Just hours before President Obama comes to campaign for Ralph Northam, the Republican Party’s Trumpian base is in open revolt against Ed Gillespie.
In a blistering segment on his show, former Trump Virginia co-chair John Fredericks called Vice President Mike Pence’s campaign stop for Gillespie “disastrous” and a “snoozefest. ” Fredericks went on to demand that Gillespie “beg” President Trump to join him on the campaign trail.
The news comes as the Gillespie campaign is riven by divisions over whether Trump should be allowed to campaign for the Republican ticket. Last night, the Washington Postreported that Gillespie staffer Jack Morgan — the former leader of Trump’s campaign in Southwest — resigned in protest over Gillespie’s refusal to embrace the President. The Gillespie campaign has desperately denied the story. But this morning, Fredericks confirmed that the Post’s reporting was true — and called efforts to discredit Post reporter Laura Vozzella completely “unfair” and “malpractice.”
It seems that for now, Gillespie isn’t listening to his base. Today on Fox News, he once again declined to campaign with the president. It’s a move that is sure to further alienate Trump supporters — and throw fuel on the fire consuming the Republican Party of Virginia.
“Gillespie’s strategy of running a Trumpian campaign while avoiding mentioning the President himself has collapsed,” said DPVA spokesperson Kevin Donohoe. “Gillespie has managed to alienate both moderates and the far right — and in the process shattered his credibility both with the Republican base and independents he needs to win.”
Watch Gillespie refuse to invite Trump on the campaign trail:
Washington Post: Gillespie falls off the tightrope
For months now, Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie has been suffering from an identity crisis. He doesn’t want to identify with President Trump, but by keeping his distance his base may stay home in the election less than three weeks away. On Wednesday the dam burst.
Fredericks Part 1: Gillespie Should Beg Gillespie to Campaign with Him
Fredericks Part 2: The Gillespie Campaign’s Effort to Discredit Laura Vozzella is “Unfair”