Let's turn to the experts on conservatives... conservatives!
Whoa-Ho, and do they have a lot to say about each other! We'll start with basic Republican "values," and then take individuals, in alphabetical order. Scroll down to your favorite Con-man (or Con-Gal) to see what other conservatives really think of them.
"Today's Republican Party is a radical insurgency – ideologically extreme, scornful of facts and compromise, dismissive of its political opposition."
"My great concern, manifested especially since 9/11, is the assaults on our fundamental civil liberties by this administration. For example, in the disregard for the rule of law as exhibited by the warrantless NSA (National Security Agency) electronic surveillance in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. More recently, the documented abuses at the FBI in carrying out certain of the expanded powers granted in the Patriot Act, namely, national security letters. And in January of this year (2007), the testimony by the attorney general that this administration does not believe that the fundamental right to a writ of habeas corpus is an important, fundamental, constitutional guarantee. So what we have is a party, the Republican Party, to which I was very proud to belong for many, many years, no longer being committed to a core conservative philosophy."
"The Republican Party looks at massive immigration, legal and illegal, as a source of cheap labor, satisfying a very important constituency."
"I thought I was a conservative, but we've got some in Congress now who are so far right they're about to fall out of the Capitol."
"Reagan couldn’t have made it. Certainly Nixon could not have made it because he had ideas. (I) might have made it (in the current Republican Party scheme), but I doubt it."
"It's always the wacko-birds that get the media megaphone."
"They (Tea Party Republicans) are good at getting Facebook likes, and town halls, not much else."
"The Republican Party is drifting toward a dangerous path that puts extreme party ideology above national interest."
"We've had enough of this dumbed-down conservativism. We need to stop being so simplistic; we need to trust the intelligence of the American people, and stop insulting the intelligence of the voters."
"Ask your Republican member of Congress, 'What is your replacement for Obamacare?' And they will have zero answer. We are caught up right now in a culture... and you see it every day... where as long as we are negative, as long as we are vicious, as long as we can tear down our opponent, we don't have to worry. So we don't. This is a very deep problem. I'm being totally candid with you."
"I just want us to be really cautious, because this strain of libertarianism that’s going through the party right now and making big headlines, I think, is a very dangerous thought. You can name any one of them that’s engaged in this. I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation. I’m very nervous about the direction this is moving in."
"It's the dumbest idea I've ever heard of."
"There are between 180 and 200 members of the House Republican conference on any given day who have an affirmative sense of governance, OK? They want to get things done for the good of the country, realize that we have very real governing responsibilities and take them seriously. As I’ve said, there are a few dozen members who don’t share that sense of governance. I mean you can go out there and try to identify the folks if you want. I’m not going to call anybody out by name – it’s not my role to do that."
"One funder of the Club for Growth (Tea Party organization) has invested in a project to explore the creation of floating libertarian cities, called 'seasteads.' What type of ideology would cause men and women to forsake their green and pleasant land to start anew on an oil derrick. It is certainly not conservatism."
"My party has gone batshit crazy."
"The thing that's guiding the Republican Party today is just abject fear, and they're afraid of the wrong things."
"With its descent to baiting blacks, Mexicans and Muslims, its accomodation of conspiracy theories and an increasing nastiness and vulgarity, the conservative movement has undergone a shift toward demagoguery and hucksterism. Once the talk was of neocons versus palecons. Now we observe the rule of the crazy-cons."
"The GOP has scores of racists. Under Richard Nixon’s blessing, the GOP took advantage of disgruntled Democrats in the South. They are still there and their children are there. This is very much known in our party. This was a conscious strategy."
"They took the intelligence and cherry-picked it, reinforcing the idea that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. There are several reasons. President George W. Bush wanted a stellar victory. Vice President Dick Cheney and Bush are both oil men and wanted to ensure 300 billion barrels didn’t stay in Saddam’s hands. The Israel lobby and [former Deputy Secretary of Defense] Paul Wolfowitz wanted to get rid of Saddam. There is no singular motivation. There are many, including wanting to send a message to all concerned after 9/11 that said, very forcefully, 'Don’t mess with America.' We wasted a ton of money. It went into people’s pockets, like Halliburton and Lockheed Martin and Bechtel — and a lot of Iraqis like Ahmed Chalabi."
"I've about had it with these people. We've got one candidate who says that we ought to abolish Medicaid and Medicare. Have you ever heard anything as crazy as that? We're going to tell seniors or out-to-be-seniors in America that we're going to abolish Medicaid and Medicare? We've got one person saying we ought to have a ten percent flat tax. That will drive up the deficit in this country by trillions of dollars that my daughters will have to spend the rest of their lives having to pay off. We've got one guy who says we ought to take 10 or 11 million people, and pick them up and take them to the border and scream at them to 'get out of our country.' That's just crazy. We've got people proposing health care reform that's going to leave, I believe, millions of people without health insurance. What has happened to our party?"
"Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists. And the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander-in-chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin. And that's despicable!"
"This is exactly what has been happening in the Republican Party for the past half century. Over these decades, one pattern has been constant: Wingers fight to take over the party, mainstream Republican bob and weave to keep their seats. Republicans on the extreme ferociously attack their fellow party members. Those in the middle backpedal to avoid conflict. The Republicans on the extreme are willing to lose elections to promote their principles. Conservatives have trounced the moderates and driven them from the party. These days the fight is between the protesters and the professionals. The protesters don't believe in governance. They have zero tolerance for the compromises needed to get legislation passed. They dont' believe in trimming and coalition building. All across the nation there are mainstream Republicans lamenting how the party has grown more and more insular, more and more rigid... while wingers have trashed the party's reputation by swinging from one embarrassing and unelectable option to the next: Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum. Where were the party leaders when all the forces that distort the GOP were mestastasizing, during the rise of Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck? Where were they when Arizona passed its beyond-the-fringe immigration law? Where were they in the summer of 2011 when the House Republicans rejected even the possibility of budget compromise? We've had a primary campaign that isn't about issues, it's a series of heresy trials in which each of the candidates accuse the others of tribal impurity. Leaders of a party are supposed to educate the party, to police against its worst indulgences. They're supposed to define a creed and establish boundaries. Republican leaders haven't done that."
