[Net-Gold] UNITED STATES: POLITICS: POLITICAL PARTIES: REPUBLICAN PARTY, TEA PARTY : INDUSTRIES: PETROLEUM : LIBERTARIANISM : RACISM: Divisions within GOP over Trump’s Candidacy are Growing

 

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UNITED STATES: POLITICS: POLITICAL PARTIES: REPUBLICAN PARTY, TEA PARTY :

INDUSTRIES: PETROLEUM :

LIBERTARIANISM :

RACISM:

Divisions within GOP over Trump’s Candidacy are Growing

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Divisions within GOP over Trump’s Candidacy are Growing

Philip Rucker, Robert Costa

Chicago Tribune

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ ct-trump-gop-divisions-20160228-story.html

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/h59mkft

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The implosion over Donald Trump’s candidacy that Republicans had hoped to avoid arrived so virulently this weekend that many party leaders vowed never to back the billionaire and openly questioned whether the GOP could come together this election year.

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At a moment when Republicans had hoped to begin taking on Hillary Clinton – who is seemingly on her way to wrapping up the Democratic nomination – the GOP has instead become consumed by a crisis over its identity and core values that is almost certain to last through the July party convention, if not the rest of the year.

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A campaign full of racial overtones and petty, R-rated put-downs grew even uglier Sunday after Trump declined repeatedly in a CNN interview to repudiate the endorsement of him by David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Trump had disavowed Duke at a news conference on Friday, but he stammered when asked about Duke on Sunday.

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Marco Rubio, who has been savaging Trump as a “con man” for three days, responded by saying that Trump’s defiance made him “unelectable.” The senator from Florida said at a rally in Northern Virginia, “We cannot be the party that nominates someone who refuses to condemn white supremacists.”

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The fracas comes as the presidential race enters a potentially determinative month of balloting, beginning with primaries and caucuses in 11 states on Tuesday. As the campaign-trail rhetoric grew noxious over the weekend, a sense of fatalism fell over the Republican firmament, from elected officials and figureheads to major donors and strategists.

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“This is an existential choice,” said former Minnesota senator Norm Coleman, who is backing Rubio. Asked how the party could unite, Coleman said, “It gets harder every day when you hear things like not disavowing the KKK and David Duke. It’s not getting easier; it’s getting more difficult. . . . I’m hopeful the party won’t destroy itself.”

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The choice for voters is not simply one of preference but rather a fundamental one about the direction they want to take the country, with the insurgent Trump promising utter transformation.

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“For many Republicans, Trump is more than just a political choice,” said Kevin Madden, a veteran operative who advised 2012 nominee Mitt Romney. “It’s a litmus test for character.”

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Madden, like some of his peers, said he could never vote for Trump. If he is the nominee, Madden said, “I’m prepared to write somebody in so that I have a clear conscience.”

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Some Republican leaders, however, are making far different calculations. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie enthusiastically endorsed Trump on Friday, and the two looked like running mates as they campaigned together across the South for two days.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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[Net-Gold] UNITED STATES: POLITICS: POLITICAL PARTIES: REPUBLICAN PARTY, TEA PARTY : INDUSTRIES: PETROLEUM : LIBERTARIANISM : RACISM: Divisions within GOP over Trump’s Candidacy are Growing

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