Donald Trump

GOP Convention Speakers Trash Trump

They say he's a "con artist," "narcissist," "bully," and "pathological liar" whose candidacy is "a cancer on conservatism."



The presence of Scott Baio on the list of speakers for this week's GOP convention in Cleveland is not the only clue that Donald Trump, the party's presumptive nominee, had trouble finding prominent Republicans who were keen to sing his praises. The list also includes a bunch of people better known for harshly criticizing Trump, in some cases unambiguously pronouncing him unfit for the presidency. It is hard to say who should be more embarrassed by this turn of events: Trump, who does not have enough famous fans to fill a program, or his erstwhile critics, who claim to have discovered the blowhard billionaire's hidden virtues. But lest we forget, here is what they thought of him until recently:

Rick Perry, former Texas governor: "He offers a barking carnival act that can be best described as Trumpism: a toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition if pursued. Let no one be mistaken: Donald Trump's candidacy is a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised and discarded. It cannot be pacified or ignored, for it will destroy a set of principles that has lifted more people out of poverty than any force in the history of the civilized world—the cause of conservatism."

Michael Mukasey, former attorney general: "A Donald Trump presidency would imperil our national security….Trump's proposal [to bar Muslims from entering the country] would assure the enmity of all Muslims, including those whose support we need if we are to prevail….Trump says he would order the military to kill the families of terrorists. That would be a direct violation of the most basic laws of armed conflict, which require that deadly force be used only when required by military necessity, under circumstances that allow distinction between military and civilian targets, and when incidental damage to non-military targets is proportional to the military advantage gained. A military that adhered to the laws of armed conflict would necessarily disobey such an order; if it followed the order, both the person who gave it and those who followed it would be subject to prosecution for war crimes….To inspire the respect that creates fear and trust when and where each is necessary, we will need a president who summons our strength with a reality-based strategic vision, not one who summons applause with tantrums and homicidal fantasies."

Newt Gingrich, former House speaker: "I don't know what Trump's reasoning was, and I don't care. His description of the judge [overseeing a lawsuit by former students of Trump University] in terms of his parentage is completely unacceptable."

Paul Ryan, House speaker: "Claiming a person can't do their job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment. I'm not going to defend these kinds of comments, because they're indefensible."

Chris Christie, New Jersey governor: "You do not need to be banning Muslims from the country….In my view, that's a ridiculous position and one that won't even be productive. [It's] the kind of thing that people say when they have no experience and don't know what they're talking about….Showtime is over. We are not electing an entertainer-in-chief. Showmanship is fun, but it is not the kind of leadership that will truly change America."

Mike Pence, Indiana governor and Trump's running mate: "Calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional."

Marco Rubio, Florida senator: "We're on the verge of having someone take over the conservative movement who is a con artist….This boiling point that we have now reached has been fed largely by the fact that we have a frontrunner in my party who has fed into language that basically justifies physically assaulting people who disagree with you….[Trump is] the most vulgar person ever to aspire to the presidency….I believe Donald Trump as our nominee is going to shatter and fracture the Republican Party and the conservative movement."

Ted Cruz, Texas senator: "I'm going to tell you what I really think of Donald Trump. This man is a pathological liar. He doesn't know the difference between truth and lies. He lies, practically every word that comes out of his mouth. And in a pattern that I think is straight out of a psychology textbook, his response is to accuse everybody else of lying….Whatever he does, he accuses everybody else of doing. The man cannot tell the truth, but he combines it with being a narcissist—a narcissist at a level I don't think this country has ever seen. Donald Trump is such a narcissist that Barack Obama looks at him and says, 'Dude, what's your problem?' Everything in Donald's world is about Donald….The man is utterly amoral. Morality does not exist for him….Donald is a bully….Donald is cynically exploiting that anger [at the political establishment], and he is lying to his supporters. Donald will betray his supporters on every issue."

NEXT: Brickbat: Baltimore Beatdown

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Looking at the line-up pf thieves, beggars and other assorted scumbags who couldn’t scrape up the morals of an alley cat between them, all assembled against him, I want to like Trump. Anyone who pisses that rabble off can’t be all bad.

    This is not helpful, Sullum.

    Did Cruz get a haircut?

    1. Your describing the ‘leader’s in both parties. It’s going to be a long week.

    2. It is looking more and more like Trump is going to win. The tears will be plentiful and delicious.

      1. Is it? His polling has improved a little the last couple weeks, but considering that he’s still down against a terrible candidate who was recently rebuked by the FBI Director (even though Comey refused to recommend an indictment, his criticism of her conduct alone would probably be disqualifying in any normal election year) that doesn’t bode well. He can win, but this really shouldn’t even be a contest (and vice versa as well – Clinton shouldn’t be having nearly as much trouble as she is).

        1. He can’t win. His numbers are toxic.

      2. He’s going to win the convention and get the nomination, but he has no chance in hell to win the presidency.

        1. He had no chance to win the nomination. Fact is – you don’t know jack-shit about what is going to happen. I don’t want to contemplate a Trump Presidency anymore than I want to contemplate a Camacho Presidency.