"If another Republican man says anything about rape other than it is a horrific, violent crime, I want to personally cut out his tongue."
"For the last couple of years, we’ve had this wing of the party running roughshod over the rest of the party. Tossing out terms like RINO saying we’re going to purge, you know, the moderates out of the party. We’ve lost five U.S. Senate seats over the last two election cycles. And fundamentally we need Republicans, whether they’re running for president, whether they’re in the leadership of the Congress, to stand up against a lot of this assininity."
"What is being proposed (by Republicans) by several governors and politicians is morally reprehensible, un-American and in some instances legally untenable. If I may be blunt."
"Everything they have touched has failed or backfired."
"Trump, for his part, echoes the proto-fascist America First movement championed by Charles Lindbergh. He wants to close off America from the rest of the world. He quite simply doesn't have a clue about foreign policy. How can you tell when Trump is lying? Answer: When he is moving his lips. You really can't predict what he will say from one day to the next, or if he will say the same thing again the following day. He is an unstable egomaniac who is unfit for public office, any office. We Republicans brought Trump on ourselves. The congressional leadership, K Street lobbyists and public policy intellectuals (save a few) only talked to themselves. They had no clue as to what was going on out in the country and lost touch with the party's working-class base. Instead of the tony restaurants of D.C., I suggest they visit the fast-food joints and bars of the Midwest, the South and California's Central Valley. Simply put, a whole lot of soul-searching is ahead of us."
"Movements like this, with toxic and nasty stuff, have existed in one form or another, but they've been kept on the outer fringes of American political life. Now it's command and control at headquarters. If the GOP fully becomes the home to the Breitbart and alt-right movement, it'll cease to be the Republican Party as we've known it. There will be a huge crack-up beyond anything we've seen."
GREG ABBOTT(Texas governor, Republican)
"Your letter pandering to idiots who believe that US Navy Seals and other military personnel are somehow a threat to be watched has left me livid. As a 16-year Republican member of the Texas House and a patriotic AMERICAN, I am horrified that I have to choose between the possibility that my Governor actually believes this stuff and the possibility that my Governor doesn't have the backbone to stand up to those who do. I'm not sure which is worse. I am appalled that you would give credence to the nonsense mouthed by those who instead make decisions based on internet or radio shock jock driven hysteria. Is there ANYBODY who is going to stand up to this radical nonsense that is cancer on our State and Party? Enough is enough. You have embarrassed and disappointed all Texans who are informed, patriotic Americans."
"She's got a record of misstating and making false statements. There's a big difference between talking and getting stuff done. Her record in Congress is non-existent."
BRENT BOZELL(conservative writer, and founder and president of Media Research Center, a conservative media "watchdog")
"Bozell is a hater, and he has a long, sordid history with weird personal axes to grind."
GEORGE W. BUSH
"I wondered from the first, if the President didn't know the questions to ask, or if he did know and just not want to know the answers? He's like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people."
"If you had a European prime minister who experienced what we’ve experienced it would be expected that he would retire or resign."
“One can't doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed....different plans have to be made. And the kernel here is the acknowledgement of defeat.”
"He's a Pat Robertson Republican."
"I also think that when, you know, it’s always the wacko birds on right and left that get the media megaphone."
"You finally you saw it with Ted Cruz. Maybe he was the one that who’s got a bridge too far. Maybe we’ll start seeing our elected leaders stop being intimidated by this nonsense, have the nerve, have the guts to stand up and to fight to take conservatism’s good name back from the freak show that’s been running wild for four years and that I have deep regret in my part, certainly, in initiating."
"He's a fraud. What he is doing is just a form of governmental terrorism."
"He's a false prophet."
"The fact is, if you come up with a strategy that's going to shut down the government of the United States, and you have no way of winning, you're either a fraud or totally incompetent. We are not going to allow Ted Cruz to hijack this party."
"I didn't go to Harvard or Princeton, but I can count. Defunding (ObamaCare) is a box canyon."
"Then we have Ted Cruz. There's been 1,950 senators in the history of this country, and I can't imagine there's been a more peculiar career than the one he's having right now. He is completely, almost insoucicantly indifferent to the idea that politics is a team sport. He is frankly loathed within the Republican Conference."
"If you're somebody who is going to say you stand on principle, you can't have foreign policy views that shift in the wind."
"In kindergarten you learn to work well together and play by the rules. Another thing you learn in kindergarten is to respect one another."
"Squabbling and sanctimony may be tolerated in other venues, or perhaps on the campaign trail, but they have no place among colleagues in the United States Senate."
"I would never contemplate going to the floor of the Senate and impugning the integrity of another senator. That's just not something we do here."
"Ted Cruz is now running strongly among evangelical voters... but in his career and public presentation Cruz is a stranger to most of what would generally be considered the Christian virtues: humility, mercy, compassion and grace... almost the dictionary definition of pharisaism: an overzealous application of the letter of the law in a way that violates the spirit of the law, as well as fairness and mercy. Cruz’s speeches are marked by what you might call pagan brutalism. There is not a hint of compassion, gentleness and mercy. Instead, his speeches are marked by a long list of enemies, and vows to crush, shred, destroy, bomb them. When he is speaking in a church the contrast between the setting and the emotional tone he sets is jarring. The best conservatism balances support for free markets with a Judeo-Christian spirit of charity, compassion and solidarity. Cruz replaces this spirit with Spartan belligerence. He sows bitterness, influences his followers to lose all sense of proportion and teaches them to answer hate with hate. This Trump-Cruz conservatism looks more like tribal, blood and soil European conservatism than the pluralistic American kind."
"He's Lucifer in the flesh. I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life."
"Ted Cruz is like any other politician. He says one thing in Manhattan, he says another thing in Iowa; he says whatever he needs to say to get elected."
"He's a nasty guy. Nobody likes him. Nobody in Congress likes him. Nobody likes him anywhere once they get to know him."
"I just don't like the guy."
