After his victories on Tuesday, Donald Trump has accumulated more primary votes than any other GOP presidential candidate in history. With 13.4 million votes in this election cycle, Trump garnered over 3 million more than Mitt Romney in 2012 and 1.4 million more than the previous record holder, George W. Bush in 2000. What is truly astounding is that he did it against 16 opponents, most fully aligned with the party establishment.
In his campaign for the nomination, Trump won 36 states and accrued 1,542 delegates, more than 300 over the total needed to become the Republican standard bearer. His nearest competitor, Sen. Ted Cruz, has only 559 delegates, barely one-third Trump’s total.
His victory was even more amazing considering the fact that he spent very little of his own money, but had to withstand malicious attacks by his opponents. According to Joshua Green of Bloomberg News, Trump was targeted by $62 million in attack ads during the primary season. This level of negative campaign advertising is unprecedented in a presidential primary campaign and far exceeds the total amount spent in the 2012 campaign.
Over the past year, Trump has also faced almost monolithic opposition from Republican Party and congressional leaders. In fact, it took several meetings and Trump surpassing the delegate totals needed for victory for House Speaker Paul Ryan to issue a very lukewarm endorsement of the presumptive nominee. The tepid support did not last long for Ryan followed that up this week with a vicious denunciation of Trump as a racist because of his complaints about federal district court Judge Ernesto Curiel.
Ryan is a typical establishment Republican Party leader who despises what Trump represents, the grassroots. Thus, despite Trump’s historic level of popular support, GOP elitists are still plotting to deny him the nomination. Some are meeting with disgruntled loser Mitt Romney at a Utah ranch this weekend to design anti-Trump strategy. Others, such as talk show host Hugh Hewitt, are calling for a delegate revolt at the Republican convention. Still others, such as pathetic commentator and publisher Bill Kristol, are hoping for a white knight to appear on the scene to save the country from a Trump presidency.
What are these Trump haters afraid of? Many claim that they don’t like his brash style and his controversial comments. Others believe that Trump is not a true conservative. However, in reality, most of the Trump haters are just afraid that they will lose control of the Republican Party, their contracts, their access, in effect, their power.
His party antagonists also have stark policies differences with Trump and are afraid he will pursue the policies he articulated on the campaign trail, namely to build a border wall and end these horrible trade deals. Most of the GOP establishment supports open borders and international trade deals, despite evidence that shows our manufacturing base has been decimated and countless jobs have been lost to foreign countries.
For so-called conservative purists, Trump is a charlatan, spewing lies on his way to the nomination. They overlook that Trump has promised to appoint only conservative Supreme Court Justices and even released a list of Federalist Society endorsed judges that he will choose from.
Trump has promised to rebuild the military, support the Second Amendment, cut taxes, end Obamacare, make our country energy independent, reform the Veterans Administration and get tough in the war against ISIS. On the issues that count, he is in line with the majority of Americans, while his opponents in the Republican Party and Hillary Clinton are clearly out of step.
Unlike Romney, the weak 2012 GOP nominee who was afraid to attack Obama, Trump will not be bashful about condemning Hillary. In a speech on Monday, he will outline her many questionable and corrupt activities.
It is truly sad that so many within the Republican Party actually want Trump to lose. Some probably have ambitions to run for President in 2020, like House Speaker Paul Ryan. While others are opposed to Trump’s border, immigration and trade policies and would be perfectly comfortable with Hillary Clinton as President.
Hillary will maintain the status quo and be a caretaker for a socialist federal government. Trump will be the real change agent, which is why he has garnered so much opposition among the Beltway elites.
So far, he has prevailed against incredible opposition and has a real chance to be elected in November. If he does, Donald Trump will usher in the type of change that this country desperately needs, leading a political revolution of middle class Americans that is long overdue.
Jeff Crouere is the Host of “Ringside Politics,” which airs at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and 10:00 p.m. Sun. on WLAE-TV 32, a PBS station, and 7 till 11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990 AM in New Orleans and the Northshore. He is the Political Analyst for WGNO-TV ABC26 and a Columnist for selected publications. For more information, visit his web site at RingsidePolitics.com. E-mail him at [email protected]