'Dump Trump' won't happen. But GOP elite could still hurt him.
Values and ideals
Talk is spiking again about the Republican establishment maneuvering to deny Donald Trump the presidential nomination. But 'Dump Trump' faces a couple of not-so-small problems.
Washington — Stop it. The Republican Party is not going to dump Donald Trump at its national convention in Cleveland in July.
Yes, talk about denying Trump the nomination is spiking again in the wake of his attacks on a Latino federal judge. The basic premise: How can the GOP get behind Trump after House Speaker Paul Ryan said the billionaire made a “racist comment”?
There’s no doubt the loose coalition of elites that constitute the Republican establishment are restless this week. Sen. Mark Kirk (R) of Illinois – locked in tough reelection race – rescinded his Trump endorsement in response. Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, former presidential aspirant, is backing away from his own pledge to support the party’s presumptive nominee. And conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt is fanning the embers of the #NeverTrump movement in an attempt to relight the flame.
On his program Wednesday Hewitt said the GOP needs to change its convention rules to block Trump in Cleveland and nominate somebody else.
“Right now the Republican Party is facing – the plane is headed towards the mountain after the last 72 hours,” Hewitt said.
There are two reasons Trump is still a virtual lock to emerge from Cleveland as the Republican standard-bearer. The first is complexity. Dumping Trump would require preparation and coordination on a large scale. A majority of delegates would first have to vote to drastically amend the rules, knowing full well they were mounting a coup.
That wouldn’t happen unless pretty much the entire range of party leaders, from Ryan to Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and primary rivals Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, approved. Then, newly unbound, the delegates would have to pick . . . somebody else. Who? Cruz won’t go along with this if it’s not him. Rubio might not either. It’s hard to have a revolution without a Fidel Castro in the wings.
That’s the problem with conspiracies. They’re great in the movies but real life is just not that organized.
The second reason Trump will continue to win is that denying him the prize at this point would be undemocratic. He flat out beat everybody else with the constituency that counts, GOP voters. He’s uniting the party – about 85 percent of Republicans now say they’ll back him in November, according to polls.
The time to stop him was January. Now it’s too late.
“Now that he has not only clinched the nomination, but done so decisively, the idea that he can somehow be denied the nomination is foolish nonsense,” writes Doug Mataconis at his Outside the Beltway blog, echoing this point.
But while the ragged band of remaining #NeverTrumpers can’t stop the billionaire from getting the nomination, they can slow or damage his general election campaign. That could well be their fallback defense.
It involves money. Trump needs it, and they have it. Or rather, they have access to lots of wealthy donors who have it.
After all, Trump’s campaign looks like it’s going to be cash-short. He first said he’d raise $1 billion, but now he’s talking about $500 million. Democrat Hillary Clinton will have a lot more than that.
You know who was great at raising money? Mitt Romney. You know who really, really thinks Trump is destroying the Republican Party? Bingo.
And tonight Romney is addressing a donor conference at his annual political summit in Park City, Utah.
“What if Romney stands up there and asks them not to donate to Trump? What if he asks them to donate to [Libertarian] Gary Johnson? Mitt can still do damage to Trump without running,” writes Allahpundit today at Hot Air.
Romney does not have to do this in public, of course. A few well-placed words behind the scenes would do the trick.