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.’”