"He's a carnival barker, a counterfeit, with no qualifications and appealing to the lowest common denominator. He's just a guy with a big mouth and no results."
"Wow, Lyin' Ted Cruz really went wacko today. Made all sorts of crazy charges. He can't function under pressure. He's a very agnry man. He's unhinged and desperate. Today's ridiculous outburst only proves what I have been saying for a long time, that Ted Cruz does not have the temperament to be president of the United States."
"When you say 'radical right' today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party away from the Republican Party, and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye."
"I think every good Christian ought to kick (Jerry) Falwell right in the ass."
"I’m not inclined to be a supporter of Newt Gingrich’s having served under him for four years and personally experienced his leadership. There’s all types of leaders. Leaders that instill confidence, leaders that are somewhat abrupt and brisk. Leaders that have one standard for the people that they’re leading and a different standard for themselves. I just found his leadership lacking."
"I'm getting emails all morning, 'Rush, will you explain it.' Why do I have to explain it? I'm not going to justify this. I'm not going to explain this. The attack on Paul Ryan. The support for an individual mandate in health care. Folks don't ask me to explain this. There is no explanation. First off, it cuts Paul Ryan off at the knees. It supports the Obama adminstration in the lawsuit that 26 states have filed over the mandate. I know back in 1993 or something Newt supported a mandate that everyone should have to buy insurance. I am as befuddled as anyone else, is what I'm telling you. He also said that social engineering is bad, whether it's rightwing social engineering or leftwing. We're not social engineering anything; we're trying to reduce the size of government. It is inexplicable is my point."
"People are saying, 'How come I lost my mortgage and Fannie Mae paid YOU a million dollars?'"
"Sometimes comments like that are made out of malice, but if someone has no intelligence, I don’t view it as being a malicious statement."
"He has no honor. I ran him out of the race like a little boy. He is all talk and no action. He's nasty. He had zero cred in his presidential run before dropping out in disgrace. So easy to beat."
"It was you and people on Fox that said about Libya, ‘We don’t know who they were and let’s not help these people,’ They had an election and they elected moderates. They rejected Islamists. And yes, there are al-Qaida factors and there are extremists in Libya today, but the Libyan people are friends of ours, and they support us, and they support democracy. So you were wrong — you were wrong about Libya." -- John McCain, Republican senator pointing out just one tiny example of the general wrongness of Fox News.
"Fox News doesn't tell the truth." -- Tim Walberg, Michigan Republican Congressman.
"For six years that man has given me unsolicited advice... all of it bad."
JOHN KASICH(Ohio Governor)
"He's a typical politician, bought and paid for by lobbyists. He doesn't have what it takes. He can't debate. He's one of the worst presidential candidates in history. He's so easy to beat, a total failure, a total dud. He's just wasting time and money. "
WILLIAM (BILL) KRISTOL
"Despite being wrong about most everything, he remains an influential voice in politics."
"A sad case. His predictions are always wrong. Dopey. He's lost all credibility."
"Don't you remember Rush Limbaugh, the great blowhard himself, Rush Limbaugh, when he was finally caught a few years ago for being a water-boy for the Republicans, was forced to admit on his own show in his own words when he said, 'I've been a water carrier for the Republicans, but I will no longer be so.' Do you recall that particular confession of his? So he said that, and then, of course, the Bush bots and the Rush bots said, 'You see, he's an independent.' But now he's put that all behind himself, and he's going it all over again. He has always been in my opinion a frontman for the mainstream checkpants Republican establishment, which is how this talented hack got where he is."
"He's just being absurd. But an entertainer can be absurd."
"The point is that Limbaugh has so offended with his remarks that he has further muddled the issues. I realize he's 'just an entertainer,' as his apologists insist, but he is also considered a leading and powerful conservative voice. By his remarks, he has marginalized legitimate arguments and provided a trove of ammunition to those seeking to demonize Republicans who, along with at least some of their Democratic colleagues, are legitimately concerned with religious liberty."
"I would have used different words."
In the 2000 Republican primary, only four out of 55 Republican senators (those who should know him best) supported McCain for president.
"I don't think [McCain] has the temperament and leadership ability to move the country in the right direction ... I don't know anybody in Washington who has worked extensively with the senator from Arizona who doesn't have a story to tell."
"The thought of McCain being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."
"I didn't want this guy anywhere near a trigger."
"Here this poor guy is thinking he has done a good job, and he gets a new butt ripped because McCain didn't look good on television. There were an awful lot of people in the room. You'd have to stick cotton in your ears not to hear it. McCain was screaming at him, and he was red in the face."
"We’re in a different place on immigration; we’re in a different place on campaign reform; we’re in a different place on same–sex marriage; we’re in a different place on the president’s policy on interrogation of detainees. I'm a conservative Republican."
"His whole career is wrapped up in the military, national security. He's in Putin's face. He's threatening the Iranians. He wants to stay in Iraq for 100 years. What John McCain is telling you is what he's promising you. What he said is, "Make no mistake, there are going to be more wars." That is straight talk. To be quite frank, you get John McCain in the White House and I do believe we will be at war with Iran. That is one of the things that makes me very nervous about him."
"When deregulation was the wave through Washington, he surfed that wave. Now it's not, and the populist inside John McCain is out."
"The number of fellow Senators who think John McCain is psychologically unstable is large. 'The man is unhinged,' one Senator told me. 'He is frighteningly unfit to be Commander-in-Chief.'"
"A McCain presidency will be the destruction of the Republican Party."
"He has done nothing. I am no fan. All he does is go on television and talk, talk talk. He's incapable of doing anything. He has failed miserably. He's doing a lousy job in taking care of our vets. He's let us down. Graduated last in his class. Hopefully, he'll be defeated in the primaries."
"Richard Nixon was the most dishonest person I ever met in my entire life. He lied to his wife, his family, his friends, his colleagues in the Congress, lifetime members of his own political party, the American people and the world."
"The political lesson of Watergate is this: Never again must America allow an arrogant, elite guard of political adolescents to by-pass the regular party organization and dictate the terms of a national election."
"I know I will go to hell, because I pardoned Richard Nixon."
