You’re fired? Some GOP officials are so concerned about Donald Trump’s next move that they are planning ahead in case he decides to abruptly drop out of the presidential race.
According to ABC, senior party delegates are brainstorming who could replace the former Celebrity Apprentice host on the ballot if he steps down. One Republican legal expert reportedly said that Trump would have to say goodbye in September in order for Republicans to be able to make a quick turnaround before the November election.
Trump’s latest controversy with the Gold Star family of a killed in action Muslim U.S. soldier has particularly raised red flags. ABC reports that Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called Trump this week to speak about the matter.
Last month, Trump, 70, was asked if he would ever decline the Commander in Chief role if he won over Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. “I’ll let you know how I feel about it after it happens,” he told The New York Times.
“This is silly,” Sean Spicer, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, added in response to such an idea. “He’s in it to win it.”
Even if he is, Trump appears to be rubbing some Republicans the wrong way. Just this week, he ruffled feathers when he refused to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan for re-election. “I’m just not quite there yet,” he told The Washington Post in an interview. (Ryan backed Trump in June after having a private meeting with him.)
Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, however, shares a different opinion. “I strongly support Paul Ryan, strongly endorse his re-election,” Pence told Fox News via phone on Wednesday. “He’s a longtime friend. He’s a strong conservative leader. I believe we need Paul Ryan in leadership.”
Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, opened up about the current situation during Good Morning America on Thursday. “There’s a conflict within the Trump campaign,” he told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “But Ryan is also running against somebody [Paul Nehlen] who’s not going to win, but nonetheless [Ryan] is a strong supporter of Mr. Trump’s.”