Republican strategists who have publicly criticized Donald Trump are getting blackballed and losing jobs with GOP candidates, the Daily Beast reports this morning.
According to the report, Republican strategist Rick Tyler, the former top communications aide on Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) political campaign, was fired from his job working for Mississippi Senate candidate Chris McDaniel after the Trump White House complained about hiring him. In particular, the White House threatened to endorse his primary opponent unless he cut Tyler from his payroll.
A half a dozen longtime GOP consultants tell The Daily Beast that this has become standard operating procedure for the Trump White House, which they claim “operates as a cult of personality, insisting on lockstep loyalty above every other consideration—even at the expense of competent political practice.”
GOP strategist Susan Del Percio, who has also been harshly critical of Trump, explains to the Daily Beast that the White House’s entire political operation is bent on getting back at its critics.
“There’s no sophistication,” she said. “They are not trying to pick winners and losers at all. They are not getting involved in the races. They are simply vengeful… They’re just going after political enemies.”
According to The Daily Beast:
“Republican stalwarts said it is unusual for a president to target the staff members of down-ballot campaigns, and that the episode reflects a self-defeating pettiness that is driving talent out of the GOP.”
“Consultants and office holders are justifiably fearful that the Trump White House can prevent them from keeping their jobs or earning a living should they be deemed less than 100 percent loyal. For the consultants, many millions of dollars, under the control of the party apparatus, are at stake.”
“They have to be careful,” Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele said, adding:
“They’re just trying to do what they were doing before Trump showed up. ‘I’ve got money to raise, I’ve got votes to get,’ and now you’ve got this other layer of ‘I’ve also got to prove that I’ve been loyal to Donald Trump.’ It will have an impact.”
“It’s why you see certain members of Congress behaving the way they behave, because they don’t want that noise to affect their campaigns that create headaches that they don’t need or want…They don’t want to be primaried.”
Steele also said that by stoking his small but rabid base of support, Trump has turned the Republican Party into “a servile creature of the Trump organization.”
“The party’s never before maneuvered to block and tackle people out of position to challenge for the nomination,” Steele said.
“There are actually people in the party leadership who want to declare Trump the nominee by acclamation without even holding a primary. That’s antithetical to everything the party has stood for. I don’t know what’s in the Kool-Aid that Donald Trump served, but it damn sure must be good.”
This latest report show that Donald Trump’s hostile takeover of the Republican Party is complete. As he races headlong toward indictment, impeachment, and probable arrest for his many crimes, the servile, cult followers in the GOP are following right behind him, racing to their doom.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.