Trump's big worry isn't rigged elections, it's GOP establishment
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With the election just weeks away, Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right MORE faces an uphill battle against Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPennsylvania GOP authorizes subpoenas in election probe We must mount an all-country response to help our Afghan allies Biden nominates ex-State Department official as Export-Import Bank leader 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 McCain20 years after 9/11, US foreign policy still struggles for balance What the chaos in Afghanistan can remind us about the importance of protecting democracy at home 'The View' plans series of conservative women as temporary McCain replacements MORE, Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzCongress's latest hacking investigation should model its most recent Fox News Audio expands stable of podcasts by adding five new shows The myth of the conservative bestseller MORE, and even Speaker of the House Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan says it's 'really clear' Biden won election: 'It was not rigged. It was not stolen' Democrats fret over Trump-district retirements ahead of midterms To cut poverty and solve the labor shortage, enhance the Earned Income Tax Credit 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 LeeEconomy adds just 235K jobs in August as delta hammers growth Lawmakers flooded with calls for help on Afghanistan exit Afghanistan fiasco proves we didn't leave soon enough 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 ObamaFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal Business coalition aims to provide jobs to Afghan refugees 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 ClintonBusiness coalition aims to provide jobs to Afghan refugees Biden nominates ex-State Department official as Export-Import Bank leader Obamas, Bushes and Clintons joining new effort to help Afghan refugees 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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