American Police News Message to Republicans on the Fence- "“This is a pivot point in American history. If Hillary is elected – everyone is focused on her deficits as a person. The truth is it’s her policies. She’s going to open the borders, pack the Supreme Court and you are not going to have the same country. Maybe you like that, maybe you don’t. But we’re not going back to the status quo, period. And so Republicans need to understand if Trump loses, it is a new America, OK? A lot is on the line, whether you like him or not. That is real.”
Here are the Traitors (NAY)
Donald Trump has forced many Republicans into peculiar contortions this year—like Senator Kelly Ayotte’s infamous insistence that while she was voting for Trump, she did not endorse him. But not feels quite as tortured as House Speaker Paul Ryan’s latest.
Late Monday morning, Ryan told House Republicans that he could no longer defend Trump, would not campaign with him, and would focus his energy on trying to maintain Republican control of the House and Senate. “The speaker is going to spend the next month focused entirely on protecting our congressional majorities,” spokeswoman AshLee Strong said.
Initial reports dutifully trumpeted this as big news, which is surely as Ryan would have wanted it. But what does it really mean? The most perplexing element here, as my colleague James Fallows notes, is that Ryan has not said he is withdrawing his endorsement of Trump. His pledge not to campaign with Trump is a little weird, too, since they had never actually done so. Trump was scheduled to appear with Ryan in Wisconsin on Saturday, but Ryan disinvited him after The Washington Post published a 2005 video in which Trump boasted about sexually assaulting women.
The speaker’s decision not to withdraw his endorsement puts him in a strange place. Dozens of Republicans, including the aforementioned Ayotte, have pulled their support in the last few days. Ryan, for his part, seems revolted by the video, and he has criticized Trump harshly in the past and even plainly called Trump’s comments about Judge Gonzalo Curiel “racist.” So why not pull his endorsement?
The only conceivable answer is party unity and saving Congress. But it’s increasingly apparent that Trump is dragging down Republican candidates down the ballot, in both Senate and House races. An NBC News poll Monday showed Democrats even within range of retaking the House, an outcome viewed as effectively impossible just a couple weeks ago. On the other hand, it’s not clear at this point that separating from Trump would help much either. When Democrats tried to distance themselves from President Obama in 2010 and 2014, they had minimal success, and with less than a month to go before the election, GOP candidates can only create so much separation.
Trump spokesman Jason Miller seemed to both point out the fact that Ryan wasn’t pulling his endorsement and tweak Ryan for his powerlessness in a tweet Monday:
Re: today's Congressional call:
Nothing's changed. Mr. Trump’s campaign has always been powered by a grassroots movement, not Washington.
— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) October 10, 2016Trump himself took a shot across Ryan’s bow:
Paul Ryan should spend more time on balancing the budget, jobs and illegal immigration and not waste his time on fighting Republican nominee
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
October 10, 2016
But Ryan is a bit of an outlier by now. Over the last 72 hours, a stampede of elected officials have called on Trump to withdraw, announced they could not support him in November, or both. The list is widely varied: It includes people who backed him fairly early in the campaign, others who got on board more recently, and still others—like former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice—who had refused to weigh in publicly on the race. As of writing (though the list continues to grow) roughly a third of Republican senators had either said they were not supporting Trump or else called on him to drop out.
Yet this is not just a blind exodus—two notable dynamics remain. One is that among leading Republican officials, there is widespread revulsion at the video in which Trump boasts about sexually assaulting women, yet few have actually announced they will no longer support him. That list includes House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and former presidential rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, both senators.
The second is a microcosm of the broader shape of the race, in which top Republicans warned against Trump but the base disregarded them. Even as leader abandon Trump, early indications are that Republican voters are not so fast to abandon him. In a Morning Consult/Politico released Sunday morning, three-quarters of Republican voters believed leaders should continue to back the party’s candidate, with only 13 percent wanting them to cut him loose.
Though many Republicans expressed deep trepidation about Trump at various points throughout the primary, most of the GOP’s officials and officeholders have, over time, come to support his candidacy. Now they appear to have very little leverage on the candidate.
Despite the demands for Trump to step down—or statements from some Republicans that they will write in Mike Pence—it’s unclear whether there’s a feasible way for the GOP to replace Trump on the ballot. Each state has different laws, but the picture is murky about whether there’s any way to replace the nominee, especially since hundreds of thousands of votes have already been cast, and many more early votes have been requested. Nor is it clear that the party could remove Trump, even if it could find the requisite support to do so. There’s a good chance that Trump could only be removed voluntarily.
Every indication Saturday suggested he would not do so. “I’d never withdraw. I’ve never withdrawn in my life,” Trump told The Washington Post. “No, I’m not quitting this race. I have tremendous support.”
He added, “People are calling and saying, ‘Don’t even think about doing anything else but running. You have to see what’s going on. The real story is that people have no idea about the support. I don’t know how that’s going to boil down, but people have no idea about the support.”
