Just as I predicted – and exactly as he predicted, himself – Donald Trump has the Republican Party in full freakout mode. His proposal to stop Muslim travel to the United States is being widely condemned, especially by Republicans.
Set aside the morality of his Muslim travel ban for a moment, and consider an open secret: A fearful Republican establishment has waited impatiently for Trump to jump the shark, and with this plan they think he has. So a long-planned, orchestrated campaign to chase him out of the presidential race has begun.
According to The Hill newspaper, it’s because many Republicans fear he’ll cause a loss of their majority in the Senate and maybe the House.
With the Iowa caucuses just 55 days away, Republicans are beginning to see Trump as a dire threat to their majorities on Capitol Hill. And they’re warning that the GOP poll leader, who this week called for a ban on Muslims entering the country, will cause irreparable harm to the party.
From vulnerable senators to top party officials, the fear is palpable and bursting into public view. Congressional Republicans face a tough 2016 landscape even without Trump. Senate Republicans are clinging to a four-seat majority as they defend 24 seats versus just 10 for Democrats. And House Republicans are expecting to lose roughly a dozen seats in 2016. Trump’s rhetoric, they fear, could cause those losses to grow substantially.
But in the Washington Post today, Trump said something important:
Ginsberg: Most people leave the race because of money.
Trump: Right. They never say it because they’re not honest.
Ginsberg: Well, it’s December. There are 60 days to Iowa.
Trump: I will never leave the race.
Ginsberg: You will never leave the race?
Trump: Are you ready? [He waves one arm over his head, as if to clear away everything and remove all doubt.]
I. Will. Never. Leave. This. Race.