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Bill Kristol: Don't Underestimate Ted Cruz


By    |   Tuesday, 19 Jan 2016 05:24 PM

The Donald Trump-Ted Cruz battle for the GOP presidential nomination is a "good heavyweight fight" — but while most believe the brawling billionaire will trounce the Texas senator, Cruz in no way should be underestimated, Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, tells Newsmax TV.

"Cruz has a little better chance to win this fight with Trump than most people think. Most people think Trump is going to steamroll him," Kristol said Tuesday on "The Steve Malzberg Show."

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"I think Cruz is pretty tough and pretty able at this kind of infighting, but it's a heck of a fight I got to say. As just an observer, Trump, Cruz going at it — that's a pretty good heavyweight fight."

Kristol said he was impressed by Trump's performance in the sixth GOP presidential debate last week.

"I'm not pro-Trump, but I thought he had just objectively probably done a pretty good job in the debate and avoided any big blows … and he won the initial round on 'New York values,'" Kristol said referring to Cruz's controversial crack about Trump's ideology — a remark the businessman threw back in his face.

"Cruz looked a little surprised. People thought, probably correctly, that Trump sort of won that first round."

But, he added, "Cruz has done a pretty good job of prosecuting the 'New York values' [controversy]. 'I'm not attacking a city, I'm not attacking the people in the city, I'm attacking a certain political mindset and people know what I mean.'

"Then he talks about judges and partial-birth abortions and other issues and people get familiar with the photo of the Trumps, the Clintons attending the Trumps' weddings … It's been a little bit more effective for Cruz than I expected actually."

Cruz said Trump wants to win the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1.

"He figures that if he wins Iowa, and then presumably wins New Hampshire, boy it's pretty hard to deny someone the nomination historically. If he wins those first two states, it'd be a big blow to Cruz," Kristol said.

But he noted that Trump's relentless attacks on the Lone Star State lawmaker in the past week — saying he's a "nasty" man who nobody likes — are ruffling some feathers in the GOP.

"I understand what Trump's doing [in attacking Cruz], but it also has the effect that a lot of conservatives have said, 'hey, wait a second. These are not fair attacks on Ted Cruz and Ted Cruz is a conservative champion,"' Kristol said.

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The Donald Trump-Ted Cruz battle for the GOP presidential nomination is a "good heavyweight fight" - but while most believe the brawling billionaire will trounce the Texas senator, Cruz in no way should be underestimated, Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, tells Newsmax TV.
ted cruz, donald trump, gop debate, campaign
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2016-24-19
Tuesday, 19 Jan 2016 05:24 PM
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