Is the GOP About to Cut Funding to Trump's Campaign and Admit He is a Mistake?

Is the GOP About to Cut Funding to Trump's Campaign and Admit He is a Mistake?
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump answers questions during a news conference in New York, Tuesday, May 31, 2016. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Sounds like the sane option, at this point.

POLITICO, who had no actual reporters present, but who have contacted sources from the inside are reporting on plans to stop throwing good money after bad and to cut their losses on yet, another bad business deal for Trump – aka – his campaign.

Since the Cleveland convention, top party officials have been quietly making the case to political journalists, donors and GOP operatives that the Republican National Committee has done more to help Trump than it did to support its 2012 nominee Mitt Romney, and that therefore Trump has only himself and his campaign to blame for his precipitous slide in the polls, according to people who have spoken with Republican leadership.

Sean Spicer, the RNC’s top strategist, on Wednesday made that case to 14 political reporters he convened at the organization’s Capitol Hill headquarters for an off-the-record conversation about the election.

The GOP convention was only a month ago, but it seems that in the weeks following the convention, there has been a sudden epiphany – one that would have served the party and the voters better, had they had that epiphany before this moment.

There were many who tried to warn the weasel-y Priebus and others at the top of the GOP food chain, but all the stops were pulled out to shut them down, not the other way around.

Yet, here we are.

In the words of one person in the room, the message was that the RNC has “all these staffers out there working and knocking on doors, with a data system they believe rivals what Obama build in 2012 — so it’s not their fault.”

Spicer emphasized that RNC chairman Reince Priebus has been working aggressively to coach Trump into being a more disciplined candidate, calling the nominee “five or six times a day,” according to another person present at last week’s closed-door meeting.

According to sources close to Priebus, the chairman has warned that if Trump does not better heed this persistent advice to avoid dustups driven by his rhetoric, the RNC might not be able to help him as much — suggesting that money and ground resources might be diverted.

And that would be the smart thing to do. Trump can’t win. He’s not that invested in winning. He’s prepared to go back to his luxury lifestyle. Meanwhile, there are still good candidates who need help in the House, as well as state level, who actually understand their jobs and are needed in those positions.

Spicer is suggesting giving Trump until October to grow up and become a legitimate, serious candidate, rather than a Saturday Night Live skit.

I say, screw that. Pull the plug NOW!

“Early voting in Ohio starts in a few weeks, there’s a 45-day window for absentee voters, so mid-September would probably be the latest the RNC could redeploy assets and have any real impact,” said an RNC member privately. “The only thing you could change in mid-October would be to shift some TV ads, maybe try to prop up Senate candidates in tough races like [Rob] Portman, [Marco] Rubio and [Pat] Toomey.”

One high-level Republican strategist added: “The party committee has this same job every cycle, to employ limited resources to maximum effect at the ballot box. … And that means not pouring precious resources into dysfunctional, non-cooperative, losing campaigns.”

Spicer feels they need Trump a little longer, in order to raise funds, but as some reports are showing, his actual fundraising is limited.

Then again, wasn’t he supposed to be self-funding?

Of course, Trump will use this as proof that the “establishment” are out to get him, and will continue to act like a buffoon. His loyal Branch Trumpidians will take everything he says as gospel. Memes will fly.

Some of Trump’s operatives are saying the RNC is already undercutting funds to Trump’s campaign, although Spicer denies that is currently going on.

But one fundraiser with knowledge of the party’s high-dollar fundraising efforts said earlier this summer that the message to leery donors was “people can give to the RNC and not to him.”

That would be wise.

Through the end of June — the period covered by the most recent Federal Election Commission filings — the main Trump-RNC joint fundraising committee had transferred only $2.2 million to Trump’s campaign, compared with $10.1 million to the RNC.

The committee, Trump Victory, still had $12.1 million in the bank at that point. And his campaign announced that it had combined with the joint committee to raise $80 million in July, though it’s unclear how much of that was transferred to his campaign, as opposed to the party.

Trump is still leaning on Fox News and other sycophantic media sources to give him free publicity. He’s not overly concerned with investing resources in a manner consistent with a good campaign.

Beyond the candidate’s continued rhetorical carelessness on the stump, his campaign has confounded GOP officials with a travel schedule — more events have been announced in Colorado and Virginia, two swing states that appear to be out of reach, and even deep blue Connecticut — that many believe is a poor use of the candidate’s time.

“He has shown no interest in doing the tough demographic work that’s necessary in campaigns,” one RNC member said. “You don’t see them trying to talk to independent women, educated Hispanics; and beyond that, it’s an issue of strategic staffing. I don’t think he understands how presidential campaigns are won.”

“The senior staff gets it,” that RNC member said, “but the true believers outnumber them.”

By “true believers” this anonymous RNC member was talking about the clingers and Yes-men that Trump routinely keeps in his inner circle.

It seems that the Trump train is already off the rails, and the RNC now have to determine how much they want to invest in clean up.

Any other election year, and with any other candidate, I would agree with those who say it’s far too early to concede defeat, but this is not any other election year. Trump is not any other candidate.

He’s a cancer, and he should have been cut out of the party’s system a long time ago. Since they were unwilling to do that, their only recourse now is to put those resources where they can do most good, then try again in four years.



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