"You’re something of an expert on actively misleading people.”
"If you got it wrong, it would not be the first time you got it wrong.”
"She doesn't have any foreign policy credentials. You get a passport for the first time in your life last year? I mean, I don't know what to say. You can't say anything. I think they ought to be honest about it and stop the nonsense about, 'I look out my window and see Russia and so therefore I know something about Russia.' That kind of thing is insulting to the American people."
"The choice of Palin remains deeply problematic. It's clear that McCain picked her because he had decided that he needed a game-changer. The vice president's only constitutional duty of any significance is to become president at a moment's notice. Palin is not ready."
"The man who would be the oldest to embark on a first presidential term has chosen as his possible successor a person of negligible experience."
"The most qualified? No. I think they went for (Palin), excuse me, political (expletive) about narratives. Every time the Republicans do that because that's not where they live and it's not what they're good at and they blow it."
"She's not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president? Look at what she's done to this state. What would she do to the nation?"
"She's not qualified, she doesn't have the judgment to be next in line to the president of the United States."
"(Trying to make Palin) the VP of our country is probably the worst mistake of (McCain's) entire life."
"Most people would acknowledge that, regardless of her charm and good intentions, Palin is not ready for the top job. McCain seems to have put his political interests ahead of the nation’s when he created the possibility that she might fill it."
"She doesn't know enough about economics or foreign policy to make Americans comfortable with a President Palin should conditions warrant her promotion. Palin's recent interviews... have revealed a candidate who is out of her league. If BS was currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself. She should bow out."
"I have been disturbed about the choice (of Palin) from the start, as you know. And I have not seen any reason to feel less disturbed ... She really could be president! And here's where my fellow conservatives really worry me. They are so attracted by the symbolism of the selection that they show no concern — never mind for her executive competence — even for her views."
"The longer I think about it, the less well this selection sits with me. And I increasingly doubt that it will prove good politics. The Palin choice looks cynical. Ms. Palin's experience in government makes Barack Obama look like George C. Marshall. She has zero foreign policy experience, and no record on national security issues. The McCain campaign's slogan is 'Country First.' But question: If it were your decision, and you were putting your country first, would you put an untested small-town mayor a heartbeat away from the presidency?"
"There’s healthy and unhealthy populism. When populism becomes purely anti-intellectual, it can become unhealthy and destructive."
"She seems at best disinterested in ideas or least lacks the ability to articulate any philosophical justification for them. She relies instead on shallow talking points. She seems to me to be extremely defensive and embittered."
"If you close your eyes and listen to Palin and her most irate supporters constantly squawk or bellyache or tweet about how unfair a ride she gets from evil mustache-twirling elites and RINO saboteurs, she sounds like a professional victimologist, the flip side of any lefty grievance group leader. She’s becoming Al Sharpton, Alaska edition. The only difference being, she looks like a librarian instead of James Brown."
"She is living up to the most skeptical assessment of her."
"She has some demands on her time, and a lot of them have financial benefit attached to them."
"I sat next to her once. Thought she was beautiful. She’s very happy in Alaska, and I hope she’ll stay there."
"And just a more corporate problem is I think our party and particularly our movement, the conservative movement, does have more of a problem with con men and charlatans than the Democratic Party. I mean, the incentives seem to be set up to allow people — as long as you have a band of a few million fanatical followers, you can make money."
"She was a net negative because someone was nominated to the vice presidency who was manifestly unprepared to take the oath of office should it become necessary and as it has become necessary many times in American history. The notion of Sarah Palin being president of the United States is something that frightens me, frankly. And I played a part in that. And I played a part in that because we were fueled by ambition to win. I hope she does not have a future as a leader in the GOP. And the reason I say that is because if you look at, over the last four years, all of the deficiencies in knowledge, all the deficiencies in preparedness, she’s done not one thing to rectify them, to correct them. She has become a person who I think is filled with grievance, filled with anger who has a divisive message for the national stage when we need leaders in both parties to have a unifying message. The lack of preparedness was a bad thing, and the total disinterest in being more prepared and rectifying that is something that disqualifies."
GEORGE PATAKI(former New York Governor)
"He couldn't be elected dog catcher if he ran again. He was a terrible governor of New York, one of the worst."
"He made a fool of himself. Why is Rand Paul allowed to take advantage of the people of Kentucky. He's truly weird, reminds me of a spoiled brat without a properly functioning brain. "
"I'm sorry, this Ron Paul is going to destroy this party. This is nuts on parade. The media loves this guy. They want the whole Republican Party to be identified with the kookiness of Ron Paul. 'Hey, let Iran get nukes. It's our fault anyway.' The audience goes nuts, and oh, my God. What am I watching here? Oh, look who's on Fox. There he is outside the ice cream stand, good old Ron Paul. Yeah, that's what we need, more of that."
"I’m weary from all those who tell me Ron Paul is a conservative, because in fact, he is not. Instead, he’s a libertarian, and he’s in the wrong party, and I have no problem suggesting he should take his act elsewhere, and if need be, take his followers with him. Conservatives don’t pander to so-called “truthers” or to the hemp lobby, but that is the core of his support. Conservatives don’t blame America for the September 11th attacks of 2001. Ron Paul does."
"Mitt Romney heads a party remaining on that dangerous path, proving the emptiness of their praise as they abandon our service members, veterans and military families along the way. As a former member of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and Chairman of the then Commerce Committee, I came to know the federal budget in detail. I’m disappointed that just as our troops are returning home after a decade of war, Romney and Ryan might gut by up to 20 percent investments in the Department of Veterans Affairs — and even suggest privatizing the veterans’ health care. Again, they would short change our national security and the education, health care and employment benefits our veterans have earned and deserve just to cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans. Let’s be clear, Romney and Ryan would be disastrous for America’s service members, veterans and military families. Public praise rings hollow when you fail to mention an ongoing war in accepting your party’s nomination to be president, or veterans in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, a so-called jobs plan or in a budget that should be a blue print of our nation’s values."
"Governor Romney is trying to divide the Republican Party and his disparagement of one of our Party's greatest leaders is a sad commentary on Governor Romney's increasingly bitter campaign."
