Donald Trump has threatened the Republican Party with an independent campaign should that party’s controlling body continue to use dirty tricks to deny him the nomination for president.
Speaking to journalists earlier this week after his runaway victory in New Hampshire, and the South Carolina Republican Primary TV debate, Trump said that the Republican National Committee (RNC) was not honoring its pledge to not hurt his campaign, which they had given in return for his pledge not to mount a “third-party” presidential run.
“I signed a pledge,” Trump said. “But the pledge is not being honored by them. They are in default of their pledge.”
He was specifically referring to the stacked audience in the South Carolina TV debate, where he was booed several times. Trump said the debate audience was stacked with lobbyists and big Republican donors.
In spite of the orchestrated boos, all polls after the debate found that he had convincingly won the public’s support once again.
As Trump later said on his Twitter account: “Tickets for future debates should be put out to the general public instead of being given to the lobbyists & special interests—the bosses!”
As if that was not enough, the RNC then put out a fundraising appeal, using Trump’s name and picture as the main drawcard. Trump lost no time in pointing this out on Facebook with an entry which read:
The RNC, which is probably not on my side, just illegally put out a fundraising notice saying Donald Trump wants you to contribute to the RNC. “Get on Trump’s List” is totally unauthorized, do not pay! I am self-funding my campaign! Notice has just been withdrawn.
Trump’s threats to go it alone must fill the RNC with fear, as they are convinced that he will split the vote and hand victory to the Democrats. However, going by the images Trump is currently tweeting, it has dawned upon him that there is in fact no difference between the Democrat and Republican parties anyway.
Another indication of Trump’s increasing alienation from the Republican Party came during the South Carolina Primaries debate, where he launched a ferocious—and completely accurate—attack upon party grandee George W. Bush.
Taking on Jeb Bush, Trump told the shocked audience that there had been no “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq and that the Bush administration had known this at the time. They had, Trump asserted, deliberately lied.
Once again it is clear that Trump—who has only been a politician for seven months or so—is making up his policy positions as he goes along. And because he is financially independent, his policy positions are largely being made up using simple logic—which immediately puts him at odds with the establishment and the mass media.
It now seems fairly certain that, dirty tricks from the RNC aside, Trump will win the Republican nomination, and even if he does not, he has enough momentum to mount a formidable third party campaign.
The only unanswered question is if he can shake enough white non-voters out of their lethargy—a constituency which he desperately needs if he is to overcome the combined nonwhite and white liberal voting bloc.