Trump Battles GOP & Convention Speakers

Trump Having Trouble With GOP Establishment Backing

WASHINGTON – Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich have all been out of the presidential race for over two months. The man who beat them in the race to win the 2016 Republican Party nomination is Donald Trump. Barring some major event, the GOP delegates will make a Trump presidential run official at the convention in Cleveland three weeks from today.

Jeb Bush

All three men Bush, Cruz and Kasich are key members of the Republican party, they won’t be speaking at the convention at least as of today. Both Bush and Kasich are from key battleground states, but neither seems in any way motivated to have their extensive ground games help Trump in Florida or Ohio.

Plus, all three men refuse to back Trump as their party’s 2016 Presidential Nominee. Despite pledging to support the Republican nominee all the way back in the fall of 2015. Ironically, the very idea of the pledge in the first place was to keep Trump from going out on his own as third party candidate.

Breaking the pledge and not supporting him has not gone un noticed by Trump.

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“They signed a pledge saying they will abide, saying they will back the candidate of the party,” Trump said during a campaign appearance in Bangor, Maine last night. “They broke their word. In my opinion, they should never be allowed to run for public office again because what they did is disgraceful,” Trump said.

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At the moment as the GOP convention draws closer the Republican National Committee is having trouble finding people to be featured speakers in Cleveland. Even Ohio Senator Rob Portman currently has no plans to speak, and Gov. Kasich, who as we said earlier has not endorsed his former presidential rival, has not announced plans, but he is unlikely to get a primetime spot nor is Sen. Cruz. However, it is still possible Cruz would get a spot because he finished second in the delegate battle.

Politico’s Alex Isenstadt called more than 50 high-profile Republicans—governors, senators, congressmen, even up-and-comers with not much of a national profile yet—and found that virtually none of them had plans to speak at the convention.

Among the high-profile people in the “no” camp: Trey Gowdy, Mark Sanford, Kelly Ayotte, Lindsey Graham, Nikki Haley, several young up-and-comers, whose political careers would ordinarily get a huge boost by speaking at the convention, also said they wouldn’t be attending. Even Representative Sean Duffy, who also got his start in public life on reality TV, said he “[hadn’t] thought about it.”

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This is a big reversal from years past, when party politicians would clamor for a speaking slot at conventions. After all, Barack Obama became known on a national scale after speaking at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. In 2008 and 2012, John McCain and even Mitt Romney were able to attract a lot of prospective speakers to their conventions.

It’s one thing for a ton of musicians to stop Trump from using their music, since they usually want to stay apolitical, or for a sponsor like Apple to refuse to participate, but the lack of Republican speakers speaks to (heh) how ambivalent the party feels about their nominee.

Trump has a solution, though. He’ll likely have his adult children Eric, Donald Jr. and Ivanka speak. Trump supporters Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ryan Zinke will probably accept invitations as well. Trump reportedly wants to spotlight celebrities like professional athletes at a “Winners’ Evening” as well.

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Trump is finding that the GOP establishment is doing all they can not to help him. Here is a list of key Republicans who are not supporting him.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker: Back in May, Baker said, “Some of the things he said about women and about Muslims and about religious freedom, I just can’t support.”

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE): The freshman senator has been outspoken in his opposition to Trump, writing letters such as this one on Facebook where he declared, “There is no reason to believe that either of these two national frontrunners believe in limiting anything about DC’s power.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC): Graham has reached the point where he is calling on his colleagues to rescind their endorsements of Trump, telling The New York Times with regard to Trump’s “Mexican” comment, “If anybody was looking for an off-ramp, this is probably it.”

Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney: Romney, who became one of the de-facto faces of the #NeverTrump movement, said at an awards gala, “I don’t intend on supporting either of the major party candidates at this point.”

 

The video used in this story is courtesy on Newsy.

 

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Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.