Fox News reports, Nov. 24, 2015, that as Donald Trump continues to dominate the polls (the latest Fox News poll has Trump with a record 28% support from primary voters), a “prominent GOP operative” and Republican donors with links to several other presidential candidates are pooling their resources in a new effort to go after Trump to keep him from winning the nomination.
The “guerrilla campaign” is led by a group called Trump Card LLC and run by Liz Mair, former communications official for the Republican National Committee. Mair was also, briefly (one day), the online communications strategist for Scott Walker’s failed presidential campaign.
Trump Card LLC’s goal, according to The Wall Street Journal, is to collect money from donors to “defeat and destroy” Trump. The donors will be anonymous because Trump Card would not have to disclose donors.
The super PAC supporting the candidacy of Ohio Gov. John Kasich is planning to air attack ads against Trump in New Hampshire. Trump Card LLC is also getting funding from donors backing candidates other than Kasich, including Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. Trump Card wants $250,000 from the other GOP presidential campaigns to run anti-Trump TV, radio and web ads and to pitch opposition research to local stations in early-voting states.
In addition to the pro-Kasich and Trump Card groups, the super PAC associated with the fiscal conservative Club for Growth is trying to raise money to resume anti-Trump ads, after running a reported $1 million worth earlier this year in Iowa.
Some in the Republican establishment and GOP “donor class” fear the party will lose the general election if Trump wins the nomination, arguing his comments and views are alienating Hispanic and black voters. Liz Mair wrote in a memo obtained by The Journal:
“In the absence of our efforts, Trump is exceedingly unlikely to implode or be forced out of the race. “he stark reality is that unless something dramatic and unconventional is done, Trump will be the Republican nominee and Hillary Clinton will become president.”
The relationship between old guard Republicans and Trump has been rocky from the start. Trump had complained about being treated unfairly by the Republican National Committee and threatened to mount an independent candidacy. But he eventually signed a pledge stating he wouldn’t run as an independent and would support the nominee if he lost.
But after news broke about the concerted effort to undermine him, Trump is hinting he might consider breaking away. He said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week”: “We’ll see what happens. I have to be treated fairly.… If I’m treated fairly, I’m fine.”