How bad are things for the Donald Trump campaign?
If Rolling Stone’s report Friday on 113 “high-profile” Republicans who say they won’t back the Republican presidential nominee is to be believed, the answer is — really bad:
Donald Trump's supporters like to visualize his campaign as a roaring freight train, but the accurate metaphor might be a leaky boat: Trump is rapidly sinking in the polls, and longtime GOP loyalists are jumping ship every day.
According to the magazine, the rebellion really got its start May 3 when RNC Chairman Reince Priebus told the world that Trump was going to be the party’s nominee. It was that day that Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse and Mark Salter, well-known former aide to Sen. John McCain, declared that they would not support the Manhattan billionaire should he offically become the nominee — and things have picked up steam since.
The most recent significant surge in the list of no-to-Trump Republican bigwigs came with the publication a letter from dozens of senior GOP national security and foreign policy officials who declared Trump “not qualified to be President and Commander-in-Chief.” The signatories, who all served in Republican administrations, from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush, continued:
Most fundamentally, Mr. Trump lacks the character, values, and experience to be President. He weakens U.S. moral authority as the leader of the free world. He appears to lack basic knowledge about and belief in the U.S. Constitution, U.S. laws, and U.S. institutions, including religious tolerance, freedom of the press, and an independent judiciary. […]
We understand that many Americans are profoundly frustrated with the federal government and its inability to solve pressing domestic and international problems. We also know that many have doubts about Hillary Clinton, as do many of us. But Donald Trump is not the answer to America’s daunting challenges and to this crucial election. We are convinced that in the Oval Office, he would be the most reckless President in American history.
Some of the more well-known names on Rolling Stone’s full list of GOP defectors include:
● Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker
● Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan
● Richard Armitage, deputy secretary of state under George W. Bush
● Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney
● Former Secretary of Homeland Security and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge
● Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford, White House aide to Richard Nixon and George W. Bush
● Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
● Former CIA Director Michael Hayden
● South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham
● Former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman
● Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk
● Henry Paulson, former treasury secretary under George W. Bush
● Nevada Sen. Dean Heller
● Former Montana Gov. Marc Racicot
● Former Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson
● Michael Chertoff, former secretary of homeland security
● John Negroponte, former director of national intelligence, deputy secretary of state, and U.N. ambassador
● Robert Zoellick, former president of the World Bank, U.S. trade representative and deputy secretary of state
● Former Michigan Gov. William Milliken
● Maine Sen. Susan Collins
Read the full list here.