GOP Pundit Matalin: I'm Now a Registered Libertarian

She swears it has nothing to do with Trump
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2016 8:19 AM CDT

One of the staunchest longtime Republicans, known for her party strategizing and punditry, has switched teams, the New York Times reports. Mary Matalin turned in her Republican registration for a Libertarian one, she announced Thursday, though she insisted to a skeptical Bloomberg Politics panel in an interview that her seemingly sudden decision wasn't tied to a certain candidate becoming the presumptive nominee for the GOP. "I'm not a Republican for a party or a person," she explained, adding she pledged party loyalty in more of a "Jeffersonian, Madisonian sense." For her, the Libertarian Party "continues to represent those constitutional principles that I agree with." Matalin, who served as the campaign director for Bush No. 41 and as an assistant to Bush No. 43, swears her latest move isn't because of Donald Trump's ascension in the GOP, noting that so far she likes what she sees.

"I like his attitude and I like his strategic hutzpah … and I like what I know of his economic policies—I just don't know enough," she concedes, adding, "I think not only could he win, I think he could win in a landslide if he would stop his high school boy antics with women; otherwise he's going to force suburban women to Hillary." She also notes he could likely "peel off some African-Americans, some nontraditional millennial voters. … I think he'd be great if he reins it in a little bit." Matalin is also well known for her marriage to Democratic strategist James Carville, once Bill Clinton's lead strategist and an adviser to Hillary's 2008 presidential run, and she co-hosted the CNN Crossfire program with her spouse for years. So who's she going to vote for in the election? At this point, she says simply that she's a "provisional Trump" and a "never Hillary." (Read more Mary Matalin stories.)

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