NeverTrump, Johnson, Carson, Dean, Beck, Wolfowitz, and MORE!
OK, kids! Time for Uncle Goethe to fill you in on some short stories! These are items that probably don’t deserve a full article, but are worth discussing, and maybe a little fun. This is the place for anomalies and one offs. We’re providing links, if you want to read more. Let’s begin with an ad buy asking Donald Trump to resign the campaign.
• POLITICO: NEVERTRUMP AD BUY
The ad, titled “Keep Your Word,” features footage of Trump during the Republican primary in which he suggested he’d drop out if he saw his poll numbers decline. “No. 1, I’m not a masochist, and if I was dropping in the polls where I saw I wasn’t going to win, why would I continue?” Trump said in an October NBC interview featured in the ad. A graphic displaying political handicappers’ predictions of a landslide Trump loss accompanies his remarks. The ad ends with a plea: “Resign the nomination. Let the RNC replace you so we can beat Hillary.”
• FIVETHIRTYEIGHT: JOHNSON HOLDING SUPPORT
Gary Johnson doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. In recent elections, third-party candidates have tended to lose support as Election Day approaches. But the Libertarian Party presidential nominee and former New Mexico governor is holding steady in the polls, and we’ve reached a point in the race at which past third-party candidates had already started to see their support nose-dive.
• POLITICO: CARSON TELLS TRUMP TO DUMP “BIGOT” TALK
Count Ben Carson as one of Donald Trump’s advisers who would like the Republican nominee to cease and desist in calling Hillary Clinton a “bigot.” “I don’t generally get into the name-calling thing,” the former presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon told The Daily Beast on Friday. “I kind of left that behind in the third grade. I certainly don’t encourage it because the issues that we’re facing are incredibly important for us and for the future generations.”
• DAILY CALLER: HOWARD DEAN SAYS PRESS IS “NOT LEGITIMATE”
“The press has gotten to be where it’s all about the lowest common denominator. Donald Trump wouldn’t be the nominee of the Republican Party if the press corps did their job but they focus on sensationalism, they don’t treat people in an even-handed way and that is why, in my view, Hillary Clinton should not do press conferences.”. . . Then turning his criticism to Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff, Dean said, “[He] called me up one time and said I’m going to write a story that said you were engaged in insider trading unless I get your tax return for the last ten years. That is the kind of thing that nobody should have to be subjected to.”
• THE BLAZE: BECK SAYS TRUMP TO SET UP MEDIA EMPIRE
During a late-night appearance on CNN’s “Tonight” with Don Lemon, Glenn Beck, a self-identified libertarian, not only predicted a November loss for Donald Trump, but insisted the businessman-turned-politician will soon turn once again — this time, to media magnate. . . At that, the well-known radio personality told Lemon he believes Trump not only will lose in the general election, but even ventured to say the New York real estate tycoon “wants to” be defeated, but is determined to go out “swinging.” After the dust settles in the fall, Beck believes Trump will launch his own media outlet.
• POLITICO: GOP PLANS TO BLOCK HILLARY, IF SHE WINS
The bipartisan show of support she has now — thanks to Donald Trump and the “alt-right,” conspiracy-driven campaign Clinton attacked Thursday in Reno, Nevada — is likely to evaporate as soon as the race is called. If she wins the presidency, Clinton would likely enjoy the shortest honeymoon period of any incoming commander in chief in recent history, according to Washington strategists, confronting major roadblocks to enacting her ambitious agenda, as well as Republican attacks that have been muted courtesy of the GOP nominee.
• BLOOMBERG: HILLARY MAKING TRUST PROBLEM WORSE
Clintonland continues to rationalize. Clinton implied that Comey had declared that her response to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other public statements had been truthful. He didn’t. . . The latest flap is the Clintons’ contention that using the private e-mail was suggested by a predecessor, Colin Powell. . . “Her inadequate response to the conflicts of interest inherent in the Clinton Foundation,” the influential liberal columnist Jonathan Chait wrote last week in New York magazine, shows she “has not fully grasped the severity of her reputational problem.”
• POLITICO: DEFENSE INDUSTRY BACKING HILLARY THIS YEAR
The nation’s top defense contractors have long been a bastion of support for Republican candidates for office. But this time, they’re with Hillary Clinton. The Democratic presidential nominee is leading Republican rival Donald Trump by a ratio of 2-to-1 in campaign donations from employees working for defense giants like Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. That’s a sharp turnaround from 2012, when defense contractors gave more to then-Republican nominee Mitt Romney than to President Barack Obama.
