BOOM! Bill Kristol defends Tea Party against Republican Establishment

I meant to post this last night after hearing Mark Levin mention it on his radio show and actually give kudos to Bill Kristol for standing up for the Tea Party. In fact Levin joked that Kristol sounded just like him in that segment.

In short, Kristol hits back at Eric Cantor’s idea of ‘rebranding’ the party, essentially saying let’s go back to what works and what worked really well for the Republican Party was the Tea Party victories in 2010. Kristol notes that in 2012 the establishment took over and we lost the presidency and a bunch of Senate races, most of which were establishment-backed candidates.

I gotta say, Kristol really does nail it in this segment. Watch the whole thing:

(h/t: Weekly Standard)

Comment Policy: Please read our new comment policy before making a comment. In short, please be respectful of others and do not engage in personal attacks. Otherwise we will revoke your comment privileges.
  • c4pfan

    That’s good. I can’t see it at this time, but thanks for posting it!

  • wales777

    Kristol knows which side is the winning side. What a damn phony!! He IS the establishment.

    • Maybe he learned his lesson?

      • PatrickHenrysBody


  • Howzah123

    Krystal lost me last election

    He’s a fraud

  • Rshill7

    “Even a blind squirrel…”

    • Dukehoopsfan

      You beat me to it. Great minds and all that. 😉

    • PhillyCon

      Yeah, but you “have to give the devil his due.”

    • Tim

      Indeed. Even a blind squirrel can find an acorn once in a while.
      I saw this on TV, I’m like ‘are you sure that’s Bill Kristol?’

  • M_J_S

    So, in essence, Kristol is saying what he knew all along while he defended the establishment and the damn fool candidates he defended during the last few cycles?

    • It sounds to me that he learned a lesson from 2012

  • Finally, Bill Kristol shows that he has a heartbeat. The big problem with someone like Carl Rove is, who determines who the “best establishment candidate” is? Rove threw all his weight with Romney, saying that HE was the most electable candidate, and NOT somebody as polarizing as Rick Santorum. Well, how did that work out for Republicans? Stand for something, THAT is how you get votes. STAND for something and take the war to the enemy, and trust me the liberals ARE the enemy. If you want to avoid a Hillary presidency in 2016, you’d better start standing for something and be willing to take no prisoners in a really vicious fight for the White House. Establishment Republican candidates like McCain and Romney just are not up for that, which is why they lost. You have to have a solid set of core principles and a pair of brass knuckles to make your point. If you have that, you’ll win.

    • Nukeman60

      ‘You have to have a solid set of core principles and a pair of brass knuckles to make your point.’ – libertyship

      I agree wholeheartedly, but I think it’s something other than knuckles that need to be brass.

      • PatrickHenrysBody


  • Woah, when did Bill Kristol become a conservative

  • Bunjy

    Yeah, but as has been pointed out, he is the establishment and made no bones about being an establishment guy during the presidential campaign.

    • sjmom

      True but it was still good to see someone defend the Tea Party; its so rare these days.

  • Bill Kristol, I recall, shoved John McCain down our throats in 2008 saying that he was the best candidate to win. Then two weeks before the election, he expressed on Fox what a horrible candidate he was and threw him under the bus. I appreciate that Kristol defended the Tea Party, but I will still have my guard up with this guy. I will still regard him as a beltway hack. Kristol is most concerned with Bill Kristol and how his rantings and writings help him and his future in Washington DC.

    • PatrickHenrysBody

      Kristol is just as accurate as Karl Rove and Dick Morris in his analysis of…anything.

  • I am very surprised by Krystol. Not so surprised by the rest. On our local morning show, one of the hosts asked all moderate republicans to just become democrats and let republicans choose conservatives.

    • aposematic

      Seems like it would be so easy since replacing that capital R with a capital D would be all they would have to change.

  • sjmom

    I watched this last night on Fox and Bill Kristol was on fire and really defended the Tea Party. He was on a roll and would have continued if not for lack of time. It was great to see.

  • nosilasunny

    What he said is great, but I still don’t trust him. Period. He always is on the establishment candidates side until he isn’t because they are losing.

  • daeghrefn

    Good cop, bad cop.

  • cabensg

    You mean Kristol the moderate has seen the error of his ways. When did this miracle come about? This is rather shocking but I can have it for as long as it lasts. Anything good being said about conservatives and the Tea Party publicly is fine with me. Some people are so slow to learn it’s taken Obama getting elected twice for them to wise up. Some never do.

