Republicans Still Determined to Take Trump Out
The phrase “Republicans are panicking” has been used so often in the past couple of months that it’s begun to lose all meaning, but Super Tuesday has certainly brought that panic to a fever pitch. After winning seven out of the eleven states up for grabs, Donald Trump has accumulated more delegates than the rest of the candidates combined. And while his nomination may not be written in stone, it’s hard right now to see how any of his challengers can catch up without a sudden and dramatic shift in voter sentiment. Months ago, that shift seemed plausible. Imminent, even. Trump would eventually say something so outrageous that his fan base would pack up and go home in disgust. It was only a matter of time.
But if Republicans are still hoping for that kind of implosion, they are even more foolish than previously thought. If Trump can mock a disabled reporter, savagely denounce the last Republican administration, praise Planned Parenthood, and play coy with the Ku Klux Klan, what would he possibly say at this point to turn his voters against him?
Still, the Republicans haven’t given up hope. The man seen as the establishment’s last hope still maintains that Trump’s support has a ceiling. On Wednesday, Marco Rubio said, “Donald Trump – 65% of the people who voted, voted against him, and that’s the problem he has. He can never bring this party together. There will never be a time when our supporters are asking us to make way for Donald Trump.”
Except…who’s to say Rubio and Cruz are in any better position? If 65% of the voters voted against Trump, that number is magnified if you substitute their names and results. Rubio is claiming that these voters will never go to Trump, but there have been a lot of those claims since the beginning of the primary season. Analysts thought that all of Jeb Bush’s voters might go to Rubio, but that didn’t quite pan out, did it?
Knowing they have to get more aggressive, several top Republican donors have launched super PACs aimed exclusively at the frontrunner. These PACs have begun rolling out ads in states where they believe Trump could be vulnerable, including Rubio’s home base in Florida. These ads highlight Trump’s controversial Trump University and his interview with CNN, where he claimed not to know anything about David Duke and the KKK.
But again, who will be convinced by these attacks? It’s not like Trump has been flying under the radar. He has dominated the news since last summer, and the media has gleefully covered every possible move he’s made. Who are these Trump voters who would see one of these ads and think, Oh wait, maybe I don’t like this guy after all? It seems like a waste of money.
Seeing as how the ultimate goal of all of this should be to defeat Hillary Clinton in November, it might be time to put the pitchforks away and embrace the excitement. The voters are speaking, and they are loud and clear. By fighting Trump this hard, the party is essentially telling those voters that they aren’t welcome in the GOP. Is that really the right message to be sending?