National Review slams Trump

Deep divide in conservative media


This is a rush transcript from "MediaBuzz," January 24, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: On the buzzmeter this Sunday, the two leading Republican candidates, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz sit down with me for an in depth interviews with their Iowa showdown just eight day away. Trump hitting back against media criticism of his latest big name booster.


KURTZ: Sarah Palin endorsed you, some media outlets started savaging her, New York Daily News ran this cover with the two of you, "I'm with stupid," your reaction?

DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I think that Sarah is smart, and she is cunning, and she's a good person.

KURTZ: What about the media attacks on her?

TRUMP: They can attack. In the meantime, she has one of the best records --

I will tell you Ted Cruz wanted her so badly, he almost cried. He's a nervous wreck.


KURTZ: And a remarkable boasts about himself and Barack Obama, Cruz denouncing members of the media as out-and-out partisans.


SEN. TED CRUZ, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There's a reason they don't like the mainstream because they're partisan liberal Democrats.

KURTZ: Every single journalist?

CRUZ: Almost without exception.

KURTZ: Almost without exception.

CRUZ: Almost without exception. They have a partisan agenda.


KURTZ: Candid conversations on politics, policy, New York values, the birther flap, and the way they're covered.

National Review throws down the gauntlet, calling Trump a huckster and a menace to conservatism. Who really represents the right?

Plus, the press says Hillary Clinton is in trouble now against a surging Bernie Sanders. Weren't the pundits just telling us she was inevitable?

I am Howard Kurtz and this is "MediaBuzz."


KURTZ: I'm just back from Las Vegas where I ventured to the Trump International Hotel and sat down with the billionaire whose defined all of the medias predictions of gloom and doom, up to an 11 point lead in Iowa and a 17-point lead in New Hampshire, and Fox News polls just out this morning making him still the Republican candidate to beat.


KURTZ: After months of attacking the press as dishonest and slimy, you seem mostly to be toning it down a bit. Have you gone from nuclear to low- level warfare?

TRUMP: You know I started out of basically like with 0, and now I am up at 42. I think I am probably a bit different. You have to change a little bit. I think I am a little different. I'm doing very well.

KURTZ: Are journalists treating you with new respect, because they think you may win?

TRUMP: Not all, but they're treating me with great respect, a lot of them.
The Wall Street Journal has changed their views, and I have gained respect.
Some of the other have changed their views, and rightfully so. I am not saying it from smile standpoint, but we've done a good job. Time Magazine wrote one of the most beautiful cover stories I have ever had, the one from last week, where I am talking to a crowd, but they're talking about this whole campaign. So, yeah, I think there's been a big change in mode and mood.

KURTZ: Yet, after Sarah Palin endorsed you, this cover -- I am with stupid, your reaction?

TRUMP: Well, I think that Sarah is smart, and she's cunning, and she's a good person.

KURTZ: What about the media attacks?

TRUMP: Well, they can attack. In the meantime, she has one of the best records -- Ted Cruz wanted her so badly, he almost cried. He's a nervous wreck.

KURTZ: Joe Scarborough said you should send Sarah Palin home to deal with her son's problems.

TRUMP: Maybe he's not a fan of Sarah. That's ok. I will say this. If you look at the people she's endorsed over the years, including Ted Cruz, who was like two percent, and then she endorsed him, and you know the feeling. He wanted her desperately more than anybody else. She's a good woman, a great person. I have known her for a long time and she said I want to go with you. This is a movement. It's not about me. It's what we're saying. We're like led by people who don't have a clue.

We're led by incompetent people. The voters are getting it. I just left a rally -- we're in Las Vegas today, but I left a rally in Oklahoma, we had to send away 5,000 people. We had 20,000 people. I just left one in Nevada, where we had thousands and thousands of people. It's really a movement.

KURTZ: As we get closer to Iowa and New Hampshire, you really ratcheted it up against Cruz. I know you say he started it, but he hasn't used that language.

