After Donald Trump’s disastrous debate performance on Sunday night, the next day the GOP’s alleged boy genius, Ayn Rand fanboy Paul Ryan, “the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin,” told his GOP Caucus that “i’m done with ‘The Donald,’ I’m going to focus on protecting our GOP majorities,” a self-interested act of trying to preserve his title of Speaker of the House. Paul Ryan Turns Focus From Donald Trump to House Races, Roiling G.O.P.:
House Speaker Paul Ryan dealt a hammer blow to Donald J. Trump’s presidential candidacy on Monday, dashing any remaining semblance of Republican unity and inviting fierce backlash from his own caucus by announcing that he would no longer defend Mr. Trump.
Mr. Ryan’s stance drew an immediate rebuke from Mr. Trump, who posted on Twitter that Mr. Ryan should focus on governing “and not waste his time on fighting Republican nominee.”
Mr. Ryan informed Republican lawmakers on a morning conference call that he would never again campaign for Mr. Trump and would dedicate himself instead to defending the party’s majority in Congress, according to five lawmakers who participated in the call and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Effectively conceding defeat for his party in the presidential race, Mr. Ryan said his most urgent task was ensuring that Hillary Clinton did not take the helm with Democratic control of the House and Senate, two lawmakers said.
The reaction from hard-liners was swift and angry. Over the course of an hour, a stream of conservative lawmakers urged their colleagues not to give up on Mr. Trump and chided Mr. Ryan for what they described as surrendering prematurely in the presidential race.
One of the conservatives, Representative Dana Rohrabacher of California, attacked the Republicans stepping away from Mr. Trump as “cowards,” three lawmakers said. Another, Representative Trent Franks of Arizona, said, using graphic language to describe abortion, that allowing Mrs. Clinton into the White House would end with fetuses being destroyed “limb from limb.”
Trying to quiet the uproar, Mr. Ryan interjected after about 45 minutes to assure members that he was not withdrawing his endorsement of Mr. Trump, but rather doing what he felt was in the best interests of the House.
A man of courage and character he is not.
Early Tuesday morning, Trump entertained the media villagers by going on a Twitter tirade against Paul Ryan and Tea-Publicans who are abandoning him. Donald Trump Berates Paul Ryan and ‘Disloyal’ Republicans:
Donald J. Trump lashed out at Speaker Paul D. Ryan and other critics within his party on Tuesday in a barrage of Twitter posts deriding the highest-ranking Republican as a feckless leader and warning that those who have been disloyal risked handing the election to Hillary Clinton.
The early morning attack escalated the war between the Republican presidential nominee and those party establishment figures who have abandoned him since the emergence of a 2005 video that showed Mr. Trump demeaning women in lurid terms.
* * *
In a mood to settle scores, Mr. Trump also assailed Senator John McCain of Arizona for selling him out. The two men clashed last year when Mr. Trump declared that Mr. McCain, a decorated veteran who was captured and imprisoned in Vietnam, was not a war hero. They later made amends but the relationship unraveled when Mr. McCain denounced Mr. Trump for boasting about sexually assaulting women in the video.
Trump has increasingly been trying to fire up his base of supporters by ridiculing Republican leaders and threatening retaliation against any who abandons him. Donald Trump Vows Retaliation as Republicans Abandon Him:
The Republican Party was at the brink of civil war on Sunday as Donald J. Trump signaled he would retaliate against lawmakers who withdraw their support from his campaign, and senior party leaders privately acknowledged that they now feared losing control of both houses of Congress.
Even before Mr. Trump’s second debate against Hillary Clinton, the party faced an internal rift unseen in modern times. A wave of defections from Mr. Trump’s candidacy, prompted by the revelation of a recording that showed him bragging about sexual assault, was met with boastful defiance by the Republican presidential nominee.
On Twitter, Mr. Trump attacked the Republicans fleeing his campaign as “self-righteous hypocrites” and predicted their defeat at the ballot box. In a set of talking points sent to his supporters Sunday morning, Mr. Trump’s campaign urged them to attack turncoat Republicans as “more concerned with their political future than they are about the country.”
* * *
[M]uch of the party appeared to be in a state of paralysis, uncertain of how to achieve political distance from Mr. Trump without enraging millions of voters who remained loyal to his campaign.
Donald Trump declared war on the Republican establishment Tuesday, lashing out at House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.), Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and other GOP elected officials as his supporters geared up to join the fight amid extraordinary turmoil within the party just four weeks before Election Day.
One day after Ryan announced he would no longer campaign on Trump’s behalf, the GOP nominee said as part of a barrage of tweets that the top-ranking Republican is “weak and ineffective” and is providing “zero support” for his candidacy. Trump also declared that “the shackles have been taken off” him, liberating him to “fight for America the way I want to.”
“I wouldn’t want to be in a foxhole with a lot of these people, that I can tell you . . . especially Ryan,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News Channel. He said if he is elected president, Ryan might be “in a different position.”
Seriously? The draft dodger who got five deferments during the Vietnam war is talking about who he wants in a foxhole? And Ryan’s speakership is in a precarious position even if Tea-Publicans retain a majority in the House. There may be enough Trump loyalists to retaliate and prevent him from being elected speaker.
“Disloyal R’s are far more difficult than Crooked Hillary,” he wrote for his more than 12 million followers on Twitter, his preferred platform for picking fights. “They come at you from all sides. They don’t know how to win — I will teach them!”
By backing away from Trump, Ryan and his allies were hoping to insulate themselves and their majorities on Capitol Hill from the baggage weighing down the nominee’s flagging campaign. For many, the breaking point was the 2005 video.
But they are suddenly dealing with another problem: an impulsive and bellicose businessman with an army of loyal supporters willing to exact retribution against elected officials they feel have abandoned them. The rift could have profound ramifications for the Republican Party as a whole, shattering any sense of unity and jeopardizing its chances of holding onto the Senate and even, potentially, the House.
* * *
Diana Orrock, a Republican National Committeewoman from Nevada, said she will not vote for Republicans who have pulled their support for Trump — including Rep. Joe Heck (Nev.), who is running for a seat that is critical in the battle for the Senate majority.
“I think they have really irritated a lot of Trump supporters,” Orrock said of Heck and Rep. Cresent Hardy (R-Nev.), who also rescinded his endorsement.
There are three options for Trump’s basket of deplorable supporters: (1) vote for the Democratic candidate; if you cannot bring yourself to do that, (2) vote for a third-party candidate, if one is on the ballot in that race; or (3) withhold your vote by leaving your ballot blank in that race.
Here in Arizona, you can exact your revenge on John McCain. Ann Kirkpatrick is likely to be a one-term senator in any event. You can start plotting against Senator Jeff Flake, who also has vocally opposed Trump, and defeat him two years from now in the GOP primary. And you can start grooming a candidate to run against Ann Kirkpatrick or the Democratic nominee six years from now. Don’t you guys pride yourselves on your “long game” strategy?
Well bring it! Let’s see what long game you’ve got.