Buried in this lengthy New York Times report on the Republican party’s struggle to confront Donald Trump is an anecdote from a recent GOP luncheon where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reportedly told his colleagues they can run against Donald Trump in the general election if they need to.
McConnell apparently believes his status as the majority leader is more important than winning the White House.
While still hopeful that Mr. Rubio might prevail, Mr. McConnell has begun preparing senators for the prospect of a Trump nomination, assuring them that, if it threatened to harm them in the general election, they could run negative ads about Mr. Trump to create space between him and Republican senators seeking re-election. Mr. McConnell has raised the possibility of treating Mr. Trump’s loss as a given and describing a Republican Senate to voters as a necessary check on a President Hillary Clinton, according to senators at the lunches.
He has reminded colleagues of his own 1996 re-election campaign, when he won comfortably amid President Bill Clinton’s easy re-election. Of Mr. Trump, Mr. McConnell has said, “We’ll drop him like a hot rock,” according to his colleagues.
Granted I’m a relatively young person, but I cannot recall a time when Republican congressmen ran ads against their own presidential nominee but that very well may happen.
There’s still a possibility Donald Trump will not be the Republican nominee but according to FiveThirtyEight, Trump is favored to win all but one state tomorrow on Super Tuesday. Ted Cruz is heavily favored to win Texas.
I still consider the possibility of a Cruz nomination to be more likely than a Rubio nomination. Rubio has not won a single state yet and he may not win a single state tomorrow. Team Rubio appears to be placing all of their eggs in the Florida basket, but Trump leads in every poll of Florida that I’ve seen.
The next few weeks will tell the tale.