    • sDee

      Pundits are either espousing what their current patron is paying them to say, or what they think their next prospective patron might want them to say.

      If this obvious shift in Kristol’s “mushy middle” ideology, means anything, maybe he is senseing a shift coming and is auditioning for a new suitor?

  • deTocqueville1

    Very well done Bill, you have been MIA until now. A spine is a good thing. Mark commended Kristol on his radio show last evening. I expect with the great leadership Levin is showing there will be many more now speaking out. I am sure Palin will appreciate that she is now not alone at recognizing the false narrative put out by the GOPe over these many years.

    • notsofastthere

      Democrats never apologize for any idiotic statements they make. Obama lies, Biden tells fictitious stories, Hank Johnson says Guam could tip over, Hillary said she was under enemy fire when getting off a plane, and Clyburn (I think) said ‘most of what we pass in congress is unconstitutional’
      Republican’s lose elections because they immediately disown an imperfect statement. The entire Party is branded stupid because Party leaders themselves beat up the candidate for poorly expressing an idea.

  • Nukeman60

    This must be one of those two times that this broken clock is right. I’ll be waiting to see what the other time is later on.

    Btw, Todd Akin did not brand the party. The liberal LameStream media branded Todd Akin as the party. I’m sick and tired of hearing liberals tell us that what their media says we are is what we actually are.

    Krauthammer says we should not promote a candidate who can rouse the populace, but cannot win the general election. Who does Charles think votes in the general election but the populace? Have they all (people like Rove and Krauthammer) forgotten about We the People who should be in control?

    It’s time to take back our country and leave these political pundits (all of them) in the dirt.

  • 12grace

    Bravo for Bill Kristol!

    What’s wrong with the stupid Rep party anyway? The Tea Party helped them in the past and this is the way the Rep show their appreciation? I hope the Tea party supports the Constitution party and leaves the two party system in the dust.

  • proudhispanicconservative

    Out there in a little bunker somewhere, there is one guy, just one guy shaping the debate, make no mistake this discussion,all of it comes because of the great one, Mark Levin, He, and only he has been out there with his large voice and big microphone teaching these inept politicians in Washington How to fight Obama, if they would just listen to them we would have a better chance, But unfortunately we live in a world where the establishment think that they know better.

    • notsofastthere

      Mark Levin has character, integrity and clear sight, something very few politicans possess or even begin to understand.

  • I rather hear what Mark Levin said about Bill Kristol than hear Bill Kristol, but he was right in this segment and that’s all I’ll give him, no more, no less, because I still don’t trust him.

    • Krauthammer sounded like an echoing Karl Rove. I can’t say I’m disappointed in Charles because I don’t trust him either, I remember him slamming tea party candidates when his candidates didn’t win either, as he just reminded us in Delaware, he was just like Karl Rove.

      • hrh40

        Remember Kraut worked for both Carter and Mondale. And trashed Reagan well into Reagan’s SECOND term.

        Kraut simply knows where his bread is buttered these days. But his heart was and is with Carter/Mondale.

  • Amy

    Why do I have this nagging feeling that we need to watch Kristol & Rove very, very closely? I always get that feeling when the progressives are trying to distract with their squirrel, shiny object moments. I have that tingling, spidey sense now – being embraced by these two just seems wrong…

  • E. Lee Zimmerman

    So Kristol isn’t as stupid as his prose has been of late. Big deal.

    • PhillyCon

      Actually, it is a big deal considering the sheep (GOP DC types) are jumping off the cliff in an alarming rate. It shows some intellectual depth on Kristol’s part in this instance.

  • nibblesyble

    I am loving this Bill Kristol! What a big surprise and a welcome one.

    • PhillyCon

      Exactly. This Bill Kristol would be welcome. Hopefully, he decides to stick around.

      • nibblesyble

        Amen Philly!

  • RobertMahoney

    Hey, Kristol, you planning on going on vacation in Egypt? Remember you made the claim that Beck was a paranoid conspiracy theorist and that the whole Arab Spring was a great thing?

    I swear to God, that if you people believe on damn thing this man says, you deserve every last ounce of misery you have coming. He has delivered you two defeats, and yet, he is the smartest man in the room.

