7 Powerful Times Donald Trump's Biggest Supporters Have Called Him Out
When New York's most well-known real estate mogul and reality TV tycoon announced that he intended to run for president, many assumed it would be a short-lived campaign that fizzled out early in the primary. However, as his standing in the polls began to rise, so, too, did the number of high-profile supporters backing him. Now, as the Republican nominee, Donald Trump has more than a few big-name supporters. But Trump's off-the-cuff speaking style and penchant for controversy have rubbed even his closest allies the wrong way on more than one occasion. Trump has been criticized by his biggest supporters more than once.
Trump doesn't always make it easy for his supporters. He's been accused of being a racist, of disrespecting a Gold Star mother, and of making an anti-Muslim rhetoric one of the cornerstones of his campaign. His supporters have often had to defend their candidate and help smooth over controversies in the press, making it so that backing the Republican nominee often feels like a full-time job.
Proving that even your friends won't love everything that you do, here are seven times Trump was criticized by his biggest supporters.
1. Ann Coulter
Trump earned the ire of conservative Ann Coulter when he flip-flopped on an issue integral to her high-profile support a few days after Coulter's new book, In Trump We Trust, hit stores across the country. In an interview on MSNBC's Hardball, Coulter said she felt it was a "mistake" for Trump to pull back from his promise to deport every undocumented immigrant and instead imply he supported finding a means for some to stay given they pay back taxes.
2. Sarah Palin
Trump's flip on immigration also angered one of his most outspoken supporters, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. She warned of "massive disappointment" if Trump "were to go down a path of wishy-washy positions" when it came to his campaign's core issues in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.
"Parts of that message we heard in the last week are clearly not consistent with the stringent position and message that supporters have received all along," she said.
3. House Speaker Paul Ryan
Although he's not the biggest Trump supported, he rallied to get the Republican Party excited about Trump. But House Speaker Paul Ryan has had to issue more than a few carefully-worded criticisms of the GOP nominee. When Trump claimed Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the judge hearing the Trump University case was biased against him because of his Mexican-American heritage, Ryan was forced to admit the GOP's presidential candidate's comments were "absolutely unacceptable" and "the textbook definition of a racist comment."
4. Paul Ryan (Again)
Ryan chided the real estate mogul again over his handling of criticism from Khizr Khan, the Muslim-American father of a soldier killed in Iraq, who spoke out against the Republican nominee during the Democratic National Convention. "Many Muslim Americans have served valiantly in our military, and made the ultimate sacrifice," Ryan said. "Captain Khan was one such brave example. His sacrifice — and that of Khizr and Ghazala Khan —should always be honored. Period.”
He added, "America's greatness is built on the principles of liberty and preserved by the men and women who wear the uniform to defend it. As I have said on numerous occasions, a religious test for entering our country is not reflective of these fundamental values. I reject it."
5. Sen. John McCain
Also angered by Trump's response to Khan was Arizona Sen. John McCain, who issued a harsh rebuke in which he urged Americans not to consider Trump's opinion to be that of the Republican Party. "In recent days, Donald Trump disparaged a fallen soldier’s parents," McCain said, according to The Washington Post.
"He has suggested that the likes of their son should not be allowed in the United States — to say nothing of entering its service. I cannot emphasize enough how deeply I disagree with Mr. Trump’s statement. I hope Americans understand that the remarks do not represent the views of our Republican Party, its officers, or candidates."
6. Mike Pence
Even Trump's running mate, conservative Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has called the real estate mogul out on some of his policy proposals. Before Pence became Republicans' candidate for vice president, he had to distance himself from at least three of Trump's ideas and once issued a harsh rebuke of the nominee's call to ban Muslims from the United States. Although Pence attempted to keep Syrian refugees out of Indiana, he couldn't get on board with Trump's Muslim ban, calling it "offensive and unconstitutional" on Twitter.
"Our Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. The U.S. cannot discriminate on the basis of religion," he tweeted.
7. Newt Gingrich
Trump seemed to take it personal when Newt Gingrich, a steadfast supporter of his presidential campaign, criticized him for comments he'd made about the federal judge presiding over a Trump University lawsuit.
"This is one of the worst mistakes Trump has made. I think it's inexcusable," Gingrich told Fox News. "He has every right to criticize a judge. He has every right to say certain decisions aren't right. .. But first of all this judge was born in Indiana. He is an American. Period." Gingrich urged Trump to "move his game up" to a new level. Trump fired back, saying he was "surprised" at Gingrich's criticism and felt "it was inappropriate."