Although the Republican Party often appears to be at odds with GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, political operatives within the party not only believe he can win, but they're taking lessons, too – even of they don't like it.
A seven-page memo written by Ward Baker, the executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and first reported by the Washington Post, tells 2016 senate candidates to take note of why Trump has become so popular among Republican voters but be careful about being too much like the controversial billionaire.
"Trump has risen because voters see him as authentic, independent, direct, firm, - and believe he can't be bought,” Baker wrote. “These are the same character traits our candidates should be advancing in 2016. That's Trump lesson #1."
After that, however, the memo is full of warnings about which Trump traits could mean trouble for other senate candidates.
“Let's face facts. Trump says what's on his mind and that's a problem,” Baker wrote. “Our candidates will have to spend full-time defending him or condemning him if that continues. And that's a place we never, ever want to be.”
Getting too involved in things Trump says is a major concern for Baker, who warns 2016 senate candidates to keep their distance from the controversial billionaire - and talking about women is one of several major concerns outlined in the memo.
“Donald Trump has said some wacky things about women,” Baker wrote. “Candidates shouldn't go near this ground other than to say that your wife or daughter is offended by what Trump said. We do not want to reengage the “war on women” fight, so isolate Trump on this issue by offering a quick condemnation of it.”
The memo also says that Trump could win the GOP nomination, so party members should play nice.
“If the environment aligns properly, Trump could win. It's not a bet many would place now, but it could happen. That's why it's important for our candidates to run their own races, limit the Trump criticisms (other than obvious free kicks), and grab onto the best elements of the anti-Washington populist agenda.”