Top neocon Bill Kristol respects the Cruz campaign for its brazen theft of delegates and backroom politics.

Kristol told Newsmax TV he admires Cruz for “paying attention to detail and hustling and working hard for every delegate even if they didn’t get all the votes.”

The founder of the “Never Trump” movement and editor of  the neocon “redoubt” The Weekly Standard compared the dirty tricks of the Cruz campaign to playing poker.

“You’re playing a good hand of poker, play the hand,” he said. “Don’t say at each card, ‘Boy, I’m playing really clever here.'”

Kristol advocates a brokered convention as the best way to prevent frontrunner Trump for gaining the Republican nomination. In March he said party officials need to work on moving 50 percent of the delegates over to an “acceptable” candidate.

“We have to stop the momentum,” he said after Trump swept seven states on Super Tuesday.

Kristol circulated a memo at the time urging the party to back establishment vetted candidates such as the former presidential loser Rick Perry or Tom Coburn, a former Oklahoma senator. He suggested a third party if Trump takes the nomination.

The response by the RNC to Kristol’s third party idea was strident. RNC spokesman Sean Spicer told Breitbart News that “any effort to facilitate a third party ultimately is helping to elect Hillary Clinton.”

“If it’s Trump-Clinton, I’d work with others to recruit a strong conservative third party candidate, and do my best to help him win (which by the way would be more possible than people think, especially when people—finally—realize Trump shouldn’t be president and Hillary is indicted),” Kristol wrote in an email.

Kristol’s neocon comrades believe a Clinton presidency would be preferable to a Trump one.

Max Boot, Robert Kagan, Eliot Cohen, and the “Prince of Darkness,” Richard Perle, all believe a Clinton presidency will continue the neocon foreign policy agenda resulting in the longest war in American history (Afghanistan) and the invasion of Iraq that cost over a million Iraqi lives.

“The only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton,” Kagan wrote for The Washington Post. “The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be.”

In other words, the neocon agenda can be “saved,” or revived, under Clinton who, as secretary of state, demonstrated in Libya she is an advocate of violent regime change in the Middle East.

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