The quintessential establishment figure, Mitt Romney, went on TV to deliver a “major” speech. And Mitch McConnell has said GOP senators may have to disavow Trump, if he’s the nominee. Other establishment figures have even said they may not even vote for Trump, if he’s their own party nominee. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we’ve heard grumbling and grousing before, and parties always seem to fall behind a Goldwater or McGovern.
The difference now is that the parties are becoming irrelevant. Super pacs have and spend most of the money, and party “bosses” just have to sit and watch.
We reported that the Koch Brothers have refused to join the anti-trump movement. However, we’re hearing that American Future Fund — a group with ties to conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch — released three anti-Trump ads this week. Other fat cats have not been so shy about shelling out cash.
Time Magazine reports that Super pacs have gone all out:
In the final two weeks before Super Tuesday, Republican super PACs coalesced, airing roughly 8,500 ads blasting GOP front-runner Donald Trump, according to a Center for Public Integrity review of new data provided by Kantar Media/CMAG. . .
Conservative Solutions PAC — a super PAC supporting Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida — waged a $4.5 million anti-Trump campaign in just the past week, according to federal campaign finance filings. . .[They] reserved more than 4,500 ads spots that hounded Trump during the past week, according to Kantar Media/CMAG data.
Katie Packer, a former Mitt Romney campaign staffer, established a super PAC solely dedicated to discrediting Trump. Formed days before the Feb. 1 Iowa caucuses, Our Principles PAC has spent about $4.4 million on anti-Trump ad barrages that cast him as a liberal. For Super Tuesday, it aired anti-Trump spots nine times nationally, spending just over $400,000 on the ads.
Also targeting Trump is Club for Growth and American Future Fund — two conservative outside groups that have spent millions of dollars in recent elections. Club for Growth aired nearly 1,000 ads ahead of Super Tuesday.
The Daily Caller says they don’t even care if they sink the party:
Two conservative PACs have announced plans to spend millions of dollars in anti-Trump advertisements in key upcoming primary states, and neither one is particularly worried about the prospect of inadvertently helping Hillary Clinton.
Both Our Principles PAC and Club for Growth announced Wednesday that they are launching anti-Trump ads in Florida, Illinois, and Michigan. Our Principles is heavily funded by the Ricketts family and is ran by former Romney deputy campaign manager Katie Packer. Club for Growth PAC has a history of campaigning negatively against Trump, spending $1 million in ads against him in the run-up to Iowa. . .
Packer. . .openly does not care about the potentially negative results of a brokered convention. She told TheDC, “I’m not particularly worried about discord in the Republican Party, I’m worried about losing our brand as a conservative alternative to the Democrats.”
We’ve heard this before, too. Some conservatives want to control the party more than they want to win elections. Control. There’s more:
This isn’t the only anti-Trump group to openly admit they wish to stop new people from participating in the Republican primary. A previous group, Trump Card LLC, ran by Liz Mair, issued a memo to potential donors that its intended goal is to not change the opinion of Trump’s supporters in favor of another candidate, but to keep them “from voting altogether.”
Won’t this just help to elect Hillary?
Club for Growth communications director Doug Sachtleben told The Daily Caller. . . “What we’ve done is explain the truth about Trump. We’ve put out the facts about Trump, however people vote they vote, but we represent our members and our members want to see strong economic conservatives.”
Packer was more open about how damaging their campaign could be to the Republican frontrunner in the fall, “what we’re trying to do is demonstrate to people that these are his vulnerabilities.” She said, “well if you don’t think Hillary is going to run those ads, then I think you’re smoking something.”
So the GOP is in deep trouble. Trump supporters are adamant. They want their man. If either the establishment, or “establishment conservatives” steal the nomination, a lot of people will sit out the election. And the thing is, Trump is appealing to a lot of Democrats. If he’s not on the ballot, their new-found political interest may slide right over to the “D” side.