Saturday, September 05, 2015

Talk in G.O.P. Turns to a Stop Donald Trump Campaign

SEPT. 4, 2015

Quiet conversations have begun in recent weeks among some of the Republican Party’s biggest donors and normally competing factions, all aimed at a single question: How can we stop Donald Trump?

Republican strategists and donors have assembled focus groups to test negative messages about Mr. Trump. They have amassed dossiers on his previous support for universal health care and higher taxes. They have even discussed the creation of a “super PAC” to convince conservatives that Mr. Trump is not one of them.

But the mammoth big-money network assembled by Republicans in recent years is torn about how best to defuse the threat Mr. Trump holds for their party, and haunted by the worry that any concerted attack will backfire.

In phone calls, private dinners and occasional consultations among otherwise rivalrous outside groups, many have concluded that Mr. Trump’s harsh manner and continued attacks on immigrants and women were endangering the party’s efforts to compete in the general election. Yet after committing hundreds of millions of dollars to shape the Republican primary contest and groom a candidate who can retake the White House, the conservative donor class is finding that money — even in an era of super PACs and billion-dollar presidential campaigns — is a devalued currency in the blustery, post-policy campaign fashioned by Mr. Trump, driven not by seven-figure advertising campaigns but by Twitter feuds and unending free publicity.

(More here.)


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