- The Washington Times - Friday, August 19, 2016

The man who wrote “The Book of Virtues” told Fox News that “Never Trumpers” are vain voters who “suffer from a terrible case of moral superiority.”

Former Education Secretary Bill Bennett spoke with Fox News’ Martha Maccallum on Thursday night about the state of the 2016 U.S. presidential race. He said his conservative friends who refuse to vote for the Donald Trump in November are self-centered.

“[Donald Trump] does not need to speak to the ‘Never Trumpers,’ some of my friends — or maybe former friends — who suffer from a terrible case of moral superiority and put their own vanity and taste above the interest of the country,” Mr. Bennett said, Hot Air reported. “But he can speak to the middle and he can speak to the problems as he spoke in Milwaukee. And he can speak as he does to some audiences, particularly Martha. A lot of that Milwaukee address was to black America. I think that is something that he should do again.”

Mr. Bennett did not say who his possibly “former friends” were, although conservative commentator Jonah Goldberg did address the author’s support for Mr. Trump in National Review Online columns.

“It was either Aristotle or Larry Storch who said, ‘You can’t be disappointed in your enemies, only your friends,’” Mr. Goldberg wrote March 12. “And that brings me to my friend Bill Bennett. I’ve known, admired, and defended Bill for years. He’s a mensch and a fighter of noble causes. I am a frequent listener to Bill’s radio show, mostly when perambulating my canines. Bill is not entirely pro-Trump, but he’s certainly anti-anti-Trump. Bill says concerns about Trump amount to ‘Trumpophobia.’ Last week, he asked rhetorically, ‘Is it because he’s crude?’ And then Bill Bennett rhapsodized about how he’s so worldly that a little profanity doesn’t bother him. Again, we’re talking about Bill-fudging-Bennett (that was a fantastic example of tmesis by the way). That’s not the Bill Bennett I know.”

Mr. Goldberg also said he felt like he was “living in a weird remake of ‘The Invasion of the Body Snatchers,’ ” as he watched lifelong conservatives embrace Mr. Trump.

“If you listen to Trump’s answers to almost any question about how he will fix a problem, he uses up the first 95 percent of his time explaining, re-explaining and demagoguing about how bad the problem is,” the author said. “Then in the last few seconds, he says we’ll fix the problem by being really smart or by winning or by hiring the best people. In other words, he has no idea how to fix it.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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