RNC 2016: The efforts to persuade remaining Trump holdouts

Some Republicans still wonder if they have the full picture with Donald Trump.  (Chang W. Lee / The New York Times)

Some Republicans think they still have only the outlines of a potential Donald Trump presidency. (Chang W. Lee / The New York Times)

CLEVELAND — Donald Trump is officially the GOP nominee for president. There was no delegate revolt, no late coup attempt by another Republican. Yet there remains a persistent drive to compel and cajole the party’s faithful not just to support Trump but to trust him.

Early on in this Republican National Convention, the signs were outward, and awkward. There was this Sunday admonition to Georgia’s delegates from state party chairman John Padgett: “If there’s anybody in this room that thinks there’s going to be anybody else nominated and win on Thursday night — not going to happen. No matter who you’re for, or who you’ve been for, when you get through with Thursday night, get on the Trump train, folks.”

There was the brouhaha on the floor Monday when nine states tried to force a recorded vote on the convention’s rules — a last gasp by “Never Trump” folks to open the door to a different candidate. Like the other formal channels for supporting Trump, or not, that path was quickly blocked by party officials.

But more subtle, and mostly off-site, have been the many efforts to reassure conservatives still queasy about Trump they can trust him should he win in November.

At a Tuesday discussion hosted by FreedomWorks, for example, CNBC’s Larry Kudlow challenged panelists to make persuade holdouts on the right. To energy entrepreneur Harold Hamm: “Do you believe Mr. Trump is reliable in his pro-energy position? A lot of friends of ours from the conservative wing of the Republican Party simply do not believe Mr. Trump on issues — and he’s got good issues in my opinion.”

And then to Andy Puzder, head of CKE Restaurants (Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s): “There are fellow conservatives who have worked in the trenches for many decades. I love them. But they do not agree, with regard to Mr. Trump’s credibility on taxes and energy and regulatory policy. So when you tout your support for him, how do you convince people that Mr. Trump can be believed?”

They were the right questions. The responses were interesting.

“People don’t know how well Donald Trump listens,” Hamm said. “He didn’t get to be this good a businessperson without listening. … He understands you have to have an economic diver. He understands what that means to be a net exporter of crude oil, not to have a negative trade balance. He understands all those issues.”

From Puzder: “You can fake a lot of things in life. Business success doesn’t happen to be one of those things. … I’d say if you don’t believe that Donald Trump was successful because he knows what he’s doing, if you don’t believe that when people like Harold and Larry Kudlow and Andy Puzder say this guy listens and we think he’s going to move things forward, all you really need to know is the alternative is Hillary Clinton. And every (bad) policy she has, I trust her (to do).”

Decide for yourself how persuasive you find those answers. (If you want to hear more of what they said, most of that discussion is posted here.)

To me, it’s important and telling that, two and a half months after the nominating contest essentially ended, the need for such persuasion within the party is still so necessary. It underscores that the lack of GOP unity reflected in Trump’s relatively low poll numbers against Clinton is real. And it makes me wonder: If the party isn’t united after Thursday’s finale in Cleveland, can it still get there by November?

Reader Comments 0

34 comments
TheBrewer
TheBrewer

"It underscores that the lack of GOP unity reflected in Trump’s relatively low poll numbers against Clinton is real."

Have you seen the new poll numbers, Kyle? The race has tightened big time. The only people angry about Trump on the GOP side are the RINOs. 

xxxzzz
xxxzzz

@TheBrewer The only people who use the term RINO are converted Democrats who don't understand what Republicans have traditionally stood for.  And there are a lot of groups not happy about Trump, strong conservatives, evangelicals, Main St. Republicans.

xxxzzz
xxxzzz

Trump has never explained how he changed from kissing Pelosi's and Hillary's feet into something other than a liberal.  Supreme Court justices are important.  I don't have any confidence he will follow his lists and appoint anybody any different than Hillary.  I'm not convinced his trade policy would be negotiation and not trade war.  I don't see how insulting everybody who opposes you gets anything done.  We've had Obama trying that for 8 years and he couldn't get anything done after his first 6 months even though he had some massive majorities some of that time.  I'm not convinced he will be stable on the trigger with the military.  I am convinced he would, just like Obama and Clinton and the rest of the Democrats, use the power of government to sue, outspend and harass, in contravention of the law, those who opposed him.  I don't think he will focus on many of the other important issues like social security and medicare that Obama and Clinton and the Democrats have been sticking their heads in the sand on and obstructing efforts to make them sound.  And we already had Bill Clinton.  We don't need Bill or Donald living in the White House embarrassing the country.

