“We gotta figure it out otherwise the Republican Party might be going away. Who knows? Either this election or next election,” says former Congressman and lifelong Republican Ben Quayle.
Quayle, who now runs a DC based consulting Firm, HHQ Ventures, joins a growing list of high profile Republicans who are either waiting to endorse Trump or who flat out refuse.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has said he will not vote for the Republican nominee in November’s presidential election. “Donald Trump has not demonstrated that temperament or strength of character,” Bush said. “And, he is not a consistent conservative. These are all reasons why I cannot support his candidacy.”
Mr. Bush’s father and brother — both former Presidents — also have gone public to say they are withholding support.
And on Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan, in a stunning interview with CNN said, “he was not ready” to support Trump, but will meet with him next week.
“I know Paul well, he is a tremendous individual,” Quayle says. “And I think he is really scared of where Trump is trying to take the party. He doesn’t like the anger, bashing and vitriol.”
There is even some talk of conservatives pushing a third party candidate. An idea Quayle says he can’t get behind.
“Donald Trump is going to rise or fall on his own, my fear is if you put in a third party you are going to exacerbate the problem.”
What are Republicans like Ben Quayle waiting for when it comes to whether or not they endorse their party’s nominee?
Quayle says, for his part, he is waiting to see if Mr. Trump is willing to show that he has intellectual curiosity and a willingness to learn the issues. He acknowledges that no President goes into office with all the answers, likening the situation to “drinking from a fire hose”, but says, to date, he doesn’t believe that Trump has shown any willingness to learn.
Still, Quayle says he would never vote for Hillary Clinton — as some fellow Republicans have said they were willing to do. And, according to Quayle, she has a lot to overcome with a formidable candidate in Bernie Sanders, who he believes would fare better against Trump.
No matter what happens between the two Democrats in the coming weeks and months, the Republicans find themselves in a tailspin with no end in sight.
Quayle says, “The traditional parts of the Republican party and how they come together are essentially blown up.”