Whether or not the Republican National Committee (RNC) is taking Donald Trump seriously as a candidate seems like a question which has now been answered. Reports indicate that RNC Chairman Reince Priebus placed a phone call to Trump and asked him to tone down his rhetoric when it comes to Mexico and illegal immigration.
Report from CBS News:
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called presidential candidate Donald Trump Wednesday and asked Trump to soften his controversial comments about Mexican illegal immigrants, CBS News has confirmed.
The Washington Post was first to report that Priebus asked Trump to tone down his remarks.
But the controversial candidate is still doubling down on his rhetoric, reports CBS News correspondent Julianna Goldman.
In television interviews Wednesday, Trump stood by his claim that the Mexican government is shipping drug dealers and rapists to the United States.
“You wouldn’t even be hearing about the word immigration if it wasn’t for Donald Trump,” he told NBC News. “I will win the Latino vote because I’m going to put them to work.”
He responded to questioners in typical Trump fashion.
“You’re not bringing up anything new. You’re acting like you’re the great reporter. Bah-bah-bah,” he said. “Don’t be naive. You’re a very naive person.”
“Come on, try getting it out.” Trump continued. “I don’t know if you’re going to put this on television, but you don’t even know what you’re talking about. Try getting it out. Go ahead.”
Here’s Trump’s recent interview with NBC News from Wednesday. You tell me if this tone is “softened.”
I can’t see Trump bowing much to Priebus’ request given that the billionaire is where he is mostly because of his strong statements and media mega-phone. The conventional wisdom inside the beltway is that Trump is hurting the Republican brand. I think if you ask many people, especially conservatives in the party, they’ll tell you Republicans have done enough over the past several years to hurt themselves and Trump may be a blessing in disguise.
Looking at his poll numbers, it’s clear he’s tapped into a slice of the base that has been yearning for a voice in the party. In fact, many candidates make similar statements as Trump, they just don’t do it in a way that makes headlines or is so resonant.
Is Trump hurting, helping, or having no impact on the Republican brand heading into 2016?