TRUMP: He started it, and it sort of started during the debate. I said, whoa, whoa, what do we have here? He's a good debater, but not a good talker. If he's one on one with a person, he can't relate, he can't talk.
That's not what we need. He was born in Canada. He was a citizen of Canada until 15 months ago, a lot of people say, and legal scholars have come out -- I am not only talking about the wonderful professor from Harvard, I am talking about other lawyers have come out very strongly and said he cannot run. So there's a big doubt over his whole candidacy and of course, he didn't file his loans.

KURTZ: He says that's a paperwork error. You said for days that you were only raising Cruz's issue of birthplace, because the Washington Post asked you. That was true. Other journalists asked you that were true, but come on, you know how to deflect a question. You were trying to make a major issue out of it.

TRUMP: The Washington Post asked me that question among others. I haven't given it very much thought, to be honest. I said there is a problem, because there is a substantial doubt. A lot of people think there's not a doubt.

KURTZ: You started out saying you were trying to help Cruz on this issue...

TRUMP: In a way, I am helping him, but you know who I really am helping, the Republican Party. He's already got two lawsuits that just got filed.
The first thing the Democrats will sue him and sue the party, because he's not allowed to run, ok? How can you have a candidate that has a cloud -- sort of in real estate they call it a cloud of title. He's got a cloud of title. He has a cloud over his head. He probably or possibly is not allowed to run.

KURTZ: Many lawyers would disagree.

TRUMP: Some lawyers dispute it.

KURTZ: But you're the one who made an issue out of it, not the press.

TRUMP: It hasn't been decided. It depends on the court. That's a big problem. Do you agree that that's a problem?

KURTZ: It's a potential problem. It doesn't seem to be a problem until you brought it up.

TRUMP: How can you have a person running for your party that maybe isn't allowed to do run for the party?

KURTZ: Let's talk about New York values. You're from Queens, I am from Brooklyn, and you effectively brought up the response to 9/11 when Cruz raised this in debate. He was making the point that when you did an interview in 1999, you said I am a New Yorker and very pro-choice. I am a New Yorker and...

TRUMP: I hate the whole concept of abortion. I said that strongly. I hate the concept of abortion. I am pro-choice, but that was a long time ago. I will say this. Ronald Reagan was a pretty liberal Democrat when he was younger, ok, and he switched over to a fairly conservative -- he was pretty good, and he turned out to be a great President. People change.
People change, but if you remember that comment, it says and very strongly, and I give them credit for leaving that part in, I hate the concept of abortion. I said that very strongly.

KURTZ: Now I understand you were a businessman in New York, you had to get along with Democratic politicians in a Democratic city, I understand that, but can you understand how some Republican voters would have doubts because of your past positions that you are a true-blue conservative.

TRUMP: So they said I was a world-class businessman, and I did -- I built a fantastic company. I am going to use that same -- my kids will do fine, and I am going to do the same to do for our country. I feel like I said to be so greedy for the country. I want the money pouring in. We're going to save social security. I will tell you as a world-class businessman, you have to get along with politicians. You have to get along with Democrats and Republicans. It's standard. You can't have half the people out there as enemies.

I was able to get along with Clinton. I was able to get along with Reagan.
I was able to get along with everybody. I get along with everybody.
That's a very good thing. By the way, one of the problems our country has right now, we're at gridlock in Washington. Everybody hates each other.

KURTZ: But on this point, Senator Cruz says you're not becoming the establishment candidate, that the establishment is embracing you, because you may deals that he won't.

TRUMP: The problem with Cruz is everybody hates him. Think of it. You have all these Republican senators. He doesn't have one Republican senator that's endorsing him, and then you have Senator Dole...

KURTZ: He's a maverick.

TRUMP: Bob Dole is a great person, with an incredible wife. He came out so strongly against Cruz and he was very nice to me, which I really appreciate, but these are great people. They aren't bad people. These are great people. You have to get along a bit. You can be tough, you can be sharp -- I am a deal maker.

