Rove: Trump as GOP nominee would be disastrous


Karl Rove came to Amarillo to hawk a book and to speak to an organization called the Senate 31 Club, which is run by the office of state Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo.

Seliger inherited the club from his predecessor, the late Teel Bivins.

And today, he brought in the man known around the country as “Bush’s Brain,” as Rove helped elect George W. Bush twice as Texas governor and twice more as president of the United States.

Rove is considered one of the smarter political operatives around.

His view of the crazy race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination?

He got right to the point today during a luncheon in the packed main dining room at the Amarillo Country Club in which he talked about his latest book, “The Triumph of William McKinley.” Seliger asked Rove to offer a comment on the current campaign

“If Donald Trump wins the nomination his chances of being elected president are slim and none,” Rove said.

The real estate mogul/reality TV star’s poll negatives are the highest among any of the remaining GOP candidates, Rove said. He continues to trail the still-presumed Democratic frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, in every poll taken.

I found it interesting that Rove would bring up Trump’s four bankruptcy filings, suggesting — to me, at least — that they will be factor that kills Trump’s chances of ever attaining the Oval Office.

The Democrats, Rove said, “will find every paint contractor, lawn care person, anyone who got screwed in these bankruptcies and put them on TV.”

If it’s Trump leading the Republican ticket this fall, the party stands a good chance of losing control of the Senate. The key race there? Florida, said Rove, which will have an open Senate seat because Marco Rubio — who’s also running for president — isn’t seeking re-election.

“If we don’t win Florida, we don’t keep the Senate,” Rove said.

Rove didn’t get into why Trump continues to lead the pack. He didn’t explain the candidate’s curious appeal to the “base” of a once-great political party.

I’m continuing to wonder whether that curious thing called “political gravity” will pull Trump back to Earth. However, given what’s transpired so far in this wild-and-crazy campaign, I’m not willing to wager that the Republican Party that many of us remember will be able to gather its wits in time to stop Donald J. Trump.