Columnist Charles Krauthammer criticized Republican presidential candidate former Florida Governor Jeb Bush as “petulant,” adding, “you can see why [Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben] Carson’s running about three times ahead of where Bush is,” and that with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, “nobody seems to care about the substance” on Monday’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel.
After hearing Jeb say, “I’ve got a lot of really cool things that I could do other than sit around, being miserable, listening to people demonize me and me feeling compelled to demonize them. That is a joke. Elect Trump if you want that,” along with Carson’s statement that “I really refuse to really get into the mudpit.” Krauthammer said Jeb’s remark, “was pathetic, and petulant. I mean, this is not very presidential. You look at the two soundbites, the Trump and the Carson and that — excuse me, the Bush versus the Carson. How do you react to personal attacks from Donald Trump? And you can see why Carson’s running about three times ahead of where Bush is. Carson is completely self-contained, and he’s very calm. The idea that he’s less than energetic is rather amusing for a guy who stands — has stood for 20 hours operating, with complete and total concentration. I’ve watched surgeons at work, and that is the most grueling activity imaginable. So, the idea that shouting and screaming and gesticulating is what is a sign of energy is rather absurd. But Carson’s demeanor, above all, yes the fact that he’s an outsider, I think explains this — the reason he’s been propelled. And if you look at the breakdown in a place like Iowa, with men they’re running about even, Carson and Trump, but among the women, there’s a huge gap. There’s about a 3 to — 2-1 gap, and I think in some sense, people have a sense that, if you want to go for an outsider, you might want to try the calm one.”
Krauthammer added, “The worst element of the Bush response is when he said people demonizing me ‘and me feeling compelled to demonize them.’ Well, who’s compelling you? Is he saying, ‘I’m being pushed by my advisers. This is beneath me. I don’t do stuff like this. I’m a Bush.’? I mean, either you do what you want to do, or you don’t. That’s a sign of leadership. So, I think it was, in some ways, inadvertently rather revealing, and it’s sort of symbolic of the weakness he’s projected.”
After anchor Bret Baier argued that, “But I will say, that we do analyze Jeb Bush and his comments a lot more, on something this. Donald Trump said, recently, at an event, you know, ‘I don’t need this.’ I can go do my business, and we don’t, you know, psychoanalyze those comments.”
Krauthammer responded, “Trump is judged by standards that have never been invoked in the history of American politics, and that standard is nobody seems to care about the substance of what he actually says, because two days later he’s on to some other outrage, and that they — each cancels the other out. Everybody says — the way people used to say about Biden, ‘Oh, it’s a Bidenism.’ There’s a Trumpism. We’ll all be amused, we’ll have a chuckle, and we’ll go on.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett