Krauthammer’s Take

From Monday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee deciding not to run for president:

Trump obviously doesn’t matter and never did. He had his 15 minutes — which ended at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

Huckabee, I agree, would have been a serious candidate. He had a good shot at winning if he had fire in the belly. He is a sane man with no reason to abandon the life he has.

On Newt Gingrich’s muddled defense of an individual mandate and criticism of Paul Ryan’s budget plan:

This is a big deal. He’s done. He didn’t have a big chance from the beginning, but now it’s over.

Apart from being contradictory and incoherent, as we saw in those two sound bites you showed where he contradicted himself in the course of one day on the individual mandate, calling the Republican plan, which all but four Republican members of the House have now endorsed and will be running on, calling it radical and right-wing social engineering is deadly.

I think every one of these Republican candidates running for the House is going to have a Democratic opponent who’s going to run an ad that you can write today. It’s going to start “Even the conservative Newt Gingrich, the former leader of the Republicans in the House, says it’s radical, it’s social engineering.” Reagan had the 11th Commandment: ‘Thou shalt not attack fellow Republicans.’ This is a capital offense against the 11th Commandment. He won’t recover.

On who is the biggest candidate still out there that Republicans are waiting on:

[Mitch] Daniels. I think the fact he had his wife make a speech last week was an invitation to the press to bring out the story most people had no idea about: his marriage, the breakup, and the remarriage. And I think that’s what was holding the family back. You can understand why they don’t want it repeated in the press.

But I think that was a trial balloon, a way to bring it out, allow it in the public arena, see what the reaction is. Is it a mean reaction or a tolerant reaction? … It’s a way to test the waters on this issue. …

If Daniels does not run, there’s a chance that [Chris] Christie or Ryan will drafted to bring new energy to the party. It [Daniels’ decision] wouldn’t close the list of major candidates if one of these two decides this is the moment.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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