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Krauthammer: If Trump Wins, He ‘Irreversibly’ Shapes the GOP — If He Loses, GOP Civil War Begins Tomorrow

Tuesday on Fox News Channel’s “America’s Newsroom,” Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer laid out what he sees as the future of Republican Party if party nominee Donald Trump wins or loses the election.

In the first scenario, Krauthammer discusses what happens if Trump wins, which he argues changes the Republican Party.

“The first things he will do is irreversibly reshape the party,” he said. “This was the party of Reagan and the Bush years were sort of an echo of the Reagan years. Reagan defined the contours of the party. Trump will do that and it will be changed. Particularly the most obvious issues will immigration and trade. This will be a new party — a populist party. The country will not have a conservative party in sense of a Reaganite party and you do that by appointing the cabinet, which establishes the leaders of your movement in many areas of life. Obviously the RNC chair will be his choice. And I think he will influence who the leaders in Congress are. So, he shapes the party. That’s what happens on both sides.”

If he loses, Krauthammer predicts Trump will still have a role in Republican Party politics.

“I don’t think he is a Michael Dukakis. I don’t think he is a Bob Dole,” Krauthammer said. “This is not a guy who will lose I think and walk away. He feels he has created something. I think he is right about that. He created this populist movement – very unusual in U.S. history. It happens. But, you know, a generation or two separated from each other. And it changes the GOP if it goes from conservativism to populism. I think, this is guess, of course it will be his choice, he can walk away and the movement will likely wither until some younger, newer leader comes along, but I think he stays in the game. He becomes the kingmaker. If he loses by a respectable margin, say less than Romney did or within that range, I think he becomes a de facto leader of the party and I think Paul Ryan represents the older Reaganite consensus and I think, look, the civil war will begin on Wednesday. It will begin tomorrow morning.”

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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