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Charlotte Talks: How The GOP Came To Embrace Trump

Flickr / The White House

Thursday, July 25, 2019

The Republican Party initially scoffed at, then fretted over Donald Trump's candidacy. Then he made it to the White House. Politico's Tim Alberta looks at the GOP's morphing into the "party of Trump" with guest host Erik Spanberg.

Within weeks of Trump's escalator ride into presidential politics in 2015, Republican leadership was trying to figure out how to handle him. After the candidate proposed a ban on Muslims immigrating to the U.S., South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham went on CNN to tell Trump to "go to hell."

The party's Trump conundrum continued through Trump's capturing of the GOP nomination, reaching a pivotal moment with the release of the infamous "Access Hollywood" video.

But after his Electoral College victory, the party went all in on Trump, warts and all. That position has only hardened since, turning former enemies such as Graham into ardent supporters.

"The Republican Party was in big trouble. I brought the party back. "They've got to remain faithful. And loyal," Trump told Tim Alberta, who chronicles the party's evolution in the Trump era in his new book.


Tim Alberta, chief political correspondent, POLITICO Magazine; author of "American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump" (@TimAlberta)