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Priebus Under Attack, Accused of Not Making 'Principled Defense' Against Trump

Image: Priebus Under Attack, Accused of Not Making 'Principled Defense' Against Trump
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 13 Apr 2016 05:35 PM

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has been preaching party unity amid the contentious GOP presidential nomination process, but Priebus himself is taking fire from all sides.

Front-runner Donald Trump has taken in recent days to accusing Priebus and other party leaders of conspiring to rob him of the nomination. Meanwhile, pundits say Priebus has been kowtowing to Trump and may bring about the party's ruination by not standing up to him.

"What is missing here — as it has been for months now — is any principled defense against the man threatening to replace the conservative movement's political apparatus with one that is nothing more than a cult of personality," writes Jennifer Rubin at The Washington Post's "Right Turn" blog.

Post columnist Dana Milbank wrote Tuesday that Priebus is "in over his head."

At issue are Priebus' attempts to soothe all the candidates — and their supporters — by calls for unity, loyalty pledges to support the eventual nominee and treating Trump no different than the rest of the field.

The niceties got him nowhere, Rubin argues, with Trump now saying the delegate system is "rigged" and that Priebus is a "disgrace" for letting it happen.

Trump is unhappy that Sen. Ted Cruz has been working delegates pledged to Trump to switch their votes to Cruz if a second ballot is required. Priebus countered on Twitter that Cruz is simply working the system, and that all the candidates, including Trump, were given a copy of said rules way back in August.

"Priebus continues to passively allow Trump's torrent of deception, threats and out and out lies wash over the party, treating him as just another candidate," Rubin said. "Priebus's collapse into moral relativism led him to forgo speaking out against the vast majority of Trump's outrageous comments, and to only cryptically frown on violence in the race, which Trump alone has instigated and condoned."

Priebus should show a "smidgen of indignation" after Trump's attacks on him, she says.

Milbank writes that Priebus failed to stop Trump when he had the chance, but did cut him some slack.

"In fairness, there is no good option for Priebus now, except perhaps to resign if Trump secures the party nomination," he writes.

Rubin says the GOP should purge itself of Trump "apologists and enablers" such as Priebus and find leaders who recognize that "a party in which winning is divorced from principle is not a party worth having."

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Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has been preaching party unity amid the contentious GOP presidential nomination process, but Priebus himself is taking fire from all sides.
reince priebus, donald trump, colorado, rigged system
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2016-35-13
Wednesday, 13 Apr 2016 05:35 PM
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