Kristol: If Trump loses Iowa, ‘mystique’ disappears
Asked in an ABC News interview to lay out a situation in which Trump loses the nomination, the Weekly Standard editor responded: “Trump loses Iowa, the mystique disappears, he’s just another candidate — though perhaps a formidable one — and he’s beaten by either [Marco] Rubio, [Ted] Cruz or [Chris] Christie.”
Trump currently trails Cruz in Iowa by more than 3 percentage points, according to a RealClearPolitics polling average.
Kristol also said he was only “semi-serious” when he suggested earlier this week that conservatives should start a new party if Trump wins the Republican nomination.
“I don’t think Trump will be the nominee, so I don’t expect it to be an issue,” he said. “But since I don’t think I could support Trump, and I’d like to have someone to vote for, if Trump were to be the nominee, I’d be open to a new party, probably for 2016 only — but you never know.”
He also said Jeb Bush's candidacy “may be a little less dead than everyone thinks.”
“He needs to run ahead of Christie and [John] Kasich in Iowa, and then again in New Hampshire,” he said of Bush.
“If he can do this, he stays in as the sober, experienced candidate against Trump, Cruz and Rubio.”