Following the release last week of the Trump tape that contained lewd comments about women, some Republican leaders have been distancing themselves from their nominee.
One prominent GOP strategist and lobbyist is suggesting that the Republican party needs to abandon not only Donald Trump, but also his most ardent supporters.
John McKager “Mac” Stipanovich was a high level official with former Republican governors in Florida and past Republican presidential candidates.
He's been unabashedly bashing Trump for months, "I don't agree with him on anything. But on a more personal level, he is a loud-mouthed bombastic bully. If we were in the 5th grade together I would fight him every week and my dad would buy me ice cream," he says.
Stipanovich is now equally critical of the most loyal supporters who enthusiastically stick with Trump no matter what.
"Somehow they have become divorced from reality. It doesn't matter a bit. Anything he says, anything he does, they are with him to the bitter end," he says.
And he predicts some of Trump's hardest core backers won't see election day as the end if Hillary Clinton wins.
"They'll go crazy. They will believe the election was rigged. They will threaten to take to the hills with their rifles. These people are as crazy as sprayed roaches so no they won't go quietly," Stipanovich says.
He says when the voting is done, the GOP has some major soul-searching to do. He thinks it is imperative that the party walk away from Trump diehards, no matter the political cost, "If that makes us a minority party or more of a minority party than we are now and we have to wander in the wilderness--the electoral wilderness--for a decade or longer until we can get it right, then we need to wander," he says.
“There are deep, deep seated divisions in the Republican Party that we are going to have to work out in '18, '20, and '22 to see what the Republican Party is going to be in the future. I think we can recover from this campaign. What I am not sure we can recover from is if Trump is able to inject the venom he personifies into the bloodstream of America from the vantage point of the Oval Office. We might never recover from that; and even if we do recover we will never be as well as we were," Stipanovich says.
And so this GOP stalwart says for the first time in his life he will vote for a Democrat for president, "If you would have told me a year ago I would vote for Hillary Clinton I would have called you a liar. If you said it again I would probably fight you. Yet here we are. This is a triage situation."
(© 2017 WFAA)