Members of Tennessee’s Republican political establishment are gradually coming to terms with the real possibility that Donald Trump could end up as their party’s nominee for president, according to Michael Collins.
Along with that realization come the obvious questions: Will they vote for him in November, despite his barrage of attacks against the GOP establishment and fears that his insults of women and other minorities could turn off mainstream voters? Or will they stay home in silent protest on Election Day?
For many, there’s nothing to debate. If Trump is the Republican nominee, he will get their vote in November.
“I’m going to eagerly and enthusiastically support whoever gets the Republican nomination,” said U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., a Knoxville Republican.
Duncan said while agrees with most of Trump’s views, “I do wish he had a little more humility,” he said. “But there never has been and never will be a perfect candidate for any office. I’ve said all along, any of our candidates would have been far better than Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. I felt that way when we had 16 or 17 people running. I still feel that way today.”
Like Duncan, Tennessee’s other six Republican U.S. representatives said they would support the GOP nominee, as did Corker. Gov. Bill Haslam and Sen. Lamar Alexander, both endorsing Rubio, have not said so at this point.