DALLAS—You could almost hear the collective sigh of relief at the meeting of state Republican chairmen from around the country Monday afternoon when they learned the news that Donald Trump would not run for President.
“Relieved,” was how Michigan State Chairman Bobby Schostak said he felt moments after the word spread at the Westin Park Central hotel here that the multimillionaire developer and host of “The Apprentice” had decided not to seek the Republican nomination to oppose Barack Obama.
A Trump candidacy, in Schostak’s words, “would have made a lot more noise than we need.”
Maine GOP Chairman Charles Webster agreed. As he told HUMAN EVENTS, “Donald Trump running would have been more of a distraction and more of a sideshow. We wouldn’t be focusing on Obama as much as we should if Trump was a candidate.”
“Yes, I’m very happy he’s not running,” said California GOP National Committeewoman Linda Ackerman. “He’d be like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger used running for and serving as governor of California as something simply to do midway in his acting career, and once he was finished, he signed to make three more movies. Trump would have run because it would have been something different, and gone back to business and his TV show after he lost.”
Others who were not critical of Trump himself nonetheless voiced worries that he would have encountered unwanted attention as a candidate and, they felt, this was something the GOP definitely did not need in its efforts to unseat Obama next year.
“He would have become more of an attractive target for the liberal press, and the last time I checked, there were more liberals in the press than folks like us,” said North Carolina GOP Chairman Robin Hayes, a former congressman and nominee for governor. “Had Trump gone forward with running for President, the liberal press would have done its own vetting of Trump—and their vetting of folks like us is very different from the lack of vetting they do on Obama.”
One of the few state party leaders who has met Trump and spent time with him is New Hampshire’s Chairman Jack Kimball. Describing the tycoon as “the same person you see on ‘The Apprentice,’ the GOP chairman in the state that holds the first-in-the-nation primary said, “Donald Trump would have generated excitement in a campaign. After spending a day with him, I don’t doubt it for a minute. But it was the wrong kind of excitement from what we need to defeat Barack Obama.”