When Donald Trump blasted through a field of 16 Republican presidential hopefuls and emerged—against all odds—as the de facto face of the GOP, his fellow party members’ reluctance to embrace the new standard-bearer said it all. In fact, up to and since Trump managed to secure more electoral college than rival Hillary Clinton, scores of “Never Trumpers” refused to get behind the freewheeling populist from Queens.
100 days into Trump’s presidency, not much has changed.
Despite promising an extensive list of accomplishments in his “Contract to the American Voter,” the president has yet to secure any major policy achievements. And his already abysmal approval ratings continue to slip as the administration nears the completely-arbitrary-yet-peddled-by-the-president-himself 100 day mark.
“It’s Jekyll and Hyde with this guy,” one adviser to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan told Time.
Still, the adviser noted, ”we’re talking about him, so that must mean he’s winning.”
“It’s all about the show down there,” another said. “They want the trailer and we’re trying to make the Ken Burns documentary.”
At issue for GOP legislators is that Trump’s poor approval ratings mean they must walk a fine line with their constituents. “I cannot imagine a scenario where President Trump flying into your state is helpful if you’re in swing state or a tight race,” one strategist told Time.
Also at issue is the president’s treatment of fellow Republican leaders, like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and his former vice presidential candidate Carly Fiorina.
“In true red states—think Texas—he has toxic relationships with the Senators,” the strategist said. “He accused Ted Cruz’s dad of killing Kennedy. How does he help there?”