Krauthammer: Trump GOP’s Al Sharpton

Charles Krauthammer called Donald Trump the "Al Sharpton" of the GOP presidential primary contest

While OTB’s recent spate of posts about a certain real estate magnate with a double comb-over might be verging on overkill, it does seem that everyone is getting into the act.

Jeff Poor, The Daily Caller (“Krauthammer doubles down on ‘Trump is the GOP’s Al Sharpton’ claim“):

It turns out that George Will isn’t the only conservative who isn’t impressed with the Donald’s effort to pump himself up for the White House.

On last weekend’s broadcast of the syndicated weekend public affairs program “Inside Washington,” columnist Charles Krauthammer called Donald Trump the “Al Sharpton” of the GOP presidential primary contest and he elaborated on that claim, in addition to analyzing some of the field on Monday night’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel.

“Well, of the sound bites you showed, Haley Barbour looked — he was the only calm and collected one of the other three,” Krauthammer said. “I think he is the only serious one with a serious chance of winning in 2012. I think Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann in a sense are competing for the same constituency. They are wonderful Republicans but I don’t think either of them has a chance to win the nomination. Bachmann could do well in Iowa. She is originally from Iowa. It has a heavy evangelical constituency that surprised the world the last cycle by giving Huckabee the victory, so that is possible. But it’s hard to see her way after that through the thicket.

But then he said apart from that field is Trump, who he remains unimpressed with, including his exploits into birtherism.

“Then there is Trump,” he continued. “Trump is Al Sharpton of the Republican Party – provocateur and clown, unserious. I think he’s going to harm the party if he runs for the same reason Sharpton harmed the Democrats. I can now see all the mail coming in – address it to me, not to Bret. He is not responsibility — which means in the debate he will be up there I think he will run, not just a trial run. He’ll be up in the debate, and like Sharpton he will monopolize discussion and draw it away on issues that are irrelevant like Obama’s birth and that can only hurt the party.”

Here’s the video:

He’s right, of course. The only caveat is that Palin and Bachmann are only slightly less hamhanded on the birther issue and other foolishness. If they’re all in the race, it’ll be like having Sharpton, Dennis Kucinich, and Mike Gravel all on the stage at once. It’ll be entertaining, but not exactly illuminating.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. tom p says:

    Krauthammer on Trump… The blind describing a sunset… the deaf talking of an aria… the toungeless on french cuisine…

  2. Herb says:

    Al Sharpton wishes…..

  3. PJ says:

    Krauthammer can say that Trump is Sharpton as much as he wants, it doesn’t change that fact that he isn’t. Sharpton never polled as well as Trump nationally.

  4. Tano says:

    I think it is an insult to Sharpton. I am no fan of his, by any means, but it does bear noting that his clownishness, his lack of judgment, his flawed sense of right and wrong, and his tireless self-promotion all exist within the context of a career dedicated, at least in his own mind, to helping advance the legitimate rights and interests of a historically oppressed people. As opposed to having all those clownish and egotistical characteristics in a life focused only on making money.

  5. narciso says:

    Palin has never said that Bush ‘lied us into war’ or was a business partner with George Soros
    or argued for Canadian style health care,

  6. James in LA says:

    Al Sharpton in 2011 is not the same Al Sharpton of 1990. He is much more subdued these days, and focused on his causes. I used to find him objectionable much more frequently, but not so much lately. I have never been a fan of Trump because he represents the worst aspects of success, aspiring to a vast gold and jewel-encrusted emptiness that is never enough, one which invites willful dissociation with truth.

  7. Nylund says:

    Michele Bachmann used to go on national TV blathering about how Obama wanted to abandon the US dollar and force every American to use a new one-world currency! Such a person is now considered “less insane” than the highest polling GOP “potential candidate”.

    Scary times.

  8. MattF says:

    IMO, the Sharpton/Trump analogy fails once you start to think about it. NYC reporters loved Sharpton because he always gave them a story and because he was smart and in on the joke. The Donald, on the other hand, is all Ego and Money and is quite humorless when it comes to things that matter to him.

  9. narciso says:

    Geithner has suggested this, on two occasions, and he has not ruled out, following this policy in the future

  10. bubba says:

    Charles are you not a wolf in sheeps clothing, Rothschild Agent

  11. Stephen Boone says:

    When is Charlie Sheen going to announce? It’s time for the GOP to start WINNING !

  12. Stephen Boone says:

    I want to make it clear that I am NOT NOT NOT kidding. Charlie Sheen needs to announce his candidacy. He can do a major public service by showing that ANYBODY with the money can announce they are running and, under current rules, the party cannot do anything to stop them. Charles Manson? Why not? got the money, lets go. The system is a joke.