Privately, high-level Republicans are admitting that neither Ben Carson nor Donald Trump is fit to be commander in chief.
The Hill columnist Brent Budowsky wrote:
There is a growing panic behind the scenes throughout the upper echelons of the Republican Party. There is an increasing fear that the candidacies of Donald Trump and Ben Carson, whom most high-level Republicans privately believe are not fit to be president and commander in chief, could lead the GOP to a defeat on the magnitude of President Lyndon Johnson’s landslide victory over Republican nominee Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.) in 1964.
There is no need to discuss at length the specific reasons for this growing panic among high-level Republicans inside and outside of Washington, though I would note that Trump’s recent support of an immigration program modeled after President Eisenhower’s “Operation Wetback” — including the creation of some special police force to enforce Trump’s version of the program — sent shivers down the spine of key Republicans. Many honorable Republicans are sickened that Trump’s immigration views have now brought the venal “w” word back to the center stage of GOP politics and the GOP brand.
If Republicans can’t find a candidate who is capable of beating Trump and Carson, they may return to Mitt Romney. The twist suggested by Budowsky is that they will pair Mitt with Marco Rubio. Of course, this isn’t much of a twist at all. They tried the same strategy in 2012 when they paired Romney with Paul Ryan. The problem that Republicans can’t get past is that voters don’t trust or like Mitt Romney, but what could be shaping is any port in a storm level desperation from the GOP.
The real jaw dropper is that even Republicans are admitting that the two candidates who are leading in their polling aren’t fit to be president. If Trump or Carson were to win the Republican nomination, the Republican leadership could try to sandbag their candidate to prevent an unfit nominee from winning.
It isn’t just that Carson and Trump are totally unqualified for the presidency. It is that they have both demonstrate traits that hint at their unfitness for office. Both top Republicans don’t understand policy or how the government works. Trump thinks that the presidency is cutting deals and that he will just do stuff while Carson appears to wage a daily battle with reality and refuses to accept basic facts or even his own previous statements.
Republicans are worried that both of their top candidates are so unfit for office that they will be crushed in 2016. In other words, even the GOP is admitting the current leaders of the Republican primary are crazy.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association