Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer ripped into real estate mogul Donald Trump Monday night, dismissing him as a “rodeo clown” and his antics as “not serious politics.”
The conservative commentator made the remarks to “Special Report” host Bret Baier after Trump released a three page statement doubling-down and expounding upon his comments about illegal immigrants in his presidential announcement. (RELATED: Krauthammer: Trump 2016 Akin To Sharpton’s 2004 Run, Diminishes ‘Really Serious Candidates’)
“Well, he’s tapping in, but he’s essentially — he’s done it in a way that is — the word offensive is too weak. It’s an insult. An entire immigrant group, and he did not make a distinction between legal and illegal immigrants when he said that an entire immigrant group are rapists.”
“You think he’s a xenophobe?” Baier told the columnist.
“That’s his entire campaign. All our problems are from Mexico, from China, from Saudi Arabia, and Japan, and he will make them pay,” Krauthammer told the host. “But that elevates him to a guy actually with ideas. These are eruptions, barstool eruptions.”
“And the pity is this: this is the strongest field of Republican candidates in 35 years,” Krauthammer declared. “You could pick a dozen of them at random and have the strongest cabinet America has had in our lifetime, and instead, all of our time is spent discussing this rodeo clown.”
Following up Krauthammer’s critique was fellow columnist and frequent Trump basher George Will, who called the multi-billionaire a “one-man Todd Akin” for the GOP. (RELATED: George Will: Trump A ‘One-Man Todd Akin’ For GOP, Acting Like A ‘Democratic Mole’)
“At this point in the campaign, politics is entertainment,” Will said. “But as you get close to a decision, people say do we really want the world wrestling federation atmosphere in the Oval Office. I think people will flinch.”
“Donald Trump now has learned from this that every four or five days, he could say something that would make him sound like the guy nursing his sixth beer at the end of a bar in Duluth,” Will said earlier in the program. “But because he’s a billionaire, people will pay attention to it, and he can take all the oxygen out of this campaign with regularly recurring outrages like this.”
Continuing to play his role as devil’s advocate, Baier told the panel that Trump’s message is resonating with the crowd who wants to throw all the politicians out of office. Unsurprisingly, Krauthammer pushed back against that idea.
“We’ve got ISIS. We’ve got Iran, We’ve got Russia. We’ve got economic problems. We’ve got wage stagnation,” Krauthammer said. “Trump has decided that our problem is that we need, essentially, an economic declaration of war on Mexico, and that’s where all this is headed. Tapping in yes, but that’s not what, I mean — politics has to be slightly above tapping in. It’s a way to tap in and respond responsibly.
“He says ‘I’ll build a wall and I’ll make Mexico pay.’ I’ve been supporting building a wall for ten years, but the idea that you’re going to make Mexico pay is simply absurd, but he likes to tap in and to play on that,” Krauthammer said. “That’s not serious politics.”