Republicans could have taken a moral stand against Trump's racism. They didn't—now they're worried
Having watched Donald Trump burn through state after state with the darkest, most blatantly racist message in a generation of politicians, Republicans are having second thoughts after clinging to Trump like an electoral life vest. In fact, some of them, who dared not give their name, sound downright pissed off.
“This stupid birthright stuff is hard-right fringe and loses us Hispanics and Cubans” in places like California and Florida, one moderate Republican House member told NBC News. “It juices Hispanic turnout in exurbs for potentially one to three points and is another reminder why Trump’s doom and gloom bullshit is so off-putting.”
Huh. You mean referring to some immigrants as “the worst scum in the world” is driving Latinos to the polls?
Naturally, House Speaker Paul Ryan’s messaging strategist made the weakest appeal ever via Twitter last weekend for the GOP to sound more positive notes. “Were going to spend all day and weekend talking about the strong economy, right?” Brendan Buck tweeted. Yeah, that’ll do it.
Ryan also made a personal appeal to Trump via phone to stick to the economy, according to Politico. But Republicans are likely underestimating the damage Trump’s doing. It’s not just Latinos, it’s the suburbs, where the GOP traditionally holds a big advantage. One GOP strategist, for instance, noted that Rep. John Culberson of Texas was running about four points ahead of Democrat Lizzie Panill Fletcher before Trump started blaring his nativist best. Now, internal polling puts Culberson several points behind. Culberson represents the Houston area, and his Dallas counterpart, GOP Rep. Pete Sessions, is also fighting for his political life.