If the members of the GOP establishment who have thus far refused to endorse Donald Trump thought they could force him to water down his message in the name of party unity, they got a Sunday brunch-time surprise less appetizing than cold eggs Benedict and a weak Bloody Mary.
In an appearance on ABC News “This Week,” Trump told host George Stephanopoulos that he doesn’t believe the party needs to be unified for him to take the general election and that he would rather stay true to his principles than compromise with the party.
“Does the party have to be together? Does it have to be unified? I’m very different than everybody else, perhaps, that’s ever run for office. I actually don’t think so,” Trump said in the interview, which aired Sunday morning.
A visibly shocked Stephanopoulos, apparently hard of hearing, asked him the question again.
“I think it would be better if it were unified, I think it would be — there would be something good about it. But I don’t think it actually has to be unified in the traditional sense,” Trump responded.
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) May 7, 2016
When Stephanopoulos asked how he planned to win without a unified Republican front, Trump said he would capitalize on disaffected Democrats and his independent base.
“I’m going to go out and I’m going to get millions of people from the Democrats,” Trump said. “I’m going to get Bernie people to vote, because they like me on trade.”
“I have to stay true to my principles, also,” he continued. “And I’m a conservative, but don’t forget, this is called the Republican Party, it’s not called the Conservative Party.”
Like him or hate him, you have to admit that Trump’s approach is both refreshing and more principled than what the party has done in the past.
After all, party officials were unified in 2008 and and 2012 behind both John McCain and Mitt Romney, respectively. This was primarily because whatever principles McCain and Romney may have once possessed had been sucked down into amoral quicksand of political compromise.
Not only did neither win, but the result was almost never in doubt. In McCain’s case, his campaign came marginally close in the polls when it added someone who refused to fit her beliefs in a neat little box of RINO unity, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Then campaign operators actively marginalized her, and that momentum was quickly shed. Palin, of course, is now a major Trump supporter.
Mitt, meanwhile, never came close. His campaign was about as interesting and inoffensive as buttered noodles (not coincidentally, the candidate’s self-declared favorite dish), and just about the only people who were surprised when Romney lost four years ago shared the last name Romney.
That’s what party unity and moderation has gotten us as conservatives. If you still labor under the misapprehension that another dose of that is what’s going to solve the electoral ills of the Grand Ol’ Party, I think the only thing left for me to ask is which member of the Bush family you happen to be related to.
H/T The Right Scoop
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