WASHINGTON ― Donald Trump trained his wrath on the leaders of his own party Sunday, slamming them as “hypocrites” for abandoning him, and predicting they will lose in November.
A slew of Republicans ― especially those in tough election contests ― fled the sinking Trump ship after recordings surfaced Friday of The Donald admitting to predatory sexual behavior.
Continuing to support a presidential candidate who once declared he could get away with sexual assaulting women seemed like a terrible idea to people like Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), who as recently as last week were defending their party’s White House nominee.
Even House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who did not unendorse Trump the way many colleagues did, disinvited Trump from a rally in Wisconsin on Saturday.
But Trump is not going away, or taking it quietly. In a flurry of tweets and retweets, he hammered Republicans for being offended by the idea of a commander in chief who professed on tape that he likes to grab women “by the pussy.”
It was that last tweet that essentially served as a declaration of war on GOP leaders, and if there was any doubt, talking points obtained by reporters confirmed Trump’s intent to burn down the house.
What is perhaps the scariest part for Republicans is that Trump may be right, although only partially for the reasons he believes.
On the one hand, Trump’s callous and baldly revealed attitude toward women will be toxic for many moderate and independent voters who had a hard time pulling for Hillary Clinton. They almost assure that he will lose.
On the other hand, many, many Trump voters do not care what he said about women, and only see abandoning Trump as a betrayal of the grass-roots. They are likely to shun the candidates who were belatedly horrified by Trump, and could take them down along with their orange-tinted hero.
For instance, just watch what happened to Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.), who is running for Senate in the Silver State, when he renounced Trump. (Hint: boos were involved.)