From the October 11 edition of CBS This Morning:
JOHN HEILEMANN: Paul Ryan effectively said yesterday that the campaign, the presidential campaign, is lost, and the only hope for the Republican Party is to focus on maintaining its control of the House of Representatives. But Trump seems --
GAYLE KING (CO-HOST): But Reince Priebus seems to be sticking with him.
HEILEMANN: Reince Priebus does, there's division within the Republican Party about this, but Paul Ryan is an infinitely more powerful figure in the Republican Party than Reince Priebus. With all due respect to the Republican National Committee, Paul Ryan, as the highest ranking elected official in the Republican Party, matters a lot more, in terms of what the party is.
KING: So why doesn't he just cut him, John? Why doesn't he just say, “Look, I just can no longer support him?”
HEILEMANN: Who are we talking about?
KING: Well I'm talking about Paul Ryan.
HEILEMANN: Well, I think he effectively did that yesterday. The only thing he hasn't done is unendorse Trump.
KING: That's what I mean.
HEILEMANN: But he's worried about the 35 to 40 percent of American who support -- voters who support Donald Trump. I think Ryan is trying to walk a delicate line here where he wants to give his members the ability to basically do whatever they need to do to save their own skins without overtly or egregiously offending the Trump base, which is a lot of the Republican Party, and to snub his nose entirely at Trump would risk alienating those voters.
NORAH O'DONNELL (CO-HOST): Now here’s the word “apocalypse,” that you have used, because it's no longer about Donald Trump's closing strategy, what he wants to talk about. It's now affecting Congress. I mean the front page of USA Today is about losing the Senate.
HEILEMANN: Yes I think many Republicans think the Senate is now likely to be lost, and really the question now is whether they can keep hold of the House. That is how bad things are right now. The Republican Party is in a full-scale, broad-gauge meltdown.