Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump pauses during while speaking at a rally at Millington Regional Airport in Millington, Tenn., Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
We’ve talked here on RedState about how much of the GOP establishment seems poised to rally around a Donald Trump candidacy. There are a lot of reasons for that. Trump would be much more likely that either Cruz or Rubio to let the gravy train continue to run. I think Trump is very much like Obama, only minus the neo-communist politics. He is running not because he believes he can make the United States a better place, or the world safer, or improve the lives of Americans. He’s running because the presidency is a trophy. It validates his opinion of himself.
This past week we saw two governors, Chris Christie and Paul LePage, endorse Trump. Today, it was announced that the Koch brothers are not going to spend any of their hard-earned money trying to stop Trump.
The Koch brothers, the most powerful conservative mega donors in the United States, will not use their $400 million political arsenal to try to block Republican front-runner Donald Trump’s path to the presidential nomination, a spokesman told Reuters on Wednesday.
The decision by the billionaire industrialists is another setback to Republican establishment efforts to derail the New York real estate mogul’s bid for the White House, and follows speculation the Kochs would soon launch a “Trump Intervention.”
“We have no plans to get involved in the primary,” said James Davis, spokesman for Freedom Partners, the Koch brothers’ political umbrella group. He would not elaborate on what the brothers’ strategy would be for the Nov. 8 election to succeed Democratic President Barack Obama.
Three sources close to the Kochs said the brothers made the decision because they were concerned that spending millions of dollars attacking Trump would be money wasted, since they had not yet seen any attack on Trump stick.
There is more to this than mere efficacy. What this signals is that the big money folks have decided that Trump is the winner. I suspect that Rubio is starting to feel the pinch, too, as he was trying to take over Jeb Bush’s fundraising apparatus. If the Koch’s have decided that they won’t attack Trump then you know a lot of the donor class isn’t going to want the word getting out that they are still in the fight.
And then there is sure sign that failure is imminent
As voting was under way in 11 states on Tuesday, one of the most aggressive anti-Trump efforts from the party establishment—a group known as Our Principles PAC—received a boost from billionaires Todd Ricketts and Paul Singer and from Meg Whitman, the current chairwoman of Hewlett Packard.
They urged Republican donors to pump cash into a fresh effort to stop Trump, the New York Times reported. Hours later, Our Principles PAC released a new attack ad calling Trump a racist and announced it hired Tim Miller, who was most recently communications director for former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, whose pro-immigration campaign burned out after spending more than $130 million in the primary.
The only worse sign of doom would be if someone got Mitt Romney involved…
And now you have the consultant class caving in also. Alex Castellanos, who only last month was trashing Ted Cruz, has surfaced and advocating surrender:
“It is too late,” Republican media strategist Alex Castellanos, who had unsuccessfully urged top GOP contributors to back an anti-Trump campaign earlier in the cycle, wrote in an email. “There is a fantasy effort to stop Trump, like a fantasy campaign to stop yesterday but it exists only as the denial stage of grief.”
He went on:
“If our self-indulgent Republican party establishment had really wanted to prevent a takeover of the GOP, they should not have gorged on political power while they failed to do anything to prevent the decline of the country. Our leaders could have led. They could have done more than say ‘no’ to Democrats while offering no alternative.
“They should have stood up for the change Donald Trump is bringing now but they didn’t.
Now, Trump has earned the nomination. He won it, fair and square and we should respect that. Donald Trump whipped the establishment and it is too late for the limp GOP establishment to ask their mommy to step in and rewrite the rules because they were humiliated for their impotence.
If Trump is going to be our nominee, as I believe he is, it is our mission to support Trump and make him the best nominee and president possible.”
I’m not sure Trump can be stopped. If he can, I’m very sure it has to be either by his removal from the race or by a contested convention. What is very clear is the donor and consultant class may not be happy about a Trump candidacy but they are resigned to it and are slowly and surely coming to grips with its inevitability and, to these folks, the only important thing is winning. Push come to shove, they will line up behind Trump.