The Republican civil war raged on last night as Republican Bill Bennett joined Sean Hannity in “defending” Donald Trump by attacking those Republicans who don’t support him.
Bennett was there to applaud Trump’s latest campaign pivot and to swoon over the unremarkable fact that Trump had said he regrets some of his previous rhetoric.
Host Martha MacCallum began with a clip of Trump saying, “Sometimes, in the heat of debate, and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don’t choose the right words. Or you say the wrong thing. I have done that. And believe it or not, I regret it. And I do regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain.”
Notice that Trump didn’t apologize for anything he said, just the way he said it? And could he have sounded any more scripted and less authentic?
Yet this is what Fox wanted to make a big deal about or, more importantly, take as a signal to vote for Trump.
And who better to help in that effort than Bill Bennett, the guy who couldn’t understand why people were offended when he said, “You could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down?”
Bennett applauded Trump’s remarks as “great” and “terrific” “humility” and added, “The American people love that, they love to hear somebody say, ‘I was wrong.’”
Which is a bit of overstatement, don’t you think? Not surprisingly, MacCallum didn’t challenge a word of the hype.
Bennett went on to claim (also without challenge) that the polls “have closed.” In fact, the polls have tightened somewhat but Hillary Clinton still remains, as Five Thirty Eight put it, “a clear favorite to win the White House.”
Bennett continued heaping on the praise.
BENNETT: Anybody ever played team sports out there? Let’s get behind this guy. You’re going to see – I’ve talked to some people – a barrage of advertising now, which he has not had [...] and I think you’re gonna see a shift. But the most encouraging shift is from the candidate, himself.
[...] Listen to that note he struck. You know, he admitted he was wrong. Maybe people will also come to the realization that a guy who says some things awkwardly, indecorously, infelicitously is not as big a problem as someone who’s gonna hurt the country permanently.
But rather than challenge Bennett, MacCallum asked, “Who do you think’s the biggest group that he needs to influence?”
Bennett replied that there are a lot of people “in the middle” who are still undecided. Then he lit into the Never Trump Republicans.
BENNETT: He does not need to speak to the Never Trumpers, some of my friends or maybe former friends who suffer from a terrible case of moral superiority and put their own vanity and taste above the interests of the country. But he can speak to the middle and he can speak to the problems, as he spoke in Milwaukee, and he can speak, as he does, to some audiences, particularly, Martha, a lot of that Milwaukee address was to black America and I think that’s something he should do again. I think he can get 15, 20% of that vote.
The only problem? Trump just hired an “Alt-Right” white nationalist to run his campaign.
Again, MacCallum didn't point out that fly in the ointment. Instead, she thanked Bennett and said, “It’s always good to talk to you, sir.”
The list of “Never Trump” conservatives includes many people I don’t care for. But it’s not easy to condemn someone in your own party if you’re a political player and I applaud their courage and scruples for doing so.
But Bennett was, essentially, asking – no, demanding – that they put aside their values and morals to elect someone they think is worse for the country than a Democrat. In my previous post, I noted the long list of Republicans (and others) Hannity is attacking in the name of "defending" Trump. Fox & Friends took a similar tack with one of the 50 Republican national security experts who publicly denounced Trump. So it's beginning to look like a pattern.
Not that MacCallum had any problem with that.
Watch the blatant bias below, from the August 18 The Kelly File.
Kudos to Megyn for the probing questions and tough follow-ups but one complaint. You forget to ask what Bill’s favorite color is. Seriously, what crap journalism only meant to give Foxy diehards some glimmer of hope.
And Riverboat Bill, just how does putting a 4x bankrupt reality TV performer who’s never held elective office serve “the interests of the country”?