Takedowns of Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump have been coming in all shapes and sizes lately: comedic and dramatic, illustrated and immature.
Now, we have what might be the definitive congressional takedown of Trump—and it comes from within Trump's own party.
Late Monday night, on the eve of the state's Super Tuesday polls, Virginia GOP congressman Scott Rigell published an open letter to the Republican party that tears down the billionaire's candidacy piece-by-piece.
"There is a fire and it’s raging within our Republican party," Rigell begins. "I am convinced that if Donald Trump becomes our nominee, the harm done to our party would be nothing short of catastrophic."
The letter is clear, concise, and persuasive. Rigell, who represents Virginia Beach, and who is set to retire at the end of his term, rips Trump for failing to disavow the KKK and the dictator Benito Mussolini, and for mocking the physical disability of New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski. He also questions many of Trump's previously liberal positions.
"An impostor has slipped through the net," Rigell writes. "Trump is not a Republican. Unlike Trump, the true Republican Party is good, decent and fair. Unlike Trump, the true Republican Party believes we can love our neighbor while fighting for our country."
You can read Rigell's full open letter below, via Hot Air:
An Open Letter to Virginia Republicans: Trump Victory Catastrophic for our Republican Party
Never before have I grabbed a word like catastrophic to make a political point. It’s like pulling a fire alarm; if you do it, there had better be a fire. There is a fire and it’s raging within our Republican party. I am convinced that if Donald Trump becomes our nominee, the harm done to our party would be nothing short of catastrophic.
I reject Trump as our nominee based on his judgment, temperament and character, all of which point to a reckless, embarrassing and ultimately dangerous presidency. Just this past Sunday, Trump’s poor judgment was on display. He failed not once, not twice, but three times to denounce the KKK and its onetime leader, the infamous racist, David Duke. Looking a bit confused when asked about the KKK and Duke, Trump pleaded ignorance. What void must exist in the heart of a person who when asked about the KKK has to struggle for even a moment as to what his position is?
And what void must be present in the mind of a would-be president who is unapologetic in quoting Mussolini and states publicly that he admires Putin? Perhaps it is because Putin is a dictator. Trump’s pledge that he will build a wall and make Mexico pay for it certainly reflects a dictator’s mindset. Mexico will not pay for a wall, nor should it, and it’s reckless for Trump to make that claim.
Through these and other bizarre statements we have come to know Trump. We have seen how he draws from a putrid well in making his case for his candidacy. He rarely debates but chooses instead to belittle. On the trail he caricatured the physical challenges that a respected reporter has to overcome every day of his life. The terms he used in reference to a female news anchor cannot be printed here, nor are they uttered in my home.
So what kind of role model would Trump be to the next generation of Republicans? Short on ideas? Belittle your adversary! Need an edge on the disadvantaged? Mock them! Want others to think you’re a strong leader when running for a party leadership position? Just keeping jabbing your finger in your opponent’s face! Have differences with a veteran? Challenge his honor and service to our country!
It all leads to one clear, irrefutable conclusion: Trump is a bully, unworthy of our nomination. My love for our country eclipses my loyalty to our party, and to live with a clear conscience I will not support a nominee so lacking in the judgment, temperament and character needed to be our nation’s commander-in-chief.
Accordingly, if left with no alternative, I will not support Trump in the general election should he become our Republican nominee.
An impostor has slipped through the net. Trump is not a Republican. Unlike Trump, the true Republican Party is good, decent and fair. Unlike Trump, the true Republican Party believes we can love our neighbor while fighting for our country.
My fellow Republicans, how much more must we see to know that his heart does not reflect our values and creed? How much more must we hear of his flip-flops on issues fundamental to our party to know that his convictions run shallow?
Everything I have learned in life about leadership, about business, and about our incredible country tells me to pull every alarm in the house. A con man is among us. With great respect I implore you, my fellow Republicans, to vote for Marco Rubio, or any candidate but Donald Trump.
Yours in Freedom,