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David Cameron now says that Donald Trump “deserves our respect” after he became the only candidate in the race for the Republican White House nomination. His declaration represents a substantial change in character assessment for the Prime Minister who had only recently called Trump “stupid.” Meanwhile, back in the United States, former Presidents, George, and George W. Bush refrained from commenting on Trump’s candidacy although they openly endorsed Republican candidates John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012.

Representative Peter T. King of New York, is reticently supporting Trump and has expressed reservations saying “he is a guy with no knowledge of what’s going on.” King, like a sizable number of other Republicans, are playing their cards close to their chest when speaking about Trump. The bombastic and radical rallying cries Trump made to his hardcore supporters still ring loudly in the ears of a sizable number of Republicans. It seems that the public (including other parts of the world) either loves, hates or are not entirely committal to the maverick and presumed Republican Presidential nominee. 

Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner won’t attend the Republican National Convention or endorse Donald Trump for president. The state’s U.S. Senator Mark Kirklin has already said he won’t attend the GOP convention this July in Cleveland. Both candidates based their decisions purely on the direction of the political wind.

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan from Wisconsin also announced that he “just was not ready” to back Trump, and Sen. Ben Sasse (Neb.) became one of the first Rep.Senators to announce that he would not support him either. Sasse went so far as to say that he would be looking for a third party to back. Others who are refusing to get on the Trump train are Reps. Reid Ribble (Wis.), Mark Sanford (S.C.), Carlos Curbelo (Fla.) and Scott Rigell (Va.). Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker told reporters he would not vote for Trump.

It is not clear why these politicians and others have opted not to vote for or support Trump, however, it seems clear that they are afraid that Trump has alienated too many minorities in the state’s larger cities, and this could trigger a political backlash against them. They will be forced to deal with Trump’s core of supporters in the next elections they engage in.

Trump peacemakers are quick to supply diminished intent to the words he made out on the campaign stump and during the debates. He had to form a ready base of supporters, and the sometimes toxic language was part of the game, his followers say. They point out that people such as Ted Cruz followed narrow agendas and would not deviate and that conversely, Trump is a person who can be influenced and coaxed away from his seemingly hardline positions. For example, some Trump backers say he doesn’t intend to uproot Hispanic families by deporting them across the board; he will focus instead on preventing illegal immigrants from entering the country, although his commitment to “build the wall” will remain on his “to do” list. The same can be said about Muslims– he does not intend to randomly block Muslims from entering the country, rather, his focus will be directed at “suspicious” Muslims or their associates. In other words, Trump talked a big game to shore up an angry populace, but he will moderate his positions once elected. 

The big issue facing the Trump team is whether this cooled approval by some ranking Republican leaders is enough because it is likely that Trump will need the votes of almost all Republicans if he hopes to beat Hillary Clinton.  As noted, there are already some Republicans who say they will not vote for Trump under any circumstances, and may even vote for Clinton.  Moreover, his angry rhetoric aimed at Hispanics, in particular, almost certainly will produce record anti-Trump voters this fall: These folks hate Trump. To win, some people think Trump needs more lovers than haters, fewer fence-sitters,  and that he should be more “presidential” (code for saying politically correct stuff). We think he got where he is at by telling “it like it is”– Trump knocked out 16 contenders–he shouldn’t change now. As for the Republicans who refuse to support Trump, he won’t need them if his populist trend continues and we see no reason why it won’t. 




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