    Rove, Morris, Kristol and Krauthammer need to be left on a desert island with 1 weeks MRE’s and a gun with only 3 bullets.

  • She_patriot

    Quite honestly, one would think that the “Republican Establishment” would have seen in 2010 what the majority in this country is craving……….return to conservative princibles ! Only one thing will save this country from sliding into a fully socialist nation and re-branding and allowing the progressives to have the reins guiding the future of this country is definately not it ! They are out of touch and this great country of ours is almost out of time !

    • Guest1776rcp

      RINOs work for the corporatist, not the people.

  • Ping, ping, ping…richochet rabbit. This guy bounces around like a red rubber ball. Few prominent conservatives were pro tea party before the elections, and he was outspoken on our choice for the Republican nominee being Romney. Ratings must be down.

  • aposematic

    I think these RINOs have already rebranded the GOP and that is the real problem.

  • Sober_Thinking


    I still don’t trust him.

  • zippyj

    All the GOP needs is a good communicator: someone with a spine, someone who can remind everyone of the simple basics that have made the US great in the past so that we can do it all again.

  • Orangeone

    Lane has some good points. The House is passing some so/so legislation but the RINOs will not pass conservative legislation like Michele Bachmann’s repeal of ObamaCare and Steve Stockman’s legislation either.

    The Repubs have 2 major problems, they failed to toss the RINO SOH and they don’t communicate the legislation they are passing that Harry Reid is blocking.

  • PhillyCon

    I will say this: I am glad Kristol pushed back on the “losing badly” crap. Obama barely won and has no mandate. It would be nice if Boehner, Cantor and McConell understood this concept instead of caving at every turn.

  • I saw that last night. I couldn’t believe how intense he got and I was proud of him for it!

  • aposematic

    Actually this was an interesting exchange. Never cared much for Kristol but he out outed Krauthammer. Don’t get TV so thanks Scoop! Who was that in the middle most likely added to maintain the “fair and balanced” logo?

  • m0r0

    “Best candidate who can win….” that was Charlie Crist over Rubio remember. Sometimes you’ve gotta give the ‘Moderate’ the ole heave ho! And when will the All-Stars start chastising the RINO’s who are given the heave ho by the people they represent for their refusal to support the conservative candidate. Like Dick Lugar did, having a hissy fit like a five year girl, and withheld his support and ‘votes’ from the duly elected Republican candidate?????? It’s time you start lecturing the establishment All-Star boys.

  • 57thunderbird

    How convenient.Kristol has suddenly become a conservative.Must be feeling Mark’s foot up his back side.

  • I do not trust Kristol. He just wants people to buy his magazine but he will stab conservatives in the back whenever possible.

  • Lets do this by the numbers shall we?

    Aiken: Kristol was right, Aiken WAS NOT supported by the TP. He was the WEAKEST of the three GOP primary candidates (and got over 1 million in support from McCaskill supporters). Even then, he had a 10 pt lead before his “verbal diarrhea” comment on rape. If he had a little “Breitbart media savvy” he would of avoided the pitfalls and won comfortably against a flailing McCaskill who was just ripe for the picking.

    Mourdock: Agreed, he too needed a class in “Breitbart media savvy” but what the pundits don’t tell you was that crybaby Lugar badmouthed Mourdock and told his supporters not to help in the general (sore loser alert).

    ND: Berg: Simply saying “I’m the GOP candidate, vote for me” isn’t enough against an inspired (and highly organized/motivated DNC candidate). Berg lost by less than 3,000 votes. Berg’s campaign was described by local insiders as sloppy, undisciplined, and reeking of GOPe (aka: taking the base for granted). This race was begging for an upset and the DNC brought in the big guns/money to pull it off. Heitkamp struck with perfect timing to squeeze out a few extra votes in the end to win.

    ME: GOP in disarray and against a popular former governor.

    MA: Brown flipped the bird to the TP, went all RINO and was up against a powerful candidate. Burned bridges. GOPe

    VA: George Allen, three time loser, mr. “ma-ca-ca”, uninspired campaigner, slow, methodical, dull. GOPe.

    FL: Connie Mack, three-time-loser, uninspired race. GOPe. “lost in space”

    OH: Josh Mandel. Deer in the headlights against the hunter. In the big leagues Josh, they play for keeps NOT for Chuck-E-Cheese tokens. OUT OF HIS LEAGUE.

