The election is over and the victory of President-elect Donald J. Trump surprised many in the media and in the Republican Party’s Washington establishment that actively campaigned against their party’s nominee.
In the past, Republican leaders have worked against their party’s nominee, such as in 1964 when Michigan Gov. George W. Romney led a “Stop Goldwater” movement with a speech and then a walkout at that year’s Republican National Convention. Even after Sen. Barry Goldwater (R.-Ariz.) won the nomination, Romney partnered with former Eisenhower administration figures and other liberal Republicans to hamstring Goldwater. In 1980, Rep. John B. Anderson, who had been the third-ranking House Republican, ran as an Independent candidate for president to block Ronald W. Reagan from beating President James. E. “Jimmy” Carter, a Democrat.
There is a longer list of well-known Republicans, like former Massachusetts governor W. Mitt Romney and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who tried to throw sand in Trump’s gears, but here are seven GOP influence peddlers the incoming president needs to watch out for:
The Top Six GOP lobbyists and Insiders who Opposed Trump and His Movement.
6. John Feehery of The Feehery Theory and Quinn Gillespie and Associates is a former aide to Speaker Dennis Hastert, as well as former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R.-La.). In American Thinker, C. Edmund Wright wrote:
Allow me to introduce to you John Feehery, a consultant whose instincts are utterly tone deaf and as such is a serial loser in the game. But at least he appears to lack principles and be a student of revisionist history. Thus he remains perpetually hired in the smarmy nepotistic world of establishment consulting.
Feehery went farther than many #NeverTrump rebels when he wrote an op-ed for The Hill, in which he likened the New York City developer to a famous Italian strongman and Hitler ally:
Donald Trump will get the GOP nomination, unless something changes quickly. He has authoritarian tendencies. He mocks the weak. He loves the poorly educated because they power his drive to power. He condemns minority groups. He plays the race card. And he makes no pretense that he will use the power of government to achieve his goals. He wants to build a huge fence and he will make the Mexican government pay for it. He has no problem with the government declaring eminent domain as long as it achieves his interests in the process. His remarks have enough of a tinge of anti-Semitism to make Jewish Americans extremely uncomfortable. He kind of likes Benito Mussolini, and he retweets white supremacist groups. He is a big fan of Vladimir Putin.
In October 2015, Feehery predicted on MSNBC that Trump would never survive after he criticized George W. Bush.
5. Thomas C. Korologos, DLA Piper, a national security aide to presidents Richard M. Nixon and Ronald W. Reagan and George W. Bush’s ambassador to Belgium, called for renewal of the Republican Party after Trump’s loss to his Democratic rival Hillary R. Clinton. In his op-ed: “Memo to GOP: Forget 2016. Start thinking 2018 and 2020” he told Washington Post readers:
There isn’t a snowball’s chance that Donald Trump will stop his bombast and preening. If he’s in trouble today, just bet that it’s going to be worse tomorrow.
It appears a political landslide will sweep the country. That’s not all bad. The larger the margin, the greater the chances a Clinton administration will overplay its hand, handing Republicans a clear opportunity to repair the damage in 2018 and 2020.
“I represent 700 nonprofits a year, and I’ve never encountered anything so brazen,” said Jeffrey Tenenbaum, who advises charities at the Venable law firm in Washington. After The Washington Post described the details of these Trump Foundation gifts, Tenenbaum described them as “really shocking.”
“If he’s using other people’s money — run through his foundation — to satisfy his personal obligations, then that’s about as blatant an example of self-dealing [as] I’ve seen in awhile,” Tenenbaum said.
3. Vin Weber, a principal at the Mercury lobbyist firm, repeatedly said Trump was unqualified. But the former Minnesota congressman, who was also a weight-lifting partner with former Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank when the two men were in the House together, told the MinnPost’s Eric Black that he suspected Trump was battling mental illness:
Weber told me that he has occasionally voted for Democrats in down-ballot races in the past, although without going public about it. In presidential races, he has never strayed from his party’s choice before, but that, he said, was because the Republicans have never before nominated someone so “fundamentally unqualified” to do the job, nor one with whom he so “profoundly disagreed” on a number of key issues.
“I’ve known what I thought [about Trump] for a long time,” he said. This week he made it public.
The single most shocking word Weber uttered during our conversation was “sociopath.” He’s not a psychologist or anything, but in discussing Trump’s staggering inability or unwillingness to ever retract or apologize for horrible personal insults he throws at people, Weber wondered aloud, about Trump: “Is he a sociopath?” (That’s a term for a person who “lacks a sense of moral responsibility or a social conscience.”)
Weber was one of 30 former GOP congressman who signed an open letter describing their opposition to a Trump presidency:
Given the enormous power of the office, every candidate for president must be judged rigorously in assessing whether he or she has the competence, intelligence, knowledge, understanding, empathy, judgment, and temperament necessary to keep America on a safe and steady course.
Donald Trump fails on each of those measures, and he has proven himself manifestly unqualified to be president.
2. Al Cardenas, Squire Patton Boggs, the Cuban-born operative was the president of the American Conservative Union from 2011 to 2014 and was a fundraiser and adviser to the presidential campaign of Gov. Jeb Bush. During the campaign Cardenas compared Trump to former Republican California governor Peter B. Wilson, who Cardenas said was hostile to Hispanics, instead of welcoming. After the Republican National Convention, he told the Wall Street Journal:
“As a Hispanic, I didn’t like what I heard,” said Al Cardenas, former president of the American Conservative Union, who had supported Trump rival Jeb Bush. “If you were expecting him to pivot and cast a wider net going into the general election, you were wrong. I don’t see how he gets enough people to follow him on such a narrow path.”
1. Tony Fratto, Hamilton Place Strategies, was a deputy press secretary for President George W. Bush, and a relentless critic of President-elect Donald J. Trump. All through the 2016 election cycle he was available to reporters looking for negative quotes about the incoming president, like in his May interview with CNBC, when he said Trump was “fundamentally unstable” and unfit for office:
Fratto said a general election featuring Trump against Democrat Hillary Clinton does not bode well for his party. “Republicans will lose to Hillary Clinton if Donald Trump is the nominee. And I don’t think that’s even a hard question.”
If Trump were to become the GOP nominee, Fratto said, he would not support the billionaire businessman. “I could not in good conscience help this man become president of the United States. I have to live with myself after that. I don’t want him representing me. I don’t want him representing my children. I don’t want him representing this party.”
One day after the election, Fratto told Bloomberg that Trump was a monster:
“No one is prepared for a Trump presidency,” said Tony Fratto, a former assistant Treasury secretary in President George W. Bush’s administration who now works for banking clients as a partner at Hamilton Place Strategies. More pointedly, he added that Trump’s presidency will bring so many problems that a question like “Who is named SEC chair?” doesn’t matter as much.
“We’ll be putting a monster in the White House,” Fratto said.