CNN's Avlon Blames GOP 'Playbook' of 'Intolerance' for Creating Trump, Cruz

Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello, CNN political analyst and Daily Beast editor-in-chief John Avlon declared that Republicans should be blamed for creating Donald Trump and Ted Cruz as he asserted that the "conservative playbook" has showed "intolerance" toward those not in line with them ideologically.

After right-leaning CNN political commentator Ben Ferguson finished complaining about Trump having an "I'm against the world" message most recently seen with his complaints about FNC's Megyn Kelly, Avlon began indicting conservatives and Republicans:

The problem that conservatives are confronting in the form of Donald Trump and the problem the Republican party is confronting with Ted Cruz is not an imposition, it is something they have helped cede. This is a condition where you view the world as "us against them," where you try to punish people who aren't ideologically in line.

He added:

That is a kind of intolerance and ideological approach filtering the world and the news, that has been part of the conservative playbook for a long time. And all of a sudden, Gollum is turning on its creator and people are panicked.

Avlon's charges led to a back and forth between him and Ferguson:

BEN FERGUSON: Did you hear anything I just said?

JON AVLON: Yes, I did.

(begin cross talk)

AVLON: And I'm saying that you're making lovely points, I think there's an irony to it.

FERGUSON: No I'm not (INAUDIBLE) I'm just pointing out the obvious here.

(end cross talk)

Ferguson continued:

All the other candidates are not doing what you just described. Let's be very clear about that. Donald Trump has been the one that has gone out there and has basically said that if you don't support me, I will crush you and you're an idiot and you're stupid, you're incompetent, you're dumb, you're a moron.

He did it with Megyn Kelly, and I've been, hold on, as a conservative, I have been one of those for quite some time that's been questioning Donald Trump. And I think what this is is a populist candidate that said, "I'm going to fill a void here," regardless of what he's done with his past, regardless of how he has people now like Bob Dole who's an establishment who he says he's against who basically have endorsed him, and others just like him like Trent Lott who's not a conservative. I'm just pointing out the obvious here on Donald Trump.

Avlon concluded by repeating the charge that Republicans created Trump:

AVLON: My point is that y'all, yeah, you are all complaining about something you helped create, but I agree with you on the substance in this specific case.

FERGUSON: I didn't create Donald Trump. Let me make this clear: I did not create Donald Trump.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, January 26, CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello:

10:25 a.m. ET
BEN FERGUSON, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This fits the narrative of "I'm against the world, and join my team, and everyone now is out to get us, and that's the reason why you should vote for me." The problem is, is it a conservative value to say that if someone doesn't treat you fairly, which really means give you softball questions and not question your authority, is that a conservative value you want to back? Because as President, my concern would be that if any conservative or liberal or anybody asks a question he doesn't like, he now banishes them from the room. That's not a conservative value.

And I think that's going to be what you're hearing a lot more from Ted Cruz and other conservatives is, "Look, this guy is a bully." I think something else that was funny he said there, he said nothing's 100 percent guaranteed, nothing's 100 percent. I would also say this: It may also include his quote, unquote, "conservative values." I don't think they're 100 percent solid, and I think that's where he's also vulnerable. But this fits that narrative of "I'm being bullied by everyone else, and I'm not going to take it, so get on the Trump train, and we're going to do and change the world, and anyone that gets in our way, we'll run over them just like that woman who I took her house when I built a casino with eminent domain." That's also not a conservative value.

CAROL COSTELLO: John?

JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Carol, I appreciate -- I appreciate Ben bringing up eminent domain like that and a Cruz ad. But let's be real about this. You know, the problem that conservatives are confronting in the form of Donald Trump and the problem the Republican party is confronting with Ted Cruz is not an imposition, it is something they have helped cede. This is a condition where you view the world as "us against them," where you try to punish people who aren't ideologically in line.

That is a kind of intolerance and ideological approach filtering the world and the news, that has been part of the conservative playbook for a long time. And all of a sudden, Gollum is turning on its creator and people are panicked.

FERGUSON: Did you hear anything I just said?

AVLON: Yes, I did.

(begin cross talk)

AVLON: And I'm saying that you're making lovely points, I think there's an irony to it.

FERGUSON: No I'm not (INAUDIBLE) I'm just pointing out the obvious here.

(end cross talk)

FERGUSON: No, I'm pointing out the obvious here.

AVLON: Yeah, I just think it's ironic, Ben, that's all.

FERGUSON: All the other candidates are not doing what you just described. Let's be very clear about that. Donald Trump has been the one that has gone out there and has basically said that if you don't support me, I will crush you and you're an idiot and you're stupid, you're incompetent, you're dumb, you're a moron.

AVLON: And it is a real-

FERGUSON: He did it with Megyn Kelly, and I've been, hold on, as a conservative, I have been one of those for quite some time that's been questioning Donald Trump. And I think what this is is a populist candidate that said, "I'm going to fill a void here," regardless of what he's done with his past, regardless of how he has people now like Bob Dole who's an establishment who he says he's against who basically have endorsed him, and others just like him like Trent Lott who's not a conservative. I'm just pointing out the obvious here on Donald Trump.

COSTELLO: Last word, John, then I got to go.

AVLON: My point is that y'all, yeah, you are all complaining about something you helped create, but I agree with you on the substance in this specific case.

FERGUSON: I didn't create Donald Trump. Let me make this clear: I did not create Donald Trump.

Brad Wilmouth
Brad Wilmouth is a contributing blogger to NewsBusters