Monday night, Daily Wire Editor-In-Chief Ben Shapiro appeared on the Kelly File to explain to Kelly and her other guest, 2012 presidential candidate Herman Cain, why the agreement between Ted Cruz and John Kasich to get out of each other’s way in order to stop Donald Trump was perfectly legitimate. During the conversation, Shapiro nailed Trump with witticisms twice, once by asserting Trump dusts his face with Cheetos before his TV appearances and then again by commenting that Trump’s new efforts at supposedly controlling himself meant “he dialed back from a Spinal Tap eleven to a Spinal Tap 10.5.”
The exchange among the three went like this:
Kelly: Herman Cain, tell us why this is not a good idea for Cruz and Kasich.
Cain: It is not a good idea because sometimes divide and conquer works, but in politics it may not, and we really won’t know until after the primaries on tomorrow and the primaries a week from tomorrow. That’s when we will know, but here’s what this alliance does recognize: it recognizes that John Kasich and Ted Cruz cannot get the nomination. But it does not recognize the fact that is still possible that Donald Trump could get it. I think they fear that more than they worry about trying to force a contested convention.
Kelly: Ben, Trump says this is evidence of corruption, the corruption he’s been telling his supporters about for months.
Shapiro: Well, I really appreciate the “babe in the woods” routine from Donald Trump, the guy who said that he spent thirty years essentially bribing Democrats, and then cut a deal basically with Ted Cruz, a non-aggression pact of his own with Ted Cruz for several months. And then he cut a non-aggression pact with Ben Carson. Then he cut one with Chris Christy. And then he cut one with Mike Huckabee. Then he cut one with Rick Santorum. So for a guy who’s “The Art of the Deal” master, to now complain and pretend – suddenly he’s found his honesty. Suddenly he’s found that the political process requires honor.
The reality here is that Ted Cruz has been begging John Kasich to get out of the race for literally months at this point. All this really does, is that it gets John Kasich out of the race in the states where Cruz would do best, and it gets Cruz out of the race in the states where Kasich would do best. So the idea that it’s both of them taking down Trump – the truth is what it really is, is Cruz saying to Kasich, “You won’t get out. Fine. Let’s acknowledge reality. As long as you’re not going to get out and as long as I’m not going to win the nomination outright, we ought to split the states we do best in. “
Kelly: What about that, Herman Cain, the issue of Indiana? If Cruz is handily defeated by Trump in Indiana, he’s in a whole lot of trouble. But if he can win that state, it may actually change the course of this election.
Cain: It could be a game changer. It could be a game changer if Trump wins big in Indiana as well as Oregon and the state where they have sort of split their resources. It could be a game changer and it would give Trump that momentum Chris referred to in the previous segment. So, I think that it’s a calculated risk, obviously. But everything in politics is a calculated risk. So far, the opposition to Trump, they have thrown everything except the kitchen sink against Trump and it has not worked. It has simply empowered people who want to support Trump. I expect the headline on Wednesday to be, “Kitchen sink is coming down the pipe to Donald Trump.” That’s the only thing they haven’t thrown at him yet.
Kelly: Well, Tuesday night, tomorrow night, he’s expected, Trump, to do very well here in the Northeast in what they’re calling the ACELA primary, after the high-speed train and services. The states, the question is what happens after then. And that’s what Kasich and Cruz are looking to. But Ben, you say in your article that there are three reasons why this deal is perfectly legitimate in your view. The first one is that Trump does not have majority support. What do you mean? Why does that make this deal perfectly legitimate?
Ben: He’s got 37% support, and again, unless the other side of the aisle actually “colludes” and gets together and puts one anti-Trump candidate up there, we never get to see exactly how many people are against Trump. So Trump can complain all he wants; he hasn’t won a majority, there’s no world where he has a majority of support in the popular vote, and while he complains about the process being “rigged,” he’s got 37% of the popular vote and he’s getting 50% of the delegates.
So it’s not obviously rigged enough to stop him. Beyond that, Donald Trump can complain all he wants about losing the pledged delegates; the reality is this: if he comes up short, and then he doesn’t get enough unpledged delegates, that is his own fault. Donald Trump has his campaign manager out there, Paul Manafort, trying to tell delegates that he can be a different guy; he can suddenly strip off his mask and he’ll be Ronald Reagan in the flesh. The reality is that delegates don’t believe this and Donald Trump is having a tough time convincing them of it. It makes it more difficult when you spend most of your day ripping on how John Kasich eats his pancakes while you dust your face with Cheetos before you do TV appearances.
Kelly: Oh, come on, stop that. Go on, that was a big pancake. That was a big bite. It’s not bad advice. Tinier bites are more ladylike or gentlemanly. We can all agree on that. Even his critics should be able to allow for that. Herman, let me ask you about that point that Ben just made about what Paul Manafort said to the delegates or the party leaders down in Hollywood, Florida, because that made a lot of news. Was he telegraphing that Trump is two people, hat he’s been playing a part/ What say you to that allegation?
Cain: He’s not telegraphing that Trump is two people. This is just the sound bite that Ben and that others want to pick up on. That’s not the case. What Manafort is basically saying is that, one, Donald Trump has been running a wholesale campaign appealing to the masses ever since last June. What he’s also saying is that Donald Trump realizes that he’s gonna have to do some more retail politics with the delegates as we go forward. So that’s not two people. That is a businessman realizing the reality of the situation, that he has to appeal to some of those delegates, and I believe that he’s gonna be able to do that despite all of the noise that Ben is referring to along with a lot of other people.
Kelly: Ben, the know the other two points you’ve raised in defense of this alliance is that #1, Trump made an alliance with Cruz himself, which you mentioned; and the third point is you say Trump does not have the capacity to rein it in, to sort of be the more presidential version of himself that Manafort was suggesting to the party he can be. Why do say that? Because Trump has, he’s been controlling himself over the past few weeks. Wouldn’t you agree?
Ben: If this is Donald Trump controlling himself, I cannot wait to see what he looks like uncontrolled. I mean he dialed back from a Spinal Tap eleven to a Spinal Tap 10.5. Again, you just played a clip about five minutes ago of him talking about John Kasich eating pancakes and then yesterday at a rally he did a full-on impression of what he would look like if he were presidential, and he kind of staggered on the stage and did an impression of Hillary Clinton. Listen, it’s funny stuff. But is this the kind of stuff that people expect from the Commander-in-Chief? Is this the kind of stuff that makes delegates comfortable to make him Commander-in-Chief? I highly doubt that, especially given the way that delegates are splitting right now. Delegates are splitting disproportionately against Trump, which is surprising, given the fact that Trump has basically threatened riots at the convention if they don’t give it to him.