The 2016 Republican Primary Campaign started out with seventeen candidates. At the time, the media and the Democrats were lampooning the Republican Party for having too many candidates on the debate stage, labeling the GOP playing field a “clown car”. Now that we are down to one candidate, real estate billionaire and reality television star Donald Trump, the prospect of a Trump presidency has put many people from both the right and the left into a state of desperation. While the Democrats claim that their golden girl Hillary Clinton will clean Trump’s clock in the general election, recent polls in key states including Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio indicate that the gap between the former Secretary of State and Trump is much narrower than previously thought. In fact, the candidates are in a virtual dead heat with Trump leading Clinton in some polls.
As for the Republicans, the “anyone but Trump” movement is still very much in place. Trump met with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan on May 12. While both Ryan and Trump were “encouraged” by the meeting, Ryan still has not formally endorsed Trump. The only two living Republican presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush have also refused to endorse Trump and are not attending the Republican National Convention in July. Trump has also received a lot of recent criticism for the fact that he is now accepting fundraising contributions to his campaign. The front-runner had previously said that he was completely self-funding his campaign. Like every other candidate, he is entitled to fundraise. Other candidates with personal wealth have fundraised.
Everyone is searching for incendiary anti-Trump revelations including 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who also refuses to endorse Trump, insists that there is a bomb shell in Trump’s tax returns and says that failure to release them should “disqualify him from running for president. Of course Donald Trump probably didn’t help himself during a pre-recording of an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos when the ABC host asked Trump what his tax rate was he told him “It’s none of your business” ….”You’ll see when I release, but I fight very hard to pay as little tax as possible.” Trump reiterated his point that he would release his taxes after the audit was completed which reportedly might not happen until after the November election.
Speaking of bombshells, the Washington Post assigned twenty reporters the task of digging dirt on Trump. Donald Trump credits Washington Post owner and Amazon Founder with this witch-hunt. “Every hour we’re getting calls from reporters from the Washington Post asking ridiculous questions,” Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “And I will tell you, this is owned as a toy by Jeff Bezos…Amazon is getting away with murder, tax-wise. He’s using the Washington Post for power so that the politicians in Washington don’t tax Amazon like they should be taxed.”
Trump’s comments were in response to Washington Post Editor Bob Woodward’s revelation that the publication is going to do a book about Trump and that 20 reporters have been deployed to investigate “every phase of his [Trump’s] life”. Woodward, who along with Carl Bernstein became a journalism legend for investigating the Watergate break-in which led to Richard Nixon’s resignation, has said that he is investigating Trump’s real estate dealings in New York.
Well, guess what the Washington Post dug up from the dust bins of history? Reporters Marc Fisher and Will Hobson reveal a 1991 audio tape of a voice which they describe as having a “distinctly Trumpian cadence” who introduced himself as a media spokesperson named “John Miller”. According to the article Donald Trump masqueraded as publicist to brag about himself; in the 1990’s Trump’s Manhattan office frequently initiated calls from “John Miller” or “John Barron” — public-relations men who sound precisely like Trump himself — who indeed are Trump, masquerading as an unusually helpful and boastful advocate for himself”. Fisher and Hobson reportedly source this assertion to journalists and several of Trump’s aides. For his part, Trump has denied that it was his voice on the recording. “It was not me on the phone,” Trump told NBC’s Today show when the recording was played for him during a live interview. The 1991 conversation concerned allegations that Donald Trump was leaving his second wife Marla Maples for model/singer and future First Lady of France Carla Bruni. This conversation and other past “John Miller or John Barron” conversations mentioned in the article referenced Trump having relationships with pop singer Madonna and others. This is a blatant attempt to try Trump, who is on his third marriage, in the court of morality. In other words, if the tax bombshell brouhaha loses traction, Trump’s opponents will now start portraying him as a cheater and a fraud.
Again, it all comes back to same thing. Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee. This will become official at the July Republican National Convention. The anti-Trump movement is going to have to unearth a real smoker of a smoking gun to stop the Trump train. It is about time the GOP establishment and the media got on board.