xxxzzz
xxxzzz

So I'm stuck on write-in or Libertarian.  And I'm really not a Libertarian.

xxxzzz
xxxzzz

There's really nothing Trump can do after his behavior and actions the last year to convince me to vote for him.  Now there is a remote chance Hillary and Obama could convince me to vote for Trump.  They are trying really, really hard.  But it will take more.  I hope they don't get that bad.

TheBrewer
TheBrewer

@xxxzzz


"And I'm really not a Libertarian.'

So sit home, then. No one is forcing you to vote. 

Starik
Starik

@xxxzzz It would be nice to know what the Libertarian positions are, exactly, but the media seems to be fixated on the candidates of the traditional parties, who are both unsatisfactory.

TheBrewer
TheBrewer

@xxxzzz

"We don't need Bill or Donald living in the White House embarrassing the country."

Ever hear of W? He single-handedly destroyed the GOP in 2006. Spent like a drunk sailor which led to Obozo and the idiot democrat party. 

xxxzzz
xxxzzz

@TheBrewer @xxxzzz I need to vote for somebody to give a loud clear NO!!!!!!! to both the Republicans and Democrats for these disgraceful candidates.  Everybody should vote for somebody.  Send a message.

xxxzzz
xxxzzz

Trump keeps bad-mouthing fellow Republicans.  It would help if he quit.  He was trashing Kasich yesterday.

lvg
lvg

@xxxzzz Love it . Hope for moresuch comments  in his acceptance speech. A few Kasich signs,  Trump is a  fascist or Trump is a pedophile or Trump is a  con artist signs  in the audience signs just  might do it.

TheBrewer
TheBrewer

@lvg @xxxzzz


Maybe, or we could just keep posting "Hitlery KKKlinton for prison 2016!" signs everywhere.

lvg
lvg

Excellent analysis. Don Jr. was the most positive part of campaign and convention.Equaled Zell in 1992 for Clinton and Bill for Obama in 2012. Having the sexy  wife and  daughter do their part helped too except for Melanie lying about who wrote her speech. . 


But where is the agenda? What is the agenda?


Guiliani and Christie made it clear this is the party of hate, negativity  and smear.  I believe there is a better chance of Christie ever getting indicted than Hillary and then there was the Benghazi guy disputing all findings by both parties of a stand down order. 


Pence will have a nice speech as well as Cruz but will not answer the question of who really is Donald Trump?


Then we will get the full manure load from Newt tonight. The odor may be overwhelming. His attempts to turn politics into Kamikaze attacks and  theater of the absurd  has come to fruition.


Missing in this circus is some example of accomplishments by the GOP over the last eight years. Where is it?

Where is one former President willing to endorse Trump??????

TheBrewer
TheBrewer


@lvg 


"Where is one former President willing to endorse Trump??????"

W? Bush sr? What's the point? W is a cancer on the party and Sr. doesn't know where he is anyway. 

xxxzzz
xxxzzz

@TheBrewer @lvg I think you are describing the Trump supporters.  They are a cancer on the party and don't know where they are anyway.  Hitler's Germany?  Madison, Wisconsin?  Bernie Sander's hometown?  Cruz just gave the best argument for voting for Trump of the week (and probably a lot better than Trump's) and they boo him and heckle his wife so she has to have security escort her off the floor.  They ruined a really good moment for Trump.  Newt had to clean up the mess his idiot supporters created.

JFMcNamara
JFMcNamara

This guy has been misogynistic and overtly racist.  That should make the conversation a non-starter, but alas all that is forgotten because some folks care more about cutting taxes and eliminating the safety net.  That says you don't really care about racism or misogyny at all or are both of those things your self. 


He's not a business genius anyway.  He inherited the money largely.  He didn't start from nothing and pull himself up by the boot straps. He bankrupted the companies he did run 4 times even with the massive government subsidies he was given.  


