Donald Trump still holds pole position in Republican preliminary polls. He sparred with Scott Pelley on 60 Minutes this past weekend. All in all, he continues to garner the spotlight as the race heads into 2016.
And yet, his GOP counterparts are not buying Trump stock. Former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Sen. Rand Paul fired at Trump in separate interviews, dismissing Trump as a non-factor for the nomination.
The Atlantic pressed Romney to measure the GOP race and went out of his way to evaluate Trump's chances, stating specifically, "[He] will not be the nominee." He also called out Trump's foreign policy concerning ISIS and Syria as "absurd and dangerous."
Romney elaborated: "My party has historically nominated someone who's a mainstream conservative, and someone who has a foundation in foreign policy that gives people the confidence they can guide the ship of state over troubled waters."
"My party has historically nominated someone who's a mainstream conservative, and someone who has a foundation in foreign policy that gives people the confidence they can guide the ship of state over troubled waters."Mitt Romney, The Atlantic (Interview)
"I'm thinking, how did we get the race for the most important office in the free world to sink to such depths, and how could anyone in my party think that this clown is fit to be president?"
Paving the Way for Trump to Run as an Independent?
While they both discounted Trump as the GOP nominee, their statements did not rule out a run as a Independent. That turn seems to be a viable alternative for Trump and if he were to get elected president, would shake the foundation of the two-party system.
With confidence and a bank account bigger than any other candidate, it does not seem Trump will go quietly into the night. Without any backing from his Republican cohorts, he may have to keep swinging without a party affiliation.
Despite stating that he would not run as an Independent, ultimately Trump will need to get the blessing from GOP backers to make a run with their party affiliation. The fear for both the Democrat and Republican Party to lose out on the election or even a chunk of their voting block remains a real possibility with Trump looming as a potential Independent candidate.
Cover Image via Michael Vadon / Flickr