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Trump’s Toxic Campaign Wrecking Winning Conservative Coalition

Let’s stipulate right up front that we know a thing or two about how attack ads work and that we are not bashful about pointing out when a candidate for office deviates from limited government constitutional conservative principles, hypocritically says one thing in English and another in Spanish or just plain lies about his record. 

But holding opponents to standards of truth, intellectual consistency and conservative principles is far different than the personal invective, trash talking and cheap vulgarity that has come to characterize Donald Trump’s Donald Trumpstyle of campaigning in South Carolina. 

During the Republican debate in South Carolina over the weekend Donald Trump condemned former President George W. Bush in what The New York Times described as “acid terms,” claiming the Bush administration had lied about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.  

“They lied,” Mr. Trump said — words that, as NYT writer Maggie Haberman pointed out, even two Democratic presidential nominees declined to use about Mr. Bush and the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and that were more akin to what the rabble-rouser liberal filmmaker Michael Moore has said. 

Far be it from us to defend George W. Bush, he’s an adult and can defend his decision-making himself, as Vice President Dick Cheney did on Fox News last night, but George W. Bush and brother Jeb have not been the only targets of Trump’s acid invective.  

"I've never seen anybody that lied as much as Ted Cruz," Trump said after calling the Texas senator a "total basket case." "He goes around saying he's a Christian—I don't know, you're going to have to study that."  

Cruz a “total basket case,” what does that even mean?  

Not a Christian, on what evidence?  

And about what, exactly, has Cruz lied; where are the footnotes or citations of fact to back-up such an outrageous charge? 

As CHQ Chairman Richard A. Viguerie documented in his book TAKEOVER, when Ronald Reagan ran for president in 1976, he ran against the entire Republican establishment; and when he remarked that we need new leaders, leaders unfettered by old ties and old relationships, he was talking about the establishment Republican Party and its “dime store Democrat” leadership, such as Ford, Nixon, Rockefeller, and their big business supporters. 

Reagan’s campaign against the establishment Republicans was every bit as tough, or tougher, than his campaign against Jimmy Carter. Reagan won because he charted a new course and campaigned as a conservative; he did not allow himself to become “fettered” to the old leaders and the old weaknesses of the establishment Republican Party. 

The Republican establishment likes to hide behind what they call Reagan’s eleventh commandment—thou shall not speak ill of a fellow Republican. This of course conveniently glosses over the fact that Reagan was a tough campaigner and a vigorous advocate of conservative principles. 

In 1976 Reagan had lost several primaries and was in danger of being knocked out of the presidential race. As the North Carolina primary approached, Senator Jesse Helms and Tom Ellis urged him to stay away from the state and let them handle the campaign unless he would do four things: attack President Ford; attack Henry Kissinger; attack the giveaway of the Panama Canal, and attack détente. Reagan agreed and attacked Ford and Kissinger and their weak foreign policy; he won the North Carolina Republican primary in an upset and kept his campaign alive. 

In 1980 Reagan was equally tough on George H. W. Bush, famously reminding him, “I paid for this microphone” in a New Hampshire debate and showing Bush to be thin-skinned and petulant. 

We’re the first to agree with Mr. Dooley that “politics ain’t bean bag,” but the experience of over 300 campaigns, including twelve presidential cycles, tells us that winning a national campaign is a problem of addition rather than subtraction, and Trump’s politics of personal invective may look like it is helping him in South Carolina, but it is driving his already astronomical negatives to new heights. 

Ronald Reagan and his team realized that to defeat an incumbent president and win in 1980 he was going to have to build a broad right-of-center coalition and the voters who inclined toward George H.W. Bush and establishment Republican Senator Howard Baker were going to have to be part of that coalition.  

Reagan was tough on his opponents’ policies and record, but never made it personal. Consequently, his opponents and their supporters were able to join the Reagan coalition and help him defeat Jimmy Carter. 

The difference between Reagan’s toughness in defending and advocating conservative principles and his own candidacy and Trump’s politics of personal invective is that Ronald Reagan understood the key to building a winning conservative coalition was addition, not subtraction. 

Ronald Reagan was wise in ways in which Donald Trump clearly lacks both wisdom and maturity because, after Trump’s toxic behavior in South Carolina, it is going to take more than “The Art of the Deal” to rebuild the Reagan coalition if Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for president.

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Trump for President?

For decades professional politicians in the Republican Party of All strips and colors, including "Conservatives", have been telling us voters what we want to hear and then once in office Screw us over doing whatever they want as directed by the Business Round Table and Chamber of Commerce. Personally, for me enough is enough! I want Zero professional politician in the White House this cycle of which we had 3 candidates and now basically only 1, Trump. Professional politicians over the years have proven to me they could care less about the United States of America. Our current Southern Border with Mexico is Only 1 example. At this time I could care less about anyone's ideology or "Political Correctness" and I want someone in the White House with a proven track record "in business" to fix things and get things done. As things are, any of our candidates can do a better job than Hillary, Sanders or for that matter Obama. So which Republican candidate is best to win the White House is beside the point and a false argument. Regardless who the nominee is, including Trump, if the Republican's lose this Presidential race, the blame will rightly fall on the criminal incompetence of Republican Establishment and political elitists. I'm currently so angry at those folks I'm voting Trump regardless and telling them all to shove it up their collective ass!

Trump

Although I totally agree with Trump on the border and refugee situations, I do not like him as a candidate. He is a snot-nosed bully who loves to dish it out but cannot tolerate a comeback. He is not my choice for president I am for Cruz all the way.

Trump

Or should I say President Trump. The GOP and their media hacks really sound desperate. With the GOP and media against Trump and he's not backing down and he's standing tall. That's all I need to see to vote for him. The GOP and their lackies can't see the writing on the wall. THIS IS A REVOLUTION. In 2008 we had the Paul Revolution. Today we have the Trump revolution. The only difference is that the revolution will be victorious this time. We see the game. Both parties are the same. I hope we see the destruction of both parties and we will. The Boehners and McConnell's of the world are done in America. WE THE PEOPLE are speaking and there is not a damn thing that the establishment can do about it.

When will Donald Trump grow up?

It appears Donald Trump may have seen a world he cannot buy; individuals with character. Trump is acting more like a child.

I don't see individuals with

I don't see individuals with character. You must be watching a reality show. The Gop reality show where the establishment bought off politicians try to tell the American people they care whether this Country rights the ship. The only 1 who cares is Trump.

Trump is Perot Squared

You are spot on with your piece on Trump's toxicity to the cause. He is NOT a conservative, NOT a Christian, a Democrat at heart, and anti-Constitution.

His mean-spirited invective is the opposite of what it will take to win in November and like Perot, he will end up destroying any chance of blocking the two socialists now leading the Democrat primary race.

Cruz is not perfect, nor is Rubio and certainly not Jeb.

But Trump is the only thing that can stop a Republican victory and I would not be at all surprised to learn that every penny he is spending is being reimbursed by the DNC.

Trump saying that Bush "lied."

Is this his tactless appeal to the democrats?

Lying

I keep hearing some of these candidates accuse others of lying but with no specifics. Trump is sounding less and less stable with his name calling and profanities. If you are for real, you need only state the facts of what someone else has supposedly said. Ted Cruz states what someone else has said and doesn't just strike out with "he's a liar". I'm for the adult in the room.