Columnist Charles Krauthammer argued that it’s a “dodge of people who are defending Trump” to say say, “[Y]ou’re denigrating Trump supporters” in response to criticisms of Trump, and that no one views criticisms of Bernie Sanders’ policies as attacks on his supporters on Monday’s on the Fox News Channel.
Krauthammer began by responding to O’Reilly’s “Talking Points” segment, which he agreed with except where he broke with O’Reilly by arguing, “the whole National Review edition, all of the articles and the editorial, nobody is attacking Donald Trump’s right to say what he thinks, explain what he wants to do and to do it in his own way. It’s not a matter of right. the question is, is this a healthy political philosophy, is it a good ideal to elect a man of this temperament and of these inclinations?”
O’Reilly responded that he wasn’t criticizing National Review, but was actually sticking up for them, and that they have a perfect right to write what they wrote, but that Trump supporters “are also denigrated every single, by an elitist media.”
Krauthammer replied, “[T]here’s something a little bit ironic about attacking, particularly the anti-Trump people, for their intolerance. One of the reasons people are upset about Donald Trump, you take Michael Gerson, for example, a speechwriter for George W. Bush, a very serious guy, you might say, kind of a Christian conservative, compassionate conservative. And he is apoplectic over the fact that the Republican Party might be led by and led into an election by, a guy who says he doesn’t want to allow Muslims into the country. Yes, he says it’s temporary but he’ll decide when the temporary ends. and a guy who says that Mexicans are rapists, and wants to deport 11 million people. That is, I think that’s a guy who’s sincerely expressing his views about what conservatism and Republicanism ought to be.” He added that he thinks this is a “cogent point.”
O’Reilly said that Gerson does have every right to make this point, but that Krauthammer “mischaracterized what Trump said about Mexican rapists.”
Krauthammer asked, “He said nicer things about Mexican rapists? Did I miss that?” O’Reilly answered, “[H]is point was that the human traffickers, who bring the poor people up through the border, are raping and pillaging, and the government of Mexico allows them to do that, and that’s true.”
Krauthammer argued that that isn’t what Trump said, and was doing the same thing he did when he criticized Senator John McCain’s (R-AZ) war record, where “He says and then he pulls back.”
O’Reilly then turned back to the initial point, which was that people can have whatever opinion about Trump unless such opinions are “dishonest” or “based on fallacious information.”
Krauthammer then said, “You know, that’s always the dodge of people who are defending Trump. They say ‘Oh, you’re denigrating Trump supporters.’ Let me ask you, when you talk about the ideas and the proposals of [Democratic presidential candidate Senator] Bernie Sanders (I-VT), which you oppose. You are not a socialist and you think it would damage america the way that socialism damaged so many countries around the world, are you denigrating the sanders people? No. You’re simply — you’re stating a position that says his ideas don’t work, are discredited, and I oppose them. you are saying nothing but his followers.”
O’Reilly agreed with this, saying that while he disagrees with Socialism, people who are ardent Socialists are entitled to their opinions. He re-iterated that Trump critics, such as National Review, and Krauthammer himself have the right to express their sincerely held beliefs without getting attacked personally.
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