"As the liberal governor of Massachusetts, he raised taxes $750 million. He is involved in a wholesale deception of voters. He has been entirely consistent. He has consistently taken two sides of every major issue, sometimes more than two. So congratulations."
"We vetted Mitt Romney for the job. We thought Sarah Palin was the better candidate."
"I have no doubt that Mitt Romney was worried about pink slips — whether he was going to have enough of them to hand out because his company Bain Capital with all the jobs that they killed, I’m sure he was worried that he’d run out of pink slips."
"Mitt Romney is a vulture capitalist. For instance, Gaffney, South Carolina was one of those cities that had a business, and those people are out of work today because Bain Capital bsaically gutted the company, took $20 million. Mitt Romney's going to have a hard time coming into South Carolina and convincing people that he's anything other than a rich Wall-Streeter who took advantage of their businesses. People lost their jobs, they lost their pensions, they lost a lot because of Bain Capital."
"Release the tax returns tomorrow. It's crazy. You've got to release six, eight, ten years of back tax returns. "
"There's obviously something there, because if there was nothing there he would say, 'have at it.'"
"The cost of not releasing his returns are clear, therefore he must have calculated that there are higher costs to releasing them."
"If there's anything in there that is going to help us lose the election we should know about it before the nomination; if there's nothing in there then why not release it? It's a very simple model."
"Governor Romney is extraordinarily insensitive to religious freedom in America."
"If Governor Romney would give back all the money he's earned from bankrupting companies and laying off employees over his years at Bain, then I'd be glad to listen to him."
"Romney's the guy who will manage the decay. He's not the guy who will change Washington."
"First he was pro-choice. After he had become pro-life, he did appoint pro-abortion judges, and a branch of the government of Massachusetts, which included his appointees, did agree to fund an abortion clinic. All that occurred after he had become pro-life."
"You cannot debate somebody who is dishonest. You just can't."
"Somebody who will lie to you to get to be President will lie to you when they are President."
"Yes. You seem shocked by it, but yes."
"He's a liar, a serial flip-flopper, a relatively timid Masschusetts moderate, and, can we drop the pious baloney, the only reason he didn't become a career politician is that he lost to Ted Kennedy for the Senate in 1994. He's been running for political office most of his adult life."
"Those of us who believe in free markets and the whole goal of investment is about entrepreneurship and job creation would find it prett hard to justify rich people figuring out clever legal ways to loot a company, leaving behind 1700 families without a job."
"Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch-A-Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all of over again."
"Mitt Romney was not a businessman; he was a master financial speculator who bought, sold, flipped, and stripped businesses. He did not build enterprise the old-fashioined way - out of inspiration, perspiration... Instead, he spent his 15 years raising debt in prodigious amounts on Wall Street so that Bain could purchase the pots and pans and castoffs of corporate American, leverage them to the hilt, gussy them up as reborn "roll-ups," and then deliver them back to Wall Street for resale -- the fast the better."
"He's certainly being dishonest about his own record. When he says he had the endorsement of the NRA; he did not. When he says he didn't raise taxes, in fact there were $500 million in fees that were raised during his time (as governor). When he talks about my record or John McCain's, he's making up stuff. It's just incredible. Maybe you have another word for it; in Arkansas we call it 'dishonest.'"
"Mitt Romney and his campaign are going around asking people, 'Are you better off than you were four years ago?' Are they crazy? Four years ago this country was in crisis. Why in the world would you pick that particular date to compare with."
"When you look at his record as governor, it wasn't totally stellar. His jobs production was not great at all; in fact it was the third worst in the nation. "
"Romney not too long ago said that the Russan Federation is our No 1 geostrategic threat. Well, you know, come on, think; that isn't the case."
"Mitt Romney is completely out of touch with America."
"I am not convinced, and I don’t think that the majority of GOP and Independent voters are convinced. I want an instinctive conservative. He's spent millions and millions of dollars running for president for, oh about six years now. Gov. Romney has claimed to have created 100,000 jobs at Bain, and people are wanting to know, is there proof of that claim, and was it U.S. jobs created for U.S. citizens? Nobody should be surprised that things at Bain Capital, and maybe tax returns not being released, and maybe some records not being as transparently provided to the public as voters deserve to see right now. Let's hear the defense of the candidate who's being charged with some of this."
"The reason Romney is slipping in the polls is because he stands for apparently nothing. What's there to like if you don't know what the man stands for? He's playing it so close to the center that people are not rallying behind him. What does he stand for? What, he's a nice guy in a nice suit with a wife and nice kids? Great. Let him go run an Amway dealership somewhere. Him and McCain can open up a Buick dealership in Mongolia together."
"He is the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama."
"This is someone who doesn't have a core. He's been on both sides of every single issue in the past 10 years. This is someone who will say anything to get elected."
"If Mitt Romney is an economic 'heavyweight,' we're in trouble because he was 47th out of 50 in job creation when he was governor."
"He's a serial flip-flopper."
"I've run in a lot of elections, supported a lot of people, opposed a lot of people, I've never seen a guy change his position on so many things so fast, on a dime."
"You're only allowed a certain number of flips before people begin to doubt your character. Romney exhausted his quota some time back."
"If you're not sure about wanting to support Mitt Romney, whether you're liberal, whether you're very conservative, you ought to be excited because he's been on your side at one time or another."
"Romney's comments sounded callous and merciless, and will haunt him throughout the election. They also revealed something we hadn't previously seen. Unguarded, Romney is no compassionate conservative. At his core, he is a cyborg. Dry-eyed and awkward, he was born lucky and seems to lack the empathy born of struggle."
"Romney, who criticizes President Obama for dividing the nation, divided the nation into two groups: the makers and the moochers. Forty-seven percent of the country, he said, are people 'who are dependent upon government, who believe they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to take care of them, who believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.' This comment suggests a few things. First, it suggests that he really doesn’t know much about the country he inhabits. Who are these freeloaders? Is it the Iraq war veteran who goes to the V.A.? Is it the student getting a loan to go to college? Is it the retiree on Social Security or Medicare? The people who receive the disproportionate share of government spending are not big-government lovers. They are Republicans. They are senior citizens. They are white men with high school degrees. Romney doesn't know much about the culture of America. He has lost any sense of the social compact. The Republican Party, and apparently Mitt Romney, too, has shifted over toward a much more hyperindividualistic and atomistic social view. The final thing the comment suggests is that Romney knows nothing about ambition and motivation. When will the incompetence stop?"
