During Fox News' post-debate wrap up show, Charles Krauthammer thought Trump was winning the debate until he made the fatal mistake of his refusal to accept the election results and said, "And the calculation -- this is political suicide"
The topic began as Bret Baier read the AP's headline from the debate and asked Charles to comment on what had just transpired.
Here's the transcript of Krauthammer's remarks:
"As to the candidates, Trump had a really good night, but here the consensus is right. He blew it up by a totally wrong answer on accepting the results. In some sense, I almost admire him for it. This was not a gaffe where you say something off the cuff and it's what you think, but it's wrong. You know that he had been coached on this. You know that his vice president had said off course, we'll accept the result and his campaign manager and his daughter. And you know that he's convinced that this is something he wants to take a stand on. And the calculation -- this is political suicide.
Because what was his task tonight? His task tonight was to stop the slide. The slide had to do with people who are grudgingly going over to Clinton. Who don't want to, who have held out for a year. But for the last three weeks said I can't have Trump. This was his opportunity to show them. They're not going to change their views on Clinton, but if they can change their views on Trump, to make him less toxic and acceptable as president, and less radical -- yes, they want a change agent. They think the country is on the wrong track. But they don't want a radical who will challenge the foundations of the republic. Yes, you criticize conditions, you're going to change Washington, et cetera, but you don't challenge the legitimacy of an election and hold up the prospect of actual nonacceptance. And when he did that, I think it was a terrible mistake."
Baier then said, "This was Donald Trump channeling Steve Bannon" and I couldn't agree more.
I don't agree with Krauthammer's take on Trump's overall performance, but many Republicans were hoping Trump would act normal (for once) on the debate stage and would then have something they could spin. But really, there was no escaping from his moronic dive into Steve Bannon's fevered dreams of voter fraud and campaign conspiracies.