Someone needs to tell the GOP that it is the people who rule, not the elite who live in the Beltway bubble.
On Wednesday’s “Morning Joe,” Republican Establishment leader Bill Kristol talked about the plan to keep Trump from getting 50% of the delegates needed to secure the nomination. The establishment is playing with fire and better have a PR plan to go along with their overall plan which appears to include a convention in which horse trading takes place. Kristol wants Cruz and Rubio voters to vote for Kasich in Ohio and Cruz and Kasich voters to go for Rubio in Florida.
Kristol makes the point that by this time the leading candidate has reached 50% and Trump hasn’t. However, the GOP has let the hounds of hell out to attack Trump and that could be why.
Trumpsters are only about 35% of the party but many voting for Cruz and Carson could live with Trump over an establishment choice. Kristol likes to say that the rest don’t support Trump.
The GOP bosses might like to broker a deal to hand the nomination to Rubio but if they go against the will of the people, the people will stay home. The backlash will be extreme.
We all know that a convention in a smoke filled room is probably the only way to defeat Trump and it would hand the election to Hillary.
The Republican party must know that no one but Trump has a path to the nomination.
The GOP bosses believe many will stay home anyway if Trump is the candidate and they have little to lose. That’s possibly true.
Their contention is that Trump has flown to victory without people – according to them – knowing enough about him.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: The fact of the matter is that you know there is no historical precedent with someone doing as well as Candidate Trump did yesterday — winning New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, [losing the nomination] has never happened before, and as you know there is a momentum, a forward progress–
BILL KRISTOL: Right, so we have to stop the momentum, I totally agree.
SCARBOROUGH: So that’s my question. There’s no cheering here. I am looking at facts.
KRISTOL: To your credit, you have correctly seen that this was not going to be the historically normal year, and it’s not, so maybe we go–
SCARBOROUGH: So how do you beat him?
KRISTOL: You have to beat him in Florida and Ohio, the first two winner-take-all states, which means there has to be a de facto agreement between the opposition candidates — between the resistance to Trump, which I am proud to be a part of, because I think he’d be a terrible nominee and a terrible president…
SCARBOROUGH: You have the authority to broker that deal right now?
KRISTOL: Well, they need to. They need to defer to Rubio in Florida and probably to Kasich in Ohio, and say, or imply, that if you are a Cruz voter in Ohio, and if you look up the day before the primary and it’s Trump 42%, Kasich 35% — vote for Kasich. And the truth is if Trump doesn’t win Florida and Ohio, it remains very much of an open race. …
I can’t imagine a Cruz voter voting for Kasich or Rubio.
Donald Trump has 35% of the popular vote and 47% of the delegates to date.
KRISTOL: “You said three times “The voters have spoken.” Donald Trump may well be the nominee. You have been analytically right about trump and I have been wrong but we are entitled to oppose trump analytically, the first thing is to stop the cascade of “Oh, my I god the voters have spoken” and say wait a second, 56% of the voters have voted not for Donald Trump. 53% of delegates are not for Donald Trump. If Trump were to lose the nomination it’s not because the party spurned the voters, it would be the because the majority of the delegates as mark and John pointed out would have been committed to candidates other than Trump.”
It is 35% as Kristol said but if you add in the other rogue candidates such as Cruz and Carson, you are talking about half the party membership who does not want an establishment candidate, even Rubio. The GOP believes they can win over the bulk of the party.
Perception is everything in this however and if it looks like they’ve commandeered the will of the people and put a RINO stooge in, that’s the end of the party. That would be suicide.
When asked about this, Kristol said: And [Trump] would still lose the election. And shouldn’t win the election, So, yeah, I agree.
He’s okay with suicide apparently even though we would also lose the Supreme Court and our Bill of Rights.
HEILEMANN: “Again, just going even further on this topic I think about the notion of what bill is advocating, I think as you talk more and more to Republicans who want to stop Donald Trump, who will say to you either privately or sometimes publicly they would rather vote for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump and the people who will try to stop him, their attitude is we know what would happen at a contested convention if we took the nomination away from Donald Trump with a plurality of the delegates. We would alienate his supporters and lose the presidential election. But their position is it would be better for us to lose the election than to have Donald Trump tear the party in half as the nominee. Now you can say that’s suicidal, but that is the posture of people and the view is that Trump would have huge negative effects down ballot.”
SCARBOROUGH: “Here’s the problem —“
KRISTOL: “And would also lose the election. And shouldn’t win the election, I agree with that.”
SCARBOROUGH: “So here’s the problem in 2016. Outside of Harry Reid, I can’t name a lot of politicians that have the er to sway a state. That’s what’s remarkable about Harry Reid. Every close race in Nevada is going to go his way. I’m from Florida. There’s nobody in Florida that has that authority. Nobody in Ohio — I understand what you’re saying, that would have made great sense 20 years ago, I’m just curious —“
KRISTOL: “I’m not —“
SCARBOROUGH: “I’m not saying you are. I want this drama to continue. It’s better for us. But is there somebody that can step up and broker that deal?”
Kristol concluded that the candidates have to do a better job and Trump’s record has to be presented to the people because he hasn’t been made to answer for his record. It might be too late and he will probably be the candidate but many GOPers are going to try to stop him.
KRISTOL: “No. The candidates have to make their own case, the candidates have to the a better job, as people have said. There will be a lot of money spent exposing Donald Trump’s record. He has been relatively under attack — he’s not been much attacked in paid TV. People like me have written editorial bus voters haven’t seen a lot of ads exposing aspects of trump’s record. The odds are it won’t work. If you were a betting man, you have to bet trump will be the Republican nominee but it’s not inevitable and there will be a vigorous fight over the next few weeks.”
BRZEZINSKI: “Bill Kristol, thank you very much.”
If we had a normal candidate, the membership would coalesce around that candidate, but a lot of Republicans don’t want to coalesce around Trump, Kristol said. They see him as someone who would be a terrible president.