With Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign in a tailspin, his media allies have begun building the case that if Trump loses the election in November, it will be the fault of establishment Republicans who either did not endorse Trump, or did not support him strongly enough.
Trump Campaign Is “Unraveling”
MSNBC’s Chuck Todd Details “The Unraveling” Of The Trump Campaign. Over the past week, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign has been rocked by his extended fight with a Gold Star family, staff firings, his refusal to endorse several Republican leaders, a variety of additional bizarre and extreme comments, and cratering poll numbers. NBC’s Chuck Todd has described this as a“crisis” faced by the campaign, stemming from Trump’s “36 hours of total and complete chaos.” Todd commented that while “he hasn’t seen a 36-hour stretch this intense,” this is not Trump’s first set of major controversies, having survived “countless other” ones before. From the August 3 edition of MSNBC’s MTP Daily:
CHUCK TODD (HOST): Welcome to MTP Daily and welcome to 36 hours of total and complete chaos inside the Republican Party. Whole hour we're going to take you inside what appears to be a crisis that's facing Trump or the party or both and what may be dire options facing many in the party. Grin and bear it and hope he changes? Unendorse him? Or three, convince him to quit and you will be shocked by the number of Republicans that are inquiring already about the process of replacing Trump on the ballot if somehow they convinced him to step aside. But all of those may be unicorn theories in the case. It's an unprecedented cloud of turmoil that is surrounding his campaign.
Yes, Trump has survived countless controversies before but even he hasn't seen a 36-hour stretch this intense. In fact, let's just put it up on the board. Over the last 36 hours, the RNC and Reince Priebus are supposedly publicly apoplectic, behind the scenes, at what they’re seeing from Trump. Some are even gaming out scenarios where Trump is not the nominee. Then we've learned some of Trump's closest allies are trying to plot some sort of intervention with him in order to attempt to right the ship. People close to Trump's campaign chief are describing the situation as, quote, suicidal -- at least that's the mood, we’re told, inside the campaign. Trump is refusing to support his party's top leader in Congress, Paul Ryan, in his primary. He he doesn't want to support John McCain in his primary either. Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, has to break with Trump, saying I strongly endorse Ryan's re-election. Don't forget, Trump's latest attack, again, on the gold star family, the Khans. His repeated suggestions that somehow this election is already rigged. He's under fire for comments about accepting a purple heart. He's facing questions over comments over his definition of sexual harassment in the workplace. We've seen at least three Republicans, fairly prominent, endorse Hillary Clinton in the past 36 hours. Oh, by the way, Trump's fitness for office has been questioned including a purported curiosity with the U.S. nuclear arsenal. And last but not least, a sitting president of the United States called one of his potential successors unfit for that office. In totality, it is an unprecedented level of turmoil, and we didn't even get to every aspect of different stories that rained down on him yesterday. [MSNBC, MTP Daily, 8/3/16]
Conservative Media Prepare To Point The Finger Directly At The Republican Establishment
Breitbart News: “Many Have Pointed Out THat [Paul] Ryan’s Recent Statements Seem Designed To Undermine Trump” In 2016. Breitbart News reported on July 31 of House Speaker Paul Ryan’s criticism of Trump’s behavior in the Khizr Khan controversy, “Ryan’s recent statements seem designed to undermine Trump and the Republican Party’s chances of electoral success.” Hahn then implied that Ryan would prefer Hillary Clinton’s election to a Trump victory because “the central pillars of Ryanism are very similar to the pillars of Clinton’s agenda”:
Many have pointed out that Ryan’s recent statements seem designed to undermine Trump and the Republican Party’s chances of electoral success in 2016.
Indeed, several reports have documented that Ryan would likely accomplish more of his legislative goals on foreign trade, foreign migration, and foreign wars if Hillary Clinton were in the White House than if Donald Trump were president.
As Breitbart News has previously reported, the central pillars of Ryanism are very similar to the pillars of Clinton’s agenda.
The Ryan-Clinton agenda on crime, trade, and immigration also aligns with the views of the Koch brotherss. (sic) [Breitbart News, 7/31/16]
Fox News’ Sean Hannity: “If Trump Loses … I Am Pointing The Finger Directly At People Like Paul Ryan.” On his radio show, Sean Hannity lashed out at Republican party leaders for either refusing to endorse Donald Trump or not supporting him strongly enough. Hannity declared, “If in 96 days Trump loses this election, I am pointing the finger directly at people like Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell … and any of these Jeb Bush and everybody else that made promises they’re not keeping,” referring to the Republican primary pledge to support the party nominee. From the August 3 edition of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Sean Hannity Show:
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): If in 96 days Trump loses this election, I am pointing the finger directly at people like Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell, and Lindsey Graham, and John McCain, and John Kasich, and Ted Cruz if he won’t endorse, and any of these Jeb Bush and everybody else that made promises they’re not keeping. And because I have watched and witnessed to the point of incredible frustration, I have watched these Republicans be more harsh toward Donald Trump than they’ve ever been in standing up to Barack Obama and his radical agenda that has doubled the national debt, that has resulted in a 51 one year low in terms of home ownership in this country, the percentage of homes that are owned by Americans, that has led to the lowest labor participation rate since the 70s, and that has led to millions and millions and millions more Americans in poverty and on food stamps and out of the labor force. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 8/3/16]
Radio Host Hugh Hewitt: “The Constant Hammering Of The #NeverTrump Folk Will Depress Turnout” For Trump.
— Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) August 4, 2016
Ann Coulter: “If Trump Loses, There Is One Group Of People Who Are Going To Be Blamed.” In an interview with Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos, conservative commentator Ann Coulter stated, “if Trump loses, there is one group of people who are going to be blamed and that is the establishment Republicans.” From Breitbart News’ July 7 write-up of the interview:
“As we were talking about before, Fox news and other conservative talk radio hosts, they think they make more money when a Democrat is in office.” said Ann (sic)
Milo replied to this claim saying, “This is something I’ve wondered about because you look at commentators who have kind of gone all in on the Never Trump thing. What I’m thinking is that there’s one option, that they’re simply principled conservatives who would rather go down with the ship so long as they don’t compromise their beliefs, and then I meet them and realise that can’t be it. The second option is, do they just think it’s good for business to have Hillary as president?”
“I’d say there are two camps, one are the people that make money in Washington, Washington is like there’s something in the water now, their entire raison d’etre, their lives their livelihoods have been proved irrelevant by Trump. I talk about this in my next book, ‘In Trump We Trust’. The subtitle is ‘E Pluribus Awesome’, out August 23rd ” Ann continued.
“So there’s that crowd, the Washington crowd, but the mistake they’re making is, the idea that they think there’s gonna be a functioning Republican party if they take Trump down because if Trump loses, there is one group of people that are gonna be blamed and that is the establishment Republicans, the Never Trump crowd, they will never get that Trump vote, it’s the end of the Republican party and I think it’s the end of the country anyway if Hillary gets elected.”
“As for the talk radio hosts or Fox news who think oh people love to watch when we bash the Democrats, well you have to win once in awhile. People will go and keep rooting for The Mets but if they keep losing, the stadiums are empty. It’s about to be “all we’re gonna do is lose” and that’s not a fun thing to watch.” [Breitbart.com, 7/6/16]