“Toxic” Trump Threatens Party’s Future Says Leading GOP Strategist

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Leading Republican Strategist Peter Wehner sees a disaster looming for his party this fall if Donald Trump is its presidential candidate.

Trump is “a toxic figure,” says Wehner calling the dislike of Trump in the electorate unprecedented. “He has a 70% unfavorable rating right now and that makes him the most disliked person of any major nominee in the history of modern polling.”

Wehner worked in the last three Republican administrations and was a senior advisor to the Mitt Romney campaign. He’s widely published and attracted a crowd when he spoke on April 12 at the University of Minnesota Humphrey School.

Wehner started to rattle off a list of descriptions of Trump. “He is in my estimation a nativist, xenophobic, cruel, vindictive, emotionally unstable, narcissistic obsessive …” Laughter then started to ripple through the crowd at crowd “I’m not done yet,” replied Wehner and continued. “A man without a governing agenda or a governing philosophy. He’s stunningly ignorant on the issues and he’s a person who seems to live in order to offend and divide.”

Cheering for Trump to lose

Video at top: Wehner offers his assessment of Donald Trump
Video below: Wehner’s entire discussion of new directions for the Republican party.

So Trump’s a bad candidate. “My hope is that he’s denied the Republican nomination and if he gets it, that he looses the election and that out of the ashes arises a better and stronger GOP.”

That’s correct. One of the leading Republican strategists wants Trump to fail, even if it means losing the election. Wehner is looking at the long-term game for the GOP.

“If the Republican party is going to win at the presidential level it has to signal to non-white voters at a minimum that we don’t hate you, and that we actually want you. That would be even better.”

Wehner said that Trump’s impossible proposal to deport 11 million people is not helping the GOP win non-white votes.

Trump’s core base of support is “blue-collar non-college educated voters who feel like they’ve been left behind in the modern economy,” said Wehner. “And a lot of them have.”

“What I don’t understand is why anybody thinks Donald Trump is the solution to their problems because he doesn’t have an agenda as best I can tell. And the agenda that he does have is downright pernicious and counterproductive in my estimation.”

“The alienating effect he has on other voters is extraordinary. You look at his unfavorable ratings among Hispanics, minorities, women, single women, they are off the charts bad.”

“I’m just saying if the Republican party is defined by Donald Trump, a lot of us are going to say ‘no thanks.’”

Bill Sorem

Bill Sorem is a longtime advertising professional who started with Campbell Mithun and ended up with his own agency. After a tour as a sailing fleet manager in the Virgin Islands he turned to database programming as an independent consultant. He has written sailing guides for the British Virgin Islands and Belize, and written for a number of blogs. In 2010, he volunteered as a citizen journalist with The UpTake and has stayed on as a video reporter.

Michael McIntee

Michael McIntee is a former network TV news executive with more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. He began his broadcasting career at the University of Minnesota's student radio station. He is an expert producer, writer, video editor who has a fondness for new technology but denies that he is a geek. More about Michael McIntee »

11 thoughts on ““Toxic” Trump Threatens Party’s Future Says Leading GOP Strategist

  1. This isn’t an objective criticism from Wehner. If it were, he’d have had a few things to say about Ted Cruz’s toxicity, or the corruption and slavish devotion to the interests of the 1% which the Republican Party has come to signify, the negativity, the absence of actual ideas, the mean-spiritedness, the vote suppression tactics, the Gerrymandering, the bigotry, the misogyny, the science denial, the disinterest in making government work. Trump is an outlier only in the sense that he isn’t under the direct control of the Republican Party’s wealthy backers.

  2. The party is why there is a Trump. You guys sold conservatives, the constitution and moral character down the river decades ago. It’s only going to get better with the infusion of non career criminals in DC.

  3. Trump isn’t the problem. Trump is a symptom. For decades the GOP has been cultivating fear and hatred of anyone who isn’t just like them–specifically, a white Christian man. For decades the GOP has been using the Southern strategy to appeal to a white base.

    Trump isn’t the problem. Trump is karma.

  4. Trump’s agenda is downright pernicious and counterproductive; even for the concerns of his supporters. He can’t solve their problems.

  5. Oh, a leading strategist said something? That settles it, i’m voting for Trump for sure now.

  6. And even with a 70% unfavorable rating – Trump still has managed to kick the butt off every other Republican candidate,… what does that say about the GOP?

  7. Thanks to Trump the people finding out how corrupt this system is , the leader of the GOP they are saying that this system has worked for 160 years ,well this system has been screwing the majority of the people, its time to change the rules and act like a democracy where we the people have some to say about picking the candidate by majority

  8. Trump is the perfect distillation of Republican policies – Nativist, racist, misogynistic, homophobic, self-involved and crushingly ignorant of policy and history. He “says it like it is” if what “it is” is the numbingly racist and hateful meanderings of the assholes who make up the base of the party. Fox News and radical rightwing radio created the atmosphere of “white people as victim” that has led directly to Herr Drumpf, and America is so glad they did. Republicans will continue to mean less and less at the national level, while local control will destroy itself with increasingly bitter christofascist “bathroom laws” and religious-justified legalized-discrimination agendas. Buh-bye whackos of the past. You’re done.