Team WIN THE MORNING is a bit worried that Donald Trump might, you know, wreck the Republican brand or something, which is bit like cannibalistic serial killers worrying about getting a bad rap because of that Charlie Manson fella.
All jokes aside, the Republican Party is officially afraid of Donald Trump.
He has virtually zero chance of winning the presidential nomination. But insiders worry that the loud-mouthed mogul is more than just a minor comedic nuisance on cable news; they fret that he’s a loose cannon whose rants about Mexicans and scorched-earth attacks on his rivals will damage the eventual nominee and hurt a party struggling to connect with women and minorities and desperate to win.
“Donald Trump is like watching a road-side accident,” said former George W. Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer. “Everybody pulls over to see the mess. And Trump thinks that’s entertainment. But running for president is serious. And the risk for the party is he tarnishes everybody.”
Yes, Republican currently are running serious candidates like Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal and George Pataki, there's just no room for Trump!
Those risks were amplified this week after a trio of polls showed him likely to earn a coveted invitation to the party’s debates, which ironically were restructured with the very goal of avoiding the circus-like atmosphere of 2012. Having Trump introduce the 2016 field to a national audience was not exactly the Big Tent the party’s bigwigs had in mind.
“I’m not excited about somebody as divisive as Trump or somebody as obnoxious as Trump being on the debate stage,” one RNC member confessed.
Well, odds are good you'll have Rand Paul and Marco Rubio to cover that level of obnoxiousness, so you're golden.
Trump currently sits in eighth place among Republicans, according to the Real Clear Politics average of national polls — ahead of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry. And this week, he came in second in two New Hampshire polls and in a Fox News national poll, finishing behind only former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in all three.
Under the rules instituted by Fox News, the top 10 candidates by national polling average will be included in the first debate, to be held in August. Trump’s star could easily fade by then. But as of now, he would be in — over 2012 Republican runner-up Rick Santorum, who won 11 states and around 4 million votes last cycle; over Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the popular governor of a key swing state; over South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a leading foreign policy voice in the field; and over Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, known as a policy wonk.
OK, first, if Trump is placing second to Jeb! among FOX News viewers, that tells you everything you need to know about FOX News viewers.
Second, precisely zero actual policy wonks consider Bobby Jindal to be a policy wonk. If by "policy wonk" you mean "guy who sold out his own intelligence to play in the sandbox with the other nimrods" then yes, he's a policy wonk.
Ahh, but back to The Donald.
He’d also make it in over Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO who the party establishment desperately wants on the debate stage. Fiorina has earned strong reviews from early-state activists, and party insiders say her inclusion in the debate is critical — both to demonstrate the GOP’s diversity and to help male candidates find the right tone in connecting with female voters, whom Republicans have struggled to win over in recent years.
“If Donald Trump elbows out Carly Fiorina, for example, that would be a real tragedy for our side,” said Republican strategist Ron Bonjean.
Yes, because women seeing nine men and one woman will convince them that the Republicans are the party serious about nominating a woman for President, especially compared to Hillary Clinton, who we all know is a genderless plant creature that eats babies.
Look, you might as well let the guy debate. He really is the most entertaining guy you have right now, at least on purpose.