While more and more Republican voters are embracing former Apprentice host and current GOP Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, mostly because of his blatantly racist and bigoted rhetoric, the party’s establishment is freaking out over the possibility of the half-toasted marshmallow becoming their 2016 nominee. Previous poll leader Jeb Bush, groomed for decades to run, is currently sitting in the low single-digits despite having spent tens of millions of dollars. With other establishment candidates like Marco Rubio, Chris Christie and John Kasich having trouble gaining traction in the Trumpified environment, GOP leaders are considering potentially desperate measures to take down Trump.
On Sunday, Politico ran an article in which they asked several current and former members of President Obama’s election campaigns and administration what they thought of the Donald Trump phenomenon and what is says of the Republican Party. For the most part, those asked all agreed that the GOP is now reaping what it sowed. Since 2008, the party’s elected officials and pundit class have defined the GOP as the anti-Obama party, opposing every single thing the President has been for, regardless of what it is. Now, all of that anger and bluster has come back to bite them in the ass in the form of a celebrity blowhard who cannot be controlled.
One former campaign spokesperson pointed out that the Republicans would have realized that times were changing and they needed a new strategy to deal with the different demographics of the country. Instead, they went for the politics of fear and distrust, and that eventually paved the road for Trump.
According to people in the White House, Obama doesn’t talk about Trump much. When he does, it’s with a combination of amusement and disgust at the rhetoric, occasionally mentioning his amazement at GOP leaders’ inability to understand Trump’s supporters and the long-term damage the president thinks Trump is doing to the party with the groups of voters who will decide future elections.
“Coming out of 2008 and the demographic changes in the country, Republicans needed energy, and instead of reaching for new ideas and new leadership, they reached for the political equivalent of Four Loko,” said Hari Sevugan, a senior spokesman for Obama’s 2008 campaign. “Sure it gives a shot of energy, but it eventually rots your brain and kills you.”
But it’s more than told-ya-so. It’s personal.
The West Wing still burns over Trump leading the birth certificate charge in 2012, forcing an official rebuttal from the White House and the release of the president’s long-form birth certificate. Aides say Trump played into fears and racism and encouraged voter distrust of the president, as he’s doing now on the campaign trail.
“The rise of Trump says more about the lack of progress in the GOP since 2008 than the progress the country has made since the president came into office,” Sevugan said. “But there’s only one way to find out if the country has changed: nominate Trump.”
Other Obama aides and loyalists have stated that POTUS doesn’t believe there is any conceivable way that The Donald can win the White House. While he is gaining more and more support within the GOP base, there is very little overlap between those who voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012 and those who are showing up at Trump rallies today. Also, while he is energizing a large segment of the party — y’know, the dumbshit racist ones — there is a significant portion of the GOP that wants nothing to do with him.
At the same time, realizing the unlikelihood of Trump occupying the White House in January 2017, those close to President Obama say that he will make a more concerted effort to speak out against trump’s rhetoric over the coming months. Due to the fact that the real estate mogul is getting so much press coverage, Obama feels the need to mitigate much of the international damage he is causing with his inflammatory and deeply offensive comments.
Meanwhile, in an effort to anger and alienate even more potential voters, Trump has placed extremely popular ex-President Bill Clinton in his crosshairs, taking shots at him on Twitter to ‘damage’ Hillary. And GOP leadership is quietly weeping in a backroom somewhere.