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Paul Ryan May Be Silent, But Many Conservative Columnists And Strategists Are Slamming Trumpism

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Speaker Paul Ryan’s speech yesterday — initially anticipated to be a denunciation of Trumpism — didn’t do much of anything when it came to Donald Trump.

In fact, Trump wasn’t even mentioned by name, and Ryan didn’t back down from his repeated statements that he would back Trump as the Republican nominee. So much for that “big speech.”

While Speaker Ryan may be unwilling to stand up to the Trumpism poisoning his party, a steady chorus of conservative voices, political consultants, and commentators have not been silent when it comes to slamming Trumpism and the GOP leaders who have been complicent in his rise by saying nothing.

Michael Gerson in the Washington Post, “Republicans stain themselves by sticking with Trump”:

  • “And this permission for violence is paired with an embrace of ethnic and religious bigotry, casting blame and suspicion on Muslims and undocumented immigrants. It would be difficult — or should be difficult — for any Republican to endorse a presidential candidate whose election would cause many of our neighbors to fear for their safety. Or to embrace a candidate who promised to purposely target children in the conduct of the war on terrorism. Or a candidate who has praised the “passion” and patriotism of followers and has predicted riots if he doesn’t get his way at the GOP convention.”
  • “For Republicans, accommodation with Trump is not just a choice; it is a verdict. None will come away unstained.”

David Brooks in the New York Times, “No, Not Trump, Not Ever”:

  • “Donald Trump is epically unprepared to be president. He has no realistic policies, no advisers, no capacity to learn. His vast narcissism makes him a closed fortress. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and he’s uninterested in finding out. He insults the office Abraham Lincoln once occupied by running for it with less preparation than most of us would undertake to buy a sofa. Trump is perhaps the most dishonest person to run for high office in our lifetimes. All politicians stretch the truth, but Trump has a steady obliviousness to accuracy.”
  • “He is a childish man running for a job that requires maturity. He is an insecure boasting little boy whose desires were somehow arrested at age 12.”
  • “In some rare cases, political victors do not deserve our respect.. And so it is with Trump.”
  • “The Republicans who coalesce around Trump are making a political error. They are selling their integrity for a candidate who will probably lose. About 60 percent of Americans disapprove of him, and that number has been steady since he began his campaign.”

George Will in the Washington Post, “The albatross of a Trump endorsement”:

  • “Rubio’s epiphany — announcing the obvious with a sense of triumphant discovery — about Trump being a “con man” and a “clown act” is better eight months late than never. If, however, it is too late to rescue Rubio from a Trump nomination, this will be condign punishment for him and the rest of the Republican Party’s coalition of the timid.”
  • “We are about to learn much about Republican officeholders who are now deciding whether to come to terms with Trump, and with the shattering of their party as a vessel of conservatism. Trump’s collaborators, like the remarkably plastic Chris Christie (“I don’t think [Trump’s] temperament is suited for [the presidency]”), will find that nothing will redeem the reputations they will ruin by placing their opportunism in the service of his demagogic cynicism and anticonstitutional authoritarianism.”

Steve Deace in the Conservative Review, “Why I will #NEVERTRUMP”:

  • “Therefore, should Trump be the nominee I will not lend my name and an ounce of integrity to this reality television star’s charade.”
  • “Now we’re talking about attaching our brand to an unrepentant serial liar and adulterer that has clearly demonstrated during his 70 years on this planet he stands for nothing but himself.”

Jay Caruso in RedState, “5 reasons I will not vote for Trump if he is the GOP nominee”:

  • “5 reasons I will not vote for Donald trump… 1. Trump is not a conservative… 2. He’s lying to everybody on immigration… 3. He’s a crackpot…. 4. He has no class and he is no statesman… 5. He will do long term damage to the GOP.”

Erick Erickson in The Resurgent, “I will not vote for Donald Trump. Ever”:

  • “I have become convinced that Donald Trump’s pro-life conversion is a conversion of convenience. Life is the foremost cause in how I vote. Therefore I will not be voting for Donald Trump at all. Ever.”
  • ” I will not rally to Trump. Frankly, if Trump is able to get the nomination, the Republican Party will cease to be the party in which I served as an elected official. It will not deserve my support and will not get it.”

Doug Heye in the Independent Journal, “As a Republican operative, here’s why I won’t support Trump if he is the nominee”:

  • “Because of Trump’s perversion of conservatism, along with the devastating impact he would have if nominated, I cannot support Donald Trump were he to win the Republican nomination.”

Matt Kibbe in the Conservative Review, “Trump is not the answer”:

  • “Trump’s campaign is about personal celebrity, riding his pop star status culled from many years on tabloid TV…. And if you want to elect someone that actually respects the Constitution and limits on executive branch power, Donald Trump is not the answer.”

