Sunny Hostin

'Jeopardy!' Power Players Want to Face Off with Trump

by Andrew Dunn for The Hill


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The Hill | April 11, 2016 - The game show "Jeopardy!" came to Washington, D.C., this weekend to tape their "Power Players" tournament, with politicians, celebs, and journalists competing to raise money for charity.

The 2016 race, though, was on the minds of all contestants, with many wondering how GOP front-runner Donald Trump would fare on the trivia show.

“There would be the best questions, the most awesome answers,” former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, one of the participants, joked.

“It would make Jeopardy great again,” CNN’s Kate Bolduan said.

“The person I would like the most to compete against, even though I find his campaign loathsome, would be Donald Trump,” said The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart. “At the end of the day, he is fun and he’s great TV. He’s a showman and this is a show; he would bring it 100 percent.”

“It would certainly be interesting to face off with Trump,” said CNN analyst David Gregory. “He may find a way to get in your face a little bit, but he’s a smart guy.”

ABC News senior legal correspondent Sunny Hostin said she could take Trump down on "Jeopardy!"

“I think I could beat him,” Hostin said. “I think there may be some smoke and mirrors there. When it comes to content and substance, I think I can take him on and take him down.”

Others, including CNN's David Gregory and GOP strategist Ana Navarro, thought Ted Cruz, Trump's GOP rival, would be a tough contestant.

“['Jeopardy!' is] a little bit of eye-hand coordination too,” "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd said. “Cruz has it. He’s a pop culture guy too. ... I would not want to go up against Cruz in this. I’d be the most concerned about him.”

"60 Minutes" correspondent Lara Logan joked that every candidate should have to prove their knowledge on "Jeopardy!"

“If you’re running for the highest office in the land ... you should have to be on Jeopardy,” Logan said. “Because in the debate, come on, what do they do in the debate, they spin, spin, spin. They got their talking points, they worked it all out, and they say the same thing 400 million times.”

Also competing was comedian Louis C.K., who recently made headlines for comparing Trump to Hitler in a Facebook post. C.K. didn't want to revisit the controversy.

“It’s a hard thing to talk about for me because it’s not my area,” C.K. said at the taping. “It’s not what I’m good at. So I kind of stumbled into writing that, and I said what I thought which I think is part of [what makes] election years special. Everybody expresses themselves and then people get passionate about it.”

C.K., though, was very clear when asked if he had any plans to ever run for office.

“F--- no,” he said.

The creator of television's "Mad Men," Matthew Weiner, also participated in the "Jeopardy!" tournament.

Weiner said the current campaign took him back to the 1960s of "Mad Men."

“A lot of things we made the show about we were like 'Isn’t it great it’s not like that anymore,'” Weiner said. “It’s like that again. ... It is shocking.”

Weiner said that while he hopes Hillary Clinton beats Trump, on a deeper level, he just wants a return to civility.

“I would like my children, who are political people, to want to vote, and right now they think democracy is a joke,” Weiner said. “That’s what I would like to see, there be some kind of decorum return to the process. Maybe I’m being naive, I don’t know.”

CNN's Anderson Cooper, who is appearing on the game show for the fourth time, joked that he had learned some lessons from the GOP debates.

"If some smack talk begins, I’m not going to back down,” Cooper said. “I’ll punch back. That’s what I’ve learned from the 2016 race.”

The Power Players episodes will run the week of May 16.

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