It seems like a long time ago now, but do you remember 2016’s packed field of GOP candidates vying for the presidential nomination?
On today’s show, Pat and Jeffy named off as many as they could remember and debated whether any of the former candidates still have viable presidential aspirations after now-President Donald Trump beat them in front of the nation.
Could Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich or the dozen or so other options in 2016 revamp their public image to run again? Pat and Jeffy asserted that moderates like Jeb Bush and John Kasich are done. They also thought Cruz and Rubio might have been too thoroughly branded with Trump’s monikers for voters to take them seriously.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.
Michael Ciaglo-Pool/Getty Images
This is a rush transcript and may contain errors.
PAT: Looking back at the 2016 race of the people that he rightly claims he destroyed. It was a talented field. And he won. And Steve Bannon doesn’t — didn’t understand that winning isn’t as easy as he made it look.
And so —
JEFFY: And he called them the most talented field ever.
PAT: Most talented field ever assembled.
JEFFY: And I kind of believe that.
PAT: I do believe that. I do believe that. There were some great candidates, and not only did he beat them. He annihilated them.
He might have tainted them to the point where they can’t even run again in 2020 for president.
I honestly believe that. There’s — there’s not one — name one person — you go through the list. Name one person who you think could run in 2020.
PAT: Jeb Bush. We just mentioned this. No, I don’t think Jeb Bush can run again. Ben Carson, I think he’s done. Chris Christie, he’s certainly done. And it wasn’t just this race.
JEFFY: No, but definitely — it was the culmination of him — yeah.
PAT: Ted Cruz, I think he’s thoroughly tainted.
JEFFY: No way.
PAT: As far as presidentially speaking. As far as a presidential candidate. I think he’ll be fine as a great senator.
JEFFY: He’s a great senator from the state of Texas.
PAT: Great senator. I still support him a lot. I just don’t think he has the chance to win the presidency anymore.
JEFFY: Specifically talking about the presidency. These guys should do exactly what they’re doing now. But to run for president, my opinion, time and money wasted.
PAT: Can’t do it. Yeah. I think so too.
Jim Gilmore. Now, I know you have a special place in your heart for him. He’s done.
JEFFY: I forgot about him. Oh.
PAT: Lindsey Graham shouldn’t have been in the race in the first place. He never had a chance, but he certainly doesn’t now.
Mike Huckabee, completely destroyed. Completely.
JEFFY: Have a nice day.
PAT: Trump completely destroyed him.
JEFFY: Threw him a bone by hiring his daughter. I mean, that’s what he does. I hired your daughter. Shut up.
Bobby Jindal. I don’t know that I feel the same way about Jindal. He could maybe run again.
JEFFY: Maybe. Maybe.
PAT: Maybe he dropped out at the right time. Didn’t get involved in all the back and forth. Maybe Jindal is okay.
JEFFY: I don’t know. Maybe.
PAT: But I think Kasich is done. Pataki never had a chance.
JEFFY: Oh, have a nice day.
PAT: I think Rand Paul is done as far as the presidency.
JEFFY: Yes. Yes. Who else? Still —
PAT: Marco Rubio.
He may have been too tainted. Trump did such a good job of destroying these guys.
JEFFY: Sure did.
PAT: That they all seem — do they not seem kind of tainted? As far as the presidential run is concerned. You know, Rick Santorum I thought was tainted in the 2016 race. Now, I’m not even sure — I can’t even put my finger on what happened to Santorum because I was a big supporter in 2012. But I wouldn’t want him to run again. I didn’t want him to run last time.
JEFFY: He was with Lindsey at the kid’s table from the debates, which was fine. Look, those guys are all smart men.
And they’re in positions that they definitely worked hard to get. But after this campaign, this last campaign for president, Donald Trump —
PAT: It’s tough.
JEFFY: There’s a reason he won. He did scorched earth on those guys, man.
PAT: Yeah, I think he burned down the whole field. Maybe Scott Walker. Maybe Walker. He may have dropped out early enough to not have gotten the wrath of Trump.
He might have —
JEFFY: I don’t know. Maybe.
You say Jindal. Walker.
PAT: I don’t have the chance. I don’t have the same feeling about Jindal and Walker, as I do the rest of the —
JEFFY: But I don’t know that they’re — I don’t know that they have enough panache to be president.
PAT: Maybe not. I don’t know. We’ll see. We’ll see.
You know on the Democrat side, who has got a bright, bright future is Lincoln Chafee. Because he proposed the metric system. And America took to that like a duck to water. Man, did we respond.
JEFFY: I don’t think it was reported enough.
PAT: It wasn’t. It was downplayed by the media who doesn’t want us to adopt that crappy system.
JEFFY: That’s what I mean. I don’t think it was reported enough. If we could get it out there, if we could get the word out there and explain it better.
PAT: He would have won by a landslide. But in reality, I think most of the G.O.P. field is done and tainted for 2020.
JEFFY: Yeah, oh, my gosh.
PAT: And if President Trump weren’t to run again, the only person I could really think has a really good shot and has been untainted from any of this is Ben Sasse. I think Ben Sasse would be a great alternative.
JEFFY: I don’t know if there’s anyone else. I don’t know that there’s anyone else. Maybe I give you Walker and —
PAT: Maybe Walker and Jindal. But definitely Ben Sasse. Because he didn’t run. Thank goodness for him. He didn’t run. So he may have a future.
PAT: And I don’t know. Maybe we’re completely wrong. That’s just my impression. That’s my feeling right now, is that, yes, Donald Trump burned down the rest of the field.
JEFFY: America looks at the rest of the — barring a couple people that we mentioned. I think at least through my eyes, looking at that campaign field up on stage, I’m looking at all those guys on stage right now, thinking, not one of them I would vote for.
PAT: Yeah. President Trump, then candidate Trump did such an effective job with these guys, that I can’t look at Marco Rubio anymore without thinking Little Marco. Isn’t that amazing?
JEFFY: I know. I know.
PAT: Such a simple, but degrading term.
JEFFY: And listen, it’s difficult —
PAT: And it stuck.
JEFFY: It’s difficult for me, for me alone to see Ted Cruz who is a senator, who I voted for here in this great state of Texas, I will vote for again —
PAT: Yes. He’s got an election coming up. I’ll definitely be voting for.
JEFFY: Here, lying Ted.
PAT: Yeah. Yeah.
JEFFY: I know it’s not true. But it’s there.
PAT: But it was effective stuff. Yeah.
JEFFY: You’re never going to get rid of it.
PAT: It’s a strange and interesting phenomenon with Donald Trump.
JEFFY: It sure is. It sure is.
PAT: There is something about him —
JEFFY: I mean, that’s — nobody else is going to be that. Nobody else. Other people have tried it. They lose. And they get looked at like they’re complete dirtbags.
JEFFY: Because they’re not Trump.