During an interview on ABC’s “Powerhouse Politics” podcast on Tuesday, columnist George Will argued that if Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump loses, it would be “the worst conceivable outcome” for the GOP, and it would help the party if Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wins with “well over 300” electoral votes. He further stated the party has to “emancipate itself from its thralldom to the indignation industry of talk radio and certain cable personalities, that I think have a paralyzing effect on the party when it tries to deal with things like immigration.”
Will said that while FBI Director James Comey’s announcement that he is taking another look on Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails meant that the election wouldn’t be a blowout, or at least as much of one as it would be absent the announcement, he doesn’t see which states it would change the results in. Will further criticized the announcement, stating, “It’s an old saying our grandmothers told us, don’t talk unless you can improve the silence, and I don’t think he did.” Will argued that Comey shouldn’t give any further updates on the email story, and silence would be “golden at this point.”
He later added that if Trump is defeated narrowly, “that’s the worst conceivable outcome for Republicans. Because then, it will be the old stab in the back theory, that but for people like [House Speaker Representative] Paul Ryan (R-WI), or [Senator] Ben Sasse (R-NE), or lesser figures like George Will, all would have been well.”
Will then argued that if Clinton wins with “well over 300” electoral votes, it would “help the Republicans.”
He continued that the GOP has to “somehow emancipate itself from its thralldom to the indignation industry of talk radio and certain cable personalities, that I think have a paralyzing effect on the party when it tries to deal with things like immigration. Until the Republican Party gets right with minorities in this country, it’s never going to win another presidential election.”
Will further argued the party has to examine its nominating process, and “must never again have debates with 12 people on stage at a time. I don’t know what you do to erect a kind of filter to keep a certain kind of candidate off the stage, but they have to work on their nominating process.”
He also said that his willingness to re-join the GOP would depend on how long the party is “hospitable to Mr. Trump and people like him. I’m not saying that the people who like Donald Trump are like Donald Trump. They are people who are looking for a port in a very nasty, stormy year. There ought to be a kind of general amnesty all around, everybody forgives everyone else.”
Will did state that people who have endorsed Trump, withdrawn their endorsement, and then re-thought their withdrawals have disgraced themselves.
He also argued that if Independent candidate Evan McMullin wins Utah, “he certainly ought to be heard from.” Will also praised Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) as part of the GOP’s “rising generation of talented people.”
Will further stated that while people talk about the problems of the GOP, the Democrats have no rising bench, and are the “world’s oldest political party.”
He later added that a Republican Senate would be the best outcome for the country, because it would be able to block the “batty” ideas of the Democratic Party’s base, and that then Clinton could be “a reasonably deal-making president.”
Will predicted that if Democrats took the White House, the Senate, and the House, Senate Democrats would “instantly” change the Senate’s rules.
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett