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Bill Kristol: Conservative Republican Could Win in 2016

By Wanda Carruthers   |   Tuesday, 20 Aug 2013 02:00 PM

Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol says a Republican candidate who embraces conservative values has a good chance of winning the White House in 2016, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is presently on the outs with many conservatives in his party.

"It is so wide open. The guy that can tap into the sense that conservatives need to be conservative, and need to be about change and reform, but also about governing, could really be powerful," Kristol said Tuesday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

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"If you're a strong candidate, and you make your case, you can win," he said.

Kristol weighed in on Gov. Christie, who appears to be eyeing a bid for president in 2016.
"Christie will need to make a national case. It's not enough to say, "'I was a good governor of New Jersey,'" he said.

But he added, "I think he's acceptable to an awful lot of Republicans, and admired by a lot of Republicans. The key is, can he persuade them he will govern as a strong conservative, which doesn't mean a dogmatic conservative on every issue. But I do think that will be his challenge."

"Christie should be the guy that says, 'We need an aggressive reform conservatism,'" Kristol continued. "'We need to govern the country, and change in it in a conservative, practical direction. Here's a conservative health care reform agenda and financial agenda, and tax reform agenda.'

"Whichever Republican candidate does that — Chris Christie, Scott Walker, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz — anyone who does that, could well be the nominee," Kristol added.

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