The Republican Party establishment is starting to realize that Donald Trump might just be the Party’s 2016 nominee for president, and it’s preparing for a fight.
“The Republican establishment, for the first time, is saying, off the record, this guy can win,” Joe Scarborough said Monday, on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe. “I’ve heard that from everybody. I don’t hear anybody saying he can’t win the nomination anymore.”
The Washington Examiner’s Byron York reported Tuesday that he spoke with a “leading conservative” who said there would be “massive resistance” if Trump was in a position to win the nomination.
The establishment believes that while Trump has been impervious to the foils that usually destroy other candidates, there is one old weapon they have up their collective sleeves, according to the report.
A Republican strategist told York it would be tough for Trump to withstand a barrage of negative ads.
“It would force him to spend money. That’s when this starts to get real for him,” the strategist said.
The conservative group, Club for Growth, said it has evidence that the ads work based on two they ran against Trump in Iowa.
“We primed the pump with our ads in Iowa,” Club president David McIntosh told the Examiner. “We did some polling afterward. The ads flipped Trump from first to second place among caucus-goers and put a dent in his approval rating.”
According to the Examiner, the Republican National Committee will stay out of candidate infighting and Chairman Reince Priebus has instructed staff to stay out of it as well.
The bigger issue for the anti-Trump contingent is Trump himself, according to the Examiner.
If he decides to spend serious money on his campaign — and some GOP veterans still aren’t convinced he will — he can launch a serious counterpunch to any anti-Trump campaign.
And then there is the fact that Trump is improving as a candidate. Just look at Sunday’s interview on “Fox News Sunday” in which he was sharp, focused, and forceful. A talented candidate who does something over and over again will get better at it. Trump is better than he was just a month ago, which is not good news for his opponents.
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