Donald Trump has said some pretty outrageous things. So outrageous that several conservative pundits have disavowed or refused to support the Republican candidate in his election campaign against Hillary Clinton.
Of course, the craziest aspect of hardline conservatives refusing to support Trump is that they themselves are guilty of engaging in some pretty off-the-wall rhetoric. Here’s a rundown of the craziest conservative voices who (somehow) find Donald Trump too insane to handle.
1. Andrea Peyser
Andrea Peyser, the New York Post columnist who once called Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin a “gorgeous and furious Internet cuckold” and suggested President Barack Obama is a closeted homosexual (or as she put it, “a man as comfortable in the company of women as Tom Cruise”) made headlines Sunday when she tapped “out” of Team Trump.
“In my heart, I wanted the smack-talking, hair-challenged, self-absorbed New York City billionaire Republican to nail down this baby,” Peyser wrote. “But in my head? Not so much.”
That’s right, the woman who once referred to CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour as a “CNN war slut” has finally had too much of the bloviating, hate-filled rhetoric coming out of Trump’s… wherever.
“Some of us smitten with his shoot-from-the-lip style have reached our limits,” Peyser wrote in her column, later adding, “Trump won’t back down from his lunacy and bigotry.” The final straw for the Post columnist? His recent fight with a Gold Star family.
Trump’s lunacy and bigotry were evident from the onset of his campaign, but apparently all the sexist, racist, xenophobic, “ban all Muslims,” “build a wall” BS that preceded his fight with the Khan family wasn’t enough to sway Peyser. That’s the thing about final straws—you’re left to assume everything that came before was tolerable.
2. Mark Levin
Conservative radio host and avid Ted Cruz supporter Mark Levin flirted with the idea of supporting Trump in the past. He liked, for example, the nominee’s proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the country, telling fellow conservative radio figures last December that Trump is merely suggesting we limit “access to this country, immigration of Muslims into this country for what he has said is a temporary period of time till we figure out what’s going on—in other words, to ensure we have the processes in place.”
Levin, who shares Cruz’s hypocritical brand of hardline conservatism, was totally cool with Trump’s unconstitutional non-solution to immigration. It wasn’t until Trump operative Roger Stone called Levin “a worm" and a "prostitute” that the radio host threw his support behind the Never Trump movement.
“Roger Stone is a thug. He’s a sleazeball,” Levin said, later adding, “as a result of what the Trump supporters have attempted here, particularly Roger Stone, I am not voting for Donald Trump. Period.”
“And if anybody has a problem with that, Donald Trump, you can talk to Roger Stone,” Levin said. “These bully, dirty tricks, Nixonian tactics, they’re only going to backfire. They’re only going to backfire. So, count me as never Trump. There’s been too much of this, folks, way too much of this. The crap in the National Enquirer against Ted Cruz, the attacks on Michelle Fields, I mean, I can go right through the list, too much, too much, too much. At some point, you’ve got to stand up to it.”
Good to see Levin drew a line in the sand after a personal attack was launched against him, though he didn't seem to object to the trove of racist, sexist rhetoric hurled from Trump’s mouth since the beginning of his campaign. But hey, when your preferred candidate has his own history of racist, sexist rhetoric, it’s hard to know when exactly to “stand up to it.”
3. Erick Erickson
Erick Erickson, who frequently questions President Barack Obama’s Christianity and argues the homosexual “movement” is "destroying America,” has a litany of crude and indefensible comments in his reservoir.
But oddly enough, Donald Trump is too crude and indefensible for the man who once opined the only reason college students study gender is so they can become “professional victims.” Erickson has been a huge voice in the Never Trump movement, writing an essay in February declaring he “will not vote for Donald Trump for President of the United States even if he is the Republican nominee.”
“He will not win in November,” Erickson wrote before listing why the candidate won’t win without a hint of irony or self-awareness: “He will not win because he turns off a large number of Republicans; he turns off women; he turns off Hispanic voters; he turns off black voters.”
Which is substantively true—Donald Trump does turn off all those voters. But you know what, Erickson? So do you.
4. Glenn Beck
Glenn Beck is out of his mind; that much has been clear for a while. This is the man who publicly contemplated killing Michael Moore, frequently compared globalization to Nazi Germany and once discussed being “on the verge of moral collapse at any time.”
But much like Erickson, Beck is woefully unaware of just how hypocritical and disingenuous his disavowal of Trump is, considering the constant stream of insanity that flows from his mouth on a daily basis.
“I won't vote for Hillary Clinton and I won't vote for Donald Trump. I just won't. And I know a lot of people that feel that way. I know people in the GOP who are like, look, well, he is better that Hillary Clinton. Maybe, I don't know,” Beck told Fox’s Megyn Kelly late last year.
