By even Trump standards, it has been an eventful week: First, he criticized two Gold Star parents Khizr and Ghazala Khan — American Muslims who lost their son, Capt. Humayun Khan in the war in Iraq — and criticized him at the Democratic National Convention. Then, he refused to back House Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. John McCain of Arizona and also harshly criticized Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, saying Ayotte had given him “zero support.”
He suggested people should take their 401(k)s out of the stock market. He implied that if he lost, the election would have been “rigged.” And he appeared to kick a crying baby out of a rally in Ashburn, Va. – though it’s unclear if he was joking.
Montgomery — who said she has always supported Ohio Gov. John Kasich — said she does not know who she will vote for yet. But, “I don’t see any scenario at this point that would have me pulling the lever for Donald Trump for president.”
“I’m not abandoning my party,” she said, saying she still feels strongly about the bedrock principles of fiscal responsibility and national security. “But at some point the safety and security of your country and its place in the world is more important than party.”
In speaking against him, she joins Republicans including HP executive Meg Whitman, Rep. Richard Hanna of New York, former Chris Christie aide Maria Comella and former Jeb Bush aide Sally Bradshaw, all who have said they cannot support Trump. In Ohio, State Sen. Shannon Jones decided not to be a delegate at the Republican National Convention because of her concerns about Trump.
Montgomery said among her myriad concerns was the impact of Trump’s candidacy on other Republicans.
“It’s an impossible situation,” she said. “The Trump campaign is so unaware of the responsibility of the presidential nominee to the ticket and that’s from local to state to national. They’re so unaware or so uncaring of that responsibility.”
That includes Sen. Rob Portman, who faces a re-election bid this fall. State Republicans say they are worried about the impact of Trump on Portman.
Kasich has not endorsed him, and Portman is focused on his own re-election bid and treading carefully around his own endorsement of Trump.
“They’re nervous,” said one senior Ohio Republican. “Because they’ve all been told if Hillary wins by over eight points in Ohio, Portman’s probably gone.”
But while they’re privately worried about Trump’s impact on their campaigns, current Ohio Republican lawmakers remain publicly mum about those concerns.
Montgomery said that Ohio Republican lawmakers are placed in a “very precarious position.”
“It’s a very difficult position to anyone running for office to repudiate the leader of their own party,” she said. “We could lose the Senate, we could have a wave election in which local Republican office holders and state office holders would lose the elections because of the failure of discipline at the top of the
One senior Republican said just as many Republicans have feared being challenged from the right in primaries, many are similarly fearful of criticizing Trump and alienating their base.
“Everyone is tired of this campaign already,” the Republican said. “And they will be anxious to get it done and behind them.”
Jack Torry of the Washington Bureau contributed to this story.