Leading conservative Bill Kristol says there's no need for Donald Trump to apologize to Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, whom the billionaire developer welcomed back from vacation by tauntingly re-tweeting the words, "the bimbo [is] back in town."
"It's good publicity, it didn't hurt him the first time," Kristol said Tuesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"It seems like maybe it's a little excessive. On the other hand, people in the news business say things about other people, so they shouldn't be too thin-skinned. I'm not really disturbed by it."
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Trump first went to war with Kelly after she questioned him during the first GOP presidential debate about past remarks in which he called women he didn't like "fat pigs," "dogs," "slobs" and "disgusting animals."
Trump went on to rip Kelly as "highly overrated,"
and said she had "blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her ... wherever." Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes eventually brokered a peace treaty.
But on Tuesday, Ailes demanded an apology after Trump reignited the fight in a series of tweets and retweets, among them:
Kristol, founder and editor of The Weekly Standard, said Trump's latest salvo might "antagonize a fair number of Megyn Kelly fans who you'd think Trump might want to have on his side."
But he added that Trump's ability to say whatever he wants and continue to gain popularity speaks volumes.
"I wouldn't want to second-guess Trump. 'He shouldn't have said this, he shouldn't have done that.' It seems like every time he does one of these things, it doesn't hurt him," Kristol said.
"All the conventional political analysis of him is wrong. The conventional analysis is when he says not only should we build a border wall but we should make Mexicans pay for it, right? And the conventional wisdom is even for border hawks like you and me, we would probably say, 'come on, Mexico's not going to pay for it.'
"By the way, that's precisely what people love, that he's willing to stick it to our adversaries and to the people who are taking advantage of us."
Kristol said he believes Vice President Joe Biden will announce he's jumping into the race for the Democratic presidential nomination in two to three weeks and will have President Barack Obama's blessing.
"Biden wants to run, he plans to run, President Obama probably, certainly prefers Biden to Hillary Clinton. If you're the VP, you pretty much run on continuing the president's record whereas Hillary Clinton will try to distance herself from those parts of Obama's record that look unpopular, Kristol said.
"And if you think about it, historians will look back and if Hillary Clinton were to run or win, Barack Obama becomes an interesting kind of interlude in a Clinton hegemony....
"Whereas if Biden runs and wins, that's the mark of a successful American president, above all. [Ronald] Reagan's … proof of his having great accomplishments was that [George H.W.] Bush was his vice president."
Kristol said that if Biden were to win the presidency, it would amount to Obama's third term.
"In a way, if the vice president's not personally that talented politically — George H. W. Bush, a fine man, wasn't a really great political candidate — to win really showed how powerful Reagan's coattails were," he said.
"And if Biden's not that successful, if he now runs as Obama's VP and wins, that makes Obama a Reagan-like figure, one of only two since World War II would have had a third term."
Kristol also said the White House likely wants Biden to team up with Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts as his vice-presidential running mate.
"From a Democratic point of view, that's a reasonable ticket. It avoids all the Hillary baggage, it gets the woman in the ticket, the left wing is satisfied with Warren, and working class Democrats can identify with Biden," he said.
Kristol said he has a far-fetched scenario of what may happen if the first Democratic debate on Oct. 13th is a dud.
"What if there's the debate … and none of them is really good and someone looks up and notices, 'gee, this is kind of stale,' and figures, Biden's run twice before, Hillary's run once before, Bernie Sanders is a 73-year-old socialist," he said.
"Then doesn't Elizabeth Warren say, 'you know what, I'm really the one the Democrats are waiting for?' I got to say, at some level, if political parties were human and had wishes and instincts and preferences, she is the one they want. They want to be for Elizabeth Warren."
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