Wall Street’s Marco Rubio and establishment-supporting Republican power elite are preparing to wage a full-on war on Donald Trump in an attempt to dethrone the billionaire Republican presidential frontrunner from securing the party’s nomination. And money will reportedly not be an issue.
“Yes, there are people who are skeptical, but there are just as many ready to write big checks,” a source close to the new anti-Trump PAC told Politico. “The question is only whether Trump truly is really Teflon.”
A conference call was reportedly held on Tuesday to solicit donors for the group. Politico notes that individuals on the call included billionaire hedge fund founder and Rubio supporter Paul Singer, CEO and President of Hewlett Packard Meg Whitman, Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts and Jim Francis, a big GOP donor and bundler from Texas. Whitman, who had previously served as the finance co-chair of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s presidential campaign, blasted his decision to endorse Trump, calling it “an astonishing display of political opportunism.”
Financiers Stanley Druckenmiller and Ken Langone are reportedly backing Ohio Governor John Kasich. Yet, Politico notes that many wealth senior executives who were contacted to join the anti-Trump PAC believe throwing money at taking him down is nothing but a waste of resources.
The chief executive of a Wall Street bank who once backed Jeb Bush and who turned down a pitch to contribute to the stop Trump PAC reportedly told Politico that he never imagined Trump would get as far as he has. “My personal view is that Trump is going to get the nomination anyway and there is nothing that can be done about it now.”
Another senior executive cited concern that any efforts to derail Trump would only wind up helping Hillary Clinton win the White House and suggested there was insanity behind he idea that Rubio could cinch the nomination in a brokered convention.
This week, Fox News Channel’s Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes announced that the network was cooling its support for Rubio, having previously provided him with a solid platform to prove his mantle in the highly contentious race. Soon after that, Newscorp Chairman Rupert Murdoch sent a tweet out suggesting it “would be mad” for the Republican Party not to unify behind Trump if he is to become the nominee.
As predicted, Trump reaching out to make peace with Republican “establishment”. If he becomes inevitable party would be mad not to unify.
— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) March 2, 2016
However, Politico suggests that if making peace with Trump is not an option, Wall Street Republicans and national party figures alike are “pray[ing] for an independent bid by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg or quietly hope Clinton wins the general election in November.”
Still, the attacks on Trump are unremitting.
On Wednesday, a coalition of Republican national security leaders penned an open letter criticizing Trump on issues of foreign policy.
Then, on Thursday, the Republican establishment took its last stand, or arguably their first step, at attempting to derail Trump from securing the party’s nomination. Romney, who had received Trump’s endorsement during his failed 2012 presidential bid to unseat President Barack Obama, railed against Trump. Among the things Romney said were “Donald Trump tells us that he is very, very smart. I’m afraid that when it comes to foreign policy he is very, very not smart.” Although Romney made a point to note that “not every policy Donald Trump has floated is bad,” his speech was also in need of some fact-checking.
Jason Perry, director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, and the host of Mitt Romney’s speech attacking Trump in Utah on Thursday, told Breitbart’s Joel Pollack that “This is just Act One” for Romney.
Following Romney’s attack, Trump struck back from Portland, Maine calling both Romney and Rubio “choke artists”. He said he would quickly address Romney’s attacks on him, suggesting it was not “worth it” before proceeding to pay it forward for several minutes.
“I’ll just address it quickly because it’s not wroth it. Mitt is a failed candidate. He failed horribly… that was a race  that absolutely should have been won and I don’t know what happened to him.” He added that Romney was so eager for an endorsement from Trump during that run that “I could have said ‘Mitt, drop to your knees.’ He would have dropped to his knees. He was begging me for an endorsement.”
He added, the reason Mitt “chickened out” of running in 2016… “was me.”
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz.