Larry King in Israel.
(photo credit: STEVE LINDE)
Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has little chance of winning the US presidency and if elections were held today, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton would win, veteran American TV journalist Larry King said on Wednesday night.
King, 81, arrived in Israel on Tuesday and attended an education conference in Holon, where he spoke at a session with Israeli journalist Aharon Barnea and a select group of guests.
“Donald Trump is getting 20 percent of the Republican primary voters in polls. Well, that is 20 percent out of 16 people. That is a majority, but I do not think he can win a national election,” King said in response to a question from The Jerusalem Post
. “I know Donald a long time. I do not think he can win. I think Hillary will get the Democratic nomination unless this current investigation leads into any kind of email scandal and then if [Vice President Joe] Biden got in, he would win.”
But it is too early to predict at this stage, so far away from the actual 2016 presidential election itself, he said.
“Somebody can emerge that is lesser known now,” King said, giving of the example of Ohio Gov. John Kasich. “I know all the candidates. They are an interesting crop. Right now, if the elections were today, Hillary would win.”
Asked by Barnea for his view on the current US-Israel tensions over the Iran deal, King said he really hopes Congress would approve it.
“I do not know if the treaty will pass; I think right now it is a question,” he said. “If it passes, I hope it works. Why would any sane person not want it to work? Don’t we all hope that they don’t build nuclear weapons and that the treaty works a lot longer than 15 years? So I hope it works.”
Regarding the relationship between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, King said “it is sad when two leaders cannot get along, especially the president of the United States and the prime minister of Israel.
“I know them both,” he said.
“I know Bibi [Netanyahu] a lot longer than I know Obama – Bibi I must have interviewed six or seven times, Obama three times. Obama appeared on my last show for CNN.”
He rejected any notion that Obama is anti-Israel, calling it “baloney.”
“I think Obama has done a lot of wonderful things. I think he has done some things people may have some problems with,” King said. “I do not think Obama dislikes Israel and I do not Netanyahu dislikes America.
I think these are two people with two philosophical differences.”
He acknowledged that he had “come from 7,300 miles away in Beverly Hills, so my viewpoint is clouded by what I hear in America.
Then I come to Israel and I hear other things.”
But he assured the audience that the US would support Israel in a crisis.
“If anything directly affected Israel, I have no doubt in the world that America will be there.”
King said he loves being in Israel and hopes to return with his wife and two youngest boys some time soon.
“I’ve had a wonderful time here,” he said. “I feel such a joy being here. It reminds me of why I’m proud to be Jewish, to be born Jewish, to have a Jewish sense of humor, to be raised with a Jewish cultural ethic. I find Israel fascinating, because I see things here that I don’t see in America. I see Jewish policemen, firemen... it’s unheard of in America. I’m only kidding.”
“I’m a cultural Jew, through and through. I love the food, I love the way Jews speak, I love the vitality.”
King quipped, “I am not a sage, I am just an old Jewish guy from Brooklyn.”