By Eric Viereck
CCC Journalism Program
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s behavior has caused a split between party members who support him and those who oppose him and has caused concern he may be breaking up the GOP.
Some Republicans reject Trump goals such as building a wall on the border between the United States and Mexico. Among them is Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, who lost in the 2016 Republican primaries to Trump.
“I’ve long had concerns with Donald Trump that go beyond his temperament,” Kasich said in a recent statement posted on his official Facebook page. “We have substantive policy differences on conservative issues like trade, our relationship with Russia, and the importance of balancing the federal budget.”
Kasich stated he will not support a candidate who behaves so poorly.
Patrick Hughes, associate professor of political science at Camden County College, said Trump is going against some traditions of the Republican Party.
“There are the three pillars in the Republican Party. The three pillars are the business wing of the party that cares about lowering corporate taxes and business regulations, the social conservatives who care about abortion and restricting gay rights and the neo-conservatives who favor a more aggressive foreign policy with emphasis on military action,” Hughes said. Many Republicans feel Trump is breaking the status quo by skipping the conservative route, Hughes added.
William Oleson, a supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, said Trump would be an unfit president.
“He has no concrete plan and he mostly assaults women and handicapped people. The Republicans are starting to realize they picked a bad candidate and they have to try like they are supporting him or they’ll be acting like hypocrites,” Oleson said. “Trump has to defend his behavior. He’s now against Hillary Clinton’s husband, Bill Clinton, because they both have similarities. The only criticism is the emails and Trump has nothing to help the country.”
Kevin Ehret, an executive director for the GOP in Camden County, said party members are split about Trump because “Republicans are stubborn people sometimes. They don’t want to tie with him and publicly it’s unfortunate because (former President) George H.W. Bush said that we should be united but not divided.”