"It remains important for the country that Romney wins in November (unless he chooses to step down and we get the Ryan-Rubio ticket we deserve!). But that shouldn't blind us to the fact that Romney's comments ... are stupid and arrogant."
"I disagree with Gov. Romney’s insinuation that 47 percent of Americans believe they are victims who must depend on the government for their care. ... I know that the vast majority of those who rely on government are not in that situation because they want to be."
"He said he has a terrific campaign. Actually he doesn't. He says that the campaign workers are working well together, well, actually, no, they're not working well together, and that his campaign's going in the right direction. No, it's not. And this is not being said by liberals ... these are conservatives."
"A mixed up man who doesn't have a clue. No wonder he lost. He's a total joke and everyone knows it. He should have easily beaten Barack Obama. One of the dumbest and worst candidates in the history of Republican politics. Why would anyone listen to him?"
"Karl Rove is way beyond anything Nixon had at his disposal. He is closer to a behind-the-scenes Nixon operator named Murray Chotiner, who could cut off an opponent at the knees so quickly the person did not immediately realize he had been crippled. As I note in the book, the first time I heard the name Karl Rove was when I was asked if I knew anything about him by one of the Watergate special prosecutors who was investigating campaign dirty tricks. I didn't have any knowledge. But I recalled that question when working on this book, and located a memorandum in the files of the Watergate prosecutor's office that indicates they were asking others as well about Rove. Based on my review of the files, it appears the Watergate prosecutors were interested in Rove's activities in 1972, but because they had bigger fish to fry they did not aggressively investigate him."
"Rove spends more for Republican candidates than the NRSC and the NRCC. He’s running things. Rove is definitely a problem."
"Every race Crossroads GPS (Rove's SuperPAC) ran ads in, the Republican lost. What a waste of money."
"He is bought and paid for by lobbyists. He's a lightweight, dishonest, never shows up to vote, worst attendance record in the Senate, a failed presidential candidate. He is scamming Florida. He's a phony, a lying choker. He looks like a little boy on stage."
"I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering. It's too big a jump for the country. I don’t think imposing radical change from the right or the left is a very good way for a free society to operate."
RICK SANTELLI(CNBC conservative financial commentator)
"It's impossible for you to have been more wrong, Rick. Your call for inflation, the destruction of the dollar, the failure of the U.S. economy to rebound. Rick, it's impossible for you to have been more wrong. Every single bit of advice you gave would have lost people money, Rick... There is no piece of advice that you've given that's worked, Rick. Not a single one... The higher interest rates never came. The inability of the U.S. to sell bonds never happened. The dollar never crashed, Rick. There isn't a single one that's worked for you."
"He's a fake."
"He's an economic lightweight."
"Donald Trump is redundant evidence that if your net worth is high enough, your IQ can be very low and you can still intrude into American politics."
"The nation is not immune to the lasting damage that is being done to it by Trump's success in normalizing post-factual politics. It is being poisoned by the injection into its bloodstream of the cynicism required of those Republicans who persist in pretending that although Trump lies constantly and knows nothing, these blemishes do not disqualify him from being president."
"Trump makes me embarrassed to say that I'm a Republican."
"We cannot be a party that nominates someone who refused to condemn white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan."
"Of course he's not a conservative. He was for Nancy Pelosi before he was against Nancy Pelosi. Celebrity is everything in this country. And if these guys (other would-be candidates) don't learn how to play the media the way that Barack Obama played the media last election cycle and the way that Donald Trump is playing the election cycle, we're going to probably get a celebrity candidate."
"He's one of the carnival barkers of today. Showtime is over. We are not electing an entertainer-in-chief. Showmanship is fun, but it is not the kind of leadership that will truly change America."
"That's the kind of thing that people say when they have no experience and don't know what they're talking about. That's a ridiculous position and one that won't even be productive."
"I tell everybody who goes to a Donald Trump event, if you get to ask a question, just ask him 'how?'" Christie said. "I don't care which of the things he talks about just ask him, 'How? How?'"
"He shouldn't be making fun of people with disabilities. It's just not worthy of someone running for the president of the United States."
"Is Donald Trump a serious candidate? If he is going to close the internet, that entails getting rid of the First Amendment. It's no small feat. If you are going to kill the families of terrorists, realize there's something called the Geneva Convention we're going to have to pull out of. It would defy every norm that is America. So when you ask yourself, whoever you are, who think you are going to support Donald Trump, think do you believe in the Constitution. Are you going to change the Constitution?"
"Donald Trump channeled the worst fears, frustrations and anxiety of voters, but he also magnified those same feelings."
"I don't want my children to look at that man and say, 'Yeah, he's my President.' I won't have that. I will not endorse it. I will not tolerate it."
"He isn't just coarse and rude, but is also often vile. The tragedy is that, of all those mentioned here, the most untrustworthy and dishonest is Trump."
"Trump is supported by one in five younger voters -- an astonishing and consequential collapse for the GOP. I would venture that Trump's failure among the young has something to do with his assult on the idea of tolerance, particularly racial and religious tolerance. While (Hillary) Clinton has an ethics problem, Trump has a humanity problem. (His) are not violations of political correctness, they are violations of human dignity, revealing serious moral impairment."
