Conservatives are beginning to unite in an effort to stop Donald Trump from being the GOP candidate for the presidency. The iconic conservative publication, The National Review, has decided to lead the charge and recently released a series of articles explaining why they were standing against Trump. Their editor, Rich Lowry sat down with Megyn Kelly on Fox News to explain why they were taking this stand now.
If you truly are conservative, you believe in ideas and in principles. It’s not just attitudes. It’s not just who you dislike.
It’s limited government. It’s the Constitution. It’s liberty.
Those are the things that truly make this country special. And they are basically afterthoughts to Donald Trump. He almost never talks about them. And if you’re truly a conservative, you have a consistent record. We all change our minds on a few things every now and then when the facts change. But he has been on the other side on big hot-button defining issues like abortion, gun control, taxes and even immigration…
Ronald Reagan spent about 30 or 40 years marinating in conservative thought and advocating for conservative ideas. He just didn’t show up one day and say, ‘Hey, now I’m a conservative.’
Later on the same show Kelly spoke with three of the contributors to that National Review stand against Trump – Brent Bozell, Dana Loesch and Katie Pavlich – and they hit on many of the same themes as Lowry.
MEGYN KELLY: Here now, three people contributing to stop Donald Trump, Dana Loesch, the host of “Dana” on The Blaze TV, Brent Bozell, the chairman of the group “For America” that’s the nation’s largest on-line conservative network, and Katie Pavlich, who’s a Fox News contributor and news editor of Townhall.com.
Dana, let me start with you. Glenn Beck has got the first piece in this. You also add your two cents, saying you were on the front lines with the Tea Party, standing with the placards out on the sidewalks, you didn’t see Donald Trump there.
DANA LOESCH: No. And Megyn, you know to that point, I was on that first phone call, the night that we were all, a group of us, were planning the first Tea Party rallies and founding the modern day Tea Party movement. I didn’t stand out. I didn’t phone bank and I didn’t go door to door for increased mandate for ethanol. I didn’t do it for eminent domain. I did it for principles over popularity. And when I’m looking at the primary, I feel as though a lot of this has turned into popularity over principles. That’s what conservatism is. It’s principle. I know Donald Trump. I think he is a nice guy. I think he’s got a fantastic family. But that’s not enough to me, anyway, to win over the White House. I want someone who is a great leader and is a staunch conservative and I don’t have to question their authenticity.
KELLY: Brent, you know what is happening right now. A lot of Trump supporters are saying these people are establishment. They don’t get it. We just want someone who can go in there and screw with Washington the way they feel their lives have been messed with.
BRENT BOZELL: Megyn, anyone who knows me, knows I was fighting the establishment well before fighting the establishment was cool. I was fighting the establishment with the Buchanan Brigades in 1992. So why aren’t we speaking out about this? To suggest that Trump has had some kind of road to Damascus, a transformation, just isn’t true. Look, Ronald Reagan spent 16 years working for conservative principles. Giving speeches. traveling around the country, raising money for conservative organizations, supporting Barry Goldwater. Doing all those things that advance the conservative movement for decades, before he ran for President. Donald Trump did none of it until three months ago. Up until three months ago, this is a man who said he was a proud Democrat. This is a man who said he was a proud supporter of Hillary Clinton. A man who said he is a proud supporter of Planned Parenthood. This is what he said he was. I think people have to say, it’s been a lot of fun, up until now. Do we only care about rattling the cages in Washington or do we as conservatives want it fundamentally change this course of destruction that we’re on? And Donald Trump has no record of ever supporting any of these things.
KELLY: Katie, the pieces talk about, this is from Bill Kristol, that he’s the very the “epitome of vulgarity.” This is another piece that he is whatever he pleases to be at the moment. The only principle being the triumph of his will. It’s a harsh litany of accusations against him. Does it run any risk of having the opposite of its intended effect? Having the Trump supporters say, that’s it. We’re dug in even more. These people don’t understand us.
KATIE PAVLICH: Look, I think there’s a lot of people supporting Donald Trump who are going to continue to support Donald Trump. But as we see with the race in Iowa, there is a rift between Donald Trump and people who are looking at Ted Cruz as a conservative option. Again, this does go back to principles. We have to ask ourselves here whether we are willing to set the precedent with Donald Trump and just throwing away years and years and decades and centuries of conservative principles and values simply because a candidate comes in and says all of the right things.
KELLY: He says he is conservative. He says he is conservative.
PAVLICH: But he’s not, Megyn. He can say he is just like he says he is a lot of things. But the fact is that Donald Trump, his liberal past, is not behind him. He has gone out on the current campaign trail, and espoused liberal ideas and big government propositions and proposals. So to say his liberal past is behind him that he has somehow changed and he is now conservative just doesn’t mesh with the facts. Conservatives, historically have prided themselves on voting on records and voting for candidates who have been loyal to the Constitution and loyal to conservative principles. Donald Trump is not that candidate.