The Washington Post published an editorial Tuesday afternoon demanding that the GOP renounce the current frontrunner for the nomination Donald Trump, saying his campaign is based on “hatred, bigotry and rage.”
The Post praises GOP candidates who criticized Trump’s suggestion of a short-term ban on Muslim immigrants. Sen. Marco Rubio called the idea “outlandish,” and Governor Chris Christie deemed it “ridiculous.” Jeb Bush said it was “unhinged,” and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said the proposal of a religious test for entry was “not conservatism,” adding “it’s not what this country stands for.”
All of that was apparently not enough for the Post’s editorial board, which demands party leaders make a concerted effort to undermine Trump’s candidacy:
For responsible Republicans, the season of denial must end. The plain truth is that a Trump presidency would not only fracture American society along ethnic, racial and, we now know, religious lines. It would also demolish American prestige on the world stage and alienate our most important allies.
For good measure, the Post refers to a recent incident in which a severed pig’s head was dumped in front of a Philadelphia, PA, mosque. The Post implies Trump is to blame for this, calling it “a precursor of what would be an open season of such sectarian hate crimes in Mr. Trump’s America, were he elected president.”
Finally, the editorial closes with a reference to “hatred, bigotry and rage” at the core of Trump’s campaign.
The question of how well Trump’s outspoken comments on immigration fit into GOP party politics goes back to the very first debate. At the time, Trump was the only candidate on the crowded stage who refused to declare his loyalty to the party. That hesitancy was supposedly sparked by GOP chairman Reince Priebus asking Trump to tone down his comments on immigration.
After a subsequent meeting with Priebus in September, Trump signed a loyalty pledge in which he promised to endorse the party’s eventual nominee and, thus, not to run as an independent. Trump said at the time that the party had been “fair” to him.
Tuesday, at about the same time the Post published its editorial, Trump tweeted out a link to a poll showing a majority of his supporters would be behind a 3rd-party run for the White House.
A new poll indicates that 68% of my supporters would vote for me if I departed the GOP & ran as an independent. https://t.co/ztP5d2ctZl
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 8, 2015
The Washington Post has never endorsed a Republican for president, though it has occasionally endorsed some for House and Senate offices in Virginia and Maryland.