Donald Trump’s call for a “complete shutdown” of Muslim immigration could fracture the Republican Party.
Speaking on “Fox & Friends,” Laura Ingraham, LifeZette editor in chief and host of “The Laura Ingraham Show,” said the GOP Establishment has “wanted (Trump) out of the race since day one,” and his Muslim immigration idea has given them, “they believe, their opportunity to get him out of the race.”
“This could ultimately lead to a crisis at the (GOP) convention,” Ingraham observed, “where the Republican Party basically rips itself apart to prevent him from becoming the nominee.”
GOP Establishment figures have been desperate to stop Trump, not only because they disagree with many things he says but because they think he will lose the general election. His remarks about barring Muslims are inflammatory, even to many Republicans, who would no doubt ardently oppose his nomination. It is hard at this point to imagine him unifying a convention.
But Trump’s supporters are equally as passionate, and his announcement of his stance on Syrian refugees Monday was met with enthusiasm.
The crowd at a Trump rally in South Carolina on Tuesday night responded to his doubling down on his statement with “whoops and cheers,” reported CNN, which also said the majority of those they interviewed at the rally supported the idea.
The increased attacks on Trump, however, will put his supporters “back on their heels,” predicted Ingraham, and “they’re going to dig in, going to keep supporting Trump.”
Presaging the divide that may soon rent the GOP, several of Trump’s fellow GOP presidential candidates reacted searingly to his remarks.
Presaging the divide that may soon rent the GOP, several of Trump’s fellow Republican presidential candidates reacted searingly to his remarks. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush called Trump “unhinged,” while Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said Trump was “downright dangerous” and that condemning the candidate was “the right thing” to do.
Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey called Trump’s proposal “ridiculous” and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said it was “outrageous and outlandish.” Gov. John Kasich of Ohio issued a statement saying Trump’s proposed ban proves he is “entirely unsuited to lead.”
GOP Establishment stalwart Dick Cheney also waded into the fray, saying Trump’s proposal “goes against everything we stand for and believe in.” The GOP chairs of the three most crucial primary states — New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina — also issued statements criticizing Trump.
South Carolina GOP Chair Matt Moore tweeted, “Trump’s bad idea and rhetoric send a shiver down my spine,” while his New Hampshire counterpart, Jennifer Horn, said Trump’s proposal is “un-American” and “un-Republican.” Iowa GOP Chair Jeff Kaufmann insinuated that Trump’s plan would betray “bedrock constitutional principles.”
Trump’s scheduled appearance at an RNC fundraiser in New York City on Wednesday has also been canceled. The RNC has so far not responded to requests for comment.
Steve Doocy of Fox News also noted Tuesday morning that “north of 75 percent of our viewers like (Trump’s) idea.”