Republicans are increasingly worried about the impact of Donald Trump on their efforts to be a serious political party and rehabilitate their image.
The head of the Republican National Committee, responding to demands from increasingly worried party leaders, spent nearly an hour Wednesday on the phone with Donald Trump, urging the presidential candidate to tone down his inflammatory comments about immigration that have infuriated a key election constituency.
The call from Chairman Reince Priebus, described by donors and consultants briefed on the conversation and confirmed by the RNC, underscores the extent to which Trump has gone from an embarrassment to a cause for serious alarm among top Republicans in Washington and nationwide.
But there is little they can do about the mogul and reality-television star, who draws sustenance from controversy and attention. And some fear that, with assistance from Democrats, Trump could become the face of the GOP.
Later in the article, it becomes clear that Trump is reflecting, not creating, GOP bigotry and insanity on immigration and other issues.
At the same time, however, Trump is perhaps the most vocal part of a current of outrage on the right — both at the influx of people coming across the border and over proposals to liberalize the nation’s immigration laws.
“The fact that he is rising in the polls has something to do with tapping into an angst and anger, especially on immigration, that the other candidates have been unwilling or unable to harness,” said Reed Galen, a Republican operative based in California.
Democrats are doing a very effective job of force-feeding the GOP with Trump’s comments.
Meanwhile, the Democrats — led by their presumptive nominee — are doing all they can to make the rest of the GOP accountable for Trump’s words.
“I feel very bad and very disappointed with him and with the Republican Party for not responding immediately and saying, ‘Enough. Stop it,’ ” former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton said in an interview Tuesday on CNN. “But they are all in the same general area on immigration. They don’t want to provide a path to citizenship. They range across a spectrum of being either grudgingly welcome or hostile toward immigrants.”
My reaction? Pretty obvious, I think.