    3. Looking at the line-up pf thieves, beggars and other assorted scumbags who couldn’t scrape up the morals of an alley cat between them, all assembled against him, I want to like Trump. Anyone who pisses that rabble off can’t be all bad.

      Or maybe they are not completely unself-aware and have an inkling of what terrible people they are, and yet realize Trump is worse. “Compared to him, we look great!”

      1. Or maybe they are not completely unself-aware and have an inkling of what terrible people they are…

        Yes, I’m sure that’s it.

        “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” -Upton Sinclair

    4. That’s how I came around to Trump. I was never dead set vs. him, but whoever wrote yesterday that these discussions aren’t changing anyone’s mind was wrong. They did make up my mind, but not by conventional persuasion, rather by reaction. I was like, if these are the lengths they have to go to to persuade me he’s bad, he must be good.

      1. Wow, that’s really retarded. Gosh, what’s with this tendency of Trump supporters to come up with the most retarded rationalizations possible? Is it because they’re barely-literate morons with cunts for brains?

    5. I’m making over 17k dollar a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do…

  2. Considering a political convention is a variety of carnival, the Republicans got the barker they deserve.

    1. But is he the barker they need?

  3. Don’t be fooled. These speakers have begged Trump to get airtime to save their precious political prestige.

    Why are all you people concerned who speaks or what is said? It does not matter because the people who vote/have voted for Trump already know who the RINOs and other toxic politicians are in the Republican Party. Trump will win because his true supporters do not necessarily say much but vote in masses to the chagrin of liberal pundits, socialists and Hillary lovers.

    Honestly, I don’t think Trump needs to have much of a convention. Just long enough to get all the delegate votes and be officially deemed the GOP Presidential candidate.

  4. At first reading, I thought Cruz’s comments were attributed to someone else talking about Cruz.

    And they made perfect sense either way.

  5. If anyone thinks trump is going to win they need to be medicated. He’s going to lose and he’s going to lose big.

    1. The electoral math is certainly not in his favor. Will come down to how many Lukewarm Clinton supporters stay home.

    2. The mystical, bigoted, prohibitionist GO Pee will lose, say London bookies at 5 to 2 odds. Trump represents their National Socialist platform in the best possible light and his personality towers above all his conservative detractors put together… but they are still an outgrowth of the Prohibition party and have been since 1928. By 1932 women voters led by Pauline Sabin had had enough of asset-forfeiture-triggered financial collapse and mohammedan murder ethics.

      Thank you Jacob for telling it like it is.

    3. Yup. The numbers are clear.

  6. The part about prosecuting for war crimes is pretty rich…

  7. It’s gonna be happy days as long as we don’t jump the shark.


  8. Thought of the morning, for me at least.

    Suppose thr RNC does throw out Trump and choose somebody else, anybody else, nobody in particular. What would that do to Hillary’s chances?

    If they picked some mythical truly good candidate, reputation for honesty (at least for a politician), clear thinking, etc, I suppose it would make Hillary’s dishonesty and corruption stand out even more, and improve the Republican chances.

    But if they picked any of those scoundrels above, I wonder … All the rebels, Dem and GOP, who supported Trump and Bernie, would feel like the rug had been pulled out from under them. A lot might stay home and not vote at all.

    Something more for me to wonder about today. Beats working!

    1. Backstab Trump, republicans! Go ahead… make my day.

    2. If they staged a coup against Trump, the Republican Party would be over at a national level.

      If NeverTrumpers continue their hissy fits and back stabbing through the election, they will be viewed as traitors to Trump voters, win or lose, and be radioactive to them until the end of time.

      It’s strange that pols don’t have any more sense than this. You lost. Be a good sport and still support the team. Win or lose, you then have a chance the next time. But take your ball and go home, or worse, try to publicly scuttle the Party’s nominee, when you don’t get your way, and win or lose, you are the enemy to Trump supporters. They will be NeverYou.

      NeverTrump was a stupid threat to make during the primaries, but it made some sense as a threat. Being NeverTrump now is just suicidal for pols. I suppose the literati can get by on an ideological minority, but pols need votes, and making half or more of the party hate your guts is a questionable career move.

      1. You lost. Be a good sport and still support the team.

        “Just jump on the team and come on in for the big win!”

        I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what the list of speakers in this article are doing.

      2. “You lost. Be a good sport and still support the team.”

        You know who else used that line, don’t you?

    3. OTOH, the Democrats’ best chance would be if Hillary died after the convention. I don’t think Sanders supporters would’ve gotten many friends onto the RNC, so they’d choose someone electable.

  9. If they are saying this about Trump what are they going to say when they talk of Hillary?

  10. “Claiming a person can’t do their job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment.”

    Trump didn’t say Curiel couldn’t do his job, he said he was biased against Trump.

    “I’m not going to defend these kinds of comments, because they’re indefensible.”

    What no one has ever done is make a case that Trump’s comments about Curiel were *untrue*. Because we all know, most likely, Curiel is biased against Trump.

