The Republican Party is near open civil war over Donald Trump

Rep. Paul Ryan, Sen. Ron Johnson, and Gov. Scott Walker are caught in GOP civil war over Donald Trump
(Image credit: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

House Speaker Paul Ryan's decision on Monday to stop defending or campaigning with Donald Trump (but not rescind his endorsement) has thrown the Republican Party into further chaos over how to handle the GOP presidential nominee amid sliding poll numbers. After the vulgar video released Friday of Trump using crude language to describe forcing himself on women, GOP lawmakers had to weigh their own electoral prospects against their comfort with Trump's language and the good of the party. "It's every person for himself or herself right now," former Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) told The Washington Post. "The nominee for president is so destructive to everyday Republicans."

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Monday that the RNC will stick with Trump, but along with Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told a business group in Kentucky on Monday that if they wanted to hear his views on Trump, they "might as well go ahead and leave." "It is unprecedented in recent political history for a presidential nominee to be repudiated by his party's congressional leadership," The Wall Street Journal reports. "Republicans have to reach back to 1964 to find an example of a nominee, Barry Goldwater, who wrought lasting divisions within the party."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us
Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.