Some in the GOP say they won’t be endorsing Donald Trump. What this says about hesitant Republicans, Trump’s controversial statements, and how Democrats are using that to their advantage.
Donald Trump has taken some massive (but well deserved) hits over his racist remarks ranging from federal judge Gonzalo Curiel to questioning loyalties of Muslim Americans. Most Republicans reaction to those incidents have been this:
Ryan says Trump remarks on judge are "textbook definition of racism."
"But do i believe Hillary clinton is the answer? No i do not."
— Mike DeBonis (@mikedebonis) June 7, 2016
For many Republicans, they may not like Trump (or the things he says), but he’s the party’s presidential nominee so they have to support him when he runs in the general election.
Or maybe not.
While it’s obvious that GOP heads like Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Chairman of the RNC Reince Priebus have to support Trump if they want to keep their respective jobs, Senators and Congressmen look to have a little more leeway; like Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois. Last week Sen. Kirk told reporters that he “cannot and will not support my party’s nominee for president.” A few minutes later, he tweeted this:
Given my military experience, Donald Trump does not have the temperament to command our military or our nuclear arsenal.
— Mark Kirk (@MarkKirk) June 7, 2016
Before that came this tweet from Sen. Lindsey Graham.
I also cannot in good conscience support Donald Trump because I do not believe he is a reliable Republican conservative….(4)
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) May 6, 2016
So yeah, there are Republicans in Congress who will not be endorsing Donald Trump for President and many more that are equally as hesitant. While the news itself may seem mundane, there is a lot to unpack here.
- A few weeks ago we questioned how Republicans that were vying for re-election in 2016 would support Trump on his presidential run. After all, Trump is a divisive character which goes against a re-election mindset which tries to double down on the status quo. Out of the 34 seats up for grabs in the Senate, 24 of them are GOP held seats. That means if Democrats can flip 4-5 seats in the Senate, they would take control! It’s important to note that Sen. Kirk is actually in one of those Senate seats thanks to a more than formidable opponent in Rep. Tammy Duckworth. Yet the question becomes is Sen. Kirk just an outlier of his GOP peers or is he going to become the norm?
- As we said, Trump has always been controversial in his comments. Most recently after the tragic mass shooting in Orlando over the weekend, Trump basically put the blame at American Muslims for not reporting terrorist activities (which is incorrect). If you’re a Republican, comments like these would naturally make you hesitant to back Trump in the general election, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t going to. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio showcases the verbal and logical gymnastics many use in tweets like these.
In Florida only 2 legitimate candidates on ballot in Nov. I wont vote for Clinton & I after years of asking people to vote I wont abstain.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 27, 2016
- While Republicans try and figure out their political lives under a Donald Trump presidential nomination, Democrats are taking full advantage of the opportunity. Just today, President Barack Obama had some pointed words regarding many Republicans and the term of “radical Islam.”
- During this election cycle, Democrats will hammer home the comments that Trump makes on the campaign trail and make Republicans be accountable for it. The question remains will Congressional Republicans follow the lead of Sen. Graham and Sen. Kirk? Because Trump doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon.
(Photo Credits: Donald Trump’s Instagram Account)