by Patricia L. Dickson 3/8/16
The two current frontrunners for the Republican Party nomination for the presidency are Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Marco Rubio is a distant third or fourth, depending on the primary. The GOP establishment has not hidden its intention to thwart Donald Trump from securing the party’s nomination. The latest attempt was to bring out Mitt Romney to speculate out loud that Trump is hiding a bombshell in his taxes. Romney followed up with a scathing public rebuke of Trump in a speech where he laid out his indictment against Trump. However, missing from his indictment was his endorsement of one of the remaining candidates. Also missing from Romney’s speech was what it was that turned him against Trump, since just four years earlier, he sought Trump’s endorsement and sang his praises.
The second effort being discussed to prevent Trump from securing the party’s nomination is the so-called nuclear option. It is the option presented that has me wondering what the GOP establishment’s objective really is. The reason given by the GOP establishment for a need to stop Trump from getting the nomination and possibly the presidency is that he poses an existential threat to the party. According to the party leaders, he would redefine what it means to be a Republican and a conservative. For that reason, he must be stopped. However, their only alternative to Trump is Rubio. According to an article in the Telegraph, there is a roadmap to how a contested convention can play out:
It’s possible that a deal could yet be struck. Maybe some power broker could conceivably convince Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich to come together, with the expectation that Rubio would be president, Kasich would be vice president, and Cruz would be attorney general or a Supreme Court appointment? It’s probably illegal to make such promises, but it could be stressed, for example, that Cruz would be given every consideration for this spot. Then again, it could also be that once the delegates are no longer bound, they could vote for someone who isn’t even running for president — say, Mitt Romney or Speaker Paul Ryan.
How is it that Cruz is second in line, yet they don’t see him as an alternative to Trump? Does Cruz, a current serving senator in the party, pose an existential threat to the party as well? Is Cruz not a conservative? No one ever suggests Cruz as an alternative to Trump as part of the nuclear option. The majority of Trump’s and Cruz’s supporters would be willing to support either one if he won the nomination fair and square. So why is it that the GOP establishment alternative to Trump is Rubio, who is a distant third or fourth in line, or Romney?
These unanswered questions lead me to believe that the reason given by the GOP establishment against a Trump presidency is not real. In fact, no one in the party’s leadership has explained what exactly makes him an existential threat to the party. I can accept their claims that he sometimes comes across as unpolished, and maybe they feel he would be an embarrassment. I can accept that they may not agree with some of his policies. However, no one has explained how Trump’s vow to build a wall and bring jobs back from overseas poses an existential threat to the Republican Party.
Perhaps the real reason they must stop Trump and Cruz is personal. Judge Jeanine Pirro gave a scathing explanation for the real reason Romney and the party leaders want to get rid of Trump: they want to hold on to power. They have even gone so far as to say that it would be better for Clinton to win rather than Trump. It is unbelievable how far they will go.
Patricia Dickson blogs at Patricia’s Corner.
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