Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Purple Strategies chairman Alex Castellanos, a political consultant who worked on the campaigns of Bob Dole, and President George W. Bush, said conservatives ruled out the possibility that conservatives could appeal to segments of society beyond “cranky old white guys.”
Partial transcript as follows:
ALEX CASTELLANOS, CHAIR, PURPLE STRATEGIES: Well, I think as much as I love “National Review” and thank you for making me the conservative I am today, I think they’ve shown up at the war long after the last shot’s been fired here. They — they’re telling the Republican Party to pull its rip cord long after we’ve hit the ground and gone splat. Just seven days to go before the Iowa caucus and “National Review” is saying we should be the party of Ronald Reagan, not Donald Trump. Well, that’s great, but I checked and Reagan is not on the ballot. The choices we’ve been left with, it appears, are Ted Cruz, who’s thrown the conservative cause under the bus for his own political gain many times, and Donald Trump, who some voters, I think, are beginning to see as, well, he’s not Ronald Reagan, he’s not the long-term future of the Republican Party, but maybe he’s the turnaround CEO, the interim leader who can clean up our books, keep the country from going bankrupt and stop the Russians from kicking sand in our face.
MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC NEWS: — you wrote just months ago that Trump was a power hungry strong man, that the party should not give the reins to. Why is he suddenly the man the GOP should trust?
CASTELLANOS: Well, I wrote, actually, last August — I mean what Rich is saying in National Review is not news. I wrote Trump is a strongman we don’t need August of last year. And since then, have worked to try to find alternatives. Guess what? We don’t have any. And whose fault is that? I think a lot of the fault, actually, belongs to the conservative intellectual leadership of America that you see in this issue of National Review. The conservative cause that animates the Republican Party, we don’t appeal to young people, we don’t appeal to millennials, we don’t appeal to young women, we don’t appeal to minorities. We appeal to only cranky old white guys like me.
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