FIX: You have been feuding with Donald Trump over the past few days via Twitter. Why? And what’s the point (if any)?
Stevens: For obscure reasons, Donald Trump seems determined to prove he is temperamentally unsuited to be president. A 13 year old kid in his mom's Moscow basement could likely troll a President Trump into a war.
Weeks ago [Note: The piece published on August 20] I wrote a piece for the Daily Beast predicting that Donald Trump wouldn't be a candidate by the Iowa Caucus. I've repeated that and it seems to bother him. Why he cares what I say would require many shrinks and a very long couch.
FIX: Give me your un-emotional (if possible) analysis of Trump and his influence on the race. Who has he hurt the most? Has he helped anyone (other than himself)?
Stevens: Clearly Trump impacted [Scott] Walker's decision to withdraw. Personally I feel that patience is one of the great undervalued virtues in politics and smart campaigns will wait for the Trump bubble to burst. Or decide to engage actively to burst it. Who is winning now in a poll is meaningless.
FIX: You are the senior adviser to a candidate in this field. How do you advise him or her to go after Trump? Or do you advise him/her to stay away from attacking him?
Stevens: The decision to attack Trump would depend on a candidate's standing. But Trump has unfavorables of about 40 percent. That's a higher vote share than any candidate currently has. There could be benefits to attacking Trump and defining oneself as the anti-Trump candidate.
If a campaign did decide to attack, the way to attack is to go at the essence of the Trump candidacy. As a businessman he has done many positive things: hired many, paid a ton in taxes, given a ton to charity. As a presidential candidate, he is mostly ridiculous. That's what needs to be said.
FIX: How big a problem is Trump for your party generally and on immigration specifically? If he does go all the way to the convention with delegates, what, if anything, can be done to lessen that damage?
Stevens: Right now about 75 percent of the party is not for Trump. I believe that will increase. The opportunity is to define a candidacy by not agreeing with him. He is not the voice of the Republican Party.