CNN: GOP Establishment Plots ‘Trump Takedown’ - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
CNN: GOP Establishment Plots ‘Trump Takedown’
by

CNN is on the case. (And yes, full disclosure, I am now a CNN commentator.)

As discussed on John King’s Inside Politics, and seen here on the CNN website, the main headline reads:

GOP establishment plans Trump takedown

The sub-head reads:

An anti-Trump ad deluge after Labor Day?

And the story says:

It’s no secret the Republican establishment is unnerved by Donald Trump and his lead in national and key state polls.

And now, after weeks of assuming his support would be fleeting, there is a debate about how to take aim at Trump — and just who should finance such an effort.

CNN’s Maeve Reston noted that most GOP strategists see risks in having the attacks come from the other candidates or their directly affiliated super PACs. So, she reports, there is conversation about what other group might raise money for anti-Trump TV ads.

“There are a lot of donors out there who see it as much too dangerous, obviously, for the candidates, or their allied super PACs, to go after Trump,” said Reston. “So they’re looking to more establishment PACs to potentially take him down in post-Labor Day ads.”

Maeve Reston has unearthed something here, and the very fact that she has done so — seeing her story splashed on John King’s TV show and the CNN website should be enough to tell GOP Establishment ideas this is a Class A dumb idea.

If the Establishment has learned nothing else over the course of the summer, at least one lesson should be that the more the base of the GOP perceives the Establishment is going after Donald Trump the higher Trump’s popularity soars.

Think of this for a moment. Whether it was Univision, Macy’s, ESPN, John McCain, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Jonah Goldberg, Kevin Williamson, Jorge Ramos, Megyn Kelly, Fox News, snipes from the Republican National Committee, Rick Perry, Jeb Bush or anyone remotely seen as connected to the Bushes and/or the Establishment in general, the GOP Establishment in particular or whatever — as all of this rained down on Trump’s head his popularity soared even higher.

Hello? Isn’t it just possible that a glimmer of light might dawn even behind the thick tusks of the Elephant Party that maybe… just maybe… having a story appear on CNN that says, again…

GOP establishment plans Trump takedown

… might just be a sign of not smart politics?

Buried in the internals of the new Des Moines Register poll that has Trump leading Ben Carson 23% — 18% is another statistic. This one: 

Question to Iowa Respondents: For each of the following, I’d like you to tell me if you feel happy with the way things are going, satisfied, unsatisfied, or mad as hell with the way things are going. 

The list of “each of the following” included “Republicans in Congress.” The telling stats? As might be expected, 91% of Democrats were “Unsatisfied or mad as hell” with the GOP Congress. To be expected, right? But then there was this. A full 75% of Republicans said they were “Unsatisfied or mad as hell” with the GOP Congress, with another 91% of Republicans saying the same thing about “Politicians in general.”

If ever there were a snapshot — and believe it that at this point in “the summer of Trump” this is far from the first “snapshot” from a poll saying some version of the same thing — that should serve as a flashing red light to GOP Establishment types, this is it.

What planet do these people live on? There they are plotting away in secret and along comes CNN’s Ms. Reston and suddenly their “brilliant” idea is being hashed over on John King’s show. Do they really think that when the post-Labor Day season arrives — not to mention with the GOP candidates headed towards a CNN debate at the Reagan Library on September 16 — that any move anywhere by anyone remotely perceived as connected to the GOP Establishment won’t be immediately seen for exactly what it is? Providing endless material for talk radio and conservative media, not to mention the mainstream media? One can see the “follow the money” stories now. And either the money will be directly connected to Establishment member X or it will be a mystery that isn’t a mystery, with the grassroots base of the GOP connecting directly to every “politician in general” on the GOP side that they can’t stand.

Another poll is now out — from Monmouth University. And that one shows Trump and Carson tied at 23% each, followed immediately by Carly Fiorina at 10% and Ted Cruz at 9%… with the rest trailing away (Jeb Bush at 5%). In other words, the four “outsider” candidates rank 1, 2, 3, and 4, collectively holding a stunning 65% of the vote. Fifteen points past 50%!

And into this highly charged environment, the wizards of smart in the world of the GOP Establishment — the consultants and lobbyists and staffers — are thinking it would help their cause to toss in a few barrels of political gasoline? And CNN already has the goods on them? 

Somewhere Lee Atwater is laughing like crazy.

Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at jlpa1@aol.com. His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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