An organized effort by some Republicans and conservatives to stop Donald Trump from securing the party’s nomination appears to be taking shape as different groups and former candidates are putting their weight behind other efforts.
A mix of anti-Trump campaign ads, endorsements for Sen. Ted Cruz and talk of a third party candidate are all part of the fight against what many view as inevitable.
Who Is Involved
A number of Trump’s former rivals have joined the cause against the real estate mogul.
The first to make a clear move was former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who arranged to meet with Trump’s then-rivals Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich ahead of Florida’s primary. The specifics about what was discussed during said meetings were never released, but their meetings — and Trump’s lack of one — was confirmed ahead of the Sunshine State’s vote Tuesday.
Rubio subsequently dropped out, and today he told his former supporters in Minnesota that Cruz was the “only conservative left in the race.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham, who dropped out in December, is providing a similar show of support to Cruz. Cruz’s team confirmed today that Graham will be hosting a fundraiser for the Texas senator on Monday, though he stopped short of giving a full endorsement.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who earlier endorsed Rubio, gave a similar nod to Cruz, saying Wednesday that “my hope and my prayer” is that Cruz can “really get to where he needs to go.”
“I mean I don’t know that I need to formally endorse,” she said. “I don’t know that that part matters.”
Former Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain have both spoken out against Trump as well.
And there appears to be a grassroots movement taking shape among conservatives.
Blogger Erick Erickson said he participated in a meeting of “grassroots conservative activists from around the country” to discuss ways to beat Trump, who they do not view as a “real conservative candidate.”
He didn’t share any names of others who attended the meeting, describing the group only as “including supporters of many of the other campaigns.”
Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., confirmed the meeting in a statement, but did not detail the discussion.
“My presence at the meeting this morning was primarily to listen. It is certainly no secret that I believe Donald Trump does not represent the best the Republican Party has to offer. His record is anything but Conservative,” Franks said today.
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SOURCE: ABC News, Meghan Keneally