How do you solve a problem like The Donald? For Republicans and conservatives, the time for hoping Trump would simply burn himself out, collapse, and go away is over. Now they have to figure out what they’ll do: Sign up with Trump in the name of party unity, and distaste for Hillary Clinton? Or risk alienating the Republican nominee and reject him?
As the chaotic and failed attempts to stop Trump over the last year have shown, there’s no obviously right choice for how conservatives should respond. But which choice are people making? Here’s a list of some major figures and where they stand on Trump—right now. We’ll keep it updated as other important people take stances, or as these ones change their views about Trump.
Jason Reed/ ReutersGeorge W. Bush: ABSTAIN
The former president “does not plan to participate in or comment on the presidential campaign,” an aide told the Texas Tribune. (May 4, 2016)
George H.W. Bush: ABSTAIN
“At age 91, President Bush is retired from politics. He came out of retirement to do a few things for Jeb, but those were the exceptions that proved the rule,” an aide told the Texas Tribune. (May 4, 2016)
Barbara Bush: NAY
Unlike her husband and elder son, the former first lady has publicly disavowed Trump. “I mean, unbelievable. I don't know how women can vote for someone who said what he said about Megyn Kelly, it’s terrible,” she told CBS in February. “And we knew what he meant too.” (February 4, 2016)
Mitt Romney: NAY
The party’s 2012 nominee, one of Trump’s staunchest critics during the primary, told The Wall Street Journal, “I wanted my grandkids to see that I simply couldn’t ignore what Mr. Trump was saying and doing, which revealed a character and temperament unfit for the leader of the free world.” Romney continued: “I know that some people are offended that someone who lost and is the former nominee continues to speak, but that’s how I can sleep at night.” (May 27, 2016)
Romney previously told The Washington Post he would skip the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, and said at a D.C. dinner that he won’t be supporting Trump. (May 5, 2016)
Bob Dole: YEA (formerly UNDECIDED)
The former Senate majority leader and 1996 GOP presidential nominee endorsed Trump on May 6. He will also be the only living GOP nominee to attend the RNC. (May 6, 2016.) Dole previously would not commit to voting for Trumpbut said in January that Trump would be preferable to Cruz. (May 5, 2016)
John Boehner: YEA
The former speaker, who says he and Trump are “texting buddies,” told an audience at Stanford University that he’d back Trump in the general election. (April 28, 2016)
Trent Lott: YEA
The former Senate majority leader told The Clarion-Ledger that he will back Trump, despite some reservations. (May 4, 2016)
Tom DeLay: UNDECIDED
Asked by reporter Jon Ward whether Clinton or Trump was worse, the former House majority leader responded, “I can’t answer that right now.” (June 21, 2016)
DeLay hadn’t spoken out since Trump’s ascension, but was highly critical of him during the primary: “We have got to stop Trump. Whatever it takes without cheating or violating the rules of the Republican primaries,” he told Newsmax.
Dick Cheney: YEA
The former vice president blasted Trump during the primary over his stance on 9/11, and said he “sounds like a liberal Democrat,” but he now says he will back the nominee. (May 6, 2016)
Newt Gingrich: YEA
The former speaker of the House did not formally endorse Trump during the primary, but he has repeatedly praised the mogul and his vision, and is said to be a contender for a position in a Trump administration.
Jeb Bush: NAY
The former Florida governor and presidential candidate came to detest Trump during the campaign. In April, he said he would not attend the Republican National Convention. He now says he will not vote for either Trump or Clinton. (May 6, 2016)
Reince Priebus: YEA
As chair of the Republican National Committee, Priebus doesn't really have a choice, though that doesn’t mean he won’t pour Baileys in his cereal over it. (May 4, 2016)
.@realDonaldTrump will be presumptive @GOP nominee, we all need to unite and focus on defeating @HillaryClinton #NeverClinton
— Reince Priebus (@Reince) May 4, 2016Priebus said on May 6 that Trump needs to change his tone.
Rick Perry: YEA
The former Texas governor and presidential candidate--who was one of the first to blast Trump--told CNN that he backs Trump. (5/5/16)
Mike Huckabee: YEA
The former Arkansas governor, who ran for president this year, says Republicans should get in line. “When we nominated people over the past several election cycles, some of us had heartburn, but we stepped up and supported the nominee,” he said. “You’re either on the team, or you’re not on the team.” (May 5, 2016)
Bobby Jindal: YEA
The former Louisiana governor, who during his own presidential campaign called Trump a “narcissist” and an “egomaniacal madman,” wrote in a Wall Street Journal column that he’s voting for Trump, “warts and all.” “I think electing Donald Trump would be the second-worst thing we could do this November, better only than electing Hillary Clinton to serve as the third term for the Obama administration’s radical policies,” he said. (May 9, 2016)
Eric Cantor: YEA
Cantor, the former U.S. representative from Virginia and House majority leader, says he will back Trump, though he offered a tepid endorsement, saying a Trump-Clinton matchup was “probably not the best choice for anybody,” and adding, “He’s a businessman . . . [but] he’s been on so many sides of every issue that you never know.” (May 9, 2016)
Ben Carson: YEA
Carson, a relative political newcomer who ran for president in 2016, has become one of Trump’s most prominent surrogates, despite repeatedly voicing misgivings about the candidate.
