Political strategist Pat Caddell, who hosts the Political Insiders roundtable for Fox News at 7:30 PM Eastern on Sunday nights, joined host Stephen K. Bannon on Wednesday’s edition of Breitbart News Daily to look at the state of the 2016 primaries on both sides of the aisle.
In both the Democrat and Republican races, Caddell saw party establishments pushing back hard against insurgencies … making it possible this epic “Year of the Outsider” will end with two establishment candidates, and a great many disillusioned voters.
“The Establishment in this country, which the American people, in both parties, and independents — I mean, 70, 80 percent and more — despise and dislike … you know, they are in bed together because they have a very corrupt and cozy relationship,” said Caddell. “And the American people, particularly in the Republican Party, want that stopped.”
He described the Democrat process that would hand the nomination to Hillary Clinton using party-loyal super-delegates, even after
Meanwhile, on the Republican side, Caddell said, “We have this incredible fantasy” that millions of voters would be disregarded by the party, in favor of some establishment pick inserted at the convention.
“I understand cognitive dissonance. I understand why the Establishment can’t understand, and will not give any credence to the legitimacy, of the rising discontent of the American people, to be the rulers of their own country,” he said, adding that he was “amazed” by the contempt displayed by GOP elites for Donald Trump’s supporters — who are treated like “drug addicts, or little HItlers, or what have you.”
“It is just despicable what these people are saying, and it shows what Bill Greider said many, many years ago. The secret is, long before the American people had contempt for Washington, Washington had contempt for the people, and the voters,” Caddell said, referring to an observation made by journalist William Greider, author of Who Will Tell the People: The Betrayal of American Democracy. “They are the ones who have nothing but utter contempt for the country out here, outside the Beltway, outside their cozy, corrupt relationships that they exercise.”
“They do not grasp what’s going on in this country, the revolution that is at work,” he declared. “And the American people are not to be mocked, the way some of these people think.”
Caddell said he agreed with commentators such as Newt Gingrich, who said it would be suicidal for the Republican Party to cast aside its two top primary competitors in favor of some 11th-hour replacement candidate, especially after so many establishment figures decided to rally behind
“After all, you don’t really think that Jeb Bush, and
Likewise, Caddell thought the Wisconsin primary, which Ted Cruz won in a landslide on Tuesday, was not a “pro-Ted Cruz” vote, because a lot of the voters “didn’t particularly care for him,” but wanted to keep Trump away from the nomination. He described Wisconsin as “Donald Trump’s disaster,” because “he lost people who are dissatisfied with Washington,” and “people who think the Republican Party has sold out” or betrayed its voters … groups Trump has been winning by sizable margins in previous contests.
“He’s got a third of the people voting yesterday who thought he was too ‘scary,’ if he were President they would be scared of what would happen, and altogether a solid majority saying they would be ‘scared’ or ‘concerned,’” he noted.
However, Caddell went on to note exit polls that showed “60 percent or more of the voters yesterday said whoever came into the convention with the most delegates should be nominated,” which would seem to render such #NeverTrump voting pointless, because there is effectively no chance for any other candidate to surpass his delegate total. Also, he cited polls that showed a majority of Trump voters would not support Cruz if he were the nominee, and vice versa, which makes it harder to promote Cruz as a unity candidate.
Caddell said the real lesson for Cruz from the Wisconsin primary is that “He is doing well because he’s running against Trump’s personality, and the way Trump has been acting. I thought his speech last night [was] kind of to that effect.”
Meanwhile, the challenge for Trump was to “transition, and grow to meet the acceptability threshold to be president.”
Caddell thought a negative reaction to Trump’s personal style explained why support for his candidacy was flagging, even though his issues, such as free trade and immigration, have come to dominate the Republican primary. Caddell said:
He is just not growing into being a presidential candidate. He has got to raise his game here, and he has not. And I thought that statement last night was not. Everyone is tired of ‘Lyin’ Ted,’ and all this crap from Trump. It’s time for him to grow up, and go after his real enemy, which the Republican Party believes is the establishment. They want someone who’s gonna shake up Washington. He should be running on corruption. He should be running on what the Republican leadership has done, and the Democratic leadership. He should be running on this Iran stuff. He should be running on every one of his issues. That’s what brought him the voters.
Caddell predicted that if the two party establishments override their primary voters, sweeping aside popular candidates to install their own choices, there would be a “revolt” among the American people, because “it’s all been exposed to them, how rigged the system is.” He went on:
Ninety percent of them believe that it’s a rigged system, and now they’re getting it thrown at them. And remember, there are huge numbers of voters that are not participating in the primaries. That’s about 20 percent of the electorate in November. The rest of the people are sitting there, amazed. They’re not partisans that much, and they’re looking at this in absolute disgust, that this is the seizure … that this country has [been] brought into, in their view, into decline, on the road to ruin, by a political class that is out for itself, and most of all preserving its power at all costs.”
“They are not going to buy off on this deal, that the country belongs to the people inside the Beltway, and that the rest of the country is a bunch of yahoos. That’s not gonna work this time,” Caddell predicted.