"Trump has shown that he is not a normal candidate. He is a political rampage charging ever more wildly out of control. And no, he cannot be changed. He cannot be contained because he is psychologically off the chain. With each passing week he displays the classic symptoms of medium-grade mania in more disturbing forms: inflated self-esteem, sleeplessness, impulsivity, aggression and a compulsion to offer advice on subjects he knows nothing about. He also cannot be contained because he lacks the inner equipment that makes decent behavior possible. So many of our daily social interactions depend on a basic capacity for empathy. But Trump displays an absence of this quality. He looks at the grieving mother of a war hero and is unable to recognize her pain. He hears a crying baby and is unable to recognize the infant's emotion or the mother's discomfort. He is told of women being sexually harassed at Fox News and is unable to recognize their trauma. The same blindness that makes him impervious to global outrage makes it impossible for him to make empathetic connection. Fear is his only bond. Some people compare Trump to the great authoritarians of history, but that's wrong. They were generally disciplined men with grandiose plans. Trump is underdeveloped and unregulated. He is a slave to his own pride, compelled by a childlike impulse to lash out at anything that threatens his fragile identity. He appears to have no ability to experience reverence, which is the foundation for any capacity to admire or serve anything bigger than self, to want to learn about anything beyond self, to want to know and deeply honor the people around you."
"Trump a world class con-artist. He's unelectable, and unfit for office. He's defrauding the voters like he defrauded the students at Trump University. He's pretending to be a great leader. It's just one con-job after another. If he is the nominee of our party, and defines the conservative movement, that will destroy the Republican Party and be a disaster for America."
"Trump is so thin-skinned. He's great at dishing out insults, but boy does he get touchy when someone hits him back. That's very typical of insecure people. He's a bully, and sometimes you have to stand up to a bully. He's been making fun of everyone, women, the disabled, Jeb Bush's mom, he's mocked everybody. This guy is a vulgarian who goes around insulting people, and he wants us to make him president. We'll have to explain to our children every single day why they should not look up to or imitate the President of the United States."
"If he hadn't inherited 200 million dollars, you know what he'd be doing right now? Selling watches in Manhattan."
"I will not be voting for Donald Trump for president. This is not a decision I make lightly, for I am a lifelong Republican. But Donald Trump does not reflect historical Republican values nor the inclusive approach to governing that is critical to healing the divisions in our country. My conclusion about Mr. Trump's unsuitability for office is based on his disregard for the precept of treating others with respect, an idea that should transcend politics. Instead, he opts to mock the vulnerable and inflame prejudices by attacking ethnic and religious minorities. Three incidents in particular have led me to the inescapable conclusion that Mr. Trump lacks the temperament, self-discipline and judgment required to be president. Regrettably, his essential character appears to be fixed, and he seems incapable of change or growth."
"There is no morally good presidential candidate in this election. I previously called Donald Trump a ‘good candidate with flaws’ and a ‘flawed candidate’ but I now regret that I did not more strongly condemn his moral character. I cannot commend Trump’s moral character, and I strongly urge him to withdraw from the election."
"Trump's conception of leadership is to become large by making others small. In a reality television star, this is a job qualification. In a president, it would raise the prospect of serious damage to our democratic system."
"Trump is sickeningly cruel, boorish, bonkers, subversive, conspiratorial, obsessive, authoritarian and reckless with the reputation of American democracy. He is easily baited, highly sensitive to slights, prone to using faulty information from the Internet, hyperbolic and vengeful. Now imagine those characteristics during a confrontation with China in the South China Sea. Trump’s crackup complicates American political life in a variety of ways but simplifies one point: This man is temperamentally, ideologically and morally unfit to be president of the United States."
"Donald Trump is epically unprepared to be president. He has no realistic policies, no advisers, no capacity to learn. His vast narcissism makes him a closed fortress. He doesn't know what he doesn't know and he's uninterested in finding out. He insults the office Abraham Lincoln once occupied by running for it with less preparation than most of us would undertake to buy a sofa. Trump is perhaps the most dishonest person to run for high office in our lifetimes. All politicians stretch the truth, but Trump has a steady obliviousness to accuracy. Donald Trump is an affront to basic standards of honesty, virtue and citizenship. He pollutes the atmosphere in which our children are raised. He has already shredded the unspoken rules of political civility that make conversation possible. In his savage regime, public life is just a dog-eat-dog war of all against all.
As the founders would have understood, he is a threat to the long and glorious experiment of American self-government. He is precisely the kind of scapegoating, promise-making, fear-driving and deceiving demagogue they feared. Trump's supporters deserve respect. They are left out of this economy. But Trump himself? No, not Trump, not ever
"Donald is a chaos candidate, and he would be a chaos president."
"It's amazing to me that anyone is still having a discussion about having some kind of intervention of bringing him back on message. This is his message. His message is being a loud-mouthed dick, going out there and offending people, and engaging in a bunch of airing of grievances. That's what he does. He doesn't have another message. He doesn't have anything else he really wants to convey. We're going to continue to see the Republican nominee basically acting as if he's on a suicide mission and aiming to take the whole rest of the party down with him."
"Banning all Muslims will make it harder to do exactly what we need to do, which is to destroy ISIS (ISIL). We need to engage with the Arab world to make this happen. It is not a serious proposal to say to the people you are asking for their support that they can't even come into this country. How are we going to garner the international support to take out ISIS with talk like this? This strategy would be an unmitigated disaster, and he knows that. This is dog-whistle talk. This is to get people who are fearful to latch on to him. But we're not a country of idiots. And we have to act that way. I don't think Donald Trump understands that."
"This is a religious war between radical Islam and the rest of the world. And the only way you're going to win this war is to help people in Islam to reject radical Islam, to fight over there, and destroy this ideology. Donald Trump has done the one single thing you cannot do, declare war on Islam itself. ISIL (ISIS) would be dancing in the streets. This is coup for them. And for all of our Muslim friends throughout the world, like the king of Jordan, and the president of Egypt, I am sorry. He does not represent us. If I am president, we will work together, people in the faith through all of the world to destroy this radical ideology. Declaring war on the religious only helps ISIL. "
"Any doubt left Trump is completely unhinged? His assertion Ted Cruz's father was associated with Lee Harvey Oswald should remove ALL doubt."
"The man is a pathological liar, he doesn't know the truth between truth and lies. Yet in a pattern that is straight out of a psychology text book, he accuses everyone else of lying. Whatever lie he's telling at that minute he believes it. He is a narcissist at a level I don't think this country has ever seen. The man is utterly amoral. He's a serial philanderer. Donald is a bully. Bullies don't come from strength, they come from weakness. "
"His problem isn't a lack of normal propriety but the absence of basic human decency. He is morally unfit for any office, high or low."
