On Monday morning Robert Costa, highly regarded for his extensive contacts inside the Republican Party, tweeeted "in calls this morning, many Rs privately want to defect from Trump. But they say the debate gave them pause since he roused their base."
Paul Ryan says he absolutely, positively doesn't condone the remarks and behavior of Donald Trump revealed in the Access Tonight audio released last week, To Ryan, Trump made the "textbook definition of a racist remark" in June and on Friday he was "sickened by what I heard today."
Not sufficiently sickened to rescind his endorsement of Trump, it turns out. Charlie Pierce remarks "Ryan doesn't have the stones to rescind his endorsement and that he is telling the rest of his caucus to swim away from the wreckage before it sucks them all down into the abyss... The essential gutlessness of the man always will shine through."
Paul Ryan is making a calculated judgement about what's best for Paul Ryan, as he always does, which invariably inspires hosannas from the media while coinciding neatly with the expectation of the donor class. However, there is no such excuse for Nebraska Senator Deb Fischer, who- according to the outfit Pierce has dubbed "Tiger Beat on the Potomac"- on Tuesday
reversed her call for Donald Trump to resign from the GOP ticket, telling a local radio station that it's "not a tough choice" to back him just three days after she urged him to quit.
"I plan to vote for Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence on November 8," she said on Nebraska's KLIN. "I put out a statement ... with regard to Mr. Trump's comments. I felt they were disgusting. I felt they were unacceptable and I never said I was not voting for our Republican ticket."
The definition of "unacceptable" must have shifted since it meant "not acceptable." It seems, further, that Deb is easily rolled, for
What Fischer had actually said was that "It would be wise for [Trump] to step aside and allow Mike Pence to serve as our party's nominee."
She said in the radio interview that she would no longer advocate that position because Trump had already made up his mind. (In fact, Trump tweeted barely an hour after Fischer's call, that he would "never" quit the race.)
It's easy for Deb to decide someone is unacceptable until the subject of her disapproval says "I don't much care what you think." She may be loyal to a virtual stranger from Queens who rejected her, but not so much to a fellow conservative Nebraskan. We learn from Politico also that
Fischer stood by in May as the state's junior senator, Ben Sasse, was rebuked by state party activists for his advocacy for a third-party conservative to enter the race. That's why her initial call Saturday for Trump to step aside startled some GOP insiders.
There is no reason for Deb to startle GOP insiders any longer. She stands her ground firmly until she doesn't.