Recently the Trump campaign reached out to National Review, whose “Against Trump” edition galvanized the #NeverTrump movement, seeking input in compiling a list of possible Supreme Court nominees. It was just one example of Trump attempting to mend fences, or at least establish contact, with his most determined detractors as he tries to consolidate support as the Republican presidential nominee.
“I don’t know if I’m making news here,” National Review’s Jonah Goldberg said on Fox News Wednesday. “[Trump] also reached out to ‘National Review,’ a magazine that’s been pretty critical of him, asking for judges.”
Goldberg did not offer more details. Rich Lowry, editor of National Review would not say how the magazine responded, and declined to comment at all except to say that Goldberg’s statement on Fox was correct.
On Friday morning, one of the most vocal #NeverTrumpers of all, Wisconsin conservative radio host Charlie Sykes, announced that Trump had sent him a handwritten, conciliatory note. The note was a copy of the New York Times with an article about formerly anti-Trump conservatives coming around to supporting Trump. Trump had written, “Charlie — I hope you can change your mind. Look forward to doing your show.” After the signature, Trump added, “I WILL WIN!”
On his radio program Friday, Sykes expressed appreciation for Trump’s gesture, but no inclination to change his position.
“I know that simply writing a note doesn’t change anything,” Sykes said on his radio program Friday morning. “But it would have been unfair on my part not to tell people that at least he did this.. .At least in this small context, he apparently is willing to be more gracious than his legion of Trumpkins.”
Later, Sykes tweeted, “I thanked [Trump]. But not going to cave just cuz he sends me a note.”
A member of TrumpWorld says there will be more such gestures. “In order to heal after a primary, you’ve got to reach out to people who weren’t with you,” he noted Friday. “If they don’t want to heal, there’s nothing you can do about it. But the right thing to do is to try.”
It’s not clear what long-term good the Trump peace initiative will do. Both sides have called each other a lot of names, and the #NeverTrump forces have invested a lot in opposing him. But it might lead to some interesting conversations.
“If he came back on my show, that would be an interesting conversation,” Sykes said on radio Friday. “And that may, in fact, happen.”