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David Brooks: GOP Needs a ‘MoveOn.org-Type Organization’ to Defeat Cruz, Trump


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Friday on PBS’s “NewsHour,” in his regular segment with syndicated columnist Mark Shields, New York Times columnist David Brooks fretted over the prospect of Donald Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) becoming the Republican Party’s 2016 nominee and warned if either ultimately are, neither would be “electable.”

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Brooks joked to host Judy Woodruff he was “pro-conspiracy” and suggested a “MoveOn.org-type organization” effort to defeat Trump and Cruz.

Partial transcript as follows:

BROOKS: Well, Jeb Bush is part of a large group of people who are like the team at halftime who — like the Republican establishment, who feel like they’re down 50 points and they have decided they’re going to lose the game.

And that’s how the Republican establishment is right now. They don’t believe that Ted Cruz or Donald Trump can win. They think it could imperil their majorities in Congress, and yet they’re doing nothing about it.

WOODRUFF: But what could they do?

BROOKS: Well, I wish we had gray men in suits. We don’t have that.

But the donor class could do something. Frankly, the country is filled with state legislators who are Republicans, congressmen, senators, local committeemen, a lot of whom are in panic. And so maybe they should do something about it. Maybe they should have a MoveOn.org-type organization and get some rallying, which the other side has already done, and have a counterweight, so they don’t send the party into suicide.

And that might involve, not now, but after New Hampshire, winnowing the field, and donors and other people going and saying, we’re just going to pick this guy. We’re going to pick Rubio. I’m sorry, Jeb, you’re not going to be president. Christie, you can be secretary of treasury, but we’re going to get organized here and we’re not going to go quietly into the night.

WOODRUFF: So, go back to some kind of smoke-filled room? I mean, is that…

BROOKS: I’m pro-conspiracy right now.

(LAUGHTER)

SHIELDS: You think it’s that critical?

BROOKS: Well, you know, I’m sort of — I have no confidence in my judgment. I shouldn’t say that on TV.

(LAUGHTER)

BROOKS: Because…

WOODRUFF: Mark and I have confidence in your judgment.

BROOKS: Because I thought Trump would fade. And I still sort of think he will fade. But it’s not looking…

WOODRUFF: Sort of? You have backed…

BROOKS: I mean, it’s — right now, Trump and Cruz are both looking pretty good. And I don’t think either is electable, and neither do a lot of Republicans. And so the question is, why do they just sit there and do nothing?

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor


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