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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Unprecedented Conservative Melt-Down Threatens GOP

Some recent comments from conservatives about Trump’s impending GOP nomination, the future of the Republican Party and, in some cases their intention to vote for some other candidate:

Rep. Scott Rigell [R-VA]: “My love for our country eclipses my loyalty to our party, and to live with a clear conscience I will not support a nominee so lacking in the judgment, temperament and character needed to be our nation’s commander-in-chief. Accordingly, if left with no alternative, I will not support Trump in the general election should he become our Republican nominee.”
Former Romney staffer Garrett Jackson: “Sorry Mr. Chairman, not happening. I have to put country over party. I cannot support a dangerous phony.”
Former top Romney strategist Stuart Stevens: “I think Donald Trump has proven to be unbalanced and uniquely unqualified to be president. I won’t support him… Everyone has to make their own choice. I think Trump is despicable and will prove to be a disaster for the party. I’d urge everyone to continue to oppose him.'”
Rep. Carlos Curbelo [R-FL]: “I have already said I will not support Mr. Trump, that is not a political decision that is a moral decision.'”
Sen. Ben Sasse [R-NE]: “Mr. Trump’s relentless focus is on dividing Americans, and on tearing down rather than building back up this glorious nation. … I can’t support Donald Trump.”
Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes: “This is what political division looks like. Trump’s claim to be a unifier is not just specious, it’s absurd. This casual dishonesty is a feature of his campaign. And it’s one of many reasons so many Republicans and conservatives oppose Trump and will never support his candidacy. I’m one of them.”
Former McCain adviser Mark Salter: “The GOP is going to nominate for President a guy who reads the National Enquirer and thinks it’s on the level. I’m with her.”
RedState editor Ben Howe: “#ImWithHer”
MA Gov. Charlie Baker: “I’m not going to vote for [Donald Trump] in November.”
Former RNC Chairman Mel Martinez: “I would not vote for Trump, clearly.”
Former VA Senate candidate, Ken Cuccinelli on Trump: “When you’ve got a guy favorably quoting Mussolini, I don’t care what party you’re in, I’m not voting for that guy.”
Former RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman: “Leaders don’t need to do research to reject Klan support. #NeverTrump”
Former Bush spokesman Tony Fratto: “For the thick-headed: #NeverTrump means never ever ever ever ever under any circumstances as long as I have breath never Trump. Get it?”
Former Eric Cantor communications director, Rory Cooper: “#NeverTrump means…never. The mission of distinguishing him from Republican positions and conservative values remains critical.”
Conservative blogger Erick Erickson: “Reporters writing about the “Stop Trump” effort get it wrong. It’s ‘Never Trump’ as in come hell or high water we will never vote for Trump”
Fox News’ Steve Deace: “Apparently @secupp has a #NeverTrump list to see who keeps their word to the end. You can sign my name in blood.”
Republican strategist Patrick Ruffini: “I will never vote for @realDonaldTrump. Join me and add your name athttp://NeverTrump.com . #NeverTrump”
America Rising co-founder and former Jeb Bush communications director Tim Miller: “Never ever ever Trump. Simple as that.”
Former Rep. J.C. Watts [R-OK] said he’d write-in someone before voting for Mr. Trump in November.
Former Director Of NV and MS GOP Cory Adair: “You’ll come around,” say supporters who just got done saying their candidate doesn’t need me. Nah. I won’t. #NeverTrump
Townhall editor Guy Benson: “Much to my deep chagrin (& astonishment ~8 months ago), for the 1st time in my life, I will not support the GOP nominee for president.”
DailyWire editor Ben Shapiro: “Really? #Nevertrump. Pretty easy.”
Wisconsin conservative radio host Charles Sykes: “I suppose I should clarify: #NeverTrump means I will nevereverunderanycircusmtances vote for @realDonaldTrump”
Editor at RedState, Dan McLaughlin: “For the first time since turning 18, I will not vote for the Republican candidate for President.”
Conservative columnist George Will: “If Trump is nominated, Republicans working to purge him and his manner from public life will reap the considerable satisfaction of preserving the identity of their 162-year-old party while working to see that they forgo only four years of the enjoyment of executive power.”
Redstate contributor Leon Wolf: “I will never vote for Donald Trump. I will not vote for him in the general election against Hillary, and I would not vote for him in a race for dogcatcher. Heck, I would not even vote for him on a reality television show.”
Former Romney adviser Kevin Madden: “I’m prepared to write somebody in so that I have a clear conscience.”
Pete Wehner, former speechwriter for George W. Bush: “I will not vote for Donald Trump if he wins the Republican nomination.”
Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard: “Donald Trump should not be president of the United States. The Wall Street Journal cannot bring itself to say that. We can say it, we do say it, and we are proud to act accordingly.”
Undersecretary of State under George W. Bush, Eliot Cohen: “I will oppose Trump as nominee. Won’t support & won’t work for him for more reasons than a Tweet can bear.”
Former Jeb Bush digital director Elliott Schwartz: “In case there is confusion about #NeverTrump.”
Doug Heye, Former RNC communications director: “I cannot support Donald Trump were he to win the Republican nomination.”
Former IL GOP Chairman Pat Brady said he’d back a third-party candidate or “just stay home” if Mr. Trump is the nominee.
Washington Examiner’s Phillip Klein: “I have officially de-registered as a Republican.”
Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson: “I registered Republican when I was 18 because I thought free markets and liberty were important. Not sure what “Republican” means today.”

The way things are going, don’t be surprised if this list doubles every couple of days. More on the great conservative Exodus, right here.

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