KURTZ: You don't take that as an insult?

TRUMP: No, I think that's a great thing. You know I am really going to do? You look at China, you look at Japan, you look at Mexico, they are killing us. A guy like Ted is not a deal maker.

KURTZ: As you know, Mark Levine, he questioned whether your -- Rush Limbaugh was critical, and I know you care about what they think. Last time we talked, you said that influenced you to back away from some earlier criticism of Cruz.

TRUMP: Rush has not said that. He made a point, but he said you've got to do what you've got to do. I like Mark very much, but I think Mark is really much for Ted. That's ok. I have a lot of respect for Mark Levine, but I think he's been for Ted. That's why we have menus in restaurants, you make different choices, right? But I would like to have Mark on my side, but I guess he didn't like this, but if you remember, Ted Cruz started it.

KURTZ: It's a campaign.

TRUMP: It's ok, but I have to hit back. If you look like Lindsey Graham and Perry, Graham hits me all the time and then he supports Jeb Bush, who has no chance. Less chance than you and you're not running.

KURTZ: I am not running.

TRUMP: You would do better than he would.


KURTZ: I'm not running, more from our Las Vegas conversation later in the program, along with my sit-down with Ted Cruz.

But when we come back, National Review rallies the conservative intellectuals, but can the magazine really take down Trump.


KURTZ: The RNC has booted National Review from co-sponsoring a Republican debate next month, this after the conservative magazine assembled a group of prominent pundits with a single goal, stopping Donald Trump. And then Rich Lowery proclaiming that the billionaire may call himself a conservative, but he's not one of them.


RICH LOWERY, NATIONAL REVIEW: It's up to conservatives who think that Donald Trump, whatever his virtues are, doesn't truly understand the ideas and principles that make this country great. It's up to those conservatives to stand up and say no, sorry, we oppose.

TRUMP: The circulation is way down. Not very many people read it anymore.
People don't even think about National Review. So I get they want some publicity.


KURTZ: Joining us now to talk about our Trump interview and this conservative media war, Mercedes Schlapp, political strategist, U.S. News Columnist, and veteran of the Bush White House. You saw Trump hitting back against National Review but it's influential. Is this campaign against Trump as a menace to the conservative movement a problem for him?

MERCEDES SCHLAPP, U.S. NEWS COLUMNIST: I don't think so necessarily. You have to understand the Trump supporter. The Trump supporter is not a subscriber to the National Review. They are getting their cues from Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levine, who are giving a fair analysis on Trump.

KURTZ: Or more sympathetic analysis?

SCHLAPP: I would say probably both. They have not got on the outright attack we have seen with these very respectful conservative editors, the thinkers that have come out in the magazine in the National Review.

KURTZ: If National Review represents, for lack of a better phrase, the intellectual wing of the conservative movement, and perhaps the talk radio people and some of the web sites or radio is more populist, was almost planned as a campaign against Trump.

SCHLAPP: There is disconnect between these conservative thinkers, many who live in New York and Washington, D.C. and the rest of America.

KURTZ: In a bubble?

SCHLAPP: They are. I think to a certain extent they are. Certain thinkers wrote and they do appeal to the grass-roots activists, but a lot of these thinkers have endorsed a candidate. Glenn Beck just came out for Senator Cruz, who basically said I would prefer to vote for Sanders over Trump. I think you can't be a conservative in you're thinking about voting for Sanders over Trump.

KURTZ: For me, this is the heart of the battle you have Krauthammer, George Will, Steve Hays, they have really been tough on Trump. And Trump wants to dismiss them as unfair to him, criticizing them personally, but you seem to be saying a lot of people -- hasn't National Review been the leader of the movement on the right?

SCHLAPP: They're focused on the conservative ideology, but then you have
(Inaudible) and said that the National Review is not an authority for conservativism.

KURTZ: It's a civil war.

