Personal Liberty Poll
It’s extremely rare for a political party with total control in Washington to suggest that its incumbent president could face a primary challenger at the end of his first term. But it appears the GOP establishment is already building a case for anyone but President Donald Trump not even a year into his first go in the Oval Office.
During an interview on MSNBC Monday Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said it’s too early to say whether the president will have his party’s support leading into the 2020 presidential contest.
Collins, who said she wrote in House Speaker Paul Ryan in the previous election, joined the hoards of leftists and establishment Republicans in criticizing Trump’s response to the situation earlier this month in Charlottesville.
“I think the president failed to meet the standard that we would have expected a president to do in a time like that. There should be no place for hatred, bigotry and racism in this country,” she said. “And he should have said that very clearly. He did at times, but then he wavered back and forth.”
As though she predicted the non-issue of Trump’s failure to join the media in becoming an emotional basket case over the protests before it became a national distraction, Collins suggested Trump’s response was part of the reason the couldn’t support him in 2016.
Asked “at what point” she would decline to support Trump’s renomination, Collins said: “I didn’t support the president when he was our party’s nominee. That was a very difficult position for me to take. I’d never taken it before. Instead, I wrote in the name of Paul Ryan. And that was very hard for me to as a life-long Republican.”
Will he become the GOP nominee?
“Too hard to tell– there’s a long way … between now and that point,” Collins said. “It’s too difficult to say.”
Why does this matter?
Because it’s conditioning. Just as the mainstream media beat into Americans’ heads that Hillary Clinton was the inevitable next President of the United States for years ahead of the 2016 contest, it’s working to create a sense of doubt about Trump’s second term.
The next election cycle is a ways out– but all politics is planning. The never-Trump GOP establishment is alive and well and now is the time to begin with messaging that makes a Trump challenge from his own party sound plausible.
Just Sunday, 2016 Trump primary opponent John Kasich was asked if he’d run against Trump in the next primary.
His answer was similar to Collins’. He said he hopes Trump is able to “get it together.”
“What I hope is going to happen is I hope we’re going to have stability, the president is going to learn from these episodes and we’re going to do better,” Kasich said. “That’s what I hope is going to happen. We’ll have to wait and see.”
Over the next couple of years, unless the president is able to quash the manufactured controversies that have created so many problems for his administration since day one, talk of a Trump GOP challenge will increase in frequency and surety.