"He is unfit to serve our party and cannot lead this country. While I disagree with her on many issues, I will vote for Mrs. Clinton."
"There used to be some things that were sacred in American politics, that you don't do."
"Never attack a Gold Star family. Not just because it alienates a vital constituency but because it reveals a schoking absence of elementary empathy for the most profound of human sorrows - parental grief. Why did Trump do it? It wasn't a mistake. It was a revelation. It's that he can't help himslef. His governing rule in life is to strike back when attacked, disrespected or even slighted. Of course we all try to protect our own dignity and command respect. But Trump's hypersensitivity and unedited, untempered Pavlovian responses are, shall we say, unusual in both ferocity and predictability. This is beyond narcissism. I used to think Trump was an 11-year-old, an undeveloped school-yard bully. I was off by about 10 years. His needs are more primitive, an infantile hunger for approval and praise, a craving that can never be satisfied. He lives in a cocoon of solipsism where the world outside himself has balue - indeed exists - only insofar as it sustains and inflates him."
"I agree with the Khans and families across the country that a travel ban on all members of a religion is simply contrary to American values."
"One wonders if Republican leaders have begun to realize that they may have hitched their fate and the fate of their party to a man with a disordered personality. Suffice to say that Donald Trump's response to the assorted speakers at the Democratic National Convention has not been rational. If you are a Republican, the real problem, and the thing that ought to keep you up nights as we head into the final 100 days of this campaign, is that the man cannot control himself. He cannot hold back even when it is manifestly in his interest to do so. What's more, his psychological pathologies are ultimately self-destructive. The most important fact is that he is unable to control his responses to criticism. He must double down every time, even if it means digging himself deeper and deeper into the hole. Imagine such a person as president. What we have seen in the Trump campaign is not only a clever method of stirring up the anger in people. It is also a personality defect that has had the effect of stirring up anger. And because it is a defect and not a tactic, it would continue to affect Trump's behavior in the White House. It would determine how he dealt with other nations. It would determine how he dealt with critics at home. It would determine how he governed, how he executed the laws, how he instructed the law-enforcement and intelligence agencies under his command, how he dealt with the press, how he dealt with the opposition party and how he handled dissent within his own party. His personality defect would be the dominating factor in his presidency, just as it has been the dominating factor in his campaign. His ultimately self-destructive tendencies would play out on the biggest stage in the world, with consequences at home and abroad that one can barely begin to imagine. It would make him the closest thing the United States has ever had to a dictator, but a dictator with a dangerously unstable temperament that neither he nor anyone else can control. In all likelihood, his defects will destroy him before he reaches the White House. He will bring himself down, and he will bring the Republican Party and its leaders down with him. This would be a tragedy were it not that the party and its leaders, who chose him as their nominee and who now cover and shill for this troubled man, so richly deserve their fate."
"Not only will Trump lose the 2016 election, but also his brand — such as it is now — is that of a creepy old man, a bigot, a misogynist. His pre-debate stunt parading accusers of Bill Clinton only confirmed his reputation as a tawdry manipulator of women, someone lacking an ounce of common decency. As he blustered and rambled, stalked and hovered over Hillary Clinton he reminded us that he's no genius business mogul. He's a loser, a phony and a jerk. (He is) the country's most infamous sleazebag? His name has long been associated with crass excess and garish taste, a poor man's version of how the rich live. Now his name is synonymous with gross lechery. The campaign revealed what a damaged, repugnant character he is and how lacking in true business acumen he is. After November he will, quite simply, be a loser."
"Trump’s debate performance was appalling, contemptible, shameful, squalid, vile. Do we really want a president who views the rule of law as a means to imprison his opposition? A president who dismisses talk of sexual assault on the theory that boys will be boys? A president who urges a foreign power to hack his opponent, then excuses that power when it is caught? A president who accuses his opponent of killing American soldiers based on a position he actually took himself? The Trump evangelicals deserve a special shout-out in all this. By accepting, or even excusing, Trump’s talk of sexual predation, they are demonstrating a political polarization that runs so deep that even common decency no longer matters. Now some evangelical Christians are making a similar case — playing down the importance of integrity, morality and character in leadership. The deep partisanship of Trump evangelicals — fighting for a team rather than standing for principles — is actually aiding the secularization of American politics. And so, it turns out, some are making a graven image — of a figure who deserves contempt."
"He pulls people close to him who reinforce his anger, his prejudice, his megalomania, his conspiracy-mindedness. He is both impossibly ignorant and insanely confident in his own flawed judgment. He thinks he should be exempt from the normal rules of transparency — by refusing to supply his tax returns — while using a presidential campaign to pimp his brand. He is acting as a propaganda arm of the Putin administration, defying the judgment of U.S. intelligence agencies, in a manner that raises serious questions about his motives. Trump has dramatically lowered public standards of civility, of honesty, of tolerance, of decency and of ethics. Only one option is precluded — to vote for Trump. And here are the postcard reasons: Trump is a man of dangerously erratic temperament who should not be allowed to control American foreign and military policy. Trump lacks a commitment to democratic ideals and institutions, demonstrated by his attempt to discredit any electoral outcome unfavorable to him. Trump operates by a materialistic, Nietzschean ethic — an ethic of dominance and revenge in which power and success are worshiped and the weak are treated with contempt and cruelty. And Trump is deeply and defiantly ignorant, with no basis or background to make informed choices on complex issues. America has two bad choices, but not equally bad."
"Enough! Donald Trump should not be President. He should withdraw."
SCOTT WALKER(Wisconsin Governor)
"He is a puppet. He cratered as a presidential candidate. His state has massive deficit, bad jobs forecast; it's a mess. He is not very smart."
"You’re a hack. You are lying. You’re in with the cabal of the Reagan loyalists who don’t want the truth to be told."
"Deadpan, boring, dopey, broken down political pundit, wrong almost all of the time, should be thrown off Fox News, wrong on so many subjects."