    1. What the hell are you talking about? You’re splitting a hair that can’t be split. When you claim a judge is biased, you are saying he can’t do his job. Bias — actual or perceived — is a major reason judges recuse themselves from cases.

      1. It is telling that his lawyers didn’t file a motion to recuse the judge nor appeal any of his supposed biased rulings. Why? Because it was nothing anything more than bullshit rhetoric.

  11. Let no one be mistaken: Donald Trump’s candidacy is a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised and discarded.

    Depends if you think conservatism is the interventionist, internationalist, and corporatist NeoRight or the non-interventionist, nationalist and populist Old Right.

    That is the fight. The Old Right is coming back, and the NeoRight don’t like it one bit.

    1. I think your attempt to equate Trump with the Old Right is completely wrong. The only possible point that could have Trump closer to the Old Right is non-interventionism. As for corporatism, Trump praised TARP and the auto bailouts. On trade, the Old Right supported trade rather than military intervention. The Old Right was against the New Deal. Trump praised Obama’s stimulus. Trump also refuses to consider entitlement reform and loves government healthcare almost as much as he loves steep tariffs and strangling international trade.

      So, in certain ways the New Right is taking a hit. But Trump certainly isn’t like the Old Right. If he was, a lot of libertarians would probably be supportive of him. A politician like Ron Paul would be considered Old Right.

      1. A lot of Old Right people were anti-trade. Protectionism was definitely a common, though not universal, sentiment among them.

        Trump isn’t a non-interventionist, he’s more of a unilateral interventionist. Which isn’t really an improvement.

        1. I can believe the split anti-trade sentiment since that would go along with isolationism. It makes sense that they would be divided on it. I was basing my comment on trade off the Wikipedia article on the Old Right where there is a quote saying ” an emphasis on trade in the world instead of American nationalism.” The article doesn’t say anything else about trade though.

        2. Over the past century or more in the USA, the shake-out on these issues are not the way libertarians would have them break. More commonly trade & intervention sentiment went together, so anti-interventionists tended to be anti-trade, pro-traders being pro-intervention. We didn’t make the world this way, but we need to recognize it.

      2. That’s the problem with terms like Old Right & New Right. Old or new when? Of course, whenever, it’s not like a tendency can be defined that’s definite on every issue. The Old Right of 1930-50? Of 1960-80? The old New Right, as opposed to the new New Right? Maybe the Old Right of 1848!

  12. The headline is misleading, suggesting they trashed Trump *at* the convention. Better would be a past tense, eg: “GOP convention speakers used to trash Trump.”

  13. Trump, who does not have enough famous fans to fill a program

    Uh, Howard A. Stern, anyone? A famous Trump fan who could fill out any program all by himself.

  14. RE: GOP Convention Speakers Trash Trump
    They say he’s a “con artist,” “narcissist,” “bully,” and “pathological liar” whose candidacy is “a cancer on conservatism.”

    Not to worry folks.
    These people whose views differ from The Party will be dealt with accordingly.
    The first casualty in war is truth.
    The same can be said for politics.

  15. It would be more embarrassing to Trump if several of the quotes above weren’t ridiculously wrong.

  16. Nice thing about the GOP, people are allowed a different opinion

  17. I would be much more impressed with this litany of “Conservative” outrage if just ONE of the silly sonsofbitches carping now had had the guts and the smarts to get somewhere that mattered in the last eight years and really stick it to the Democrats.

    The “Business As Usual” Republican establishment went sniping at every Conservative candidate that arose, and now all they have is their lickspittle selves and a complete outsider like Trump who doesn’t need their money and doesn’t give a rat’s ass what they think.

  18. I quit my office job and now I am getting paid 95 Dollars hourly. How? I work-over internet! My old work was making me miserable, so I was to try-something different. 2 years after…I can say my life is changed completely for the better! Check it out what i do…

    Go to the web—>

  19. The GOP is finished as a serious political force. They’ll be lucky to hold the House, and they are never going to win the presidency again. George W Bush = last GOP president.

  20. Is that picture Ted Cruz or the master of ceremonies at cabaret? I can’t tell.

  21. Donald Trump’s candidacy is a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised and discarded. It cannot be pacified or ignored, for it will destroy a set of principles that has lifted more people out of poverty than any force in the history of the civilized world?the cause of conservatism.

    GOP-style conservatism is largely indistinguishable from progressivism: it is socially just as repressive and dogmatic, and economically just as cronyist. You see the same thing in Europe, where Christian conservatives and former socialists are BFF. If the GOP “dies of cancer”, good riddance. Hopefully, people like Rick Perry will go down with it.

  22. uptil I saw the check which had said $6115 , I didn’t believe that…my… cousin woz actually erning money parttime on their apple laptop. . there uncle had bean doing this for less than nine months and a short time ago cleared the loans on there apartment and got a top of the range Mini Cooper

  23. We can even create playlists of them so it will be very easy to find our videos which we like. We can also download those videos and can watch them offline. Showbox for pc

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.