President Donald Trump supporters in Ohio are sending a message to their Republican party: anti-Trump establishment Swamp creatures like Bill Kristol will no longer be tolerated.
Protests are expected outside a Kristol-headlined fundraiser Friday hosted by the Cuyahoga County Republicans at the Cleveland Marriott East. Kristol is the #NeverTrump activist who spearheaded the effort to launch a third-party campaign to hurt Donald Trump in the election and help Hillary Clinton win. Kristol, shamed after Trump’s victory, stepped down as editor-in-chief of his magazine The Weekly Standard.
Cleveland Tea Party co-founder Ralph King told Big League Politics that he will “reach out to some people.”
“I know that people are not happy that one of the NeverTrumpers of the campaign is going to be coming into Cleveland for the dinner. It’s $300 per plate ticket, which is typical of DC. It’s typical of the politics,” King said.
“Why did Billy Kristol come? To suck up to the swamp. He’s a name to draw 300 dollar plates in. He’s not reflective of Cuyahoga County politics. This is just how these political parties operate to try to draw in money,” King said. “No one politician is going to fix everything. Donald Trump is going to give us a leg up, but WE need to do it. Why are we always looking for politicians to solve the problem? Right here right now you have a We the People moment.”
“Especially after what Kasich did, we’re trying to stomp on all of that,” King said, referring to Ohio Republican governor John Kasich, who shut down his state party from campaigning for Trump, forcing pro-Trump activists to win Ohio on their own.
Republican Central Committee member Bonnie Dolezal told Big League Politics that she wants to know if the county party is making money off the Kristol tickets, which they presumably are.
“They don’t do anything unless it’s a fundraiser,” Dolezal said. “I’ve heard people in my county and elsewhere, and people are angry about this. The chairman should not have allowed this to happen, I don’t know who invited him, but they said anyone can come and ask him questions because we need to hear different opinions. Well it’s 300 dollars to go and have lunch with the man, so I don’t think your average grassroots person is going to show up to see Bill Kristol.”
“I think it’s just an outrage,” Dolezal said, vowing to support a protest effort but saying that she is working and cannot show up Friday to a protest.
“It’s what he did during the election to Trump during the election,” Dolezal said about why she opposes Kristol. “He’s not on Fox News anymore, so they took a dim view of his attitude.”
Cuyahoga County party executive committee member Brian Wollet told Big League Politics that he plans to reach out to some college students who can show up to protest.
“A fair amount of people on the central committee” are upset, Wollet said, but “people often don’t like to speak up.”
Wollet pointed to a protest, led by conservative college kids, that garnered big media attention when Chuck Schumer visited the area to do a fundraiser for Senator Sherrod Brown outside the House of Blues.
“He is without remorse,” Wollet said of Kristol, whose false predictions provided the intellectual justification for President Bush’s failed Iraq War. “It’s one thing to be dead wrong. It’s another thing to be dead wrong and then continue.”