Donald Trump’s lack of policy specificity and blatant racism exhibited throughout the campaign has brought about serious infighting within the GOP, forcing many members of the Republican Party to declare that they cannot support him for the White House. With tensions running high between leading Republicans and their presumptive presidential nominee, the latter made a visit to Capitol Hill yesterday in an attempt to assuage their concerns about his viability as a candidate and ultimately convince them that he is the right guy for the job. Following the meetings with more than 215 House Republicans and a handful more from the Senate, it appears that Trump was able to win over some, while others remain positioned firmly against him.
A signficiant victory for Trump was being able to have Ted Cruz promise to speak at the GOP Convention later this month in Cleveland. While the Texas Senator will still not endorse the candidate, this indicates that he will not be trying to step in the way of Trump’s presidential chances. Having Cruz at the convention will also allow Trump to garner the favor of the senator’s conservative support base. Additionally, many Republicans noted being impressed with Trump’s political prowess and claimed that his image in the media is extremely misleading. “I’d never met Trump before, so all I knew was the caricature that I had seen in the media,” said Rep. Thomas Massie, a Republican from Kentucky. “It really is an unfair caricature.”
On the other hand, however, many leading members of the party were not impressed at all. Trump had altercations with a few individuals including Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois and Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona. Trump reportedly called Kirk a “loser” after Kirk rescinded his endorsement for the presumptive nominee last month. Flake took issue with Trump’s incendiary comments about an American-born judge of Mexican heritage presiding over his Trump University case. He also referenced Trump’s earlier comments about John McCain not being a hero because he was captured in Vietnam. Trump also faced sharp criticism over his immigration proposals and recent rhetorical defense of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein from a handful of politicians as well.
It is still unclear as to how many Republicans Donald Trump was able to win over in yesterday’s meeting. However, it appears that he was able to at least slightly reduce some of the infighting within the party, which should help him in the lead up to November.
What do you think about Trump’s Capitol Hill meetings?