Trump's big worry isn't rigged elections, it's GOP establishment
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With the election just weeks away, Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Trump rips Michigan Rep. Dingell after Fox News appearance: 'Really pathetic!' MORE faces an uphill battle against Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonNo, the polls aren't wrong — but you have to know what to look for How to shut down fake Republican outrage over 'spying' on Trump More than 200,000 Wisconsin voters will be removed from the rolls MORE. Yet as we face what is possibly the most critical election in modern history, Trump’s biggest foe isn’t Clinton or the DNC, and it isn’t the mainstream media … It’s the GOP itself.

Throughout the course of Trump’s campaign, the establishment wing of the Republican Party, led by chairman Reince Priebus, hasn’t exactly thrown its arms around him. But many influential GOP-ers used the release of a 2005 tape, in which Trump made lewd comments about women, to fully disavow their own candidate.

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John McCainJohn Sidney McCainJeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay Budowsky: Would John McCain back impeachment? MORE, Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzElijah Cummings, Democratic chairman and powerful Trump critic, dies at 68 House Oversight panel demands DeVos turn over personal email records The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - Trump attack on progressive Dems draws sharp rebuke MORE, and even Speaker of the House Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay House Ethics Committee informs Duncan Hunter he can no longer vote after guilty plea MORE are among those who threw Trump under the bus after the video’s release. Others, like Condoleezza Rice and Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenators zero in on shadowy court at center of IG report The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Five takeaways on Horowitz's testimony on Capitol Hill MORE called for Trump to exit the race altogether.

The smugness and self-righteousness of the GOP elites who are turning their backs on Trump just three weeks before the election is shameful. Especially because Trump is largely a creation of establishment Republicans like Ryan and McCain.

The American people overwhelmingly voted for Republicans in the 2014 midterm elections because they were nervous about the direction that the country was headed in under President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaModerate or left of center — which is better for Democrats in 2020? Obama: Countries facing severe effects of climate change offer 'moral call to rest of the world' Democrats' self-inflicted diversity vulnerability MORE. The GOP has controlled the House since 2010, and yet there has been very little pushback on Obama’s liberal initiatives.

In December 2015, Paul Ryan gave Obama nearly everything he wanted in a $1.1 trillion, 2,000-page budget deal: funding for the release of criminal aliens, illegal immigration resettlement, sanctuary cities, and all refugee programs.

Trump won the Republican primary, in part, because conservative voters across the country wanted to give a proverbial middle finger to the D.C. insiders who they feel no longer represent them. They sent a clear message about the will of the people.

If House Republicans had done what they were voted in to do — slow down Obama and his agenda — perhaps they would have ended up with a different nominee. But instead they got Trump.

Rather than accepting their own nominee and uniting the party to beat Clinton, major figures in the GOP continue to publicly slam Trump. And for what? So that they can pat each other on the backs, go home to their gated communities, and take comfort in thinking, “We did the right thing”?

Give me a break.

Right now Clinton and her operatives are sitting back and smiling, as they watch Republicans lose the election for themselves.

Over the last few weeks, Wikileaks has released thousands of emails that give a raw look inside the Clinton campaign. The damning revelations include Clinton changing her positions in real time and giving favors to Clinton Foundation donors. They also show campaign officials constructing an Islamophobic smear campaign against Obama and mocking Catholic, Southerners, and “needy Latinos.”

But these leaks, among other valid concerns about Clinton such as her health, are not being discussed in the mainstream media. During the week after the Trump tape was released NBC, CBS, and ABC only spent a combined 36 minutes covering the email leaks. Meanwhile, the Trump tape was covered nonstop.

Yes, the 2005 footage of Trump is damning enough on its own to attract significant coverage. But when establishment Republicans publicly throw Trump under the bus for comments he made in private 11 years ago, it gives the media a reason to continue covering the tape while ignoring the Wikileaks dumps. It also gives weight to the media’s portrayal of the GOP as being in a state of disaster and coming apart at the seams.

During the weeks following the tape’s release, it was critical that Trump not be distracted from issues like border control, government spending, and bringing law and order back to our inner cities – issues that voters genuinely want to hear about.

But instead, Trump has been on the defense largely due to attacks from within his own party.

If there’s one thing Democrats are good at, it’s sticking together when they need to. Democrats were generally forgiving of former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonCNN's Cuomo promotes 'Dirty Donald' hashtag, hits GOP for 'loyalty oath' to Trump Whether a rule is cruel or kind, regulatory analysis shines a light Moderate or left of center — which is better for Democrats in 2020? MORE during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, arguing that his sex life had nothing to do with public policy.

And now, as we face such a critical election, the Obamas have fully embraced Hillary Clinton despite enduring a nasty and combative 2008 Democratic Primary. The left knows how to win elections.  

Perhaps it’s time for the GOP to take a page out of the Democrats’ handbook.  

Kristin Tate is a conservative columnist and author of the book "Government Gone Wild: How D.C. Politicians Are Taking You For a Ride And What You Can Do About It."
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