Bob Bernick’s Notebook: Utah GOP Has ‘Trump Trouble’

bernick mugOK, we’ve all said and done stupid things.

I certainly have, both verbally and in writing, said things I regret.

But Utah’s GOP chairman James Evans has really pulled a doozy — embarrassing himself and his state party on national TV Thursday morning.


This is one Evans will remember for a long time – and by doing so gives more ammunition to the Count My Vote/SB54 folks who say Evans is just not dealing with reality very well these days:

  • On the morning CNN Carol Costello show, with Evans appearing with Utah Democratic State Chairman Peter Corroon – to talk about the new Y2K poll showing Donald Trump tied with Hillary Clinton in Utah, 26-26 percent – Evans basically lost it.

Here is a video clip.

And you really have to watch this to see how bad it went for Evans.

When I saw it I just started laughing – hard. Thanks James for this moment, I can always use a big horselaugh.

If I’d been drinking my morning milk, it would have come out my nose.

Evans tries to say that Bill and Hillary Clinton are given pass after pass on Bill’s sexual exploitation of women by the media, especially the national “liberal” media, while Trump and Republicans suffer through all kinds of claims that are unsupported.

OK, I see that argument. But then Evans went off the rails:

“I look forward to the interview,” Evans tells Costello, on CNN with Bill Clinton’s illegitimate son.

“What? Oh, please,” says Costello, shaking her head in disbelief. “That is rubbish. You have no evidence. . . you drop that on national TV?” She adds before cutting the interview short and going to a break.

Corroon looks on in what can only be a shocked face, no doubt thinking to himself: “Yes! Utah Republicans look like nut cakes on national TV again!”

Just a bit later, on KSL Radio’s Doug Wright Show, Evans apologized for, well, acting like a nut cake.

Wright was pretty tough on Evans, and Evans admitted he failed to make his point that charges against Republicans – especially against Trump – are repeated by the “liberal” media without confirmation, while bad actions by Democrats are pushed under the rug.

Sorry, James. That just doesn’t stick.

The New York Times doesn’t run such “rubbish” stories – but it did run a story Thursday about two women who said they were groped by Trump in the past.

Evans did, however, prove this point well: The Utah Republican Party is in Trump trouble. Period.

And it is in other trouble, too.

Because of SB54 court suits and battles over the new candidate nomination law, many well-heeled GOP donors are keeping their money out of the party.

The party didn’t even pay its bills for its last two state conventions. Talk about Trump stiffing people he owes money to.

Evans has his own right-wing nutcakes on the governing Central Committee to deal with.

And now he makes, well, how would you categorize it? – a real mess of himself on national TV.

Oh, don’t worry. Some right wing nut-Os on his CC and in his party will think it’s great Evans embarrassed himself on national TV. They will no doubt pass a CC resolution congratulating him on bringing up Bill’s “illegitimate son.”

That is how far out the state party bosses are these days – that after leading Republican Utah officeholders denounce Trump, remove their endorsements; after a new poll shows Trump TIED with Clinton in this state; after the LDS Church-owned Deseret News publishes an unprecedented editorial saying Trump should drop out of the presidential race; the Utah GOP STILL doubles down, endorses Trump again and its chairman goes on national TV to say Bill Clinton has an illegitimate son that CNN won’t interview.

Smart move by Evans to almost immediately apologize on the Wright show for his unsubstantiated slander of Bill and Hillary Clinton (Evans said she defends Bill and attacks female accusers).

Evans told Wright he will try to do better.

Do better? That won’t be hard.

Time for the Utah Republican Party bosses to take off their aluminum foil hats, stop reading reactionary internet anti-Clinton, anti-Democrat “rubbish” and get back to some common sense, mainstream conservative ideas and politicking.

Now, look, Evans is a good man. I know him pretty well.

He is trying hard to run a very misguided party here in Utah. I appreciate he talks to me and keeps media channels open.

But, please, Utah GOP leaders, don’t embarrass the state on national TV.

That doesn’t do anyone any good.