Krauthammer: Trump’s Call For ‘Mass Deportations’ Changed Debate In ‘Detrimental’ Way

Columnist Charles Krauthammer argued that GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s call for “mass deportations” “has shifted the debate in a way that’s going to be extremely detrimental” on Monday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “O’Reilly Factor.”

Host Bill O’Reilly asked [relevant exchange begins around 3:45] Krauthammer about his belief that “Trump has been good for the campaign, that he’s offered exposure to all the presidential candidates [that] they would not have gotten, that he has reflected, accurately, the anger of millions and millions of Americans, toward a government that’s impotent and dishonest, to them.”

Krauthammer responded, “You’re a little bit off on the good for the campaign. It is absolutely true that of the 24 million who tuned in, maybe, perhaps even half, would not have tuned in. It still would have been, say, 12 million, which is a major number. And it is also true that because there were that many watching, some of them, who did very well, including Rubio and Cruz, I think which — and Carson, of course, were generally helped by the –.”

O’Reilly stated that the debate’s reach can’t only be measured by viewership, but the fact that “it became a phenomenon, which it remains today.”

O’Reilly added, “Trump’s not a Republican. He’s a Trumpian. He’s trying to get be president, or amass power, to do what he wants, not what Reince Priebus wants, or the Republican hierarchy wants, and a lot of voters say, ‘Good for you.’ And I don’t know how far he’s going to go. But right now, in our republic, we need this kind of robust debate.”

Krauthammer responded, “The idea that we didn’t have a robust debate until now, I think, is completely false.” O’Reilly cut in, “It wasn’t getting exposed. It wasn’t getting out there.”

Krauthammer asked, “Well, is it very healthy for a party, to be debating, as it is now, whether we should have mass deportations? Do you think that’s going to help the party in the November election next year?”

O’Reilly argued, “But it will quickly go away.” Krauthammer countered, “I don’t know how quickly it goes away. He’s the central character right now.”

O’Reilly said that since no GOP presidential candidate besides Trump is going to advocate mass deportations, “I’m not worried about that.” Krauthammer wondered, “Are they going to have the courage to come up and say that’s a mistake, that’s something that we cannot do, should not do, and will not do?”

O’Reilly answered, “I don’t know. But, that’s what we’re trying to find out, who’s got the guts, the courage, the smarts, to turn the country around.”

Krauthammer concluded, “If nobody does stand up and say that, then you can be sure the Democrat will. And that’s not going to help the Republicans recapture the White House. You’re asking me a straight question about the effect on the fortunes of the party, and that is one specific example, where Trump has shifted the debate in a way that’s going to be extremely detrimental.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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