Why conservatives are split on Donald Trump

Charles Krauthammer joins 'The O'Reilly Factor' to analyze the GOP frontrunner and the 2016 election


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," March 21, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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O'REILLY: And in the "Impact Segment" tonight, we continue with Charles Krauthammer who is in Washington. So, conservative media voices and politicians split on Trump, even on this news channel. Do you see any pattern in support or dissent or is it random?

KRAUTHAMMER: I don't know if there is a pattern. I don't know if I could identify a personality type. But I would say generally speaking, people who are truly committed to conservatism as a cause, rather than the Republican Party as a vehicle are -- have been resisting coming on board Trump for the simple reason that he is not a conservative. Now, there are others who have now signed on, who are conservative and I'm assuming because here I'm projecting because I'm not one of them, but if you are asking me to speak on their behalf, they believe either that he is malleable or that if they can climb on board the Trump train, they will have influence and they will steer him into conservatism.

O'REILLY: All right. But I'm more interested in the cult of personality in the segment. So, this is fascinating. A guy like Glenn Beck, all right, can't stand Donald Trump. And he is very conservative, very constitutional doctrinaire. Another guy on talk radio Michael Savage, very conservative, loves Donald Trump. All right? And then varying degrees in and out of that crew. On the political front you have Chris Christie from New Jersey a moderate governor. He supports Donald Trump as we know.

And then you have on the other side Senator Ben Sass from Nebraska, another conservative. He doesn't want anything to do with Trump. I mean, it's just Lindsey Graham, hates Trump. But Governor Paul LePage of Maine, another conservative guy loves Trump. So, I can't really process this. Even here when I watch the individual shows, you know, Bolling loves Trump. You don't like him. I don't know how it gets -- how we get there at all.

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, I object to the use of the word hate. I don't hate anybody.

O'REILLY: I said you don't like him.

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, no, I don't like him. But it's not a matter of liking.

O'REILLY: All right. Politically, you don't support --

KRAUTHAMMER: -- or anything, you'd be a great guy. The question is do I want him to be president of the United States?

O'REILLY: Yes. You don't support him.

KRAUTHAMMER: Well, because I think he would not be a good president. I think he would be a terrible president.

O'REILLY: But why do you think that and then a guy like Bolling who, you know, is promoting Trump. See, there is something about Trump that I think alienates people on a very emotional level. Would that be wrong in saying that?

KRAUTHAMMER: No, I'm not sure it's emotional. I think it has to do with two things. One is ideology. There are people who don't particularly care about his positions. I'm not even sure anyone knows his positions. Have you got any idea what Trump's position is on the H1 visas? Do you think even Trump has any idea what his position is?

O'REILLY: On which?

KRAUTHAMMER: On the H1-B visas?

O'REILLY: The visas you get educated people.

KRAUTHAMMER: Yes. He took three positions in one night in the debate.

O'REILLY: He favors that. I know all of his positions. If you want to know anything about him, come to me, I know every position that he --

KRAUTHAMMER: Do you know his position on people being deported?

O'REILLY: Yes, he says he is going to deport 12 million.

KRAUTHAMMER: Yes. He says.

O'REILLY: He says.

KRAUTHAMMER: And then after he deports them --

O'REILLY: He is not going to deport them.

KRAUTHAMMER: But this is what he says.

O'REILLY: But I explained why he couldn't and I think he realizes that.

KRAUTHAMMER: Oh, come on.

O'REILLY: Look, he says these things and he wants to do them. He wants to do them, all right? But when faced with the reality of a federal court system, which is going to block him, the first time he knocks on a door, what can he do? And he understands the system that is going to be blocked. He knows it.

KRAUTHAMMER: But the point is, when you are choosing a president, the only thing you have to go on is what he says. So, he says he wants to deport 12 million people. And then he says that after he deports them, he wants to go through them and to find the really terrific ones.

O'REILLY: But he has never even going to get.

KRAUTHAMMER: He is going to have the department of terrificness and they are going to examine all of these people and terrific ones are going to come back.

O'REILLY: Right. So, you have been around long enough to know that politicians --

KRAUTHAMMER: -- I want to be head of that department.

O'REILLY: Politicians say things to mobilize support. And then they say, you know once I get the power, then I will deal with it. So, I want to do it, I'm sincere in saying I want to do it, and I will find a way. And then they get in there and look at Barack Obama. The best example. I'm going to do this. I'm going to do that. I'm going to -- and he does butkus other than the healthcare.

KRAUTHAMMER: Bill, one segment ago, you introduced it by saying, politicians say stuff and when the votes are counted everything disappears --

O'REILLY: Disappears.

KRAUTHAMMER: Into thin air.

O'REILLY: Right.

KRAUTHAMMER: Isn't that what you are saying that Trump is doing?

O'REILLY: He wants to do what he says --

KRAUTHAMMER: I want to fly. I want to sprout wings right now and fly.

O'REILLY: All right.

KRAUTHAMMER: But that's not what I am running for if I am running for president.

O'REILLY: I understand and told Donald Trump to his face that the deportation of 12 million is never going to happen. All right? And millions of people heard and saw that. But they are still going to vote for Trump because they like his spirit. They like the sentiment. Last word.

KRAUTHAMMER: I want you to be head of the department of terrificness.


KRAUTHAMMER: I think you would be a wonderful guy for that.

O'REILLY: I don't know. I'm not so terrific.

KRAUTHAMMER: But you -- you have a discerning eye for terrificness.

O'REILLY: That's why you are on for two segments.

KRAUTHAMMER: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: Charles Krauthammer, everybody.

KRAUTHAMMER: I'm ready for a third.

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