CLEVELAND – The presumed GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump continues to make the Republican elite, big donors and much of the conservative GOP base nervous. GOP governors are not all on board, past GOP nominees are playing their cards close to the vest – all concerned what crazy thing Trump will say, do or Twitter that will devastate their 2016 bid to regain the White House.
Already, Fox polling shows Trump losing six points and falling behind Hillary Clinton in the General – and that was before Trump's latest kerfuffle over the Indiana-born judge that's overseeing the Trump University lawsuit.
There's a lot of talk going on as to a possible Plan B in the works and the name of a savior – possibly from the north of us here in Illinois. Governor Scott Walker withdrew his support for Trump earlier this week – adding fuel to the fire.
"It's just sad in America that we have such poor choices right now," Scott Walker told a reporter from Wisconsin's WKOW on Tuesday. The news station reported that Walker "wouldn't say that whether would continue to endorse him going forward."
"He's not yet the nominee," Walker added. "Officially that won't happen until the middle of July and so for me that's kind of the time frame that, in particular, I want to make sure he renounces what he says–at least in regards to this judge."
Erick Erickson – a confessed #NeverTrump er – wrote about the developments Friday:
Based on all my conversations this week, here is how I think it will play out.
If Trump can go the next two weeks without unforced errors and can do interviews along the way without embarrassing himself or the party, his nomination is assured. Trump has to be able to go out, without the Teleprompter, give speeches, and also give press interviews. If he hides in a bunker for the next two weeks, he will damage himself with prominent Republicans and donors. They need to see that he really is growing up and toning down.
If Trump can do that, he is the nominee, and not just the presumptive nominee.
But if Trump cannot control himself and exercise self-discipline in the next two weeks, the Republican convention is going to spiral out of control and look to a savior. That savior is most likely going to come from Wisconsin. It will not be Paul Ryan, but Scott Walker.
Right now there are several separate similar efforts to unbind the delegates at the convention. The Rules Committee is key and sources I talk to expect the delegates to be split on the committee with about 30% for Cruz, 25% for Trump, and 45% willing to go in the direction that saves the party destruction. If Trump continues on like this week, those separate similar efforts will become one effort.
Behind the scenes, it has not gone unnoticed that many of the major donors who are still opposed to Trump were also Scott Walker fans. There are rumors cropping up that Walker might be wiling to entertain being a dark horse candidate if we get to the convention and Trump has spiraled out of control. Walker’s withdrawal of his Trump endorsement was seen as a positive sign in that direction.
Chicago Cubs' owner family's Marilyn Ricketts donated millions to a failed #NeverTrump ad campaign, but she and Uline owner Dick Uhlein have been Walker donors for a while.