President Trump’s fight for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is breaking up the “Never Trump” coalition of GOP leaders and pundits, many who are now uniting behind the president in advance of Saturday’s Senate confirmation vote.
Rocked by the wall of Democratic opposition no matter what evidence supporting Kavanaugh is presented and impressed with Trump’s solid backing amid a brutal media attack, Never Trumpers are abandoning their opposition in a show of support for the man they once mocked.
[Read: Kavanaugh on track for confirmation. Flake: 'no additional' corroboration. Collins: 'very thorough' FBI report]
One famous Never Trumper even told Secrets that Trump’s unwavering support for Kavanaugh, a long-time public servant who worked for former President George W. Bush, himself in the Never Trump community, plans to vote for reelection.
Nationally syndicated conservative influencer Erick Erickson told Secrets, “For the first time I see myself voting for Trump in 2020. And it has a lot to do with Kavanaugh. He’s not the only reason, but he’s definitely the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
What’s more, he’s receiving calls into his radio show of Republicans shifting to supporting Trump over the judicial fight.
“I still encounter a lot of people who are like me, very skeptical of the president, didn’t support him in 2016, and suddenly every single one of them, I mean they call my radio show every night, they are excited by the president’s support of Kavanaugh,” said Erickson. “They say no Republican president would have stood by this guy, they would have abandoned him.”
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Erickson plans to reinforce his comments in his Friday column in which he will declare his support for Trump’s 2020 reelection.
Others making the shift include prominent pundits like New York Times columnist Bret Stephens and the Trump critical Wall Street Journal editorial page.
Stephens on Thursday criticized his paper’s coverage of the nomination, and eight times said he was “grateful” for Trump.
The Journal called on conservatives who don’t like Trump to spend their energy venting at Democrats instead.
Conservative media mogul Mark Levin said it’s about time GOP critics started to focus on the bigger fight with Democrats in the upcoming elections.
He told Secrets, “Brett Kavanaugh comes out of the GOP establishment. Yet he was nominated by President Trump and has been viciously assaulted by the media and Democrats. This has united all factions of the GOP and conservative movement. Even the dead-end Never Trumpers. The left is trashing our institutions and Constitution. We all know what’s at stake. The Republic.”
Among the Never-Trump and Trump critical cast that have shifted over Kavanaugh:
- Bret Stephens of the New York Times used the word “grateful” eight times when referring to nemesis Trump. “I’ll admit to feeling grateful that, in Trump, at least one big bully was willing to stand up to others,” he wrote.
- Free Beacon’s Matthew Continetti in a column cutting to the chase said the Democrats are delaying in hopes Kavanaugh is destroyed, and he demanded, “Call the roll.”
- National Review’s Andrew McCarthy also backed Kavanaugh against even GOP delay demands. “What is not as clear is why some Republicans indulge the delay and call for more investigation — other than that they are intimidated, fearing that the media and the Left’s more strident voices will say mean things about them,” he wrote.
- The Wall Street Journal editorial page wrote, “Republicans across America can see, and certainly their senators voting on Judge Kavanaugh should realize, that the left hates them as much or more than they loathe Mr. Trump. Conservatives understand that, for the American left, they are all deplorables now.”
- Erick Erickson writes in his nationally syndicated column running Friday, “I find myself in an odd position where, for the first time, I see myself, one of the original so-called ‘Never Trump conservatives, voting for President Trump in 2020.” Erickson concludes his column, "The political press has behaved as co-conspirators with the Democrats in the Kavanaugh matter. They have clearly been fully co-opted. Reporters are planting their flags with the so-called Resistance and donning pink hats instead of defending truth and reporting facts. There is much in this present political age about which I am uncertain. But there is one thing about which I am absolutely certain. President Trump is not my enemy and too many progressives view me as theirs."