As Hillary Clinton continues to lead Donald Trump, establishment Republicans are beginning to panic.
Rather than unite behind the GOP nominee and work to close the gap, these party elites are plotting how to best separate themselves from the GOP ticket.
But does this include replacing Trump as the nominee?
At this point in time, it’s nearly impossible.
Because of ballot access laws – and the deadline to place a candidate’s name on the ballot rapidly approaching – the GOP establishment must stick with Trump as their standard bearer.
But instead of trying to rally Republicans to their cause, these party elders are instead sabotaging the campaign.
Recently, 70 Republicans signed a letter demanding the RNC cut off resources from the Trump campaign.
“More than 70 Republicans have signed an open letter to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus urging him to stop spending any money to help Donald Trump win in November and shift those contributions to Senate and House races.
The letter comes as a number of Republican senators and high-profile GOP national security officials have come forward saying they cannot vote for Trump.
“We believe that Donald Trump’s divisiveness, recklessness, incompetence, and record-breaking unpopularity risk turning this election into a Democratic landslide, and only the immediate shift of all available RNC resources to vulnerable Senate and House races will prevent the GOP from drowning with a Trump-emblazoned anchor around its neck,” states a draft of the letter obtained by POLITICO. “This should not be a difficult decision, as Donald Trump’s chances of being elected president are evaporating by the day.”
Former Sen. Gordon Humphrey of New Hampshire and former Reps. Chris Shays of Connecticut, Tom Coleman of Missouri and Vin Weber of Minnesota are among the Republicans lending their name to the letter. Close to 20 of the co-signers are former RNC staffers, including Mindy Finn (former RNC chief digital strategist), Christine Iverson Gunderson (former RNC press secretary), Virginia Hume Onufer (former RNC deputy press secretary), Beth Miller (former RNC field communications division director), Heather Layman (former deputy press secretary), B. Jay Cooper (former RNC communications director under four chairmen) and Patrick Ruffini (former RNC ecampaign director).”
The names on the letter are either obscure or figures whose time in the spotlight has long since passed, but the media used the letter to fan the flames of the Trump campaign meltdown.
The letter provided Hillary with another news cycle of negative stories about the Trump campaign at a time when the press should have been covering her scandals.
Instead of a media firestorm surrounding the bombshell revelations of Hillary engaging in pay-to-play cronyism while at the State Department, the media was happy writing the story Hillary wants – namely that “prominent” Republicans are abandoning their party to support her campaign.
And there is evidence this establishment sabotage is damaging the Trump campaign.
A recently released poll in Georgia found Trump narrowly leading Hillary Clinton in it’s state, which hasn’t been competitive in many elections.
Hillary was running neck-and-neck with Trump because she had consolidated the support of over 90% of Democrats, whereas Trump had the backing of just 79% of Republicans.
Some critics contend that the establishment is tanking Trump’s campaign on purpose.
GOP elites have long been accused of being Republicans in ‘name only’, whose true policy priorities are much closer to the Democrats than those of their conservative voters.
Establishment Republicans working furiously to not elect Donald Trump does nothing to tamp down conservatives anger toward their party leadership.