Tags: Trump Administration | GOP2016 | Marco Rubio | | Steve Malzberg Show | bill kristol | marco rubio

Bill Kristol to Newsmax: Rubio Can Overcome Momentum Loss

 

By    |   Monday, 08 Feb 2016 09:03 PM

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio may have suffered a setback in his momentum when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie challenged his canned answers during Saturday's GOP presidential debate, but it wasn't a "Rick Perry" moment killing his campaign, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol tells Newsmax TV. 

Then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry's debate flub in 2012 "fit into a narrative that had plenty of other evidence unfortunately," Kristol said Monday on "The Steve Malzberg Show." Kristol said he likes Perry, but "he hadn't really studied up to be president."

Rubio, on the other hand knows foreign policy and can overcome the misstep, Kristol said, though he wouldn't say there was no damage.

But Christie did not help himself in the attack either, Kristol said. The voters he talked to weren't inclined to move toward Christie, he said.

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will probably outperform the polls, Kristol predicted, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz may do better than expected while front-runner Donald Trump may lose a bit of his lead while still cruising to a win.

"There are more conservatives in New Hampshire than people think," he said.

Kristol said he sees Rubio as the most conservative of the lot.

"I think on the constitutional issues, on the life issue, on fighting Obamacare, pretty unequivocally Rubio," he said. "I like and respect Ted Cruz. That's kind of where my choice is, but I also think Rubio's competing in New Hampshire."

The moderate Republicans in New Hampshire and unaffiliated voters who can choose which primary to vote in are likely to aid Kasich and Bush, he said.

If Christie comes in at 4-6 percent he will likely drop out, Kristol said. If Bush gets 11 or 12 percent, he will probably stay in through South Carolina. Neurosurgeon Ben Carson will stay in through South Carolina probably through March 1. Businesswoman Carly Fiorina likely will stay in too, he said.

Kristol said he disagrees with the "political class" who wants to quickly narrow the field to two or three candidates.

"You know what, let the voters in more than one or two states make their decision," he said. "Let them fight, and let them argue."

Kristol said he met Trump at the Saturday debate and found him engaging, but he didn't change his mind on him.

"I told someone, 'Boy, you can see he's a fun guy to spend an evening with,'" he said. "I still don't think he should be president of the United States but he's a good, natural politician. The irony is he's probably a better natural politician than all the politicians."

Trump will likely spend millions on staying in the race if he sees himself as having a real chance to win the nomination, Kristol said "The question is if he falters, does he stay in the way of Cruz or Rubio or Kasich or a Bush would?"

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Florida Sen. Marco Rubio may have suffered a setback in his momentum when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie challenged his canned answers during Saturday's GOP presidential debate, but it wasn't a Rick Perry moment killing his campaign, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol...
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Monday, 08 Feb 2016 09:03 PM
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