Former Governor Christine Whitman speaks to cadets during the Hedrick Fellow event at the Coast Guard Academy, Mar. 24, 2017.
Photo Credit: Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicole Barger (Public Domain)

Four state Republican parties have canceled their primaries or caucus – Arizona, Kansas, Nevada, and South Carolina Republicans decided to scrap their contest.

This is wrong, especially when the Republican nomination is contested. Three challengers have come forward – former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, and former U.S. Rep and South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford have thrown their hat in the ring.

Removing an opportunity to vote for the party’s nominee is not a Republican value, and, frankly, trying to stop a primary contest does not do President Donald Trump any favors. It makes him look weak like he can’t stand up to a primary challenge. It simply looks like he needs state parties to stack the deck for him. It takes away the opportunity for Republicans to affirm the Trump presidency and nominate him again.

And they will. No one should doubt, especially with President Trump’s approval ratings among Republicans, that he will be nominated. Voters, however, deserve a choice and three people stepped forward to provide a choice.

So those who complain about state parties canceling their nomination contests have a legitimate complaint.

Unfortunately, former New Jersey Governor Christine Whitman gave Trump apologists ammunition to reject the complaint.

She tweeted on Thursday, “Why are the #GOP organizations in South Carolina, Nevada, Arizona and Kansas afraid of their voters? They are not far from jailing challengers. So sad how far my party has fallen.”

How in the world does one go from stopping primary contests, which are controlled by state political parties not state government, to jailing challengers?

This is how one turns a legitimate compliant into an absurd one and by doing so Whitman didn’t do President Trump’s challengers any favors.

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