The election is only a month away but some Republicans are turning on Donald Trump. They're suggesting he should be removed as Republican presidential candidate after his worst controversy yet.
Utah senator Mike Lee did it. Illinois senator Mark Kirk did it. Nevada representative Joe Heck did it. And now, former GOP primary candidate Carly Fiorina has done it.
The names, high-profile or not, go on and on.
You get the point: People are talking about it.
And you know what the craziest thing about that is? Technically — and we do stress technically — it is not impossible.
There is a provision made for the replacement of a candidate, and that provision, within the Republican party's rules, is known as Rule 9.
According to the Washington Post, it reads,
The Republican National Committee is hereby authorized and empowered to fill any and all vacancies which may occur by reason of death, declination, or otherwise of the Republican candidate for President of the United States or the Republican candidate for Vice President of the United States, as nominated by the national convention, or the Republican National Committee may reconvene the national convention for the purpose of filling any such vacancies.
The "otherwise," as one expert explains to the Post, is not meant to cover an instance of "we don't like this guy anymore."
But here we are, in 2016, and a New York Times writer is reporting that Republican officials are discussing the possibility.
Now, just so we're clear, it looks totally unlikely that Trump will be removed as a candidate.
First off, thousands of votes have already been cast in this election via early voting in some states. Secondly, the rule seems pretty clearly intended to facilitate the replacement of a candidate, not the actual removal. Third, Trump told the Wall Street Journal on Saturday that there's "zero chance" of him stepping down.
As one RNC member said, "We are stuck and so is Pence."
So, while in theory the idea of a different presidential candidate being chosen is a possibility, the actual circumstances before us makes it look pretty much implausible (if not impossible).
And that's probably a good thing because this election has already been enough of a circus.
Citations: Washington Post