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Kristol: Let Ron Paul Go

10:44 AM, Jan 17, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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This morning on C-SPAN, the boss said he thinks it would be good for the Republican party to part ways with Ron Paul. (Watch the video here.)

Ron Paul 2007

“A lot of people when they criticize Ron Paul have to preface their criticism by saying, ‘you know, he’s good guy, he brings a lot to the debate,’” Bill Kristol said on C-SPAN. “I actually don’t buy that. I do not think he’s a particular good guy . . . I think it would be better for the Republican party, if he left the Republican party.”

The boss said the inclination to keep Paul a member of the party is wrong. “A lot of Republicans are spending a lot of time [thinking], ‘how do we keep Ron Paul under the tent? How do we make sure he doesn’t go third party?”

Kristol then drew a comparison to how Republicans made an effort to keep Pat Buchanan and his followers under a big tent—and reminded the C-SPAN audience that Buchanan probably ended up hurting Republicans’ efforts in 1992 and 1996.

“[Buchanan] left the party in 1999 and a lot of people, and I was one of them, said, goodbye and good riddance, you’re not in the mainstream of the Republican party, go run as some Reform party candidate . . . he did in 2000 and he didn’t get many votes and actually George W. Bush I think was helped—and the Republican party was helped—to be free of Buchanan’s extreme isolationism, protectionism, anti-Israel views, and the like. Ron Paul is a little different from Pat Buchanan—but he’s no better, in my view. And I actually think we’d benefit in the long run—but even in the short run . . .”

The boss concluded: “I don't think anyone should plead with him not to run or to stay in the party. I would be comfortable in a general election if Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum as the Republican in the Reagan tradition and debating both Barack Obama and Ron Paul.”

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