With recent scandals involving Donald Trump coming into the public view, including the now infamous “locker room” talk with Billy Bush, some are recalling the accusations against former President Bill Clinton and asking why those do not matter, yet Trump’s tapes do.
I will not defend either man for the things they have done against women. In this respect, one is just as bad as the other. But this race is about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, not Bill Clinton.
Bill Clinton is not running for the most powerful position in the United States. Donald Trump is and is responsible for satisfactorily answering for his words and actions. Bill Clinton has had his misdeeds and actions in the public spotlight for decades now and has undergone intense public scrutiny and trials, and perhaps it is time for Donald Trump to have the same examination.
In light of these allegations and recordings of Trump, many in the Republican Party are asking, “Can we dump Trump?” As it turns out, the answer is yes. And no.
According to the Republican National Committee (RNC) party rules, specifically under Rule 9, a presidential candidate may be removed in case of “death, declination, or otherwise.”
Death is out of the question and it seems unlikely that Trump who has said he will never back down, will decline the nomination.
If Trump did decline the nomination, his running mate Mike Pence would not automatically become the Republican Party’s nominee. The first option for selecting a nominee would be to gather the 2,472 delegates to another nominating convention and have them decide on a new candidate. Option two, would have the 160 member RNC vote to select a new candidate.
The “otherwise” stipulation is likely out as well as it has long been interpreted to mean anything less than death that would incapacitate a nominee from securing the presidency, such as a stroke or coma.
Critics have argued that the RNC could change the “otherwise” rule to have a broader meaning and thereby use it to force Trump off the ticket.
At this point, this route is no longer an option as any rule change by the RNC would take 30 days before it went into effect, bypassing this year’s election. In addition, thousands of absentee and early voters have already cast their votes, many of them with Trump as their choice for president.
Furthermore, in almost every state, the deadline for getting a name on a ballot has passed. If Trump was removed as the candidate, his name would remain on the ballot and the Republican Party would have to roll out a massive write-in campaign for their new candidate, which would likely not succeed.
There is little precedent in removing a major party candidate at such a high level. The closest comparison was 1972 Democratic vice-presidential candidate, Thomas Eagleton who was forced into resigning his nomination after it was disclosed that he suffered from depression.
According to the Wall Street Journal, there is a nuclear option. The easiest thing for those who do not want Trump to be president is to elect him — with the caveat that he immediately resigns the presidency after he takes the Oath of Office on Jan. 20, making Mike Pence the President of the United States.
Of course this would require Donald Trump to promise to give up the presidency and then follow through on that promise.
So is it possible to dump Trump? Yes.
Is it probable? Likely not.
Whether people like it or not, Trump is the Republican candidate for president. For those Republicans that find it unconscionable to vote for Donald Trump, they can either vote third party, write-in a candidate of their choosing or vote for Hillary Clinton, who they might not agree with, but may have more experience than their above options.