SCHLAPP: At the end, if Trump is the nominee or Cruz, can the conservatives rally behind one candidate? And that is going to be key, the fact is you have candidates coming out saying these would support a Hillary Clinton or not vote because of Trump is basically giving Hillary Clinton another eight years.

KURTZ: Just briefly, do you have any problem with the Republic National Committee booting National Review from that debate next month?

SCHLAPP: I think it was the right move by Reince Priebus and the RNC, because as Rich Lowery himself said, the National Review has made a moral decree said, and I think its fairness, its ok for the RNC to dis-invite them.


SCHLAPP: It would have been wiser to have both sides.

KURTZ: A focus group was asked on our behalf what they think of the media coverage of Donald Trump. Let's take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why haven't they been fair?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They've targeted him, taking his words and pulled it out of context, which the media is very good for.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think they've more than fair. It's the Donald Trump show all the time, every day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's 100 percent fair for the media to abuse you when you're running for the presidency, because it gives us a chance to see how you're going to handle it.


KURTZ: It's unfair for the media to...

SCHLAPP: I think abuse is a strong word. I think tough questions, absolutely, but what Donald Trump has done, he's used social media to his advantage. He's been able to deliver the narrative. Guess what? The media is asking the questions, he's accessible, not afraid to answer any of the questions, Howie.

KURTZ: One of the reasons he gets airtime is because he's willing to come on the Sunday shows and late night shows, but to finish up on National Review. Trump isn't not running as a true blue conservative, so he doesn't necessarily have to pass National Review that litmus test, to say he's not a real conservative would be harmful.

SCHLAPP: Based on your interview, what is he running as, a deal maker.
There's gridlock in Washington, and the fact is Senator Cruz didn't work friendly with the other senators, Trump says he can come in as a deal maker.

KURTZ: When I asked him if he was now the establishment candidate, he didn't deflect it at all.

SCHLAPP: No. I think he's willing to embrace the populist hat. His goal is he wants to win the primary. He wants all those different lanes. Can he do it? That's the big question.

KURTZ: Ahead on "MediaBuzz," my interview with Ted Cruz. He has strong things to say about media and his chief rival, but first, the media knives are out against after Sarah Palin after her Trump endorsement. Is the criticism fair?


KURTZ: Sarah Palin stepped on to an Iowa stage to endorse Donald Trump, she had she expected to get roughed up by the press just as she did as the V.P. nominee nearly eight years ago.


SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: I was told, warned left and right, you're going to get so clobbered in the press. You're going to get chewed up and spit out and I am thinking, and yeah?


KURTZ: As if on cue, the Huffington Post banner described Trump and Palin as a confederacy of dunces, and Mercedes, what do you make of this media mockery?

SCHLAPP: It's not new. For Sarah Palin, the mainstream press has never been friendly to Palin, clearly. I think part of the problem is because she has that populist movement to her, the followers, over four million followers, people who respect her. She's always had a role in the party to basically rally the troops, and I think for the media, they have never quite understood her role.

KURTZ: Tina Fey's roles has been reprised last night stringing together some incoherent rhymes, but when there was a split the in the conservative media, and some commentators on the right...

SCHLAPP: Let me stop you there. They are not part of the conservative media, they would be considered more center-right, more in the moderate lane.

KURTZ: They identify themselves as conservatives.

SCHLAPP: That's not what the conservatives think.

KURTZ: They came out and look, Sarah Palin is not qualified to be Vice President, and people lost their jobs, but it continues.

SCHLAPP: I think it's been -- to understand the Sarah Palin phenomenon.
Whether you have to argue about her qualifications for V.P., she does represent a part of this populist movement that's reflective of Donald Trump.

KURTZ: And as Trump told me, I'm sure (Inaudible) liked her endorsement.

Lawrence O'Donnell referring to the domestic charges against one of her sons came of out at the top the show, and had this to say.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ask yourself this, what would you do the day after your 26-year-old son, who lives at home with you, is arrested in your home after assaulting his girlfriend and threatening to commit suicide, using one of these?


