David Brooks: "I Wish We Had Gray Men In Suits" To Take Out Trump, Cruz


Conservative New York Times columnist calls for the "donor class" to create an organization like MoveOn.org to take out Republican frontrunners Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz. Brooks said he wished "we had gray men in suits" to take away Trump and Cruz in his Friday appearance on PBS' NewsHour.

JUDY WOODRUFF, PBS NEWSHOUR HOST: Well, does that mean something, though, for Jeb Bush? Does it — does that translate into something for him?

DAVID BROOKS, NYT COLUMNIST: Well, Jeb Bush is part of a large group of people who are like the team at halftime who — like the Republican establishment, who feel like they’re down 50 points and they have decided they’re going to lose the game.

And that’s how the Republican establishment is right now. They don’t believe that Ted Cruz or Donald Trump can win. They think it could imperil their majorities in Congress, and yet they’re doing nothing about it.

JUDY WOODRUFF: But what could they do?

DAVID BROOKS: Well, I wish we had gray men in suits. We don’t have that.

But the donor class could do something. Frankly, the country is filled with state legislators who are Republicans, congressmen, senators, local committeemen, a lot of whom are in panic. And so maybe they should do something about it. Maybe they should have a MoveOn.org-type organization and get some rallying, which the other side has already done, and have a counterweight, so they don’t send the party into suicide.

And that might involve, not now, but after New Hampshire, winnowing the field, and donors and other people going and saying, we’re just going to pick this guy. We’re going to pick Rubio. I’m sorry, Jeb, you’re not going to be president. Christie, you can be secretary of treasury, but we’re going to get organized here and we’re not going to go quietly into the night.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, go back to some kind of smoke-filled room? I mean, is that…

DAVID BROOKS: I’m pro-conspiracy right now.


MARK SHIELDS: You think it’s that critical?

DAVID BROOKS: Well, you know, I’m sort of — I have no confidence in my judgment. I shouldn’t say that on TV.



JUDY WOODRUFF: Mark and I have confidence in your judgment.

DAVID BROOKS: Because I thought Trump would fade. And I still sort of think he will fade. But it’s not looking…

JUDY WOODRUFF: Sort of? You have backed…

DAVID BROOKS: I mean, it’s — right now, Trump and Cruz are both looking pretty good. And I don’t think either is electable, and neither do a lot of Republicans. And so the question is, why do they just sit there and do nothing?

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