In his weekly appearance on Friday's edition of PBS' NewsHour, conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks lamented Donald Trump will probably be the Republican nominee for president. "He's like Rasputin," Brooks complained. "He just doesn't go away. He doesn't die."
DAVID BROOKS: Trump is looking like the nominee. I mean, he had this great night. He — if he continues as he has been going right now — and my paper reported — our Upshot department reported he will get the — what he needs. So he’s looking like he can get it.
There are two ways he cannot get it. One, maybe if Kasich drops out, there are some polls that show if Cruz is one on one, he could make some inroads into Trump. And then something behind the scenes or something — fiddling with the rules. I, of course, think they should do it.
But one of the features of this year is that Donald Trump has a monopoly on audacity and he’s the only one who takes action. So, what’s interesting to me about the Republicans right now is, with the exception of Florida Governor Rick Scott and Chris Christie, they’re not flocking to Trump. They do not like the guy. They’re terrorized of the guy. They’re repulsed by the guy.
But they’re not flocking to him, but they’re not doing anything against him either. They’re just sitting there like a psychologically depleted party...
Well, first of all, in the big Tuesday states, 40 percent of voters in most of the states said, if Trump were the nominee, they’d consider a third party. And so that’s some serious disaffection. You do not see that. Usually, people are rallying around at this point.
And, secondly, there are a lot of Republicans, including myself, who find him morally repulsive. And he’s just not — there are some things more important things than winning an election. And supporting a guy who tears at the social fabric, who insults the office of the presidency by completely unprepared for it, who plays on bigotry and fear, who is the sort of demagogue our founders feared would upset the American experiment in self-government, well, that kind of guy, you just can’t support, even if it means a defeat.
And I think a lot of Republicans feel that way, which is why you get those 40 percent numbers of defectors.