Dozens More Prominent Republicans Dump Trump
For the second time this week, a group of prominent Republicans says it will not support Donald Trump for president.
More than 70 party members, including former congressmen and senior members of the Reagan administration and both President Bushes, have drafted a letter to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.
They want the RNC to stop using Republican money, time, staff and advertising to support Trump, and instead use those resources for House and Senate candidates. They say Trump’s chances of winning in November are “evaporating by the day.”
Among other reasons, they cite his verbal duel with the parents of a Muslim-American soldier killed in Iraq, hints that gun-rights backers should shoot Hillary Clinton, and “lying about scores of issues, large and small.”
Republican communications operative Andrew Weinstein tells VOA “if the RNC doesn’t immediately shift its focus, the Trump train wreck in November could destroy our congressional majorities as well. We can’t afford to wait any longer to focus our resources on the races we can win, rather than burning more money on an unelectable presidential candidate.”
There has been no response from the Trump campaign.
Last Monday, 50 former Republican national security advisers, intelligence chiefs and trade representatives signed their own letter saying, “None of us will vote for Donald Trump.” They said not only is Trump unqualified to be president, but he would be a dangerous commander-in-chief and “the most reckless president in American history.”
Earlier Thursday, Trump called President Barack Obama “the founder” of Islamic State and Hillary Clinton its “most valuable player.”
The candidate refused to back down or moderate his comment when he was given a chance during an interview with U.S. radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt, who is a Trump supporter.
Hewitt asked Trump if he meant that Obama lost the peace and “created a vacuum” in Iraq and Libya that let Islamic State emerge.
“No, I meant he is the founder of ISIS,” Trump said, using an acronym for Islamic State. “I do … I give him the most valuable player award. I give her too, by the way, Hillary Clinton.”
Trump said “I don’t care” when Hewitt reminded him that Obama hates Islamic State and is trying to kill it.
“If he would have done things properly, you wouldn’t have had ISIS. Therefore, he is the founder of ISIS,” Trump said.
The Democratic National Committee called Trump’s IS comments “outrageous, unhinged.”
“This is yet another out-of-control statement by a candidate who is unraveling before our very eyes,” a DNC statement said.
Trump appeared to be in a quiet and reverential mood Thursday when he spoke to a group of religious evangelicals in Orlando, Florida, urging them to get their followers to vote. He promised to overturn the 1954 amendment to the tax code that makes it illegal for tax-exempt organizations, like churches, to officially endorse any political candidate.
“We’re going to get your voice back,” Trump told them.
Hillary Clinton was in Warren, Michigan, where she formally unveiled her economic plans — most of which already were revealed during various campaign speeches all week.
They include creating 10 million jobs rebuilding crumbling roads, bridges and ports; taking away the tax breaks for U.S. companies that move jobs overseas, and making college and child care more affordable.
In a rare agreement with Trump, Clinton said she opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and will name a special prosecutor to hold countries accountable for breaking global trade rules.
Clinton said the Trump package of tax cuts for the rich and for corporations will push the country back into recession and do nothing to help most Americans.
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