Be prepared for more whining and skulduggery ahead, as an embittered minority of Republican insiders tries to derail Trump’s unorthodox candidacy.
This unsavory drama will play out between now and the convention’s start on July 18.
The sour-grapes contingent is quietly trying to persuade convention rule-makers to turn the balloting for presidential nominee into a free-for-all, never mind the desire of the voters who actually chose Trump. The plotters hope to dump Trump and slip in another candidate. It could be distant second-place finisher Cruz — who still refuses to endorse Trump — or also-ran John Kasich, not to mention a warmed-over Mitt Romney.
Though unlikely to succeed, these wily efforts to subvert Trump are helping Hillary Clinton. The plotters are sowing disunity and discontent just when Republicans need to capitalize on the electric enthusiasm that draws huge crowds to Trump’s rallies.
The intrigue isn’t confined to stacking the convention rules against Trump. The saboteurs have gone to court to stop him. Carroll Correll Jr., a long-time Virginia party regular chosen to be a delegate, is suing to avoid any obligation to vote for Trump in Cleveland. That’s even though he signed a pledge to abide by the results of his state’s primary.
Serving as a delegate is a juicy perk for party insiders and big donors. It’s not the College of Cardinals choosing a pope. Delegates are customarily rubber stamps for the primary voters.
Correll is trying to weasel out, claiming his “conscience” bars him from voting for a man he says is “unfit to serve as president.” But hold on. Why should Correll’s opinion override the decisions of Virginia voters?
Correll is twisting the First Amendment, claiming it protects his “right” to follow his whim.
Nonsense. If he wants to exercise his conscience, he should just resign as a delegate, stay home and watch Trump accept the nomination on TV. As for Correll’s right to express his own “conscience,” he can yell all he wants at the screen.
Worse than Correll’s lawsuit is the mealy-mouthed “support” for Trump offered by Republican big shots like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and House Speaker Paul Ryan. Don’t they realize their waffling risks handing the presidency to Hillary on a silver platter?
On Sunday, McConnell refused to say whether Donald Trump is “qualified to be president.” The senator quickly conceded that “our primary voters have made their decision as to who they want to be the nominee.”
But he has so little respect for those voters that he’s withholding his own support. That’s precisely the arrogance that drove so many Trump voters to the polls in the first place.
McConnell’s only praise for Trump is that he’s started using a teleprompter. Few Americans think we need another totally scripted politician. Trump’s spontaneous style knocked his 16 GOP competitors out of the race. Americans are fed up with canned speeches and political correctness.
They want real change. The nation’s economy has been slogging along at under 2 percent growth for nearly a decade. It’s depressing our standard of living and destroying our young people’s dreams of success. Hillary will make it worse, with more regulations, higher taxes and a war on fossil fuels.
Trump offers a radical vision for economic resurgence. Don’t let the insiders snatch this chance away from us.
Betsy McCaughey is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research.