December 27, 2015

I'm still waiting to see how the Republican establishment plans to try to sabotage Trump if it looks like he could run away with this thing. No matter what happens, it's not a pretty picture for the GOP: Republican strategist: Some GOP House and Senate candidates will flee convention if Trump is the nominee:

Saying a Donald Trump presidential nomination will bring out “the unusual suspects” at the GOP convention in Ohio this summer, a Republican strategist said down-ticket candidates running for Congress will skip the convention altogether to avoid being linked to the controversial frontrunner.

Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, Ana Navarro — who doubles as a CNN analyst — told host Jake Tapper that a Trump nomination is “going to put a lot of us in a funky mood.” “I think you’re going to have a bunch of unusual suspects at the convention if it ends up being Donald Trump,” she explained. “You know I’ve said that a Donald Trump nomination would be very bad for some of the senators, some of folks running statewide in some of the purple and blue states.

That's going to be a neat trick, as one of their other guests explained a little later in the segment. Navarro and her cohort, S.E. Cupp are still in denial about whether Trump will win the nomination or not, despite his huge lead in the national polls.

Here's the full transcript via CNN:

TAPPER: So who's going to be talking to an empty chair in 2016? Here with me are CNN's top political commentators and (INAUDIBLE) among them, Ana Navarro, who supports Jeb Bush. Alongside Donna Brazile, S.E. Cupp, and Bakari Sellers, who is a Clinton supporter.

Ana, let me start with you. Gloria made the point about conventions reflecting the mood of our times. If the Republican front-runner is Donald Trump what does that say about the mood of the Republican Party?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I don't know. There's going to be a lot of us who are going to be in a really funky mood if that's in fact the nominee. I think it's going to be very strange. I think you're going to have a bunch of unusual suspects at the convention if it ends up being Donald Trump because -- you know, I sense that a Donald Trump nomination would be very bad for some of the senators, folks running state wide in some of the purple and blue states. People like Kelly Ayotte -- like Rob Portman. So I'm not sure how much of the, you know, traditional Republican mainstream usual suspects who go to a convention you would see (INAUDIBLE).

TAPPER: You mean -- you mean -- so you think --


NAVARRO: Of course there'll (ph) be (ph) no drinking at the CNN grill and I'm going to have a lot of drinking to do --



TAPPER: Moving back to that little newsy item you just made. The idea -- you think that if Donald Trump is the nominee you think some Republican senators incumbents will not go to the convention?

NAVARRO: Well, look, Rob Portman has to go, right? It's in Ohio. But I think you are going to see some of the folks running in blue and purple states running away from our nominee if it ends up being a Donald Trump. Maybe even a Ted Cruz.

BRAZILE: Look first of all I think it would be a mistake for these senators to miss out on this convention. After all Donald Trump might pick somebody exciting to be his running mate and who knows?

NAVARRO: How much more excitement do you think my heart can take, Donna?


TAPPER: We'll talk about beef stake in a second.

BRAZILE: You know, you're coming up on a birthday tomorrow so I understand.

Well look, the fact is that Donald Trump has had an outsize role in this campaign. He is -- he has been the person who has energized the base of the Republican Party. They are with him. They believe that he's the guy or the candidate who could take on the establishment. So I don't know if this convention will produce the kind of malaise that my good friend here is thinking but I guarantee you it will be one for the history books.

NAVARRO: And just to be clear I am still firmly in my denial stage of grief. I refuse to believe Donald Trump will be the --

TAPPER: Well, we don't know yet. We don't know.

But S.E., you might be too young who remember when Pat Buchanan gave a major culture war speech in 1992 and Molly Ivins the famous liberal columnist quipped that she preferred it in the original German.


TAPPER: It had an impact.


TAPPER: What if it was an entire convention of that tone?

CUPP: Yes. I really like -- like Ana, I refuse to believe that that -- I think the more likely scenario is how does Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz convince Donald Trump to show up at their convention when they are the nominee and bring his supporters to the table when he is not the nominee. I think that's the more likely problem that Republicans are going to be facing come convention time.

I just don't believe he'll (ph) be the nominee.

TAPPER: OK. Then that's a good challenge? Assuming that this dream of yours...

CUPP: Yes.

TAPPER: ... comes true how do you bring in...

CUPP: Yes.

TAPPER: .... Trump and his supporters to a process that they will at that point maybe be really angry with?

CUPP: They will be angry, angrier than they already are apparently. And look it's tricky. You don't want to mimic Trump's rhetoric. It's divisive. It's incendiary. It's damaging to the party.

TAPPER: But he'll be given a primetime speaking slot.

CUPP: Right. Well -- yes and that's also the trick, right? Like, you know, the last convention Republicans were very excited I don't know why to bring Clint Eastwood. But obviously they had no idea what he was about to say.

So, if you're going to invite Donald Trump because you want his votes and you want his presence you got to make sure that it's carefully managed otherwise of course he goes off script and --

NAVARRO: Let's make it a books signing. You know, he wrote a book "The Art of the deal."

SELLERS: Nothing about Donald Trump has been carefully managed throughout this entire race so I don't know how you would assume you're going to get to the convention and carefully manage him. Donald Trump is going to get on stage and is going to be the complete antithesis to what Barack Obama did 2004 when he took this country to another place where he uplifted independence. And regardless of what you think about the president and his presidency that was a really, really good speech.

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