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Will GOP Unite Against Trump?

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Tuesday, 15 Dec 2015 12:23 PM Current | Bio | Archive

After political parties in France joined to help defeat anti-immigrant politician Marine Le Pen’s bid for power in regional elections, all eyes were on the process here, given that Donald Trump has detractors on both sides.

To be sure, there are differences between the French elections Sunday (in which Le Pen and her allies were shut out in races for control of 13 regional governments) and the contest for the Republican presidential nomination next year.

Le Pen is already head of the National Front (FN) party and the contests Sunday were not for nomination but run-offs in which the Socialist Party of French President Francois Hollande and the Republicans led by former President Nicolas Sarkozy deferred to one another to defeat Le Pen’s FN out in all of the regional races.

Could a similar “scenario” be reached in the primaries by candidates who bow out and support another to defeat Trump in key states?

“Yes, but it all depends on the timing” said former National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Davis. “After March 25, most of the primaries are winner take all, and Trump can win them with as little as 25 percent of the vote.”

“Maybe,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told me, “but the most likely alternative is Ted Cruz. Would the ‘establishment’ really be more comfortable with Cruz than Trump?” (On the day after the former Georgia congressman and 2012 presidential hopeful spoke to us, the Washington Post featured a column by liberal pundit Eugene Robinson entitled, “Would Cruz Be Any Better Than Trump?”)

Gingrich’s views were echoed by veteran GOP consultant Marc Rotterman. In his words, “Clearly, the Republican establishment would like to stop Trump dead in his tracks, and that goes for Sen. Cruz as well. If after the New Hampshire primary no one on the establishment side of the ledger has emerged to counter Trump or Cruz, then look for a concerted effort to draft Mitt Romney at the convention.”

The danger in such “stop Trump” and “stop Cruz” strategy, he added, “is if the insiders subvert the will of the conservative base, they may not show up in November. This would be handing the election to Hilary Clinton and the left.”

Ed Rollins, former Reagan White House political director, said party leaders could not “pull a Le Pen” on Trump “because there are no governors, state party chairmen, or Republican National Committee members who can determine delegates to the national convention and tell them what to do. Most of the delegates will be selected in the primary, and are legally bound to the candidate they supported for one ballot.

“And who would they coalesce around if they could do this? Bush, Kasich, and Christie are unacceptable to many grass-roots conservatives and more moderate Republicans would not go for Cruz.”

Rollins predicted the race would come down to “two or three candidates, Trump and two others, probably” and that it would be decided on the first ballot of the convention.


“Nope!” was former National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman John Linder’s response to the scenario of other Republican candidates joining forces to defeat Trump in the primaries, “There is too little ‘generosity of spirit’ at this level.”

But Linder quickly added his view that “Iowa will do that. Ben Carson’s campaign has been his biography, and Paris and San Bernardino have shown that to be not enough. Trump’s campaign has been his inevitability. After Iowa he will appear evitable. I cannot see his ego allowing continuing second or third place finishes.

“Bush has too much pride to continue to be there just to be there. I see Cruz and Rubio surviving, with a chance for Chrisite if Chris wins New Hampshire."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

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After political parties in France joined to help defeat anti-immigrant politician Marine Le Pen’s bid for power in regional elections, all eyes were on the process here, given that Donald Trump has detractors on both sides.
le pen, france, trump
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2015-23-15
Tuesday, 15 Dec 2015 12:23 PM
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