The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol isn't exactly pro-Donald Trump — but he is anti-anti-Trump, if you can make sense of that.
Kristol appeared this week on CNN to discuss the real-estate-mogul-turned-2016-GOP-presidential-candidate, and battled fellow contributors over whether Trump is a good thing Republican Party.
"I am not pro-Trump. I'm slightly anti-anti-Trump because I'm so sick of all the establishment types being so earnest in disdaining him," Kristol said Wednesday evening during a discussion with Democratic strategist Paul Begala and Republican strategist Ana Navarro.
"And this serves the Republican Party right. They've set up this debate, 10 people, excluding the so-called minor candidates, some of whom are very impressive and not-so-minor candidates like [former HP CEO] Carly Fiorina and [former Texas Gov. Rick Perry] and others who might get excluded. They set this up, they tried to control everything. They set up a situation where, who's going to dominate that debate? I suspect Donald Trump," he added, referring to a forthcoming Fox News GOP primary debate where only 10 declared candidates will be allowed on stage, and participation will be based entirely on polling numbers.
Trump is facing severe backlash over his alleging during his campaign launch in June that Mexican immigrants are rapists and drug dealers. Several prominent businesses, including Univision, NBCUniversal and Macy's, have cut business ties with Trump over his refusal to back down from his claim.
Trump's "Mexican rapists" remarks have affected more than just his own business empire, as the GOP's 2016 field, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has been made to answer for his comments.
Some see the increased scrutiny that Trump has brought on the Republican Party as a good thing. Kristol, for example, argued Wednesday that the reality TV star's infamous bluster will push the more serious GOP candidates into choosing sides and staking out real positions.
"I sort of think it serves the [other GOP candidates] right, and it puts more pressure on Jeb Bush and Scott Walker and Marco Rubio, people I like and respect, to have something to say," Kristol said of Trump. "So if they get up there and are platitudinous politicians, they are going to look pale compared to Donald Trump."