KURTZ: And he went on to say instead Sarah and Todd Palin were out endorsing Donald Trump.

SCHLAPP: I just can't believe the comments. Are they giving parenting tips to Sarah Palin? There's a double standard there. Why wasn't Todd Palin next to the son's side? That's an outrageous comment.

KURTZ: When some commentators in 2008 say well, how can she be Vice President, she's got five kids to take care of and one of them...

SCHLAPP: And as a mother of five kids, I resent that.

KURTZ: You're very qualified to speak on that subject. All right, coming up, my sit down with Ted Cruz on New York values, his Canadian birth, the escalating rhetoric with Donald Trump, and of course, the media.

And later, the Donald makes a very bold claim about himself, black voters and President Obama.


KURTZ: Ted Cruz has emerged as Donald Trump's leading rival after a remarkable surge that has also intensified his critical media coverage. I sat down with the Texas Senator here in Washington.


KURTZ: Cruz, welcome.

CRUZ: Howie, good to be with you.

KURTZ: You ripped the coverage of the Republicans as being unfair and bias, and the day you got into the race. But now as a leading candidate, don't you need to be able to withstand tough media scrutiny?

CRUZ: Sure. That goes with the territory, but any Republican who is running should not be confused and think that the mainstream media are our friends. They are partisans. They wake up every day fighting for liberal political agendas. The New York Times wants Hillary Clinton to be next President. Every day, they're going to push stories advancing that.
That's the reality, the world we live in.

The answer is not to whine and complain about it, the answer is to do what Reagan did. Go over the head of the media, go straight to the American people. That's why we're running great-roots campaigns to go around the media gatekeepers.

KURTZ: Since you bought up the New York Times, you accused newspaper of a hit piece, that you didn't properly disclose a loan for your 2012 senate campaign, but you didn't deny any of the specifics in the article.

CRUZ: Look, they breathlessly reported this horrible scandal that -- when I was running for office, I was running against someone worth about $200 million, all of the establishment, all of the lobbyists were against us, and my wife and I we took our life savings, spending and selling stocks and assets and taking out loans against the remainder of the assets, and put all of that into a loan we gave the campaign.

The entire basis of the New York Times' story, the loans we took we disclosed on one form, but not the other. Both of those forms are public, both before the election -- both of those were disclosed.

KURTZ: And that information was included in the piece. Why a hit piece?

CRUZ: Because it's a total nothing.

KURTZ: I am going to leave aside the fact that I am from New York. I know you say that Donald Trump sort of started it and you're using that against him, and you described New York values as socially liberal, focus around money and the media. Trump, of course, brought up 9/11, but are you using New York City as a sort of caricature to appeal to Iowa conservatives.

CRUZ: The characterization didn't come from me. It came from Donald Trump.

KURTZ: You certainly seized on it.

CRUZ: But it was how he explained his values. When he was doing an interview back in 1999, and Tim was asking him, all right, what are your views? He said I am very pro-choice. I support partial birth abortion, and he said I am from New York, I am from Manhattan. That's what we believe in New York. He says he's open to gay marriage, very pro-choice, supports partial birth, and the entire explanation he gives is those are New York values. He's the one that draws those distinctions. That's what we believe in New York, so it's curious to see Donald all upset that I am repeating his own words explaining why he believes what he believes.

KURTZ: I would just point out that the media reported on Donald Trump's moral liberal views in the '90s doesn't seem to have hurt him. Let me move on this so-called birther story. I was surprised. I thought it was going to be a two-day flap. You were asked about it every day for a week by reporters everywhere you went. What did you make of that?

CRUZ: Look, that's just the nature of reporters. They like to -- as I mentioned, they're Democrats at the end of the day. The reporters want Hillary...

KURTZ: Reporters like conflict, and Donald Trump drove the agenda, or do you believe he drove the agenda by throwing that into the center of the campaign.

