normalcy. Back when he was talking about birther, he was challenging Obama's grades in college. You didn't hear all this, he's out of line. When he said he was a Muslim, you didn't hear the leadership say, muslims are Americans -- They ignored him. They also embraced the energy that he's been feeding. Now, they can't bring it back down, if because he's inspired this group of people more than the establishment. Okay, I want to put all you guys on the spot, sorry about this, I want to hear specific predictions on Iowa and new Hampshire? Three months from now you'll play a tape back. Before I do my prediction, the thing that's driving this election more than anything else, it's not personalities per Se, it's the American public and the gop is looking for strength and Donald Trump portrays that. He's the only candidate right now. So, Iowa, I think this race right now, comes down to two candidates right now. It is Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. I couldn't tell you who's going to win that race. I side with Ted Cruz winning it just because of his support among social conservatives. Another interesting story is, who will show in that? Who will show in that race? The third finisher in that race could be very important going into New Hampshire. New Hampshire? I think Donald Trump wins new Hampshire. South Carolina? And I think Donald Trump wins South Carolina. Okay. I have Cruz, trump, trump. Cruz trump, trump? I think Cruz wins Iowa. One of the governors could win New Hampshire, either Christie or kasich. I don't believe trump will winnetter of the first two. Trump will come back and win South Carolina. So, I think a split result which means the race goes a long way. The one thing that I have been wrong about is this notion that the trump bubble will burst. He's in for the long haul. He has more organization than people think. Certainly in Iowa. In Iowa. In New Hampshire. If you go to the headquarters, what you see is what he lets you see. It's not an amateur campaign. Trump is in for the long haul. Cruz is in for the long haul. One or two of the three, Christie, Rubio and kasich. I'm going to say trump in Iowa. Part of the reason why, I was at a trump rally a few weeks ago. I asked a lot of his supporters this question, would you be willing to switch your allegiance to Ted Cruz? Lot of people were almost furious at the notion that Cruz would come in and beat trump in the state of New Hampshire, I'm going with Christie. I think no one can pull off a town hall quite like Chris Christie. South Carolina, Cruz. If trump wins Iowa he runs the table. Okay, so, when will we know? When it will be clear that we have a presumptive nominee? I disagree slightly with bill on this, this is a national race until we get to Iowa. For 30 days it's a state by state race. For state S then it becomes a national race. I think by mid-march, we'll pretty much know who they need. They may not have the delegates they need. Somebody is going to win 16 of them. I have a hard time believing that anyone is going to overtake trump at this point. I really do. Earlier, you said, Matthew, you thought that trump could stop himself. It seems as he had been to stop himself for months, saying these really bombastic, highly offensive things -- So, when do we know? I think we already know. One of the interesting things about the polls -- is trump does very well in these national polls. He continues to take off. In actual state polls, early state polls, where they're more focused on the race and voting he's weaker. In Iowa, he's behind Cruz. I think as voters get more serious, there's some falloff from trump. He doesn't disappear, he doesn't go away. He has a corps of support. This is a hope and a prayer. What is wrong with a hope and prayer? Nothing. Bill, when does he go down? He fights it out through the primary on March 1st and March 15th. Convention? Could be. I think this will be a nominee in late March. March 15th has Ohio and Florida, winner take all. They're both very interesting states this year. Kasich is from Ohio. Rubio and bush from Florida. If someone could sweep those two states that could be very interesting. I think you could have something of a free for all, especially if they split Iowa and New Hampshire. Thank you, Mary, that's what we want. The man to watch is Paul Ryan. He'll have to be the kingmaker. Good luck finding brokers. Okay, before we go, a

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