The same day conservative magazine National Review published a symposium opposing Donald Trump's presidential campaign on grounds that he is a pseudo conservative, the Manhattan billionaire voiced support at a rally Thursday for the party's becoming more establishmentarian.
"You know what, there's a point at which, let's get to be a little establishment. We gotta get things done folks, believe me, don't worry, we're gonna make such great deals," Trump said at a Nevada rally Thursday.
National Review editor Rich Lowry called Trump's bluff, saying that comment marked the beginning of Trump's evolution from a politician who endorses conservative principles on the campaign trail to one that cuts deals with Democrats and embodies everything conservatives hate about moderates.
"I believe if he gets the nomination, he's perfectly capable of turning around and saying 'You know what, I'm really not that conservative, look even National Review criticized me and I'm just a moderate who wants to get things done and cut deals,'" Lowry said.
The change in Trump's message has been noticed by certain Republican establishment figures, who months ago cringed at the idea of the party promising it would remain loyal to the people's choice, especially if that was Trump. Now, Lowry explained, they've surrendered to the GOP front-runner "without a shot being fired."
Lowry said this phenomenon is precisely why his magazine was set up by founder William F. Buckley Jr. in the first place.
"Our mission is to hold up this banner and put this flag in the ground for principled conservatism whether it's popular or not and in fact, sometimes the less people want to hear something, the more important it is for us to say it," Lowry added.
With little more than one week until the Iowa caucuses take place, Lowry said he expects another plot twist to come for Trump, currently ranked second in the Washington Examiner's GOP presidential power rankings.