Congressional Republicans fighting to take down Donald Trump
WASHINGTON, March 3, 2016 – Following a massive victory on Super Tuesday, members of Congress along with Republican donors and strategists have increased their efforts to halt his race toward the GOP nomination. For example, anti-tax group Club for Growth Action launched a $1 million ad in Florida. The group’s leaders say they will withhold endorsements and fundraising help from any Republican congressional candidate who supports the real estate mogul.
In Congress, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham has become one of the loudest voices for finding a way to block Trump. Graham, earlier a presidential candidate himself, said he was for “anybody but Trump” and could even support Senator Ted Cruz.
Fred Malek, finance chairman for the Republican Governors Association and a veteran party fundraiser said a Trump nomination could imperil his party’s chances of picking up Democratic governors’ seats in Missouri, Montana, West Virginia, Vermont and New Hampshire. In the latter, the state’s Democratic governor, Maggie Hassan, is giving up her post to run for the U.S. Senate currently held by Republican Kelly Ayotte.
Election stakes are also high in the U.S. Senate where the GOP is defending seats in several swing states including Wisconsin, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Those pushing the anti-Trump effort are struggling agree over which candidate they should promote as the most effective challenger to Trump. Colorado Senator Cory Gardner has called on Gov. John Kasich to suspend his campaign so his supporters could move to another candidate who can take on Trump.
“There is no honorable mention in the nomination. John Kasich has run a good race,” Gardner said. “But the bottom line is that we need to elect a Republican who shares the values of the Republican party and that’s not Donald Trump.”
Senator Orrin Hatch said that if all GOP candidates stay in the race, it could lead to a brokered convention. He believes that situation could possibly lead to other politicians being considered as the party’s nominee, such as Mitt Romney, who is scheduled to deliver a speech just hours before Thursday evening’s Republican debate on Fox.
Nebraska’s Republican Senator Ben Sasse seemed to sum up the current feelings of party insiders opposed to Trump. “The Democrats appear they are about to nominate a fundamentally dishonest New York liberal. It seems inconceivable to the people of my state that the Republicans would respond to that by nominating a fundamentally dishonest New York liberal,” he said.