Speaker Paul Ryan said he was not ready to support presumptive nominee Donald J. Trump. Presumably, he is going to see if he can beat Donald Trump at the “Art of the Deal.”
But, Ryan, whose views on both trade and immigration are antithetical to Trump’s, is running a bluff with the king of the deal. In fact the Speaker has extortion on his mind.
Ryan is posturing to get Donald to agree to key terms relating to the congressional committees, congressional candidates and more importantly the RNC. Ryan will endorse Donald, but Donald has to agree that his campaign team will not be influencing these committees and will give the RNC, under Reince, autonomy (obviously this means control of the money and spending). The committees and the RNC will coordinate with his campaign, but they won’t be taking their orders from Trump campaign, they will all just work together.
Because Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus was also Chairman in 2012 during Mitt Romney’s horrific campaign and later helped Governor Scott Walker, he is actually a Ryan man by political lineage. Together they salivated over the millions that the Republican National Committee would spend with favored vendors in their circle … until Donald Trump came along. They know even the doomed Barry Goldwater took control of the National Committee. They are seeking to keep control.
Ryan will argue Trump is taking positions that are very different from Republican traditional approaches, and he has to agree and understand RNC and congressional candidates may disagree with him on key issues, and in some swing districts some candidates may actually have to oppose him, and he will understand that and not criticize them (there may be some discussion that the convention platform and the party platform will be different than some of Trump’s own positions).
Reince stuck Romney with a $9 million debt pay-off before he agreed to give Romney his share of party cash in 2012. He has a $1 million debt in a bank loan. Reince uses some legal book-keeping tricks to make RNC fundraising more successful than it is like combining compliance and recount monies in generally available funds even though they aren’t. Reince wants to keep control rather than have a baby-sitter from the Trump camp.
Even worse Ryan and Reince want the party to use the Data Vault owned in part by Karl Rove for targeting and analytics. Many say the data is dirty and may be Orca 2.0, the update of the system that crashed on Election Day 2012 on Mitt Romney after spending millions on it. The RNC’s own data bank is suspect according to professionals who have been forced to use it.
Reince and Ryan are outmatched to say the least. Trump won’t be blackmailed. He goes into the meeting Thursday with veteran GOP operative Rick Wiley knowing the inside out of the party’s financial output. Trump is the toughest guy I’ve ever met, and I’ve known some killers. His movement is bigger than the Republican Party and he knows it. Media focus on lack of party unity while Trump has proven appeal the millions of new voters is journalistic malpractice. Trump will push Ryan out of the chairmanship of the convention. He will always go his way.
There is also a Trump national fast track strategy underway to empower state party leaders with the levers to shunt aside the grassroots Trump people who supported Trump and run the Trump campaign in the states.
Karl Rove has control and loyalty of many of these officials. This would be a grave error for Trump.