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Shocker: GOP Elected Leaders Suddenly Warming To Trump In Iowa

Sunday, January 24, 2016 19:07
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(Before It's News)

GOP party leaders are flocking to assist Donald Trump by denouncing his chief rival, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, just before the Iowa caucuses Feb. 1.

These Cruz opponents, some using harsh words far beyond normal criticism, include six-term Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, former GOP nominee Bob Dole, senior Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, New York Congressman Peter King, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Iowa’s senior U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley made a surprise appearance and endorsement Jan. 23 that prompted a London newspaper to cover it half a world away in Legendary Iowa senator speaks at Trump rally. Donald Trump National Review cover Jan. 21, 2016

That followed former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin’s mid-week endorsement of Trump in a coup (shown below in an Alex Hanson Flickr photo)  that even pro-Cruz SuperPAC fund leader and longtime GOP pollster Kellyanne Conway described as a plus for Trump.

John McCainPerhaps most remarkably, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (shown in an official photo) trashed Cruz last week even though Trump had shocked conventional Washington last summer by questioning McCain’s Vietnam War record.

Even so, two major conservative opinion journals, the National Review (in a cover story at left) and the Weekly Standard, are denouncing Trump in their current cover stories. Each assembled numerous pundits unified in opposition to Trump’s nomination.

And as recently as Jan. 12, the Republican Party’s national elected hierarchy mounted an unprecedented attack on their party’s frontrunner Trump by orchestrating South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s sneers against Trump’s “siren call of the angriest voices” during her nationally televised response to President Obama’s State of the Union address.

This was in the same spirit as the party leadership’s secret meeting in December to hold, in effect, a “Stop Trump” strategy session that  included campaign representatives of GOP contenders Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.

That was then.

These days? GOP Party Chairman Reince Priebus, who vetted Haley’s veiled attack on Trump Jan. 12 (as did Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan), responded to the National Review by dismissing the magazine from co-moderating the next GOP debate this week because of its coverage.

Nothing remotely like these kinds of gyrations have occurred in modern presidential politics, at least since the 1964 GOP internal jousting between the Goldwater and Rockefeller factions.

What’s going on?

Sarah Palin, Donald Trump Jan. 19, 2016 endorsement Alex Henson via FlickrMany of these new Trump endorsers and Cruz critics see their party’s viability endangered if Cruz wins the nomination.

Yet Trump’s opponents see risk also. “If Trump were the nominee,” conservative syndicated columnist Michael Gerson wrote in the Washington Post Jan. 7, “the GOP would cease to be.”

So, GOP insiders, especially among those who achieved their status because of elective politics, are flip-flopping and in a near-panic at their failure to block Trump with a rival more attractive than Cruz, whom many dislike and distrust even more intensely than they feel about Trump.

Cruz has had trouble obtaining endorsements in the Senate because of his ambition and his uncompromising stances.

Those same views have won him support from firebrand Iowa congressman Steve King and many GOP tea party and evangelical voters who are angry at the their party’s establishment. But those running for election lower on the ticket, including McCain in Arizona, fear disaster with Cruz, who polls decently only in rural, Southern, and mountain West locales.

Today’s column on this comprises the second in our series on the GOP nomination contest, where Trump and Cruz are the current frontrunners in both Iowa and nationally. Our opening overview set the stage with, Cruz Campaign Peaks Early, Faces Brutal Counterattacks, arguing that Cruz’s campaign is in serious trouble if he fails to win Iowa with his built in advantages there.

Now we dig deeper into the high stakes, the intrigues, and the back-stabbing as Trump seems to be winning one of the most remarkable momentum turnarounds in recent political history. A new poll by Fox News Jan. 24 shows Trump with an 11 point lead in Iowa over Cruz, who was ahead in the same poll just two weeks ago.


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