Conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt thinks the Republican Party must change its convention rules in order to choose a presidential nominee other than Donald Trump, or else face certain defeat in November.
“It’s like ignoring stage-four cancer. You can’t do it, you gotta go attack it,” Hewitt said on his show Wednesday. “And right now the Republican Party is facing—the plane is headed towards the mountain after the last 72 hours.”
The GOP’s fragile unity threatened to fall apart on Tuesday, as Republican leaders who grudgingly agreed to support Trump came out with forceful condemnations of his claims that the “Mexican” heritage of a federal judge rendered him biased against Trump in a case involving Trump University.
In an astonishing press conference, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) called the presumptive nominee’s remarks “the textbook definition” of a racist comment. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) withdrew his support Trump, and Iowa state Sen. David Johnson (R) became the first elected Republican to leave the party because of Trump’s comments about minorities.
Hewitt said simply rejecting Trump’s candidacy wasn’t enough and that a new candidate would have to be named in his place.
“I wanna support the nominee of the party, but I think the party ought to change the nominee,” he said. “Because we’re going to get killed with this nominee.”
“They ought to get together and let the convention decide,” he went on. “And if Donald Trump pulls over a makeover in the next four to five weeks, great, they can keep him. It would be better if he had done so five weeks ago.”
The conservative radio host has withheld an endorsement in the 2016 race, referring to himself frequently as “Switzerland.” But Hewitt said in February that he would endorse Trump as the nominee even after Trump repeatedly mocked his “low-rated show.”
Correction: The original version of this post misstated where David Johnson serves as state senator. He is a state senator from Iowa.