They’d prefer you didn’t…..
But most STILL do NOT believe in Donald J. Trump as President…..
Two years ago, dozens of prominent Republicans broke with their party to endorse Democrat Hillary Clinton or declare their plans to vote for her for president over Donald Trump.
Trump won, Clinton largely retreated from public life, and now these Republicans — officials from past White House administrations, former governors, former members of Congress, veterans of national campaigns — are politically homeless.
With Trump already raising money for his reelection campaign and Democrats drifting toward the populist and socialist sentiments that have elevated Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, BuzzFeed News recently reached out to many of these Republicans for Hillary. Most of those who responded remain unsatisfied with Trump. But they are not optimistic about the feasibility of a Republican primary challenge, and many are not prepared to get behind another Democrat.
Many also are waiting on two developments: the November midterms and the completion of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 elections. The results of both could further weaken Trump’s presidency and his bid for a second term.
“I believe Mr. Trump has been harmful to our society,” said Richard Armitage, a deputy secretary of state under George W. Bush who backed Clinton. “Let’s get past the midterms and see who emerges on either side of the aisle, and I’ll be more able to answer your questions then.”
These Republicans know they represent a minority of their party: Polls show that Trump remains overwhelmingly popular with the base. A primary challenge would be tricky, especially with the Republican National Committee closing rank around the president to discourage challengers.
“There’s obviously a slice of Republicans alienated from the party,” said Frank Lavin, a political director in the Reagan White House who also held positions in the George H.W. and George W. Bush administrations. “Is there space in the spectrum for that? Beats me. … I would tell anybody who wants to go down that path: Just keep your powder dry and see what happens. You run the risk right now if you’re unhappy with Donald Trump of being diminished a bit as malcontent.”…..
image…Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty Images