- REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
The Times called Trump “the most volatile and least prepared presidential candidate nominated by a major party in modern times” and lamented that “a man once ridiculed by many prominent Republicans” will now become the GOP’s standard-bearer.
The editorial continued:
This is a moment of reckoning for the Republican Party. It’s incumbent on its leadership to account for the failures and betrayals that led to this, and find a better way to address them than the demagogy on offer.
Republicans haven’t yet begun to grapple with this. Instead they’re falling into line.
Republican leaders have for years failed to think about much of anything beyond winning the next election. Year after year, the party’s candidates promised help for middle-class people who lost their homes, jobs and savings to recession, who lost limbs and well-being to war, and then did next to nothing. That Mr. Trump was able to enthrall voters by promising simply to “Make America Great Again” – but offering only xenophobic, isolationist or fantastical ideas – is testimony to how thoroughly they reject the politicians who betrayed them.
The editorial concluded: “It is the Republicans who are making a clear choice in 2016, one that seemed unimaginable a year ago: To stamp what they still like to call the party of Lincoln with the brand of Donald Trump.”
Trump’s main Republican rival, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, dropped out of the race for the party’s nomination Tuesday night after Trump won the Indiana primary. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted that Trump had become the presumptive nominee, calling on the party to unite against Trump’s likely Democratic challenger, Hillary Clinton.
The Indiana win put Trump on a glide path to obtain the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination before the party’s July convention. Both The Associated Press and NBC News gave Trump at least 45 of the 57 delegates available in the state. With those delegates counted, Trump stood fewer than 200 delegates away from securing the GOP nomination.
Gov. John Kasich of Ohio is Trump’s only remaining Republican challenger. He has said he will stay in until Trump reaches the required number of delegates to secure the nomination.
Allan Smith contributed to this report.