Conservative blogger Erick Erickson on Monday offered a window into just how hard it will be for Donald Trump to unify the Republican Party if he becomes the nominee for president.
A vociferous Trump critic, Erickson said on “The Laura Ingraham Show” that he will hold firm to his never-Trump position — even if his preferred candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, were Trump’s running mate.
“If Ted Cruz and Donald Trump were to join a ticket, I would vote for a third party,” he said.
Erickson’s comments come as other self-proclaimed guardians of the conservative movement are planning blacklists to punish conservatives who have endorsed the billionaire populist. Erickson accepts the basic downside of the never-Trump stand: Denying Trump the nomination if he has a healthy delegate lead would rip the party apart, and Democrat Hillary Clinton would benefit from dissension on the Right.
“But honestly, I don’t care,” he said. “I’m not voting for Trump.”
In addition to talk of blackballing pro-Trump conservatives, Republican insiders reportedly have been meeting behind closed doors to plot some way to out-maneuver him. But Fox News host Sean Hannity, who’s hourlong interview with Trump will air Monday night, told Ingraham that the insiders no longer hold sway.
“The Establishment has lost,” he said. “In other words, the people that are in these meetings that we’re talking about have lost the election. And that to me is an astounding story, and they’ve lost in a spectacular way when you look at the actual numbers that have come in and out.”
Erickson, editor-in-chief of The Resurgent, said there is still time for people to rally to Cruz to stop Trump. It is a long shot at this point, but Cruz could possibly pass Trump if he goes on a tear in the remaining primaries. Short of that, Erickson conceded the negative repercussions of a convention coup.
“If Donald Trump goes into the convention and comes just shy of the number of delegates, yeah, it will end badly for the Republicans if they don’t give him the nomination,” he said. “I completely agree with you on that.”
Ingraham pressed Erickson on his circular logic: Trump is bad because he turns off so many people, but it is a badge of honor that Cruz is so detested by his own colleagues.
“This guy’s been in the Senate for five years; nobody likes him. OK?” she said. “Nobody likes him. No one will endorse him.”