Donald Trump’s astonishing ascension to the top of the presidential polls has made the so-called “Republican establishment” nervous, according to a CNN program yesterday, Sunday, Aug. 30. CNN’s Maeve Reston said during the show “Inside Politics” some GOP strategists who are in favor of “taking Trump down” are uncertain as to who should fund attack ads designed to damage Trump’s campaign. One conventional wisdom in the Republican establishment camp is that it would be too dangerous for the attack to come from another candidate. Trump has already demonstrated his ability to demolish candidates who attack him first.
When Jeb Bush, presumably an establishment favorite has criticized Trump, the New York billionaire responsed with laser-like attacks. He once said Jeb Bush’s audience “were falling asleep about now” and criticized the former Florida governor for not using his last name because he was ashamed of it. Wealthy donors are part of the GOP establishment and apparently feel it’s not only too dangerous for other candidates to attack Trump, but it’s also too risky for super PACs allied with candidates to go after the New York real estate mogul. Reston further said, “So they’re looking to more establishment PACs to potentially take him dowwn in post Labor Day ads.”
CNN, which is normally seen as favoring Democrats, is not alone in this assessment. Republican strategist Steve Schmidt agreed today, Monday, Aug. 31 that the GOP establishment would attempt to “take Trump down” with a deluge of post Labor Day ads. Schmidt further said on Politico today that Donald Trump is “emasculating Jeb Bush” with his attacks and performance in state and national polling.” Schmidt, a prominent Republican, further said, “Look, Jeb Bush was a very successful governor, he’s a thoughtful man, he was a good, conservative governor. But every day, Donald Trump is emasculating Jeb Bush, and Republican primary voters are not going to default to the establishment candidate who is being weakened by these attacks that go unreponded to.”
Trump has criticized Bush on a consistent basis. He has referred to him as being a “low-energy” person. Jeb Bush has responded by attacking Trump’s immigration plan as unrealistic and insufficiently conservative.
Schmidt also appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show and mentioned how strong candidates without previous political office experience have been doing thus far. Schmidt said he thought the establishment this time around regarding the mood of the country. Bush is a supporter of Common Core while a large segment of Republican voters have indicated they are opposed to it.
Rush Limbaugh on his readio show said today the establishment may not be excited about supporting a candidate who is currently at 5 % in some polls. Is he inferring the donor segment of the establishment may not stay behind Bush indefinitely without a rise in the polls? Three of Bush’s fundraisers have recently left his campaign. Early in the campaign Bush smilingly told reporters he was receiving incredible amounts of donations. However, in recent days, reports have been he’s been having difficulty with second and third tier donors.
Fox News Megyn Kelly continues to criticize Trump since even before the Aug. 6 debate where many feel she tried to take him out of the race. There has been controversy over whether she made her incendiary attacks on Trump because of her personal beliefs, a desire to move to CNN or at the direction of the Republican establishment donors.
It’s obvious why the donors are opposed to Trump. He said he doesn’t want their money. He repeatedly reiterates he is really rich and doesn’t want major donors donations because it might make him beholden to them. If Trump were to be elected president, he would be a free agent. It’s no surprise the Republican establishment is preparing to unload a series of attack ads on him. Whether or not he can survive the massive attack ads headed in his direction could decide who wins the Republican nomination.
The Democratic race in Iowa is becoming suddenly interesting with Socialist Bernie Sanders closing in on Hillalry Clinton. He has 30 % in the most recent poll with Clinton now only seven points ahead at 37%. Vice-President Joe Biden has 14% without even entering the race. With President Barack Obama’s apparent approval, Biden is contemplating entering the race. Obama’s aide said recently, “Naming Joe Biden my vice-president was the best political decision I ever made.”
Trump’s campaign has been characterized by often humerous criticisms of current politicians holding office. He yesterday said words to the effect politicians make promises to get to Washington. Then when they get there and see the beautiful buildings and vaulted ceilings, they say, “I love you. I’ll do whatever you want. I’ll approve an extensivion of Obamacare!”
Can Trump survive the Republican establishment? Can Clinton surive her e-mail issues? This figures to be one of the most interesting presidential elections in history.