Wes Woods II, Staff Writer
Created: 10/14/2010 08:26:31 PM PDT

CLAREMONT – William Kristol is expecting big wins in next month’s elections for Republicans nationally.

The “apparent failure” of the Obama administration’s stimulus package combined with billions of dollars in new debt and other issues have made it appear to people the government has overreached, the editor of The Weekly Standard said Wednesday at Claremont McKenna College.

It was his eighth appearance at the college.

“The politics of the financial crisis seem to be in favor of conservatives,” Kristol said, adding that people appear to be “more scared of government.”

Kristol was key to the defeat of President Bill Clinton’s health care plan in 1993 and a leading proponent of the Iraq War.

On Wednesday night, he said Republicans have an 80 percent chance of picking up 60 seats in the House of Representatives and a 50-50 chance to take control of the Senate.

This follows the elections of 2006 and 2008, which provided big wins for Democrats.

Kristol said Republicans have a chance to take back all the seats lost in those elections.

From 1995 to 2005, there were stable elections that featured the fewest changes in history, he said.

More recently, “the American public has been very volatile and unusually so,” Kristol said. “The public … looked to Barack in 2008. They’ve gone to the Tea Party in 2010.”

Kristol said what is most unusual is how quickly things seem to change.

“People get surprised things change so fast. We’re going to have to get used to that,” Kristol said.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the first Republican elected in the state in 12 years, is an example of that change, Kristol said.

A Tea Party presidential poll in Richmond, Va., showed Christie as the winner, Kristol said. He suggested YouTube videos had significantly increased Christie’s visibility. In the videos, he spoke out against teacher’s unions, reporters and others.

Foreign policy, Kristol predicted, will be a major issue for the foreseeable future. In the elections of 2012, he said, Afghanistan, Iran and Islam will all play a role.

Kristol said Obama was able to ride the wave of negativity toward President George W. Bush and getting out of Iraq, but had since “overreached” with his health care program.

The financial crisis beginning in 2008 has also played a large part in American politics, Kristol said.

Kristol also answered questions on a variety of topics, including the influence of political commentators such as Fox News Channel’s Glenn Beck.

“In an era of uncertainty, people are open to new voices. I don’t watch it that much. It’s not an exciting show, but it has all these viewers,” he said.

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