• WEEKLY STANDARD: PAUL WOLFOWITZ MAY VOTE HILLARY
He said he isn’t comfortable choosing between Trump and Clinton no matter what. But he “might have to vote for Hillary Clinton,” anyway, even though he has “big reservations about her.”
Wolfowitz is among a number of Republican national security officials to go on the record with doubts about Trump, and looks to be among a number of Bush-era veterans, including deputy secretaries of state Richard Armitage and John Negroponte, as well as intelligence adviser Brent Scowcroft, to back Clinton.
• POLITICO: TRUMP FORCING US TO FACE RACISM
Trump’s most enduring legacy, and it is an oddly beneficent one, is that he taught America how bigoted it still is, and that many among us who are not intentionally bigoted are willing to tolerate racism anyway, given the right circumstances and stakes. . .the political ascent of Donald Trump is largely about Caucasian fears of the browning of America.
The ugly truth is that what Trump is doing—what he stands for, what he is saying—is as American as apple pie, despite the contention of his liberal critics that it is un-American.
• FOX NEWS: TRUMP CALLS FOR SPECIAL PROSECUTOR
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump called for an “expedited investigation” by a special prosecutor into “pay-to-play” accusations involving the Clinton Foundation, amid new allegations the group sought special access for donors with Hillary Clinton’s State Department.
“The Clintons made the State Department into the same kind of pay-to-play operations as the Arkansas government was: pay the Clinton Foundation huge sums of money and throw in some big speaking fees for Bill Clinton and you got to play with the State Department,” Trump said at a campaign rally Monday night in Akron, Ohio.
• POLITICO: TEXAS MAY HAVE “FAITHLESS” ELECTORS
Chris Suprun is a member of the Electoral College from Texas, a state the GOP can reliably count on to deliver votes every four years to the Republican presidential nominee. But. . .Suprun is warning he might not cast his electoral vote for the GOP standard-bearer. . . He also argued that his home — Texas’ 30th Congressional District, centering on Dallas — is likely to support Clinton. That, he argued, should be a factor in his obligation to represent the district in the Electoral College.
• THE BLAZE: TRUMP SUPPORTER THREATENS HIM ON THE AIR
“Nate” from Virginia. . .A self-described Donald Trump supporter called into Glenn Beck’s radio program on Wednesday and issued a threatening message to the Republican nominee. “As long as he does the basic things, the foundational things, which is build a wall, he’s not going to have people like me coming after him,” Nate responded. “Oh, he’s in so much trouble,” the caller quickly shot back. “You don’t even understand the backlash of us, the ones who are so frustrated and angry and tired of all the political stuff. We’re going to come after him personally. You know what I mean? We’re going to get him.”
“There’s not violence when you say coming after him personally?” Beck said. “Well, I mean, hey, you yourself said he’s condoned violence in the past, hasn’t he?” the caller replied.
• FIVETHIRTYEIGHT: THERE ARE PRECEDENTS FOR A TRUMP WIN
. . . no candidate since 1952 who was leading at this point in the election cycle, a few weeks after the conventions, has lost the popular vote [BUT]. . .Perhaps the most interesting potential precedent for the 2016 campaign is 1968. Richard Nixon was up by 8 percentage points and opened an even larger lead in the fall. But Hubert Humphrey was able to consolidate a previously divided Democratic base (as Trump needs to do with Republicans) and cut into Nixon’s lead. Humphrey was also aided by President Lyndon Johnson’s rising approval ratings and the original October surprise (an announcement by Johnson that the U.S. was halting the bombing in Vietnam). Humphrey ended up losing in the second-closest presidential election of the 1900s. It’s not too difficult to imagine Republicans rallying behind Trump — perhaps Clinton is hit with a scandal or WikiLeaks drops an October surprise.
• THE FEDERALIST: CONSERVATIVES ARE THE NEW RINOS
I used to grimace at the pro-Trump tweets accusing various conservatives, from David Limbaugh to Jonah Goldberg, of being a “RINO” for not supporting Trump. But now, I believe, NeverTrumpers can embrace the name-calling. “Yes, you’re damn right I’m a RINO,” they can say on Twitter. “This party doesn’t represent me anymore. I’m just here because right now, there’s nowhere else to go.” Such disloyalty may make them traitors to their party, but not to their country, or the principles they believe truly make America great.