CRUZ: He drives the reporters' agenda. We were in the midst of a bus tour, 26 counties in six days, enormous enthusiasm, but from what you do, looking at the media, it was a great field test. We would do at pretty much every event a press gaggle. By the way, a lot of other candidates don't do press gaggles. I take them all the time. Half to two thirds of the questions from the reporters would be about Donald Trump and the latest attack, the latest tweet, and you go into the town hall, one county, 7,000 people in the county, we had 700 people, 10 percent of the county came out.
Another town with 600 people, 150 came...

KURTZ: You don't like being asked about Donald Trump, but now you're mixing it up with Donald Trump...

CRUZ: But here's my point, Howie. When we do town halls and actual voters would ask questions, nobody would ask about the silly birther attack. They ask about the real problems facing this country. How are we going to defeat ISIS? How do we stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons? How do we protect our second amendment or religious liberty? How do we get more jobs? If Trump wakes up in the morning and sends a wild tweet, every reporter asks, did you see the latest tweet? The American people are more substantive. They're interested in who is ready to be the next commander in chief.

KURTZ: I have one more New York Times question, a piece last month said you are not very likable, Senator, that you seemed to be taking an almost academic approach to achieving likeability. And you can appeal excessively be calibrated. What do you make of that line of media analysis of your candidacy?

CRUZ: Look, it's a perfect example of the kind of hit piece the New York Times does. By the way, if I was a Democrat, don't look at the story that New York Times wrote about Barack Obama, you could write the same story about have you seen where 10 percent of a rural county came to our event?
That 25 percent of a small town came...

KURTZ: Certainly true you're not the most popular guy in the senate.

CRUZ: But let's be clear why that is. It's not because of how I treat people.

KURTZ: That's why I am asking.

CRUZ: My entire time in public life, I have treated everyone with civility and respect. What is problematic in the senate from other senators'
perspectives is speaking the truth, actually saying what is going on. You know we just passed a $1 trillion omnibus bill that funded the entirety of Barack Obama's agenda, funded executive amnesty, funded the Iran deal, funded Obama's indefensible plan to bring Syrian refugees to America. The unpardonable sin that I committed is I actually speak the truth and say why Republican leadership is funding the Democrats objectives.

By the way, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi said the same thing.

KURTZ: Last question, when you bash the media, and you've been treated unfairly at times, isn't that in your interesting to do that? Your base loves that. They don't like the mainstream media.

CRUZ: There's a reason they don't like the mainstream media, because they're partisan liberal Democrats.

KURTZ: Every single journalist?

CRUZ: Almost without exception.

KURTZ: Almost without exception.

CRUZ: Almost without exception that they have a partisan agenda, and yes, we understand -- let's take a substantive issue, police officers, if you have one police officer somewhere who does something he shouldn't have, the press will breathlessly report on this terrible, horrible police officer and all the Democratic politicians will jump in and demonize and vilify the cops. Let me ask you something, how come the press doesn't tell stories of heroism, but the great news is we don't live anymore in a world of three networks that have a stranglehold on information.

We've got the internet. We've got talk radio, social media, and the ability to go directly around and directly to the people.

KURTZ: Senator Cruz, thank you very much for joining us.


KURTZ: My conversation with Ted Cruz.

After the break, I asked Donald Trump about his general election strategy if he gets that far, and wait until you hear what he said about himself and Barack Obama.

And later, New York Times investigates Hillary's role in Bill Clinton's affairs just as the media are finally focusing on the Sanders surge.


KURTZ: When I sat down with Donald Trump in Las Vegas, I asked him about his handling of South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley taking a swipe at him by talking about the GOP's angriest voices.


KURTZ: You said in the last debate that you embraced the mantle of anger.
And I understand you were angry about...


KURTZ: People view you like an optimistic candidate.

TRUMP: I am an optimistic candidate because I'm going to make it things better. Make America great again is a positive thing. I like Nikki Haley.
She likes me. She said I am a friend of hers. She did say in the speeches there's great anger out there, but you go to my rallies yesterday in Oklahoma I filled up a stadium. Today in Las Vegas, the ballroom was packed. No matter where I go, the people are angry. They really want to see our country be great again.


