Perhaps further disheartened by Donald Trump's rants that "he will not change" and that "he is who he is," the Republican National Committee is reportedly said to be considering cutting off cash support to Trump's campaign and shifting funding to down ticket races threatened by a Trump catastrophe on November 8th. Along with the possible funding cut, an effort may be under way to set Trump up to take the blame for a GOP disaster. On the later issue, Trump has certainly inflicted more than enough wounds to himself to give the meme traction. A piece in Politico looks at the doom and gloom at the RNC despite efforts to put on a positive public face. Here are excerpts:
Publicly, Republican Party officials continue to stand by Donald Trump. Privately, at the highest levels, party leaders have started talking about cutting off support to Trump in October and redirecting cash to save endangered congressional majorities.
Since the Cleveland convention, top party officials have been quietly making the case to political journalists, donors and GOP operatives that the Republican National Committee has done more to help Trump than it did to support its 2012 nominee Mitt Romney, and that therefore Trump has only himself and his campaign to blame for his precipitous slide in the polls, according to people who have spoken with Republican leadership.
In the words of one person in the room, the message was that the RNC has “all these staffers out there working and knocking on doors, with a data system they believe rivals what Obama build in 2012 — so it’s not their fault.”
Spicer emphasized that RNC chairman Reince Priebus has been working aggressively to coach Trump into being a more disciplined candidate, calling the nominee “five or six times a day,” according to another person present at last week’s closed-door meeting.
According to sources close to Priebus, the chairman has warned that if Trump does not better heed this persistent advice to avoid dustups driven by his rhetoric, the RNC might not be able to help him as much — suggesting that money and ground resources might be diverted.
“Early voting in Ohio starts in a few weeks, there’s a 45-day window for absentee voters, so mid-September would probably be the latest the RNC could redeploy assets and have any real impact,” said an RNC member privately. “The only thing you could change in mid-October would be to shift some TV ads, maybe try to prop up Senate candidates in tough races like [Rob] Portman, [Marco] Rubio and [Pat] Toomey.”
One high-level Republican strategist added: “The party committee has this same job every cycle, to employ limited resources to maximum effect at the ballot box. ... And that means not pouring precious resources into dysfunctional, noncooperative, losing campaigns.”
Within the Trump campaign, there has been suspicion for months that the RNC already has not been as supportive of its nominee as it could — and should — be, according to operatives in and around the campaign.
Beyond the candidate’s continued rhetorical carelessness on the stump, his campaign has confounded GOP officials with a travel schedule — more events have been announced in Colorado and Virginia, two swing states that appear to be out of reach, and even deep blue Connecticut — that many believe is a poor use of the candidate’s time.
“He has shown no interest in doing the tough demographic work that’s necessary in campaigns,” one RNC member said. . . . “The senior staff gets it,” that RNC member said, “but the true believers outnumber them.”
After four years spent working toward winning back the White House, the RNC’s shift toward an endgame it didn’t envision — essentially deciding when to concede the White House to focus on saving the Senate and saving face — is a sign of resignation setting in.
My question to the RNC is this: why are you at all surprised that you find yourselves at this point? You have always known that Trump is an undisciplined, lose canon. All of this should have been seen coming long before the Republican National Convention.