Hosts of Fox News' Fox & Friends celebrated Republican candidate Donald Trump's Super Tuesday victories, asking whether the GOP establishment will “finally get behind” him, as he “now seems unstoppable.” Meanwhile, other conservative media figures panicked over the possibility of a Trump nomination, saying it could end “the GOP in its current form.”
GOP At “A Crossroads” After Donald Trump's Super Tuesday Victories
The Republican Party Is At “A Crossroads” After Trump's Super Tuesday Victories. After Donald Trump won in seven states on Super Tuesday, CNN noted that there has been a “flurry of discussions among top Republican strategists and insiders” about the current front-runner, and said, “The Republican Party is at a crossroads.” CNN wrote that there are “two paths” ahead, to either support Donald Trump or start a “historic rebellion: rejecting the GOP front-runner and the values and principles he stands for”:
Donald Trump dominated Super Tuesday, notching seven victories -- four more than his closest competitor -- in states from Georgia to Massachusetts on a day that marked a turning point in his quest for the White House.
On the morning after, one thing is clear: the Republican Party is at a crossroads.
Many party leaders and establishment Republicans see two paths ahead. One is to accept what appears to be the increasingly likely outcome in the 2016 race -- that Trump will soon clinch the GOP nomination -- and offer the New York businessman their blessing. The second is a path of a historic rebellion: rejecting the GOP front-runner and the values and principles he stands for, and pledging to oppose Trump -- even if he emerges as the party's nominee. [CNN, 3/2/16]
Fox & Friends Hosts Celebrate Trump's “Unstoppable” Super Tuesday Results
Ainsley Earhardt: "Republicans Are Saying" Trump “Can Change The Party And Change The Direction Of The Country.” During the March 2 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Ainsley Earhardt claimed Republican voters think Donald Trump can “change the direction of the country,” while co-host Brian Kilmeade hyped his chances of winning the moderate vote:
AINSLEY EARHARDT: Republicans are saying this is the guy that can change the party and change the direction of the country. Donald Trump agrees with that, of course. And he said last night he really feels like he can unify the Republican Party.
BRIAN KILMEADE: Now think about this. Jeb Bush was the one to come out before the whole process started and said you've got to be willing to lose the primary to win the general. And believe it or not, the guy that's actually winning the primary is actually pivoting all along the way as to somebody that could win the general. Think about it. He's the one who said, “I'm not going to touch Social Security.” He's the one who said, “I'm not going to touch Medicare.” And also he's saying the praise of Planned Parenthood. Gets conservatives crazy. However, it might win over some moderates. And there's a belief out there that Republicans cannot win because of Romney and McCain's numbers, without getting some other people into the fray. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/2/16]
Steve Doocy: If Any Other Candidate Had Won Like Trump, The Establishment Would Throw “Rose Petals At His Feet.” Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy hyped Donald Trump's Super Tuesday results and claimed that if any other candidate had won like Trump, “we would be throwing rose petals” at their feet:
AINSLEY EARHARDT: President Obama came in and saying hope and change, and change and change and change, and that's what we're seeing now with the Republican Party. That's what Donald Trump is saying, and that's what the Republicans who are voting for him, that's what they want.
STEVE DOOCY: Just keep in mind on this super Wednesday after Super Tuesday, if any other candidate would have wound up with the numbers that Donald Trump wound up with yesterday, the establishment would be throwing rose petals at his feet. But because he's Donald Trump, an outsider, so it's kind of like, okay, we've got two weeks, how do we stop him? [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/2/16]
Doocy Praised Sen. Jeff Sessions' “Brave” Endorsement Of Donald Trump. In an interview with Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Steve Doocy called him “one of the brave people” who have stood up and endorsed Trump:
SEN. JEFF SESSIONS: This is a, something is happening. The American people are getting focused. I think the Republicans will be in strong position in November, but they've got to be appealing to working Americans and right now Trump has clearer message.
STEVE DOOCY (HOST): He does. You know, you are one of the brave people on Capitol Hill who's actually stood up and said, you know what, Donald Trump, I'm for him, I'm going to endorse him. The party elites who you see there in the Russell rotunda as you go between meetings and stuff like that, have they taken you aside and said, Senator, what are you thinking?
