Washington Free Beacon editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti appeared on CNN Tuesday to discuss the battery charges against Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and its consequences for the 2016 GOP primary fight.
CNN host Pamela Brown asked Continetti whether remarks by Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) that the allegations were indicative of an abusive culture in the Trump campaign were fair.
“Ted Cruz has a primary to win,” Continetti said. “Donald Trump has a primary to win. Let's not forget about that. He hasn't reached the magic number of 1,237. The problem for him that this Michelle Fields scandal represents is that it feeds into the idea that Donald Trump's campaign is a circus, and I think we've just started seeing that in the last few weeks.
“Remember, the previous controversy we were arguing over before this latest news broke was the fight between the Trump and Cruz camps over who insulted whose wife first. That's a circus and Republican voters, especially the ones in Wisconsin, who have that kind of Midwestern, nice sensibility, they're going to blanch at it. I think this is a political problem for Donald Trump. Forget about the criminal issues involved. He has to get to 1237 delegates or he's going to face a contested convention where his nomination is not guaranteed.”
Continetti took exception to fellow panelist Jeffrey Toobin's contention that Trump's popularity had risen through similar past controversies, saying he normally would agree but that this could be a “tipping point.”
“Look, I know a lot of Republicans, and the Republicans that I know are saying what happened here,” Continetti said. “And so here we just feed into another news cycle where Donald Trump's campaign is extremely combative. You have accusations of violence. You have accusations of harsh actions and language toward women. Eventually, it catches up with you, and I think we may be starting to see it now.”