Luke Russert: Will GOP Nominate Cruz or Paul and Have a 'Barry Goldwater Moment?'

MSNBC journalist Luke Russert on Thursday reported on the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and dismissed two potential presidential candidates. Russert wondered if the Republican Party might nominate a "pragmatic governor" like Chris Christie.

He added, "Or are we going Ted Cruz? Are we going Rand Paul and the GOP is going to have their 2016 Barry Goldwater moment?" [MP3 audio here.] Barry Goldwater lost the 1964 presidential election in a massive landslide, winning only six states.

Russert has a history of verbal gaffes. On September 24, 2008, he talked to Matt Lauer about the presidential election. Asked which way college kids were leaning, he blurted, "You have to remember, the smartest kids in the state go there, so it's leaning a little bit towards Obama."

A transcript of the March 6 segment is below:

LUKE RUSSERT: But you're starting to get a picture of what 2016 could look like, what Iowa could look like, specifically. And it's pretty darn fascinating. We're starting to see here, guys, the fault lines of the battle for the soul of the GOP. Is it going to be a pragmatic governor in the Chris Christie form? Maybe if Jeb Bush gets involved or maybe the Paul Ryan idea, Rubio. Or are we going Ted Cruz? Are we going Rand Paul and the GOP is going to have their 2016 Barry Goldwater moment? So, we shall see.

[Toure starts laughing]

LUKE RUSSERT One thing I want to throw in, guys, if you haven't been to CPAC, I highly recommend going. Because it's an unbelievable just array of different conservative causes. You have folks peddling--

KRYSTAL BALL: I'm sure I would be welcomed with open arms.

RUSSERT: Well, I'm saying, you know who would be welcome is Abby Huntsman. There's a lot of college Republicans with iPhones. So, Abby, if you ever have a book to hawk.

ABBY HUNTSMAN: I don't know why I'm sitting here.

RUSSERT: If you ever have a book to hawk, go to CPAC. I'm sure you'll sell hundreds and hundreds of copies.

TOURE: Do you think they'd want my books, Luke? Do you think they want my book about Prince?

RUSSERT: No, Ari. They would not want your book. And Toure, I don't think they are interested in Prince or Nas.

BALL: That seems a little stereotypical. I bet there's some Prince fans there.

— Scott Whitlock is Senior News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Scott Whitlock on Twitter.