House Republicans Responsible for His Rise
Today the DCCC released a new report, On the Origin of Trump, highlighting the numerous House Republicans and candidates whose own offensive rhetoric and positions helped pave the way for Donald Trump. The report is a follow up from the DCCC’s report in January, Down-Ballot Damage, about the negative impact of Trump’s candidacy on vulnerable House Republicans.
This week, with Donald Trump dramatically expanding his delegate lead in the GOP presidential primary, down-ballot Republicans are once again face-to-face with the Trumpocalypse: the certain damage that his candidacy will cause vulnerable House Republicans and candidates. Even before Trump further cemented his frontrunner status this week, an NRCC poll showed that “a plurality of respondents — 48 percent to 40 percent — would be less likely to vote for a Republican congressional candidate or incumbent if Trump were the nominee.”
Just as important as the harm that Trump will inflict on Republicans down the ballot is the fact that Congressional Republicans have no one to blame but themselves for his unexpected and meteoric rise. Speaker Ryan and the “Young Guns” helped fuel and encourage the Tea Party wave, ushering in a movement that fed off of the anger and hateful sentiments that have given rise to Trump. In turn, the Tea Party movement bred birther conspiracies, Muslim xenophobia, anti-immigrant rhetoric, racism, misogyny and violent rhetoric, all of which have become central to Trump’s rise and pose a massive liability to Republicans who share the ballot with him.
Before these were the hateful hallmarks of Donald Trump’s campaign for President, these intolerable, divisive themes were first visible among the House Republican conference and Republican candidates. If the shocking, loathsome rhetoric from Trump seems normalized within the GOP, it is because of the dozens of House Republicans and candidates named in this report.
This report is a snapshot of just some of the Republicans who helped create the Frankenstein’s monster they now face. Further, these examples highlight just how inseparable House Republicans truly are from Donald Trump. Half-hearted efforts to back away from Trump will not be credible to voters when taken in with the context of these and other specific examples of House Republicans staking out similarly hateful ground as the bombastic businessman.
Similarly, many vulnerable House Republicans and candidates have already pledged that they will support Trump if he becomes the nominee, despite his growing oeuvre of odious statements and positions. Actions speak louder than words, and like Speaker Ryan, House Republicans who pledge to support Trump as the nominee are giving their tacit support to the hate and fear that his candidacy promotes.
The full report can be viewed here.