Donald Trump Faces GOP Backlash in NJ as He Becomes Likely Presidential Nominee - NBC New York
Decision 2016

Decision 2016

Full coverage of the race for the White House

Donald Trump Faces GOP Backlash in NJ as He Becomes Likely Presidential Nominee

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Donald Trump Faces GOP Backlash in NJ as He Becomes Likely Presidential Nominee

    As the Republican party scrambles now to figure out what to do with Donald Trump as its likely presidential nominee, party leaders in New Jersey say they may either vote Hillary Clinton or not vote at all. Brian Thompson reports. (Published Wednesday, May 4, 2016)

    As the Republican party scrambles now to figure out what to do with Donald Trump as its likely presidential nominee, party leaders in New Jersey say they may either vote Hillary Clinton or not vote at all. 

    Outside the Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, where Trump says he wants to be buried when he dies, some Republicans are holding out hope that there is a way to politically bury him this summer -- with a surprise third-party candidate. 

    "His desire to demean and diminish people is just appalling," said former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman. 

    The former Republican governor says she can't stand Trump and that he's left her party in disarray. Whitman was state chair for John Kasich, who threw in the towel Wednesday. 

    Alan Steinberg was regional EPA administrator under George W. Bush and was a delegate for Ted Cruz -- his hope for the conservative cause. Steinberg said he's actually voting for Hillary Clinton, with whom he worked when she was U.S. senator for New York. 

    "She can work with people on the opposite side of the political aisle," he said. 

    Steve Lonegan, who once ran against Chris Christie for governor, was state chair for Cruz. Now he's packing up what's left of the campaign, buttons, stickers and all. 

    "I'm not going to say I'm voting for Hillary. I'm also not voting for Donald Trump," he said. "I may not vote." 

    Lonegan said Trump has to earn his vote, starting by making up with Cruz over what Lonegan calls character assassination. 

    A third Cruz delegate, Chris Schiavone, told NBC 4 New York by email, "What good is a lesser of evils when one must choose between being hit by a car or by a train?"

    Trump's hopes of uniting the party count on support from Christie to many in the tea party, like Bayshore's Barbara Gonzalez. 

    Still, a March Monmouth University poll shows 12 percent of Republicans would vote for Clinton. Nine percent more would simply not vote. 

    Whitman says there may be an alternative.

    "I'm ruling out a vote for Trump and I'll wait to see how the campaign moves forward," she said. "I'd rather write in. I'm looking for that third party." 

    Whitman herself ruled out running. But she'll be seeing former Secretary of State Colin Powell soon and says she'll ask him if he would run. 

    Get the latest from NBC 4 New York anywhere, anytime