“If they put Donald Trump in, try to put him in office, if that's what the people want, you are going to see an end to the Republican Party,” Beck later added. “It will just be over, there'll just be nothing left.”
Turns out Beck isn’t the only right-wing institution on the verge of a moral collapse.
5. Rick Wilson
GOP strategist Rick Wilson is no stranger to vulgarity. Last year, he was forced to apologize after he asked fellow right-wing nutjob Ann Coulter if Donald Trump “pays you more for anal.”
Pretty crapulous language from a Grand Old Party operative, huh? Speaking of crapulous language, here’s Wilson’s blanket refusal to support the Republican nominee:
“I have opposed Trump from the first day of his wretched, crapulous campaign. I have opposed Trump when his clownish minions called my clients seeking to have me fired. I have opposed The Donald when his slavish of Trumpbart stooges ran story after story attacking me, and unleashed their fever-swamp yokels on my email, my phone, and my family.
I will continue to oppose Trump, implacably and unceasingly.
I will not bend. I will not cease this fight. I will never embrace this thuggish, venal, gibbering psychotic, and I will not countenance those who do. I don't care if I'm the last Republican in America standing to resist this man, but with almighty God as my witness, I will not vote for Donald Trump.”
Looks like gibbering psychosis isn’t confined to the Trump campaign.
6. Ben Howe
Red State contributing editor Ben Howe cemented his right-wing nutjob status in 2014 when he refused to apologize after posting on Twitter, “Give me a gun. Put me in Darren Wilson’s shoes. I’d have shot Mike Brown right in his face.” But even with that trigger-happy suggestion, Howe refuses to support a candidate who once bragged he “could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody,” and “wouldn't lose voters.”
"I will phone bank for Hillary if Trump is nominated,” Howe wrote in a post on the right-wing website.
“I will, should Trump win the nomination, work to make sure that the other dangerous and untrustworthy person, who has declared themselves to be a representative of progressivism, takes the job," he added.
7. Steve Deace
Steve Deace, a former Ted Cruz surrogate, wrote an essay for the Conservative Review outlining his opposition to Trump:
“Conservativism is supposed to be about conserving the things that created American Exceptionalism—not defining them down to play a part in a cult of personality. Neither is it supposed to be about race-baiting, ethnic tribalism, authoritarianism, support for Planned Parenthood or progressivism. That's the left, but that's also Trump, who's just repackaging our opponent's views in pro-American terms.”
To get an idea about what Deace hopes to conserve, look no further than his belief that social services provided gay people with a safety net to explore their “depravity.”
“We have that today, which is why the sexual revolution came after the welfare state, because once it was obvious that people were not going to be held directly accountable for their actions, we removed the inhibitions against human nature that we already had,” Deace said on his radio program in 2015.
His guest, John Stemberger, agreed, adding:
“People who are hard-working and have to be self-sufficient and are not going to be propped up by the government don’t have the luxury of doing stupid, immoral things.”
Ah, yes the golden days of American exceptionalism, when people like Deace got away with saying outrageous things in public and still remained in positions of power. Deace, explain again why you don’t support Donald Trump?
8. Mark Salter
Mark Salter, a former John McCain speechwriter who anonymously published a 2011 novel about the 2012 presidential race titled O: A Presidential Novel and once called Arianna Huffington “a flake and a poser and an attention-seeking diva,” decided earlier this year that he no longer supported the Republican candidate. Instead, he said he would be voting for rival Hillary Clinton.
"[T]he GOP is going to nominate for President a guy who reads the National Enquirer and thinks it's on the level," Salter tweeted in May. "I'm with her.”
Salter’s declaration came after Trump floated a completely unsubstantiated story about former Republican candidate Ted Cruz’s father colluding with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
Salter has since become a vocal opponent of Trump, posting frequent links to articles about defeating the candidate in November. Too bad McCain, Salter’s former boss, is still drinking the Trumpaide (at least in public).
9. Peggy Noonan
Following the Khan controversy, Peggy Noonan—a commentary writer considered by many on the right to represent a more “moderate” Republican base—questioned the candidate’s sanity, writing:
“Here is a truth of life. When you act as if you’re insane, people are liable to think you’re insane. That’s what happened this week. People started to become convinced he was nuts, a total flake.”
But Noonan, a former Reagan speechwriter who said that president had “bad luck in Iran-Contra,” stopped short of suggesting she won’t vote for Trump, instead focusing on whether the GOP can survive the fallout if Trump loses the election. And considering earlier this year she blasted the Never Trump movement, arguing, “great political movements should not be run like private clubs,” it’s anyone’s guess where she stands on supporting “a total flake.”
Way to take a stand, Peggy.