In the middle of the political storm detonated by the release of the video showing Donald Trump bragging that he engaged in sexual assault, Republicans have been in chaos. Some have abandoned their party’s nominee, some have stayed silent, some have tried to concoct a plan (probably unworkable) to dump Trump. And Trump weighed in—via a tweet, of course—to proclaim his defiance: “The media and establishment want me out of the race so badly – I WILL NEVER DROP OUT OF THE RACE, WILL NEVER LET MY SUPPORTERS DOWN!”
The media and establishment want me out of the race so badly – I WILL NEVER DROP OUT OF THE RACE, WILL NEVER LET MY SUPPORTERS DOWN! #MAGA
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2016
Trump’s declaration aside, the question of the day is: Is it over for the reality TV celebrity? Has he unintentionally fired himself?
Michael Steele, the former chairman of the Republican Party, believes it is. On Saturday afternoon, I asked him for his reaction to the Trumpocalypse under way. He cut to the chase:
This is a devastating blow to the Trump campaign and to the party, and there is not much either can do to salvage it. It almost doesn’t matter what Trump does in the next debate.
A former GOP chief says the elephant is cooked. As another former GOP official tells me, “This is no longer about what happens on Election Day. It’s about what happens in 20 years—and whether there is still a Republican Party then.”