Anti-Trump conservative and publisher Bill Kristol got into a verbal affray with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota this morning when Camerota asked him about possible third-party candidates he is considering for a run against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump during the general election. Camerota pointed out to Kristol that Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska has already said no to a possible run when the conservative columnist suggested the conservative Republican as a possibility.
When Kristol suggested retired Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, who he praised as a man of principle, Camerota interrupted and said that the conservative Okie has “health concerns.” Kristol bounced back and blasted the CNN morning anchor:
"If you’re just going to say it’s tough to do and no one stepped forward. Yes, no one stepped forward. Do I think someone has stepped forward? Have I been in touch with people? Yes.
"Do I think the country deserves better? Yes.
"If you just want to say people so far said, no, can’t happen, great, you guys would love a Trump/Clinton race. Fantastic news every day. Two unattractive candidates fighting stupidly about their personal lives, fighting with the “New York Times.” I’d like someone to run who could really do better for the country."
Giving it back to Kristol, Camerota told him what her job is: “My job is to be a reality check, not a cheerleader for, you know, your effort. I’m interested in your effort and certainly interested in hearing who you’re talking to.”
Elsewhere in the contentious interview, Kristol responded to questions about an article that appeared at Breitbart. David Horowitz, a gadfly to the left and anti-Semites, published an article at the pro-Trump news site labelling Kristol a “Renegade Jew” for his opposition to Trump. Horowitz took Kristol to task for the latter’s criticisms of Trump, while also mentioning that Kristol has reached out for support from former Obama supporter Mark Cuban, a billionaire. Doubling down on Kristol’s credentials as a neo-conservative, Horowitz wrote:
“I am a Jew who has never been to Israel and has never been a Zionist in the sense of believing that Jews can rid themselves of Jew hatred by having their own nation state. But half of world Jewry now lives in Israel, and the enemies whom Obama and Hillary have empowered — Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, ISIS, and Hamas — have openly sworn to exterminate the Jews. I am also an American (and an American first), whose country is threatened with destruction by the same enemies. To weaken the only party that stands between the Jews and their annihilation, and between America and the forces intent on destroying her, is a political miscalculation so great and a betrayal so profound as to not be easily forgiven.”
Appearing to shake off Horowtiz’s rhetoric (which Horowitz has refused to recant), Kristol said today on CNN:
“I haven’t read it and I don’t intend to read such a thing. It’s really, well — you should ask them. It’s pretty — there are always people like that. It’s a big country, a lot of people, and people can build their websites and engage in that kind of rhetoric or, and put on headlines on pieces like that, I suppose. I think I’m, I’m a proud Jew, strong supporter of israel, I don’t think I’ve ever been called a renegade Jew before.”