Members of the GOP establishment floated a plan over the weekend to keep presidential candidate Donald Trump from the debate stage in Cleveland on August 6.
The New York Times reports that there is a lot of frustration with the billionaire candidate and his bombastic ways. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus called Trump in early July to ask him to dial back his rhetoric regarding illegal immigrants, after he suggested the Mexican government was sending “rapists” and other criminals into the United States.
Trump grabbed headlines again last week when he called into question Sen. John McCain’s status as a war hero. “I like people who weren’t captured,” Trump said at an event in Iowa.
The RNC denounced these remarks in a statement: “John McCain is an American hero because he served his country and sacrificed more than most can imagine. Period…There is no place in our party or our country for comments that disparage those who have served honorably.”
Trump has clarified his remarks since, saying he believes John McCain is a good man and a war hero.
A new Quinnipiac Poll of swing states published this week finds Trump with the worst favorability ratings for any Democrat or Republican presidential candidate: 31 – 58 percent in Colorado, 32 – 57 percent in Iowa, and 32 – 61 percent in Virginia.
The New York Times reports:
One idea that came up was to urge three leading candidates — Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor; Mr. Walker; and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida — to band together and state that they would not participate in any debate in which Mr. Trump was present, using his refusal to rule out a third-party bid as a pretext for taking such a hard line. The thinking, according to a Republican involved in the conversations, was that the lesser-funded prospects who have been eclipsed by Mr. Trump would follow suit, and the TV networks airing the debates would be forced to bar Mr. Trump in order to have a full complement of candidates.
But none of the campaigns have shown any appetite for such solidarity, for reasons ranging from their strategic interests and not wanting to make Mr. Trump a martyr, to fear of making an enemy of Fox News, the preferred cable network of conservatives and the host of the first debate.
Regarding a third party run if he is not the Republican nominee, Trump told The Hill that “so many people want me to, if I don’t win.”
“I’ll have to see how I’m being treated by the Republicans,” Trump said. “Absolutely, if they’re not fair, that would be a factor.”
According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll, if he were to run as a third party candidate and Jeb Bush became the Republican nominee, Hillary Clinton would win with 46 percent of the vote to Bush’s 30 percent and Trump coming in at 20 percent. The results would be similar to when Ross Perot ran in 1992, taking 19 percent of the vote, which many believe allowed Bill Clinton to prevail over George H.W. Bush.
“The RNC has not been supportive,” Trump said. “They were always supportive when I was a contributor. I was their fair-haired boy. The RNC has been, I think, very foolish.”
“I’m not in the gang. I’m not in the group where the group does whatever it’s supposed to do,” the candidate stated. “I want to do what’s right for the country — not what’s good for special interest groups that contribute, not what’s good for the lobbyists and the donors.”
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth