Donald Trump may have finally won over Paul Ryan, but a number of prominent Republicans are resigning their positions within the party rather than work to elect the presumptive Republican nominee.
The latest rat to flee the Trump ship is Ruth Guerra, who was the director of Hispanic media at the Republican National Committee. Guerra, who grew up in Texas and is of Mexican descent, had told her colleagues that she was uncomfortable with the idea of promoting Trump, according to a report by the New York Times. A GOP source confirmed the same story to CNN.
Trump doesn’t occupy a fond place in the heart of Guerra’s replacement, Helen Aguirre Ferré, either. As soon as Ferré’s hiring was announced, multiple media outlets reported recent instances of her slamming Trump.
“Notably, the best replacement that Reince Priebus’s leadership team could find for Guerra is someone who has repeatedly trashed the party’s presumptive nominee – which will undercut her effectiveness in the job,” wrote the Washington Post’s James Hohmann.
Liberal group Media Matters collected a number of tweets attacking Trump or sharing articles critical of him that Ferré deleted, including a tweet in response to Trump’s insults of Carly Fiorina, stating that “women [and the] country deserve better” than Trump. As Media Matters noted, one of Ferré’s deleted tweets was from less than a month ago, sharing a poll that said that Trump would drive Miami’s Cuban Americans from the GOP.
Ed O’Keefe, also at the Post, reported that Ferré had also “frequently expressed doubts about Trump in public during appearances on Spanish-language television programs,” including telling Univision’s Jorge Ramos that a segment of the Republican Party would never be able to unite around Trump.
Ferré may be deleting tweets and biting her tongue to keep her new job, but her previous criticisms of Trump are widely held among Hispanics.
In a presidential campaign that contains a staggering number of controversial comments that would have sunk a normal candidate – Trump being, of course, far from normal – his comments about Hispanics have stood out as extraordinary. From saying that Mexico was sending rapists and drug dealers to the U.S. when he launched his campaign, to celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a taco bowl from the Trump Tower Grill, to claiming that the judge (who is from Indiana) assigned to the Trump University lawsuit was biased because he was Mexican, there are many reasons that Trump has a staggering 77% unfavorable rating with Hispanics.
It’s not just Hispanic Republicans who are refusing to work with Trump; as Hohmann noted, the RNC’s director of African American outreach and communications director for black media both quit back in March.
The Young Republicans are seeing similar Trump-instigated divisions among their ranks. Katrina Jørgensen, the communications chair for the Young Republican National Federation (YRNF), publicly posted a lengthy resignation letter on her Facebook page last week.
In the letter, Jørgensen wrote that she felt compelled to step down from her position because, “I cannot live with being seen as supporting a candidate I truly feels tramples on all of our values. Even if we, as an organization, focused exclusively on congressional candidates, we would still be seen as complicit.” Jørgensen further described Trump as “a candidate who endorses bigotry and lawlessness” and wrote that she “want[ed] no part of a racist, fascist, hateful presidency.”
Reports continue to come in about other Republicans quitting or being asked to resign from positions in party organizations across the country.
Kimberly Carroll, a longtime Florida Republican activist who supported Sen. Marco Rubio, told Heat Street that the president of the Florida Federation of Republican Women told her that she could not remain active on the state board if she did not fall in line behind Trump. “I have a feeling there will be more” Republicans leaving their positions, Carroll said.
Whether Trump can win the presidency remains to be seen, but it’s clear that his effect on the GOP organizational structure will be long lasting.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.