    MT: Three way race and the Libertarian candidate spoils the show Tester 236,123-—Rehberg 218,051-—Cox 31,892. DNC plowed a lot of money for their favorite goon Tester. GOPe Loser who left the TP ranks and joined the establishment.

    WI: Tommy Thomson. Uninspired campaign. Thought that by simply announcing he would win by default. Believed his past terms as governor was all the PR he ever needed. Burned a lot of bridges in the primary. GOPe

    HI: Lingle……Liberal RINO, LOST

    CT: McMahon….Liberal RINO, LOST

    NM: Wilson….RINO, LOST…..zzzzzzzzz

    DE: Wade….RINO, Boring, Loser, RINO……this guy made COD look good.

    MI: Hoekstra….RINO, Boring, Loser, GOPe

    CA: Emken…WHO??? WHO??? Cannon fodder.

    WV: Raese…hey WV, how’s it feeling know that Manchin is stabbing you in the back? Remember, the first cut is always the deepest. Raese????? Don’t bring a pig-sticker to a gun fight and last time I saw Manchin he was armed to the teeth.

    RI: Hinckley? Welcome to hell Hinckley where Republicans are a rare species….and you’re next the menu.

    NJ: Kyrillos. Good point, friend of Gov. Crispy Creme (aka: one trick pony). Bad point, friend of Crispy Creme. I was hoping for a fight, perhaps a few haymakers and kicks, but all I got was whimpering and bitch-slapped cries of angst. EPIC FAIL.

    VT: Vermont is not a state but an extension of the Bermuda Triangle. My advice to the GOP, wall off the state and let Thunderdome commence!!!

    WA: Baumgartner…..BORING!!! He was the poster boy for “phoning it in”.

    MN: Bills. C’mon, “Weekend at Bernies” had a better shot. Bills is like the Buffalo Bills….maybe next year but next year never comes.

    PA: Smith. This Mr. Smith won’t be going to Washington. Out of all the RINO flame outs, he made it closest but hey close only counts for horseshoes and grenades. KABOOM!!! His problem….he believed his press clippings and took that “magical surge” for granted. If he wanted a “surge” get some Viagra, it’s cheaper and more discrete.

    NY: Wendy Long. Anyone? Anyone? Good person, but the GOP in this state has more important problems like who gets the first tee time or reservation at Spagos. Sacrificial lamb to the lions. And to make matters worse, Gillibrand is an airhead that makes Donna Summers look good.

    MD: Bongino. Another good man who lives in Maryland known by archeologists as “Land of the Lost”. If there was a state worthy of sinking into the 9th circle of hell this is it. Unfortunately, Bongino was the last saint left behind.

    NE Deb Fischer, CONSERVATIVE….Endorsed by Palin and a great ground game. Defeated the GOPe back candidate in the primary. WINNER

    AZ Jeff Flake, CONSERVATIVE….Endorsed by Palin and a great ground game. Did not run away from conservatism. WINNER

    TX Ted Cruz, CONSERVATIVE….Endorsed by Palin and a great ground game. Defeated the GOPe candidate in the primary. WINNER

    The Senate was ripe for the picking for the GOP. If the candidates played it smart, practiced “Media 101” skills (may I suggest the Breitbart school of journalism) and just learned to avoid the traps (Akin, Mourdock), we could of picked up 4-7 seats.

    I don’t know if 2014 will get us to 50+ and it might take a few cycles to get the Senate back….but only if the GOP learns its lessons and stops pointing its fingers at the base. Future conservative/TP candidates will have to realize that it’s a BLOOD SPORT. Mistakes that might of been survivable in the bush-leagues are game killers in the big leagues.

    It’s not just about politics for Rove, IT’S ABOUT THE MONNEY. His little scam on advising candidates and ad buys gives him a nice commission.

    It’s a nice little racket which would make Al Capone envious.

  • Bill Kristol IS the Republican Establishment. The same Bill Kristol that praised the Arab Spring and scoffed at anyone saying that Islamist would take over? How’s that theory still holding up Bill? You know, now that the Islamist have taken over.

  • I detest Eric Cantor and John Boehner as much as I detest Obama. Ya know why? cause there is very little difference except that Obama has balls. Boehner, Cantor, Jeb freakin Bush (really, another damn Bush?), Karl Rove…they are the problem because they are NOT conservatives. Not in the least. Oh God, they make me sick!

