Presidential Campaign

30 ways Trump is committing political suicide

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State of the 2016 Race
A column for The Hill analyzing the current state of the 2016 presidential race.

The behavior of the GOP’s supposed nominee threatens his nomination at the Republican convention.

1. On May 3, Donald Trump effectively became the GOP nominee. Since then, he has not grown as a candidate nor has his campaign evolved into anything close to a general-election- ready political machine.

2. To the contrary, Trump is deteriorating as a candidate.

3. He screams into the microphone at public rallies.

4. He tweets incessantly at all hours of the day and night.

{mosads}5. He twice excoriated Gov. Susana Martinez, the two-term Republican governor of New Mexico who also happens to be chair of the Republican Governor’s Association.

6. Then, in an apparent reversal, he said he “respects” her and that a meeting is in the works.

7. And then he has used his position as the putative GOP nominee to campaign against the federal judge presiding over his Trump University civil lawsuit.

8. A question: why is the Republican presidential nominee spending time on a civil lawsuit at all? Why isn’t this — and a lot of other business stuff — being handled by others while The Donald focuses solely on his campaign?

9. Why is he taking time in July to go open a golf course in Scotland?

10. And as for his campaign, reports from inside indicate a sense of panic amid vicious infighting, with only two aides having face time with the candidate.

11. Morale is reportedly low; they are having trouble hiring good people to flesh out a national campaign.

12. The staff inside has the same day-to-day fear that other Republicans have: What is Trump going to say today?

13. Unlike most campaigns, which plan a “message of the day,” with Trump it’s whatever comes out his mouth at any moment.

14. Here is what MSNBC is reporting:

Republicans working to elect Trump describe a bare-bones effort debilitated by infighting, a lack of staff to carry out basic functions, minimal coordination with allies and a message that’s prisoner to Trump’s momentary whims.

“Bottom line, you can hire all the top people in the world, but to what end? Trump does what he wants,” a source close to the campaign said.”

15. Now, let me ask you this: What is a political party?

16. It is a collection of individuals who share a general political philosophy, including nominated candidates for public office, and they all join together to try to run the government according to that philosophy.

17. The current Republican Party is a total mess. They have a nominee in Trump who has legitimately earned the 1,237-plus delegates to be the presidential nominee.

18. But most of the other nominees for the Senate, House and other offices are scared to death every time Trump opens his mouth.

19. They have no idea what he is going to say — or how they are going to have to react to it.

20. Trump does not talk to anyone; nor does he listen.

21. Instead, he watches TV and then criticizes anyone who dares to critique him.

22. The case of Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the judge handling the Trump University case, has thrown all these other GOP candidates into a sense of panic.

23. Look at the following from The Washington Post:

Republican leaders who spent the past month reluctantly hitching their horses to Trump are realizing that he might be marching the party over a cliff after all. A growing number of GOP heavyweights fear that Trump’s spate of hostile remarks towards and about minorities have imperiled his campaign, costing him a five-week head start on Clinton that they hoped would be used to build party unity ahead of the general election. … Concerns have increased as Trump continues to furiously peddle his assertion that the Latino judge overseeing the Trump University fraud case should recuse himself because of his “Mexican heritage.”

24. On last Friday, June 2, the new Reuters-Ipsos poll of likely general election voters showed a surprising result: likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton at 46.5 percent and Trump at 35 percent. If this is not an outlier — if, indeed, Trump is in decline due to his recent behavior — then things between now and Cleveland in July are going to become dicey for The Donald.

25. You will start to read leaks of Republicans musing that “we are committing political suicide if we keep going down this road.”

26. Many of the delegates that are legally “pledged” to Trump are in fact not Trump acolytes — they are party people.

27. It is entirely possible that they will begin to explore ways to get out of their obligation to vote on the first and/or second ballot for Trump.

28. All this is predicated on Trump continuing the downward spiral he’s put himself in.

29. It is also possible that he will figure out that things are not working, and will self-correct; if so, he will indeed be officially nominated on July 21.

30. With six weeks to go until the GOP convention in Cleveland, it is up to Donald Trump: He must either pull himself together and lead the Republican Party in a responsible manner, or else be prepared to have a major mutiny on his hands.

LeBoutillier is a former Republican congressman from New York and is the co-host of “Political Insiders” on Fox News Channel, Sunday nights at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. He writes semi-regular pieces in the Contributors section on the “State of the 2016 Race.”

Tags Donald Trump Hillary Clinton

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