Trump’s former adversaries change their tunes
Last year, the Republican Party had 17 potential candidates for its presidential nomination. Over the course of the primaries, many of the candidates spoke out against Donald Trump and tried to separate themselves from him. But after he secured his position, most of them suddenly began to believe in him.
Jim Gilmore tries to stay relevant
Jim Gilmore was the first presidential hopeful to throw in the towel. The former governor of Virginia once referred to Trump’s rhetoric as “fascist talk,” and in an interview he admonished the consideration that Trump could be a “serious candidate for President.”
Gilmore told NewsMax TV, “I denounced many of his ideas, including the idea of some sort of federal deportation force, that’s he’s gonna put together.”
However, his feelings towards Trump were forgotten faster than his own campaign. Gilmore has gone on to say that he will vote for the billionaire businessman.
In an appearance on CNN, he described Trump’s appeal as “a feeling of strength, a feeling of decisiveness, [and] a commitment to change which the American people absolutely people want.”
He also told his fellow Republicans to not “overthink all this too much as we go forward.”
He even tweeted at Delegates Unbound leader Ken Cuccinelli, telling him that “our country needs @GOP to unite.”
Chris Christie: What can be said that hasn’t already been said?
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s run for the presidential nomination was short lived, but the legacy of it lives on through the remarkable about-face he made in supporting Trump.
When Donald Trump was Christie’s opponent in the primaries, Christie would tell the press things like, "I just don't think he's suited to be president of the United States," and "we do not need reality TV in the Oval Office right now. President of the United States is not the place for an entertainer."
He even went as far as to say that Trump “sits in his jammies in Trump Tower and phones in!” for debates. Christie suspended his campaign in February and almost immediately endorsed Trump.
Christie has often appeared at different primary events with Trump, often standing behind him with the forlorn expression of someone who did not get picked for a dodgeball team. Many believe that he had hoped to become the nominee’s choice for vice president when he told USA Today, "I can tell him privately when I disagree with something he’s done. And I do. That’s part of the reason he appreciates our friendship.”
During his endorsement of Trump, Christie said, "I've gotten to know all the people on that stage, and there is no one who is better prepared to provide America with the strong leadership that it needs, both at home and around the world, than Donald Trump."
Of Christie, Trump once said, “No more Oreos!”
For those who are wondering how Christie feels about not being Trump’s VP pick, it’s very similar to how many people described past significant others: “I’m over it.”
Ben Carson: a quiet flip flop
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson was known for a few things: his unwavering faith and his uncanny ability to turn a Republican debate into a cure for insomnia. Carson and Trump were initially on the same level of popularity, and at one point, Carson was a preferred candidate, according to polls from CBS News and NBC News.
Perhaps this is what led to Carson telling the press that he questioned Trump’s faith, saying, "by humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life and that's a very big part of who I am. I don't get that impression with him."
Wow, I am ahead of the field with Evangelicals (am so proud of this) and virtually every other group, and Ben Carson just took a swipe at me— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 10, 2015
Trump responded by likening Carson to a child molester and questioned the authenticity of Ben Carson’s telling of his childhood in his biography, ‘Gifted Hands’ – the title referencing the fact that Carson was a brain surgeon.
Perhaps Carson’s faith did not factor into his decision to endorse Trump in March, when he called the candidate “very cerebral,” as a gentle reminder to everyone of Carson’s pre-retirement profession.
’Donald Trump’s candidacy is a cancer on conservatism’ – Rick Perry
In another gone and also forgotten campaign, it has been almost exactly a year since Rick Perry delivered a passionate anti-Trump speech, saying, “Donald Trump’s candidacy is a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised and discarded."
The former governor of Texas went on to say, "It cannot be pacified or ignored, for it will destroy a set of principles that has lifted more people out of poverty than any force in the history of the civilized world – the cause of conservatism."
Cut to 2016, when Perry told CNN that of being Trump’s VP pick, “I will be open to any way I can help. I’m not going to say no.”
With Indiana Governor Mike Pence being Trump’s pick for vice president, one can assume that Perry was not asked.
It is worth noting that his endorsement of Trump in May lacked confidence, as Perry said, “He is not a perfect man. But what I do believe is that he loves this country and he will surround himself with capable, experienced people and he will listen to them.”
Jeb Bush, meanwhile, is holding out on endorsing Trump. One can only wonder why.
Jeb Bush has a photoshopped photo for an ad which gives him a black left hand and much different looking body. Jeb just can't get it right!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 22, 2015
Jeb’s policies in Florida helped lead to its almost total collapse. Right after he left he went to work for Lehman Brothers—wow!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 8, 2015
Jeb Bush has zero communication skills so he spent a fortune of special interest money on a Super Bowl ad. He is a weak candidate!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2016
After the way I beat Gov. Scott Walker (and Jeb, Rand, Marco and all others) in the Presidential Primaries, no way he would ever endorse me!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2016