Erick Erickson: If Trump can go the next two weeks without unforced errors and can do interviews along the way without embarrassing himself or the party, his nomination is assured. Trump has to be able to go out, without the Teleprompter, give speeches, and also give press interviews. If he hides in a bunker for the next two weeks, he will damage himself with prominent Republicans and donors. They need to see that he really is growing up and toning down.
If Trump can do that, he is the nominee, and not just the presumptive nominee.
But if Trump cannot control himself and exercise self-discipline in the next two weeks, the Republican convention is going to spiral out of control and look to a savior. That savior is most likely going to come from Wisconsin. It will not be Paul Ryan, but Scott Walker.
Right now there are several separate similar efforts to unbind the delegates at the convention. The Rules Committee is key and sources I talk to expect the delegates to be split on the committee with about 30% for Cruz, 25% for Trump, and 45% willing to go in the direction that saves the party destruction. If Trump continues on like this week, those separate similar efforts will become one effort.
Behind the scenes, it has not gone unnoticed that many of the major donors who are still opposed to Trump were also Scott Walker fans. There are rumors cropping up that Walker might be wiling to entertain being a dark horse candidate if we get to the convention and Trump has spiraled out of control. Walker’s withdrawal of his Trump endorsement was seen as a positive sign in that direction.
Missing in all of this is Ted Cruz.
Nothing will happen at the convention without Ted Cruz’s blessing. Cruz may be placed in the very unique position of having to be the statesman and lead his delegates. Because of the remaining animosity between Cruz and establishment players, Cruz might very well be able to shape a ticket that benefits Cruz without putting him in the top slot. If that ticket then goes on to lose to Hillary, Cruz is the one who stopped Trump and put the party above his own desires when 2020 comes around. If the ticket wins, he becomes President of the Senate before becoming President of the United States. Or he just fully takes on leadership of the conservative movement. (more)