Krauthammer: GOP 'civil war' begins day after election

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Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer said Tuesday on Fox News that he believes the Republican Party will descend into a "civil war" on Wednesday.

The veteran political analyst said he does not believe Donald Trump, the GOP nominee, is "a guy who will lose and walk away."

"He feels he has created something," Krauthammer said. "I think he is right about that."

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The nationally syndicated columnist continued: "I think he stays in the game. He becomes the kingmaker. If he loses by a respectable margin, say less than [Mitt] Romney did or within that range, I think he becomes a de-facto leader of the party."

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Krauthammer said he believed House Speaker Paul Ryan represents "the older" branch of conservatism defined by President Ronald Reagan and foreshadowed a coming war between the two camps.

"Look, the civil war will begin on Wednesday," he said. "It will begin tomorrow morning."

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Krauthammer said Ryan and Trump were at "total conflict," for instance, with regard to entitlement reform. The House speaker has been committed to reforming programs like Social Security, while Trump has brushed them aside.

"I think the first test in who gets the upper hand will be the speakership," Krauthammer said. "I think there will be a contest. If Trump wants to be a player, I think he could engineer or try to engineer deposing Paul Ryan."

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