Wilson: Trump bubble will burst (podcast)

trump 5, with camera phonesOn Monday, I interviewed GOP political strategist Rick Wilson about his take on the latest CNN poll that has Donald Trump increasing his lead in the GOP presidential field, gaining 8 points since August.

Trump landed at 32 percent. Former neurosurgeon Ben Carson is in second place with 19 percent. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is a distant third with 9 percent.

Wilson said, “The Trump phenomenon is exactly correlated with the amount of media coverage he gets. This is a long-studied and long-understood phenomenon that the person getting the most amount of media coverage is going to lead the polls.”

Why is the billionaire getting so much uncritical media coverage from the mainstream media?

“They’d love to see him as our nominee next fall because they want to get our asses handed to us–to put it in the technical political terms we use– and so they’re going to cover him,” said Wilson. “They’re going to cover him extravagantly, and consistently, and without a lot of follow up.”

However, the Republican strategist thinks the momentum may be changing.

“Everybody else is still talking about air being sucked out the room, but there is a slight set of indications now that the media is starting to take the fact that they haven’t examined Donald Trump’s record very seriously yet. They’ve sort of paid a little more attention to that,” he said.

The more outrageous the comment by Trump, the more coverage he gets.

Wilson said, “Donald Trump is like a lot of narcissists. This is a guy who cannot imagine a world where he is not the center of it, and he’s a guy who believes very deeply that he’s going to describe reality, and reality will conform to his desires. We’ve had a lot of candidates take one or two little pop shots at him–what I call hit it and quit attacks, but I think you’re going to see in the next debate that these folks are going to start realizing that the one who kills the king looks pretty good at the end of the day.”

He expects the Trump bubble to burst.

“All bubbles eventually burst,” said Wilson. “All bubbles eventually have an outer bound within a limit. When that limit is reached, they pop. Even Trump has an outer bound break.”

If Trump falters, who does Wilson think will eventually be in the running for the Republican nomination?

“They’re going to be in two categories–either inspirational or mechanical,” he said. “Right now, Jeb Bush will have the mechanical resources to fight through for a very long time. He is not right now inspiring Republican voters with a great message and a great enthusiastic fervor for him, but he’s got the ability to grind it out. He’s got a story to tell.”

In the inspirational category, he sees Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson as the contenders.

“Those are inspirational figures right, because they deliver a great conservative message,” said Wilson. “They are different from the traditional Republican field in a lot of ways. All three of them you can make different cases for why they would be a compelling general election candidate, and not just about race, or ethnicity, or gender, but because they’re interesting people.”

Marco Rubio: “A guy who is more in touch with pop culture, and contemporary American life, than an awful lot of the people in this field, and before people dismiss that, the number one thing we used to hear in focus groups in 2008 about Barack Obama was he understands me. He gets me. He cut student loans, too. He’s like me.

Carly Fiorina: “You have someone who is incredibly poised, and sharp, and on point with message and strategy. She’s been able to be one of the few people … I don’t know if you saw her video today pushing back on Donald Trump about her face and her appearance. Absolutely one of the best things in the campaign cycle so far.”

Ben Carson: “Sort of the super ego of the Republican Party. He’s a kind of aspirational figure that people say that’s the kind of person we want in this race. That’s the kind of person we want in this party, we want in this game.”