The Lid: The Honeymoon Never Started for Donald Trump

Image: Donald Trump
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures during a rally in Charleston, W.Va., Thursday, May 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)Steve Helber / AP

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By Carrie Dann and Andrew Rafferty

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… A new match-making site called “Maple Match” promises to pair Americans with Canadian partners to “save them from the unfathomable horror of a Trump presidency.” Many in the anti-Trump movement were excited by the idea until they realized they could accidentally end up matched with Justin Bieber.

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‘16 from 30,000

Well, that escalated quickly. It’s hard to understate how dramatic the last few days have been for the Republican Party, with some of the biggest names in the GOP plainly stating their opposition to the man who JUST secured the nomination this week. And this is supposed to be the honeymoon period, folks!

In the past 24 hours, we’ve seen three former presidential candidates -- all prominent Trump critics during the campaign -- make definitive statements about their presumptive nominee. Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham minced few words in calling Trump unfit for the office and a false conservative. On the other hand, Rick Perry, who made headlines for calling Trump a “cancer on conservatism” in an absolutely blistering speech last summer, hugged Trump and even floated himself for VP.

It’s a two-pronged problem for those wrestling with the decision of what to do about the Donald. Pols are weighing both their short-term political future and their long-term legacy. For those aiming for re-election or a political promotion, it’s easy to picture the voters you could lose from endorsing Trump, but it’s hard to estimate what the political costs of stiff-arming Trump might be because of his groundswell of new, previously un-engaged voters. For the same reasons, it’s hard to know exactly what the odds are that Trump will get stomped - as many experts believe - in the general election. And then there’s a legacy question. In 20 years, will embracing Trump be a red letter within the party and the history books at large? There are certainly some big names out there who think so, and they aren’t being shy.



“He’s trying.”

  • RNC Chair Reince Priebus’ reaction to Trump’s Cinco de Mayo tweet.


Donald Trump campaigns in Washington on Saturday.

Bernie Sanders is in New Jersey on Sunday.