TRUMP: I have to be doing something because I feel the same way that they do. I am angry at the Iran deals. I am angry at our deals with China.
Where we do nothing about it, and we have to take care of everybody, I am angry about all these things, but I'll be very happy when I change it.

KURTZ: If you're the nominee will you tone down your rhetoric a bit? Will you reach out to minorities more?

TRUMP: Absolutely. I think I'm going to do great with the African- American -- if you look at minorities, the African-American poll came out, I was at 25 percent. I am going to do great with the African-Americans. I think I'm going to do great with the Hispanics. I think I'm going to do great with the Asians.

KURTZ: Do you mean absolutely are going to take different approaches?

TRUMP: I don't know if you want to change so much. The African-Americans love me. Look at what happened as an example with African-American youth,
54 percent, 58 percent, they don't even no it's so high. They can't get jobs. Look at African-American people in their prime, 30s, 40s and 50s, they want jobs. They're going to like me better than Obama. The truth is Obama has done nothing for them.

KURTZ: Did you just say African-Americans will like you better than the first African-American President?

TRUMP: I think relatively speaking -- he does have a slight advantage. I think relatively speaking when I'm finished, I think they will absolutely love Donald Trump. I am going to create wealth for the country. People will partake. We're going to take jobs from China, Japan, all these countries, and African Americans will benefit these are great people. They want jobs.

KURTZ: If you are the nominee, will you continue to do so many interviews.

TRUMP: I think I am not going to change too much. I have to do the fair shows, but you have always treated me very fairly. I will do the shows.
The last month of the campaign, President Obama was all over the place. I would call up Romney's people and would say why isn't he campaigning? That was a big mistake, no, I am not disappearing.

KURTZ: Donald Trump, thank you very much.

TRUMP: Thank you very much.


KURTZ: In an interview, Trump also criticized Fox's Megyn Kelly and
(Inaudible) she shouldn't be one of the moderators in this week's Iowa debate. Fox News putting out a statement, Megyn Kelly has no conflict of interest. Donald Trump is just trying to build up the audience for Thursday's debate for which we thank him.

Next on the program, with Bernie Sanders threatening to win Iowa and New Hampshire, are the media no longer portraying Hillary as inevitable?


KURTZ: For a year now, the media have refused to take Bernie Sanders seriously, because obviously, Hillary was going to win. All the pundits said so. With Sanders surging, the DNC has hastily added another debate tomorrow, and while two of the two Democrats have been ratcheting up their attacks.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't take money from big banks. I don't get personal speaking fees from Goldman Sachs.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He has voted with the NRA, with the gun lobby numerous times. He voted against the Brady Bill five times. He voted for what we call the Charleston loophole.


KURTZ: Utterly underplayed the Sanders phenomenon for year, not unlike many missing the Trump phenomenon. Are the media overdoing the Hillary in trouble line?

SCHLAPP: I don't think they're overdoing it, I think they're coming to the realization that Sanders could be a real contender, that he's really -- it's not just an organic movement but the fact that you have so many of these Democrats, a lot small donors, when they're looking at the last quarter, $26 million Bernie Sanders earned.

KURTZ: He could win Iowa and New Hampshire, imagine how crazy the press would go over the Clinton campaign. The one thing I think Sanders didn't get as much coverage that he might have although Trump overshadowed everyone. He refused to personally attack Clinton. He scolded reporters when asking him to do it. Now he's doing it somewhat, coverage is ramping up.

SCHLAPP: I think that Sanders is taking a page out of Trump's political book, which is I have been attacked by Hillary Clinton and I am attacking back. He says he's not surprised that the media is supporting Clinton.
This is after the Des Moines Register yesterday. It's fascinating that Sanders has decided she's going after me and I'm not going to stay quiet.
I have to attack back.

