And they all start to come around
Here's Kevin "loose lips" McCarthy:
McCarthy praised Rubio's comeback in South Carolina after the Florida senator finished a disappointing fifth in New Hampshire, but he acknowledged that it is difficult to name a state that Rubio could win given the dominance of Trump in the race.
McCarthy likened Trump's popularity among voters to actor Arnold Schwarzenegger's rise to governor of California "even down to the fact that they replaced Trump with Arnold on 'The Apprentice.'"
The House GOP leader expressed optimism about working with Trump, acknowledging the businessman's status as the Republican presidential front-runner.
McCarthy pointed to Trump's momentum in the GOP race after winning New Hampshire and South Carolina, saying, "I think there's more [than a] 50-percent chance he's the nominee."
McCarthy insisted that he could work with any of the GOP candidates leading the field.
"Oh yeah, I think I could work with Donald Trump," McCarthy said.
He's got an R after his name doesn't he?
Here's Alex Castellanos, GOP strategist. He would prefer Rubio and thinks he still has a chance but he's getting there:
First, let me confess my growing respect for Donald Trump, who remains the frontrunner for the Republican nomination. Mr. Trump is a much better candidate and, yes, leader than ever imagined by the condescending GOP establishment, yours truly included, which he is routinely thumping. Donald Trump is far from the impulsive decision maker he often appears. His bright mind, keen instincts and business skills have given him superior preparation for a Presidential campaign and, perhaps, for a Presidency. One-third of Republicans seems to think only Donald Trump offers sufficient change to make America great again.
My concern with Mr. Trump remains what it has always been, that he is not a conservative who believes in reducing the power of the all-consuming, all-knowing, all-controlling collective state which is sapping the life of this country. As he has noted, he would just manage big-government better than the “losers” now running it. My fear is that he would rescue our old top-down government, not the average American it crushes.
In that sense, Mr. Trump has not yet grown beyond a Better Business Bureau version of Hillary Clinton. However, he has demonstrated an astonishing capacity to learn and lead. If he becomes the GOP nominee, I will put his yard sign on my lawn, preferring the ambiguity of Donald Trump to the certainty Hillary Clinton.
I keep thinking there's got to be a large number of Republicans who are appalled by Trump and will never vote for him. He is, after all, a neofascist megalomaniac. But maybe I'm wrong.
God, I hope I'm not wrong.
Update: I'm wrong