  • objective123

    I guess he sees that Fox News is loosing viewers. Time to rekindle Tea Party Patriotism? Right? Sorry Judas. We know who you are and how much they bought your asp for.

  • JohnCraven

    You are correct RightScoop, Kristol actually nailed it very well and correctly for a change.

    In 2012, the only two newcomers from the Republican side in the Senate were TEA Partyers – Ted Cruz and Deb Fisher – and the rest lost either because they said stupid things or because they were establishment GOP Big Whig candidates or they were TEA Party candidates whom the Big Whigs in the GOP refused to support such as Bongino.

    At least I don’t remember Karl Rove supporting Bongino nor do I recall him supporting Allan West or Michele Bachmann who won re-election with basically the entire GOP establishment against her.

    John Craven
    New Orleans

    Praise to the Holiest in the height
    And in the depth be praise;
    In all his words most wonderful,
    Most sure in all his ways!
    (The Dream of Gerontius, John Henry Cardinal Newman)
    [From the Homily of Pope Bendict XVI at the mass for
    beatification of John Henry Cardinal Newman, 19 September,
    2010, Birmingham, England]

  • PatrickHenrysBody

    Bill Kristol? Really? Bill Kristol? He is an establishment GOP type. I wonder what his angle is.

    • PhillyCon

      Maybe, he wants to tweek Rove?

      • PatrickHenrysBody

        Perhaps due to Mr. Rove’s cancelling one too many dinner dates with him.

        • PhillyCon

          Probably. But in this case, the enemy of enemy is my friend … so kudos to Kristol on this one … IMO.

  • xjesterx

    of course, then Charles jumps in there with “you should nominate the most conservative candidate WHO CAN WIN….” he says.

    Of course, who does that mean? Romney. McCain. Dole. All those guys.

    If we went with that philosophy, we would never have had Rand Paul or Ted Cruz. Because they were all saying those “far right” guys can’t win.

    Here’s more from Rush:

    “Let me expand a little bit here on the Limbaugh Rule, which needs to take over from the Buckley Rule. You know, some of these people on our side—who all of a sudden now—lovingly invoke the Buckley Rule are the same people who told us, “The era of Reagan is over.” Well, Bill Buckley and Ronald Reagan were inseparably good friends. Isn’t the era of Buckley over? Isn’t it amazing how selectively these people call up some of our heroes and use little slivers of what they’ve said or believed? Buckley ran against a RINO Republican for mayor of New York knowing full well he had no chance of winning. He violated his own rule then! “Buckley says you vote for the Republican most likely to win.” ”

    So basically Buckley said this because he didn’t think Goldwater could win. He thought Nixon could win. He was right, but the problem of course, is that Nixon did things like create the EPA by executive order. So did it really help in the long run?? Having a mushy RINO did not help the conservative movement. The liberals STILL did everything they could to impeach Nixon and destroy the Republican party forever. Thank God for Jimmy Carter because Reagan came in and showed what a real conservative can do.

    We need to nominate a conservative the next presidential election. Period. No discussion. No Karl Rovian theories of what small part of some county we need to win to barely cross the finish line.

  • ApplePie101

    This is Bill ‘raise-taxes-on-millionaires’ Kristol? Bill ‘auto bailout’ Kristol? Bill ‘raise-the-debt-ceiling’ Kristol? Either he has learned his lesson, or he’s shape-shifting again.

    • PhillyCon

      It’s probably a combination of both. Somewhere deep, deep inside Kristol is a thinker. The RINO GOP squish side of him wins out at times.

  • Guest1776rcp

    Kristol: I agree Akin was a bad candidate.

    Reality: Akin is a staunch conservative who said a very stupid thing.

    Kristol is not to be trusted.

  • mikeinidaho

    Sorry but Kristol, like Rove and others are part of the problem, not part of the solution. Kristol hates the Tea Party and true conservatives as we threaten the security he has as part of the “establishment” of the Republican Party. He talks a good story, but in the end, he is out to keep his status, prestige, power and money as an inside-the-beltway, RINO, go-along-to-get-along, wishy-washy, almost-democrat. We the People have very few true conservative representatives in DC.

  • We need states and localities to pick their own candidates. If they pick Tea Party candidates through a legitimate primary process, so be it. If they pick an establishment Repub, so be it. Some Tea Party candidates may not be ready for prime time, but if they don’t run, how will they ever get ready. This is the process…let the people decide.