A prominent GOP congressman just let a revelation slip. During an interview on Wednesday with WHAM 1180’s Bob Lonsberry, NY congressman Chris Collins shared that many of his House colleagues are supporting Trump … they just don’t want to endorse the GOP frontrunner.
“Many members are supporting Trump quietly,” Collins conceded during the radio interview.
He went to say that the vast majority of GOP House members are resigned to the fact that Trump will be the nominee and they are prepared to support him.
“With very few exceptions, four or five individuals, everyone’s saying they will support the nominee.”
Collins was the first member of Congress to officially endorse Trump’s candidacy at the end of February. His support hasn’t wavered despite Trump’s numerous gaffes including his sexist attacks on a female journalist, his slow response to an endorsement from the former head of the KKK, or the violence that seems to follow at his rallies. When asked about several of these issues on NPR’s All Things Considered on March 2nd, Collins dismissed them as “red herrings” and called on Trump’s critics to “stop beating a dead horse.”
If Collins is to be believed in his assessment of his fellow GOP House members, it adds more fuel to the argument that Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign is shaping up more and more like Richard Nixon’s 1968 campaign. During that election cycle, with a country divided bitterly over the Vietnam War, GOP candidate Nixon won the White House with his alleged “secret plan” to end the conflict. History clearly shows that Nixon’s plan was to end the war by escalating US bombing runs outside of Vietnam’s borders. In 1969, on the eve of a planned major demonstration against his administration, Nixon delivered a national television address calling on the support of his “silent majority.”
While nearly every Republican candidate and elected official since Nixon’s resignation have tried to distance themselves from the 37th President, Trump has embraced his legacy. Several times via social media and during speeches, Trump has referenced his own “silent majority.” However, the term is problematic as Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post has pointed out. For many, the reference recalls the unfounded fears of suburban whites who were reacting to desegregation and the empowerment of African-Americans for the first time.
“You know, in the old days they used the term ‘silent majority.’ We have the silent majority back, folks.” GOP frontrunner Donald Trump at a rally in July, 2015.
Whether or not Collins’ fellow Republican congressmen fall into a group of similar characteristics is unknown. What one does have to wonder is why they are willing to support Trump but not publicly endorse him? Isn’t a quiet acquiescence just as guilty as an enthusiastic endorsement?
With the June convention looming and Trump’s lead widening, whoever these members of Congress are, they’re not going to be able to stay silent much longer.
Featured image via Politico