GOP establishment plans Trump takedown
CNN Chief National Correspondent
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Mitt Romney rumblings, a setback for President Obama, money issues for Jeb Bush, and the GOP establishment debate about trying to take down Donald Trump — those stories filled our Sunday trip around the “Inside Politics” table.
1. A glaring omission as Obama’s party holds its summer meeting
The Democratic National Committee’s summer meeting is over, and there is something you won’t find in the official minutes: a resolution supporting President Obama’s Iran nuclear agreement.
The deal has divided the party, to the point where the chairwoman, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, has not made her position clear as yet. As the President heads into a veto battle with Congress on the issue, he needs every Democratic vote he can muster. But Jonathan Martin of The New York Times noted he couldn’t get help from the party he leads.
“The Obama-controlled DNC could not pass a resolution this weekend expressing support for President Obama’s Iran deal,” said Martin. “It’s a bit of an embarrassment for the administration, seeing as how it’s his party. He appointed Debbie Wasserman Schultz.”
Martin also points out a lot of Democrats flagged that Hillary Clinton said she was going to rebuild the party from the ground up in her speech to the DNC on Friday, and there is a lot of speculation about what that might entail.
“Keep an eye on the former governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm, somebody who could be involved in the party at some time this year or next year, if Hillary Clinton becomes the nominee.”
2. An anti-Trump ad deluge after Labor Day?
It’s no secret the Republican establishment is unnerved by Donald Trump and his lead in national and key state polls.
And now, after weeks of assuming his support would be fleeting, there is a debate about how to take aim at Trump — and just who should finance such an effort.
CNN’s Maeve Reston noted that most GOP strategists see risks in having the attacks come from the other candidates or their directly affiliated super PACs. So, she reports, there is conversation about what other group might raise money for anti-Trump TV ads.
“There are a lot of donors out there who see it as much too dangerous, obviously, for the candidates, or their allied super PACs, to go after Trump,” said Reston. “So they’re looking to more establishment PACs to potentially take him down in post-Labor Day ads.”
3. Bush is popular in the Hamptons, but has money problems elsewhere
Jeb Bush has a huge war chest and has enjoyed some summer fund-raising among the rich and famous in the Hamptons this month.
But with Bush’s poll numbers heading in the wrong direction at the moment, Maggie Haberman of The New York Times shared reporting that shows the Bush campaign isn’t making as big a splash as expected in some of the second- and third-tier fund-raising spots around the country.
“That’s because, among other things, August is the toughest month, but also because Jeb still doesn’t quite have a case to sell to a lot of donors,” said Haberman. “And they are trying to figure out — can they pivot past this rough patch?”
“One donor said to me, ‘If this was September or October, and we were still having this conversation, I would be concerned.'”
4. Romney isn’t happy, but also isn’t running — at the moment
Another Republican who is not a fan of Donald Trump just happens to be the man who carried the banner for the GOP in 2012.
But while Mitt Romney doesn’t back the Trump agenda, Robert Costa of The Washington Post reports that his check-in with close Romney advisers produced no evidence the former Massachusetts governor is heeding any of the calls for him to reconsider the race. Not yet, anyway.
“He’s very surprised that Jeb Bush hasn’t got a lot of traction,” said Costa. “He thought Jeb would be better at this point. He also thinks the race doesn’t really start until January and February.”
“In terms of ruling out a run, he’s not running. But he thinks the race begins in January and February, and he’s watching it very closely, and people just kept telling me the same thing — he’s keeping an eye on it.”