SESSIONS: You know, I think we understand the differences of opinion here. I understand and respect their concerns. I surely do. It's really important that if Trump wins this thing and continues on that he continues this message of unity and bringing our people together to be a more diverse and a bigger party. He's got to continue that message and it's an important message and I think he can. And we'll just see how it plays out. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/2/16]
Doocy: “Will The Republican Establishment Finally Get Behind Donald Trump Who Now Seems Unstoppable?” In an interview with Mike Huckabee responding to the Super Tuesday results, Doocy said, “will the Republican establishment finally get behind Donald Trump, who now seems unstoppable”:
STEVE DOOCY: Here is a question, after last night will the Republican establishment finally get behind Donald Trump, who now seems unstoppable on the Republican side? [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/2/16]
The Rest Of Conservative Media Panicked Over Possibility Of A Donald Trump Nomination
National Review Urges Readers to “Keep Attacking Trump.” In a March 2 post, the National Review's Rich Lowry urged candidates and outside groups to “do all they can” to attack the Republican front-runner, saying “the next two weeks are absolutely crucial” before the March 15 “big winner-take-all states”:
Everyone will have their favorite theory of who should drop out and what deal should be cut among the candidates, but all that seems fanciful for now. The most we can hope for is that the candidates, through self-interest if nothing else (everyone will lose if Trump stays this strong), will spend the vast majority of their time and energy hitting Trump. As for the outside groups that have been running anti-Trump ads, and their supporters who want to stop Trump, they should do all they can to blanket the airwaves in the big winner-take-all states on March 15, where there is still time to have an effect and let the chips fall where they may. The field may naturally winnow Cruz passed his test in Texas, will Rubio in Florida and Kasich in Ohio and if it doesn't, there is still time for some sort of deal among the remaining non-Trump candidates, which will surely have to be driven by sheer desperation.
But make no mistake: Trump is in a dominant position, and the anti-Trump forces are now engaged in a rearguard struggle to pull him back from the cusp of the nomination and, most likely, get to a contested convention rather than nominate an alternative outright. There is no point in holding back now -- the next two weeks are absolutely crucial. [National Review, 3/2/16]
Washington Examiner: GOP “Can Kiss ... The White House Goodbye” If Trump Is Nominee. In a March 2 article, the Washington Examiner's Kristen Soltis Anderson said the “damage” Trump has caused after his Super Tuesday win “may be tough to fix”:
The bad news for Republicans is that it may be tough to avoid the carnage, no matter what. Even though the delegate race is not over, the damage Trump has caused to the party may be tough to fix. If Trump is nominated, Republican candidates will need to define themselves early and in a positive light in order to best avoid being collateral damage.
With Trump as the Republican nominee, the GOP can all but kiss it's chances at the White House goodbye. Of course, nobody's made any money betting against Trump at this point, but Democrats already come to the presidential election table with a serious advantage and demographic headwinds. A nominee with Trump's baggage is an electoral catastrophe waiting to happen.
Republicans looking for a ray of hope look to Congress. A Republican House and Senate can keep in check any liberal overreach from a newly elected President Clinton. A Republican Senate in particular can play a strong role in advising and consenting (or withholding consent) on Supreme Court nominees; if it is in Democratic hands, the Court is all but gone.
These Republicans are caught in a nearly impossible bind. Embracing Trump would all but do these candidates in with independent voters, and would further cement the idea that Trumpism and Republicanism are now simply synonyms. They'd damage their own party and their own chances at winning. [Washington Examiner, 3/2/16]
Erick Erickson: “Dear GOP: Pretty Clear Attacks On Trump Do Work. Time To Go All In Against Him.” In a March 1 tweet, Fox News contributor and radio host Erick Erickson tweeted “Dear GOP: Pretty clear attacks on Trump do work. Time to go all in against him”:
Dear GOP: Pretty clear attacks on Trump do work. Time to go all in against him.
-- Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) March 2, 2016
Breitbart News' Ben Shapiro: “Perhaps The Purpose Of This Election Was Only To Serve As A Warning To Other Planets.” In a March 1 tweet, Breitbart News' Ben Shapiro wrote, “Perhaps the purpose of this election was only to serve as a warning to other planets”:
Perhaps the purpose of this election was only to serve as a warning to other planets.
-- Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) March 2, 2016
Wash. Post's Jennifer Rubin: If Donald Trump “Is The Nominee The GOP In Its Current Form Ends.” In a March 1 tweet, Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin wrote that if Donald Trump "is the nominee the GOP in its current form ends:
-- Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) March 1, 2016
New York Times' Ross Douthat: I “Can't Believe Trump Has Reduced Me To Rooting For These People.” In a March 1 tweet, New York Times columnist Ross Douthat wrote he “Can't believe Trump has reduced me to rooting for these people” referring to major Republican business leaders and donors:
Can't believe Trump has reduced me to rooting for these people:https://t.co/Mx1dwQrrfy
-- Ross Douthat (@DouthatNYT) March 2, 2016