GOP Donors: Cut Ties to Trump. Also, Corey Lewandowski Not Ruling Out Run For RNC Chair

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Oct 14, 2016 11:30 AM
GOP Donors: Cut Ties to Trump. Also, Corey Lewandowski Not Ruling Out Run For RNC Chair

Top donors to the Republican National Committee seem to be dismayed at Chairman Reince Priebus’ decision to stand by Donald Trump, despite reports that the party was diverting funds to down ticket races. Trump has become embroiled in another controversy over the weekend when a 2005 Access Hollywood tape was leaked showing the Republican nominee making graphic remarks about grabbing women’s genitals. Trump was with then-Access Hollywood co-host Billy Bush on the set of Days of our Lives, where the billionaire was set to film a guest appearance on the daytime soap opera. In the footage, hot mics captured Bush and Trump making crude remarks about then-Access co-anchor Nancy O’Dell and actress Arianne Zucker.

Bush, who has moved onto the Today show, has been suspended, though Trump made the more graphic comments. Nevertheless, it had some party members not only denouncing Trump, but also demanding he drop out of the race. Trump’s running mate Gov. Mike Pence even told him that he was on his own for the next 48 hours to deal with the fallout. It came on the eve of the second presidential debate, where Trump had a solid performance, solid enough for him to stop the bleeding, though the debate would rage throughout the week—and it has. Now, some Republicans who had disavowed Trump are now back on the train, though these donors, who have given millions to the party, are still demanding the RNC drop the real estate magnate (via NYT):

Several of the Republican Party’s most generous donors called on the Republican National Committee on Thursday to disavow Donald J. Trump, saying that allegations by multiple women that Mr. Trump had groped or made inappropriate sexual advances toward them threatened to inflict lasting damage on the party’s image.

To an elite group of Republican contributors who have donated millions of dollars to the party’s candidates and committees in recent years, the cascade of revelations related to Mr. Trump’s sexual conduct is grounds for the committee to cut ties with the party’s beleaguered standard-bearer, finally and fully.

“At some point, you have to look in the mirror and recognize that you cannot possibly justify support for Trump to your children — especially your daughters,” said David Humphreys, a Missouri business executive who contributed more than $2.5 million to Republicans from the 2012 campaign cycle through this spring.

Bruce Kovner, a New York investor and philanthropist who with his wife has given $2.7 million to Republicans over the same period, was just as blunt. “He is a dangerous demagogue completely unsuited to the responsibilities of a United States president,” Mr. Kovner wrote in an email, referring to Mr. Trump.

“Even for loyalists, there is a line beyond which the obvious moral failings of a candidate are impossible to disregard,” he wrote. “That line has been clearly breached.”

Here’s the thing: we’re stuck with Trump. He won the primary, and it’s way too late to replace him on the ballot. Early voting has begun in some states, while others have shipped sample ballots to their respective voters. It’s done. We’re stuck with Trump. For the anti-Trump wing of the party, we all knew you didn’t want him to be the nominee, but a cohesive strategy to remove him during the primaries never materialized. A candidate to take the mantle of “Never Trump” never came forward in the time frame needed to prevent him from clinching enough delegates to win the nomination in Cleveland. No one took the man seriously. I’m guilty of that—and now we have Trump leading the party. At the end of the day, Trump still won the nomination, has the party apparatus behind him and the infrastructure and monies that come with it. As a result, he’s still the Right’s best chance to beat Clinton in November. It’s not Gary Johnson. It’s not Evan McMullin, though FiveThirtyEight did detail how McMullin could win through a deadlocked Electoral College and possibly winning the House vote due to defections from Trump despite the Republican delegation edge in the lower chamber. It’s a highly improbable scenario.

If the GOP is defeated in the presidential election, an autopsy will need to be performed, but also a serious discussion about mending the gap between the establishment, the Tea Party, and the newly constituted Trump wing of the party. There’s a gross disconnect between the leadership and the party members at large—and nothing will be solved if an “I told you so” sentiment enters the room, especially from the Establishment side. Those folks have the most to blame for their own defeat. Again, they never took Trump seriously. It’ll be interesting to see what should come of the party should Clinton win the presidency (God help us!). One interesting development from The Times' piece is the prospect of former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski running to replace Priebus at the end of his term:

Should he seek another term, Mr. Priebus is expected to face competition from Mr. Trump’s critics as well as his loyalists. Matt Borges, the Ohio Republican Party chairman and an outspoken Trump detractor, is said to be considering the chairman’s post, as are several state-level officials supportive of Mr. Trump.

Asked about his interest in the job, Corey Lewandowski, Mr. Trump’s former campaign manager, declined to rule out a run, saying only that he was happy in his current work as a CNN commentator.

Say what?! Allahpundit had a rather blunt assessment of this possible development.