The media mercenaries that have been pounding away at Donald Trump 24/7 seem to be incredulous that the billionaire outsider is not jumping through flaming hoops to endorse his critics Paul Ryan and John McCain. Both of the career politicians face primary challenges this month and a Trump nod could be the difference between a continuing ride on the gravy train and the indignity of having to actually go out and work for a living. The dynamic duo have both blasted Trump in recent days over the media created firestorm regarding Hillary’s Muslim stage props Khizr Kahn and his wife, the Gold Star parents of a son killed in Iraq in a war that was backed by Mrs. Clinton.
Now with both of R.A.T.’s primaries looming it’s Trump’s turn at bat.
The Associated Press reports that “Trump taunts GOP, refusing to back Ryan, McCain”:
Donald Trump is openly taunting the leaders of his own party by refusing to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Sen. John McCain of Arizona in their GOP primaries. Yet thus far, McCain, Ryan and other Republicans who’ve reluctantly declared that they plan to back Trump for president appear to be sticking with him.
Trump’s stunning slap at two of the nation’s most prominent Republicans dramatically escalated GOP turmoil barely a week after a convention intended to promote party unity. With the general election campaign now squarely underway, Republicans found themselves once again forced to answer questions about the latest boundary-defying pronouncement from Trump at a moment when most would rather be talking about Hillary Clinton’s record.
Trump made his declarations in an interview with The Washington Post in which he also lit into New Hampshire GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte. All three lawmakers are facing primary challenges from the right in coming weeks, though all are expected to prevail, and each had criticized Trump’s attacks on the Muslim American parents of an Army captain killed in Iraq.
Trump’s rebuke to Ryan carried particular derision.
“I’m just not there yet,” Trump said, closely echoing Ryan’s own demurral before eventually endorsing Trump, when he told CNN on May 6, “I’m not there right now.”
“I like Paul, but these are horrible times for our country. We need very strong leadership. We need very, very strong leadership. And I’m just not quite there yet,” Trump told the Post, offering praise for Ryan’s longshot opponent, Paul Nehlen, for running “a very good campaign.”
Trump also claimed Ryan had asked for his support, something Ryan’s aides denied.
“Neither Speaker Ryan nor anyone on his team has ever asked for Donald Trump’s endorsement,” said Zack Roday, Ryan’s campaign spokesman. “And we are confident in a victory next week, regardless.”
Of McCain, whom he’d previously criticized for being taken captive in Vietnam, Trump said: “I’ve never been there with John McCain because I’ve always felt that he should have done a much better job for the vets.”
The smack-talking McCain is reportedly meeting with Trump’s running mate Mike Pence in a case of groveling by proxy according to a story in The Hill:
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) met with Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence on Tuesday, amid a public feud between the Arizona Republican and presidential nominee Donald Trump.
“Upon scheduling a trip to Arizona, Governor Pence’s office reached out to John McCain to request a meeting,” Lorna Romero, a spokeswoman for McCain’s campaign told The Hill.
“John McCain was happy to welcome Governor Pence to Phoenix, and they enjoyed a very friendly meeting, during which they discussed a variety of issues.”
While it is going to be an uphill battle to unseat the king of the Sunday morning gabfests who seems intent on dying in office lest he relinquish his Senate seat for which he is trying to nail down for a mind-boggling sixth term. McCain has been a nemesis to Trump ever since last summer when the old coot picked a fight by referring to Trump supporters as “crazies” and despite his appeals to Governor Pence he should not be given a thumbs up by the nominee.
Ryan is another story and despite loads of out-of-state cash being pumped into his Wisconsin district, he is being pummeled by long shot challenger Paul Nehlen who Trump has praised while the back-stabbing House Speaker has taken repeated shots at the billionaire and earned the adoration of the media for doing so. Ryan’s scalp would be a cherished prize that Trump could mount on his trophy wall if he ends up getting ousted next Tuesday and would send a very loud message that the revolution has arrived.
Both politicians have good reason to be wary considering that Kansas voters dealt a blow to the establishment by ousting Ted Cruz ally Tim Huelskamp yesterday.