A top establishment Republican donor reportedly wants Donald Trump banned from the first presidential debate.
Fox News will host the first GOP presidential debate on August 6 in Cleveland, and the debate will be limited to the top ten candidates “in an average of the five most recent national polls in the run-up” to the debate. Trump, who placed second in Fox News’s most recent national poll after his presidential announcement speech in which he took firm stances against illegal immigration and trade deals that harm American workers, is in line to be one of the 10 candidates on stage.
And that is not sitting well with some of the party’s top donors, many of whom favor pro-amnesty legislation and do want to see their establishment darlings like Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) challenged on the issue.
According to an Associated Press report, “Republican donor John Jordan said Monday that GOP leaders should take steps to block Trump’s access to the first presidential debate in early August.”
“Someone in the party ought to start some sort of petition saying, ‘If Trump’s going to be on the stage, I’m not going to be on there with him,'” Jordan told the AP. “I’m toying with the idea of it.”
Trump’s remarks about illegal immigrants from Mexico who are criminals, drug dealers, and rapists set off a firestorm, with candidates like Bush and Rubio attacking Trump for his remarks. Rubio said Trump’s comments were “offensive” and “divisive.” Bush said they were “extraordinary ugly” and not “reflective of the Republican Party.”
Other donors like Foster Friess, who supports former Sen. Rick Santorum, reportedly sent a letter to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and 16 White House hopefuls recently, asking them to “join the effort to inspire a more civil way” of debating and end the “Republican-on-Republican violence.”
“Our candidates will benefit if they all submit to Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment, ‘Thou shall not speak ill of a fellow Republican,'” reportedly wrote in a letter in which he cited the “backing of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts.”
Friess reportedly added in his letter, “If they drift off the ‘civility reservation,’ let’s all immediately communicate that to them.”
Last year on Breitbart News Sunday, Santorum mentioned that one of the GOP’s biggest problems is that, unlike Democrats, the party’s donors and grassroots are not “perfectly aligned.” Santorum said elite Republican donors who mostly live in liberal cities that Santorum called “little dark-blue areas” want conservatives to “tone down” their rhetoric and embrace more moderate policies because they do not “want to get beat up in liberal newspapers and country clubs.”