Rick Santorum: YEA
The former Pennsylvania senator and two-time presidential candidate appeared, with Mike Huckabee, at a Trump rally back in January, when they were ostensibly rivals. (Both Santorum and Huckabee already seemed finished by then.) Despite Santorum’s strong social conservatism, he says that after “a long heart-to-heart with Donald Trump” he is “100 percent” endorsing the nominee. (May 25, 2016)
Karl Rove: UNDECIDED
The former George W. Bush strategist and current Wall Street Journal columnist and PAC boss has called Trump “a complete idiot” who is “graceless and divisive.” (Trump, in turn, has asked, “Is he not the dumbest human being on earth?”) But The New York Times reports the two men met in May. (June 3, 2016)
Larry Pressler: NAY
A moderate and former three-term senator from South Dakota, Pressler has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. (June 14, 2016)
Herman Cain: YEA
Mr. 9-9-9, the 2012 GOP presidential candidate, introduced Trump at a rally in Atlanta, calling him “one of the great conservative voices in America today.” He had previously told Republicans who didn’t back Trump to “get over it” but also insisted it was not an endorsement. (June 15, 2016)
Norm Coleman: NAY
The former Minnesota senator wrote in a March 3 column that he will not support the Republican nominee. “I won't vote for Donald Trump because of who he isn't. He isn't a Republican. He isn't a conservative. He isn't a truth teller…. I also won't vote for Donald Trump because of who he is. A bigot. A misogynist. A fraud. A bully.” (July 7, 2016)
Michael Bloomberg: NAY
Does the former New York mayor count as a Republican? A former Democrat, he ran and was elected Big Apple head honcho as a Republican, though he later became an independent. In any case, Bloomberg is appalled by Trump, and he will speak on behalf of Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. (June 24, 2016)
Sally Bradshaw: NAY
Bradshaw, a longtime operative and aid to Jeb Bush, was an author of the GOP’s post-2012 “autopsy” report. Now she says she’s not even a member of the party. “Ultimately, I could not abide the hateful rhetoric of Donald Trump and his complete lack of principles and conservative philosophy. I didn’t make this decision lightly,” she told CNN. She said if Florida looks close, she will vote for Hillary Clinton in order to defeat Trump. (August 1, 2016)
Marc Racicot: NAY
Racicot, a confidant of former President George W. Bush who chaired the RNC from 2001 to 2003, tells Bloomberg, “I cannot and will not support Donald Trump for president.” (August 3, 2016)
Vin Weber: NAY
A former Minnesota congressman who helped Newt Gingrich bring the Republican Party to power and is now a lobbyist, Weber has ruled out Trump. “I won't vote for Trump,” he told CNBC. “I can't imagine I'd remain a Republican if he becomes president.” (August 3, 2016)
Gordon Humphrey: NAY
The former U.S. senator from New Hampshire says he cannot vote for Trump, calling him “a sociopath, without a conscience or feelings of guilt, shame or remorse.” Humphrey told NBC he may reluctantly vote for Hillary Clinton, but only if it’s a close contest. (August 4, 2016)
George P. Bush: YEA
The scion of the Bush family, who is currently Texas land commissioner, has broken with other members of the Bush clan, who have either pointedly abstained or said they would not vote for Trump. “From Team Bush, it's a bitter pill to swallow, but you know what? You get back up and you help the man that won, and you make sure that we stop Hillary Clinton,” he said. (August 6, 2016)
Chris Shays: NAY
A longtime moderate Republican U.S. representative from Connecticut who lost his seat in 2008, Shays has endorsed Hillary Clinton. “I think many Republicans know Donald Trump could cause great damage to our country and the world at large, and still plan to vote for him. But not me,” Shays wrote for CNN. He said he backs Clinton not reluctantly but with “strong conviction.” (August 10, 2016)
Richard Viguerie: YEA
The direct-mail pioneer and social-conservative elder statesman was once a Trump critic, saying in February, “I’m just very concerned about his mental stability and his moral background, or lack thereof, which he brags about. He has no grounds that drive him morally.” More recently, however, he has taken to praising Trump. “I haven't seen anything like this since the 1980 Reagan campaign against Carter,” he said. (September 2, 2016)
Carly Fiorina: YEA (was ABSTAIN)
The former presidential candidate has called on Trump to step down and allow Mike Pence to take up the party’s mantle. She did not clearly state whether she would vote for Trump if he did not withdraw. (October 8, 2016)
Speaking to the Washington State Republican Party Thursday night, Fiorina said, “We must have President Trump—we can't have President Clinton.” She is reportedly considering a run for RNC chair. (September 9, 2016)
Fiorina, who briefly served as Ted Cruz’s running mate before he left the race, feuded with Trump during the primary, particularly over disparaging comments he made about her face. She had not endorsed him publicly, and her spokeswoman told The Washington Examiner in June that she was focusing on down-ballot races.
Information to awaken the slumbering masses. The evil of the Deep State.
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