Turmoil in the Republican Party escalated Wednesday as party leaders, strategists and donors voiced increased alarm about the flailing state of Donald Trump’s candidacy and fears that the presidential nominee was damaging the party with an extraordinary week of self-inflicted mistakes, gratuitous attacks and missed opportunities.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus was described as “very frustrated” with and deeply disturbed by Trump’s behavior over the past week, having run out of excuses to make on the nominee’s behalf to donors and other party leaders, according to multiple people familiar with the events.

Meanwhile, Trump’s top campaign advisers are struggling once again to instill discipline in their candidate, who has spent recent days lurching from one controversy to another while seemingly skipping chances to go on the offensive against his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

“A new level of panic hit the street,” said longtime operative Scott Reed, chief strategist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “It’s time for a serious reset.”

Trump allies on Wednesday publicly urged the candidate to reboot, furious that he has allowed his confrontation with the Muslim parents of dead Army Capt. Humayun Khan to continue for nearly a week. They also are angry with Trump because of his refusal in an interview with The Washington Post on Tuesday to endorse two of the GOP’s top elected officials — House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.) and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) — ahead of their coming primary elections.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), one of Trump’s most loyal defenders, warned that his friend was in danger of throwing away the election and helping to make Clinton president.

“The current race is which of these two is the more unacceptable, because right now, neither of them is acceptable,” he said. “Trump is helping her to win by proving he is more unacceptable than she is.”

Gingrich said Trump has only a matter of weeks to reverse course. “Anybody who is horrified by Hillary should hope that Trump will take a deep breath and learn some new skills,” he said. “He cannot win the presidency operating the way he is now. She can’t be bad enough to elect him if he’s determined to make this many mistakes.”

Where is the safety net?  Where is the parachute that allows the Republicans to dump Trump?

Responsible Republicans seem to be back-pedaling as fast as they can away from Trump.  I don’t blame them.  I have never seen such behavior.  It is appalling.


11 Thoughts to “Republican Party leaders voice alarm over Trump”

  1. Starryflights

    Trump is not going to change. Gingrich and company better wise up to that fact quickly before Trump drags the whole party down

  2. In most elections, we disagree over policy. We usually align ourselves with the candidate who best represents our values. I have done that this election.

    We sometimes demonize the “other guy” but thats usually bs and bluster. This time its more than that. I feel badly for people who are die-hard Republicans. I don’t know what you do,

    I would have an easy time. I rarely vote by party. I usually vote by issue. There really are some decent third party candidates out there. For that matter, what’s to keep a Romney or some other R from running third party?

    1. @MoonHowler

      “what’s to keep a Romney or some other R from running third party?” The realization that many voters will only vote along party lines, regardless of who else is on the ballot, and by default, elect the opposing person of the ticket.

  3. Pat.Herve

    Faux Theater on the outrage. The ‘leaders’ as they are called have failed in everything they say they will do, other than get reelected. Ryan/McConnell/Boehner – have failed in every way. No budget, tax reform, immigration reform….etc. So, how are the ‘leaders’.

    I do believe Trump will be our next President.

    1. I absolutely do not think he will be. I have more faith in American decency.

    2. State by state numbers just do not indicate he has a chance. He = Trump

    3. Robin Hood

      If that guy wins he’ll need that wall . . . to keep us in!

      Hablo espanol y puedo ir al sur. (I speak Spanish and I can go south.)


  4. middleman

    Trump’s path to the presidency has been paved by both parties, although more so by the R’s. He feeds every fear Americans have, from race to declining low skilled economic opportunities to national security to “reverse racism” to income inequality. Fear is a powerful motivator and Trump is taking advantage of all the fear that’s been promoted for the past 8 years. Everything is horrible and only he can fix it.

    Even if he isn’t elected he will sow havoc with cries of a rigged election. He did that with the last election but now a lot more people are paying attention to him. I expect riots if he loses.

    1. I don’t think that speaks well of his people either. It speaks of ignorance, thuggery, and spoiled people who must have their own way.

      At some point, they are going to have to accept the fact that in most cases, we make our own luck.

  5. middleman

    The disenfranchised, whether from mechanization, poor preparation, low skill level or just plain laziness feed on the pablum Trump is peddling. This is how many despots and strongmen have taken over governments throughout history. With congress shirking their constitutional duty over the past 30 years, the executive branch has become very powerful in our country, making a man such as Trump extremely dangerous.

    People seem to think it couldn’t happen here, but we’ll see. Could be dark days ahead, since it looks like Trump has a pretty good chance.

  6. Scout

    There is now pretty near unanimous rejection of Trump in places usually identified with thoughtful conservatism and Republican principles. The list of responsible conservatives who have adamantly said not just no, but hell no, is pretty near the same list of any conservative thinker/writer who has ever tried to articulate a coherent message from the center to center-right of modern (i.e., post-1972) American politics. George Will, David Brooks, Michael Gerson, Peggy Noonan, Jonah Goldberg, Bret Stephens, Kathleen Parker, have left little doubt that the consider Trump to be manifestly unsuited for office. On top of these writers, there is an array of senior ex-military who are definitely worried about Trump getting anywhere near any kind of civilian authority over defense or foreign policy.

    Brooks’s column yesterday in the NYT, read against Krauthammer’s similar piece in the Post of (I think) the day before, largely addressed Trump’s deficiencies in psychological terms. Jonah Goldberg’s piece yesterday in the National Review recalled movie scenes where the hardened commander has to tell his crew to seal the watertight doors, blow the mine shaft, poor concrete on the control rods (he used a hilarious combination of movie cliches) despite the presence of innocents in the endangered spaces in order to save the ship/mine/reactor etc.


    I was in stitches and tears after reading that one. If the link doesn’t work, go to National Review archives, where I think the article is listed under “Waiting for the Pivot at the End of the Universe.”

    Of course, the intellectual wing of modern American conservatism is not a dominant strand at that end of the spectrum, but it is rare to see these people so clearly united on any one issue. It is important for thinking conservatives to vigorously and consistently oppose Trump or forfeit the right to be part of the rubble clearing and rebuilding that will have to come after him.

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