Since its inception, the GOP has boasted about being a “big tent” party, attracting a broad coalition of voters and interest groups.
The party has benefited in recent elections from courting free market conservatives, evangelical Christians, and supporters of strong military intervention around the world. But this election brings with it unique challenges for people in all of those categories.
And critics of the Republican Party say its acceptance — or embrace — of xenophobic rhetoric has created a monster in the form of Donald Trump’s campaign.
Can the GOP hold together and win up and down the ballot this year? Or is the tent burning in front of our eyes?
“When I say this corporation or this country needs a turn-around, it needs a shake-up in Washington, who is going to most likely create that shake-up?” says Randy Richardville, Trump’s Michigan 7th Congressional District chair and former state Senate majority leader. “I look at Donald Trump and say there’s no question — he shook up this entire system and he will shake up the country.”
But Richardville admits he doesn’t think Trump is doing a good job winning over the voters he needs in November.
“Instead of talking about what Bill Clinton did 20 years ago or defending himself and the words that he says and talking about things being rigged, I would like him to come out in this debate (on Wednesday) and say… These are the real issues in the country today, these are the problem-solvers I would bring in, this is the plan I would bring about.'”
Matt Resch is the founder of the Lansing-based PR firm Resch Strategies and has represented many GOP clients over the years. He also joins Detroit Today.
“The problem that I have and I think a lot of people have is I don’t believe, for Donald Trump, for one second it’s about the party — the party that he adopted when he decided to run,” says Resch. “It’s not about the Republican Party for Donald Trump, it’s about the person, Donald Trump.”
Click on the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.