Trump? Bush? Time for this GOP candidate to drop out

Donald Trump is quick to tell voters why they should follow a strong leader, but what will he say now that the leader of the Tea Party movement, Ken Crow, is abandoning him for Jeb Bush?

On Tuesday, Crow told the Washington Times he was jumping off the Trump train because he wasn't acting like a president.

"Anyone who is unable to control his language in front of little old ladies and children is a problem for me," Crow told the Washington Times. "When is Trump going to act like a president? The answer is he's not."

Jeb Bush and Donald Trump
Getty Images
Jeb Bush and Donald Trump

Ironically, the candidate with the most to gain from this positive news, Jeb Bush, did the least to take advantage of it.

After Crow publicly endorsed Jeb, the candidate tweeted a picture of his new gun, instead of putting his PR team to work, alerting the media of the latest Tea Party desertion.

Now, instead of controlling the day's news headlines with a Judas story of betrayal, the Jeb campaign is trying to manage a negative story that centers on guns.

Trump got a big break here because as of now, only the Washington Times and Newsmax reported Crow leaving Trump for Bush. It also gives Trump a cushion with how he responds to the news.

As much as Trump might want to attack Crow, the GOP showman knows deep inside that he has to bite his tongue, or risk reinforcing an image that his GOP opponents want to pin on him.

The presidential candidates have been saying for months that Trump doesn't have the presidential temperament. They point to his crass language and say that Trump treats volatile global issues like a game of monopoly, without understanding the consequences.

Those jabs have had little impact. Even after a South Carolina debate when the crowd booed Trump for attacking President George W. Bush, Trump's lead in the polls has grown.

But now that Crow has said, "enough is enough," every GOP presidential candidate has an opportunity to attack Trump where he is strongest: with his supporters.

If they — as a group — can create more cracks within the Tea Party base, the Trump foundation will be weakened. It won't collapse because if the polls are right, there is too large of a gap for the other candidates to make up between now and March, but this does create new opportunities for the candidates to start narrowing the field.

Jeb Bush will lose South Carolina and after it's over, he should drop out of the race and give other candidates an opportunity to coalesce around someone who the GOP feels can win in November.

At least for this last hurrah, Jeb can't blame the family name for losing a state that loved both his father and brother. This time, Jeb should be blaming himself and his media strategists for squandering an opportunity that was manna from heaven.

Commentary by Mark Macias, head of Macias PR, a global public-relations firm, that has run media and branding campaigns for politicians, tech start-ups, financial firms, nonprofits and companies. He's also author of the book, "Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing theMedia." Follow him on Twitter @markmacias.

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