KURTZ: (Inaudible) Ok, New York Times had a story this past week about Bill Clinton's sex scandals and how many young women who didn't live through the Monica Lewinsky era are turned over of Hillary in her role of fighting back. How important is that story?

SCHLAPP: I think it's very important. Remember when we had this discussion two weeks ago about society evolving. This is after the Bill Cosby sexual allegations that came out, the fact that our society is very aware of what's happening with victims of sexual assault, even Hillary Clinton is talking about every voice of women who have been raped or sexually assaulted. So this story about Bill Clinton is now really resonating. Why, because we have a percentage of the population didn't know who Monica Lewinsky was.

These young feminists are like, she's supposed to be defending women, wait.

KURTZ: I think Donald Trump is the reason it hit the mainstream media, not that it wasn't mentioned before. But there was the debate, is this fair game?

SCHLAPP: We agree it was fair game.

KURTZ: Now the New York time has kind of certified it. Let's go back to the interviews. You saw my interview with Donald Trump. He said African- American voters will like him than President Obama.

SCHLAPP: I think that might be tough. But Smiley came out, African- American, and said, if you're black or brown, what would be the three good reasons to come out and vote this time? There is a sense of disappointment in the African-American community. Is Trump the solution? That's questionable. A lot of coalition building it will take. Even Republicans have struggled in the past. I think it will be interesting for Trump to win the minority vote.

KURTZ: He doesn't shy away from bringing these bold claims. All right, Ted Cruz said to me as you saw, almost without exception, members of the mainstream media, journalists are partisan Democrats. If that is true, how would he explain the fact that he also said that journalists are letting Trump drive the agenda, why would partisan Democratic journalists be nice to Donald Trump?

SCHLAPP: Sure. I think this is a narrative that's worked for Ted Cruz, the media is the enemy. With that being said, you have Trump having the mantle of anger, you have Cruz trying to own the mantle of conservativism, and I think that's the primary reason why he's saying the media is favoring Trump over me. He's playing his game that way.

KURTZ: Nobody likes the press these days, such a big issue in this campaign.

Still to come, we are digging our way, just starting to of this monster blizzard here in D.C. and along the east coast, and thoughts of the media and extreme weather coverage, next.


KURTZ: Well, as we just start digging out of this monster snowstorm in D.C., 25 inches of snow, I am lucky I got here. I scrambled on to a red eye out of Las Vegas after the interview with Trump. We didn't know if you would make it.

SCHLAPP: My nephew Jason is stuck here from Wichita, Kansas, with his high school. My husband had to try to save a neighbor whose car got stuck in the middle of the road. My daughter had to walk a mile to get home yesterday. It has been eventful here in Washington, D.C.

KURTZ: During this whole thing, you see intrepid car respondents out in the snow in the middle of the blizzard falling into snow banks. We're looking at some of the pictures. I confess I have made fun of this in the past because, why aren't they inside and just showing us the pictures. But at the same time, this is a story if you live on the east coast that touched everybody. I guess everybody wants to see what it feels like.

SCHLAPP: That's right. I think these journalists out there they're the snow warriors for this big snowstorm.

KURTZ: Is this kind of like going off to a war zone where you can prove you're not just someone who sits in a climate controlled studio?

SCHLAPP: That's right. You have to be out there with the snow, doing the snow angels. If they could go sledding that would be good.

KURTZ: And obviously, the media provides important information for example, D.C. airports are shut down. It's good to know that. But it's good for ratings.

SCHLAPP: True. Stay inside. Stay warm. Make yourself a cup of hot cocoa.

KURTZ: Listen to Mercedes. All right, that is it for this edition of "MediaBuzz." I am Howard Kurtz. Glad we were able to make it. Check out our Facebook page. Give us a like. We post a lot of original content.
Next week, we're going to Iowa for the big Fox News debate. We'll come to you live from Des Moines for next week's "MediaBuzz." We'll be in Iowa, the center of the political universe, with the latest "MediaBuzz."

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