Emboldened by a string of primary victories and recent congressional endorsements, GOP front-runner Donald Trump addressed reporters in Washington on Monday and issued a steely notification against a conservative third-party bid.
Alerting the GOP to the pitfalls of any right-wing challenge to his candidacy, Trump said:
“If people want to be smart they should embrace this movement. If they don’t want to be smart they should do what they’re doing now and the Republicans will go down to a massive loss. You can’t be that spiteful . . . because you’ll destroy the country. A third party will destroy the country.”
Trump gave an answer to a question no one asked.
When Trump found it convenient to do so, he railed against a third-party bid.
Considered a one-time outlier, Trump is, once again, using his candidacy as leverage to gain the nomination and suggests any attempt to thwart his candidacy is a blow to democracy.
Distasteful to some, Mr. Trump has earned each of his delegates, but threatening against any attempt to kneecap his crusade illustrates a lack of political smarts.
While Trump has every reason to fear an insurrection aimed at his campaign, a more reasoned response would have been for the New York real-estate mogul to concede he understands his rhetoric and response to incivility at his rallies has prompted him to modify his personal behavior and campaign strategy to become more attractive to the Party and to potential voters, many of whom are already skeptical of his conservative bona-fides.
At several critical junctures, Mr. Trump has eschewed calls from GOP lawmakers and voters to moderate his tone and appear more statesmanlike; Trump countered with rebukes identical to threats from a dockside bully.
Trump’s dogged refusal to soften his tone has indirectly created a handful of disgraceful episodes at rallies and has turned once thoughtful appeals for him to alter his tone into outright hostility toward his bid for the White House.
Similarly, he now confronts talk of insurgency within the GOP ranks to dash his hopes of obtaining the nomination.
By burying his better instincts, Trump now confronts a creation of his own making.
Trump has two choices: Live with and love what he created or make the necessary adjustments before it is too late.
[WSJ] [Photo courtesy businessinsider.com]