The RNC (Republican National Committee) has had a hard time keeping up with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. From struggling with Trump’s at-first refusal to endorse or support Speaker Ryan and party statesman John McCain’s campaigns, to their continual frustration with Trump’s daily gaffes and missteps on the campaign trail, it sounds like the RNC may have finally had enough.
According to a new report from Politico this morning, (a news outlet that has been banned from the Trump campaign), the RNC is inwardly planning to pull funding from the Trump campaign in October, as they see a Trump win for the presidency as an impossibility. Instead, the RNC plans to redirect funding towards important congressional Republican campaigns across the country.
Privately, top officials in the Republican party have been speaking to major donors and political journalists that the RNC has done everything it possibly could have for the Trump campaign — more so than it even did for the Mitt Romney campaign. The idea, apparently, was simple: when the Trump campaign goes down in flames, the RNC wants to be sure that they are not blamed for the fall, rather, that it is Donald Trump that is blamed for the defeat.
According to RNC insiders, it’s not only Trump’s inflammatory comments on the campaign trail that are of a concern, but his campaign’s disorganization. RNC strategist Sean Spicer told political reporters last Wednesday that he was furious that Trump was spending so much time in Connecticut while his poll numbers continued to decline in swing states and areas that have been heretofore largely Republican.
RNC chairman Reince Priebus has reportedly been in touch with Trump non-stop, calling the candidate “five or six times a day.” Priebus has been doing everything he can to get the former reality star to be a more disciplined candidate and to stay on message. And now, the RNC chair may have finally come to his wits’ end. Sources close to Priebus say that the RNC has given a final warning to Trump that he either falls in line or funds will be diverted away from the presidential campaign.
In his meeting with reporters last week, RNC strategist Spicer indicated that he had decided on a mid-October deadline for Trump to turn things around, indicating that if Trump continues his inability to run a focused, on-message campaign, mid-October will still allow the RNC to put their money in contested congressional campaigns where it could do some good.
Now, however, RNC operatives are saying that Trump may not even get until mid-October, saying that the RNC may cut funding to his campaign well before that, challenging that a mid-October shift would be too late. The party seems to be bailing on Trump as a whole. Last Thursday, 70 Republicans sent a letter to RNC chair Reince Priebus encouraging him to cut funding to the Trump campaign effective immediately.
Publicly, both the RNC chair and the Trump campaign are denying all of this, stating that communication and cooperation between the candidate and the party are great. However, last Thursday, Trump made the striking comment that he was doing more fundraising for the party than the RNC was doing for him. Then, on Friday, Trump made an about face, praising Priebus and the RNC, exclaiming that relations were better than ever.
The RNC has been scrambling internally to contend with the nearly daily issues with Trump’s stump speech comments. From his inflammatory comments regarding the parents of a Gold Star soldier, to his suggestion that Second Amendment supporters “take care” of Hillary, to his conviction that Clinton and Obama are the “founders of ISIS,” the RNC has been pleading with the Trump campaign to stay on message. The truth is, Clinton isn’t all that popular with Americans, and if her opponent were Jeb Bush or John Kasich, or even Ted Cruz, the race would most likely be a lot tighter than it is.
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