Speaking at the Western Conservative Summit Friday, former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin laid into Republicans who won’t support presumptive 2016 GOP nominee Donald Trump (emphasis added):
“…the movement is more than anger. It’s an optimistic, sensible, building-up-the-people agenda— and that is good change. But to them it’s a threat. You know who’s threatened. Those GOPers who insist that they’ll never vote for their party’s choice this time. They call themselves, that gang, they call themselves the ‘Never hashtag’…I just call them ‘Republicans Against Trump,’ or RAT for short.
They wanna take their [Denver] Nuggets ball and go home, and stay home instead of vote because their guy didn’t win this time around. Now, I shouldn’t call them thumb-suckers because they’re not all bad. I’m kidding, they are! And Hillary thanks them because she cannot win without them.”
Conservative Trump critics swiftly took to social media to express their opinions on Palin’s remarks:
I'm old enough to remember when Sarah Palin stood with us against crony-capitalist progressive liberals running the Republican Party.
— Steve Deace (@SteveDeaceShow) July 1, 2016
— Sarah Rumpf (@rumpfshaker) July 1, 2016
Several polls have found Republican support for Trump slipping, but maybe calling holdouts rats will change that.
— Ramesh Ponnuru (@RameshPonnuru) July 1, 2016
I'm sure Palin and the Trumpists calling Republican critics of Trump "rats" will do wonders for Trump's chances: https://t.co/u68Juy6lhb
— Ari Armstrong (@ariarmstrong) July 2, 2016
Say what you will about RATs, they're at least smart enough to jump off a sinking ship, so there's that, Palin. https://t.co/x5KGFnqNuA
— Jellenne (@jellen805) July 1, 2016
Palin got it wrong. We're not RATS. We're CATS = CONSERVATIVES AGAINST TRUMP.
— Ghost Cat Shelly (@TexHellCat) July 1, 2016
The #NeverTrump movement provides many reasons why they refuse to endorse or vote for the presumptive nominee, and as Ben Shapiro put it:
I said in June Trump is a hammer; sometimes he hits a nail, sometimes a puppy. Early on, he hit some nails. Now it's all puppies.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) February 9, 2016
Ouch. It doesn’t look like the RATs will be backing down any time soon.