He's a confidence man running a long con.  He's gained your confidence based on nothing, and he is going to make us all pay in the end.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/09/03/if-donald-trump-followed-this-really-basic-advice-hed-be-a-lot-richer/

xxxzzz
xxxzzz

@JFMcNamara Hillary is a confidence woman with no ethics and utter disregard for the lives under her control as Secretary of State.  She is no business genius. She has been bribed by the likes of Trump ever since Arkansas to get all her money.  She hasn't stepped out of Secret Service protection in a quarter century and has no concept of the real world outside her DC bubble.  Democrats don't believe in honesty, ethics or keeping corruption out of government.  Its not clear what Democrats believe in other than winning.  Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton are the true face of the Democrats.

JFMcNamara
JFMcNamara

@xxxzzz @JFMcNamara She has never been convicted of a crime.  Republicans have investigated and investigated and found nothing.  Its a political shell game to fool people who dont know better.  Keep investigating and people will eventually assume she was guilty of something.


I assume you were referring to Benghazi in which she was investigated for years by Republicans and they found no wrong doing.  

Democrats are not the people who constantly lie to their people.  Bush lied about WMDs.  Bush committed war crimes with his torture, and you really want to debate ethics?  Bush allowed Wall Street to run wild even when warned as early as 2006 that it would cause a financial collapse.  Remember when Bush was best friends with Ken Lay of Enron?  Or Halliburton getting a lot of oil service contracts because of Cheney?  Really?    


How about the complete scam of Trump University and the 3500 lawsuits against Trump now?  Im not sure how in the world you think Democrats are worse.

xxxzzz
xxxzzz

@JFMcNamara @xxxzzz You are ridiculous enough (as is Trump) to believe Bush lied about WMD.  Everybody on the planet believed he did because Sadaam wanted everyone too.  W. was wrong, but he didn't lie.  Ken Lay was friends with Prince Charles and a lot of people.  Lay was a personable guy.  He just stuck his head in the sand regarding his company being a Ponzi scheme.  Halliburton was one of three large oil service companies.  Obviously, they would get a lot of contracts.  You have the "convicted"standard of ethics.  That's really low.  And that's so typical of Democrats.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

I think Trump can be trusted on the issues he brought to the fore... immigration and trade. Any others forced upon him, not so much.

He's into pet projects...his.

Purely speculation on my part but he strikes me as the kind of man who will focus on his pet projects and outsource what remains, which wouldn't be all THAT bad.

MarkVV
MarkVV

Those question mentioned may have been right regarding an attempt of reassurance whether the conservatives” can trust Trump should he win in November,” but they were not the right, or at  least not the best questions people like Harold Hamm should have been asked and should have answered. The Hamm’s answer was particularly revealing, and rather frightening:

“He understands what that means to be a net exporter of crude oil, not to have a negative trade balance. He understands all those issues.”

Is that what we expect from the candidate for the office of the President of the US? To understand slogans? Does Mr. Hamm expect the elected President to tell his cabinet, “Make the US a net exporter of crude oil,” and “Let’s not have a negative trade balance?” Should not the candidate have some experience and ideas about how to achieve those goals? Has Mr. Trump shown any of that? 

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Nothing wrong with understanding trade or basic economics. If your Idiot Messiah did, perhaps we wouldn't be in the sorry shape we are, with falling incomes and increasing income inequality.

lvg
lvg

@Lil_Barry_Bailout Never happened until idiot Messiah got in office?? Incomes went up for everyone under Bush- right?.Terrible decline since January 2009. And pigs flie tonight.



That's why you are part of the STUPID PARTY

TheBrewer
TheBrewer

@MarkVV


Slogans? Yes we can? Yes we did? Hope and change?

Geez, lay off the bong, Mark. Its frying what's left of your brain. The democrat party is nothing but a slogan.

TheBrewer
TheBrewer

@MarkVV

"Should not the candidate have some experience and ideas about how to achieve those goals?"

Obozo had no experience doing anything before he was elected, Mark. Again, lay off the bong. 

ATLAquarius
ATLAquarius

Hillary bad is not the answer after two terms of Obama....where's the beef? 

332-206
332-206

Party unity on November 9 will be more telling.