Peter Wehner in the New York Times, “Why I will never vote for Donald Trump”:

  • “There are many reasons to abstain from voting for Mr. Trump if he is nominated, starting with the fact that he would be the most unqualified president in American history.”
  • “Mr. Trump’s virulent combination of ignorance, emotional instability, demagogy, solipsism and vindictiveness would do more than result in a failed presidency; it could very well lead to national catastrophe,”

Conservative radio host Glenn Beck:

  • “He is part of the problem when he by his own admission, buys politicians; he said he identifies his “policies more as a democrat”; he makes President Obama look truly humble; he was very pro abortion until very recently; he still says “don’t defund planned parenthood”; he is pro “assault weapon ban”; he is in favor of a wealth tax that would just “take money out of people’s bank accounts”; he is for boots on the ground in Iraq and ‘taking the oil’ from the Iraqi people; he is a progressive ‘republican’; he says single payer health care works; he said he would give people more than just Obama care; the First Lady would be the first to have posed nude in lesbian porno shots; he said that he keeps all the bibles he is given in a “special place” out side the city – and he only goes to church on Christmas and Easter; he is generally not a likable guy; he has around 16% favorability with Hispanics and he has gone bankrupt 4 times”
  • “I’m not going to vote for evil.”

Eliot Cohen, former advisor to former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice:

  • “Short list: demagoguery, torture, bigotry, misogyny, isolationism, violence. Not the Party of Lincoln & not me.”

Liz Mair, former advisor to former Presidential candidates Carly Fiorina, Rick Perry, and Scott Walker:

  • “It’s going to take some stepping up to stop Trump. I genuinely do believe that. You can help here: [link to Make America Awesome SuperPac]

Weekly Standard editor-in-chief Bill Kristol:

  • “Crowd-sourcing: Name of the new party we’ll have to start if Trump wins the GOP nomination?”

Kevin Madden, senior advisor to Mitt Romney’s 2012 Presidential campaign:

  • “I’m prepared to write somebody in so that I have a clear conscience.”
  • “For many Republicans, Trump is more than just a political choice… it’s a litmus test for character.”

LIBRE Initiative executive director Daniel Garza:

  • “I’m a surrogate for conservative free market ideas, so because of that, that’s my way of saying no… I would like to think someone wouldn’t sell out their principles just to be his surrogate.”

Political analyst Ana Navarro:

  • “No. No. No,” when asked if she would be a surrogate for Trump. Then emailed back moments later. “Make that: No. No. No. Hell no.”

Luis Alvarado, former advisor to Meg Whitman:

  • “Never trump…I do not have an inclination of who would want to put themselves through such a horrid experience.”

Nelson Balido, former member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council:

  • “I’ve seen how Trump’s been very unkind to the community out there,” he said, noting that his wife is from Mexico.

Mario Lopez, President of the Hispanic Leadership Fund:

  • “He needs to understand it’s not about a wall or border security, but the language you use and the way you present these ideas that really matters and when you do it in an offensive way it creates a situation where a lot of committed conservatives and committed Republicans won’t take up the banner for him.”

Alfonso Aguilar, President of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles:

  • “He clearly has no ideology, his ideology is the ideology of Trump.”

Stuart Stevens, former strategist for the Mitt Romney’s 2012 Presidential campaign:

  • “Don’t raise money or help this thug. How can any corporation give to RNC for convention if it’s the Trump party?”
  • “The idea Republicans would spend 8 years bemoaning a narcissistic president with little experience then turn to Trump? Charlie Sheen was out?”

Ross Douthat in the New York Times, “Silence equals Trump”:

  • “So I’m not sure what it says that I (and not a few others in the reform-minded conservative commentariat) now seem to feel more urgency about stopping Trump than the men who actually lead the actual-existing G.O.P.”

Yuval Levin in the National Review, “Silence isn’t savy”:

  • “Whatever is behind it, the awfully convoluted theory that the best way to avoid helping Trump is to avoid criticizing him seems pretty ridiculous. There is really not much evidence behind the proposition that Trump is impervious to old fashioned criticism and attack. He hasn’t been subjected to very much of it at all. And the notion that you shouldn’t tell voters the truth about him as you understand it isn’t exactly a show of respect to Republican voters, or a demonstration of any keen understanding of the different types of voters who might be considering Trump.”
  • “Trump is singularly ill-suited and unprepared for the job he is seeking, and he is making a mockery of what conservatives have argued, accomplished, and sought to achieve in recent decades. He invites the right to succumb to a shallow caricature of itself and to turn its prospects, and the nation’s, over to someone who shows not the slightest inkling of concern for the Constitution, the limits of government power, the freedom of the individual, or the traditions and principles of the American republic—let alone any prudence, discipline, or vision.”
  • “That no one is sure what effect one kind of criticism or another will have on Trump’s standing is not a reason to stay silent; it is a reason to offer up your honest assessment forthrightly and do what you can to avert the disaster of a Trump-Clinton election. Maybe that would backfire. Maybe it would not. But surely it is well past time for bank shots.”