LISTEN – Montana Politics Mirrors National Controversy
The Republican Party has been in a state of upheaval ever since Donald Trump began to gain momentum in the race for the Presidency.
Debates have turned nasty, with candidates hurling insults at each other, seemingly right out of a grade school playground, drawing interest, and raised eyebrows from around the world. Will Deschamps is the former chairman of the Montana Republican Party, and said similar problems have existed within the state party.
“In the past few years, this very same thing has been going on within the Republican Party, maybe not front page news, but the arguments between the ‘true conservatives’, which is their definition, and the RINO’s , also their definition,” Deschamps said. “Now, it’s bubbling over into the national, and quite frankly, I think it’s the same people.”
Deschamps said the amount of vitriol is unprecedented in his memory.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before, and I’m not exactly an elder statesman,” he continued. “I just wish candidates would talk about what they have to offer, and they just don’t seem to be willing to do that. Or, their surrogates are telling them, you have to do this in order to survive.”
Deschamps believes the Montana Congressional and gubernatorial candidates will keep their discourse civil.
“I think they’ll be relatively civil, at least I hope they are, and will address the issues without getting into the dirt,” said Deschamps. “I do believe the four people you’re talking about, Zinke and Juneau, Bullock and Gianforte will be fairly mainstream. That would be my advice to them.”
Looking at the Presidential race, Deschamps does not think it’s outside the realm of possibility that Trump could eventually face former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the general election.
“The more the other candidates beat up on Trump, the more popular he becomes, his supporters get hardened and they don’t like people telling them what they should think and how they should vote.”
Deschamps said the comments made recently by former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney that were directed at Donald Trump were completely uncalled for.
“As long as he talked about policy, and he did because I read the transcript, we’re fine. When he started taking after one candidate out of many, he lost his credibility. I’m very disappointed in what he did.”
Deschamps said the situation will become more clear after the Florida winner-take-all primary on March 15.