Valley's take on state of Republican party

Posted at 11:03 PM, Mar 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-04 01:03:39-05

Republican women say they are glad their party is getting a lot of attention, but they hope the candidates will stick to the issues at hand.

The Central Republican Women of Phoenix meet every month and Thursday’s meeting came on a very dramatic day, as Mitt Romney publicly criticized candidate Donald Trump.

“I think it's bringing out this energy in people,” said member Miryam Gutier-Elm. “They want to come out and be registered and have a say in this election. So it's a good thing.”

Although candidates have argued about everything from hair, to hands, to other body parts, some members of this group have seen what they call “positive change.”

“We've had a diverse amount of candidates,” said Alice Lara. “Being a Latina woman, we've had two Latinos, and they are right there to the very end.” 

But when Romney attacked Trump, some of the members said they hope candidates can stay on track.

“I just wish our party could not be so fractured,” said Regina Buzello. “I wish they could just stick to the issues, say their peace, and not attack each other.”

Wes Gullett has been running campaigns in Arizona for over 30 years and says he's never seen such animosity within the party.

“It's kind of like a train wreck,” said Gullett. “You can't quite keep your eyes off of it.”

Gullett isn’t so sure that gaining up on Trump is going to give other Republicans what they really want. He said it could all be playing into Hillary Clinton’s hands in the long run.

“Trump, the more he's attacked, the stronger he gets, so it could backfire,” said Gullett.

Gullett said the problem is that the party has not rallied around one candidate, but instead is attacking a major winner.

“You have to kind of play by the rules of the Republican Party and if he won the delegation he should get the nomination,” Gullett said.

An ASU political professor weighed in on the Romney vs. Trump situation. Richard Herrera believes it could be the beginning of what’s to come. He believes several other republican heavy hitters could go after Trump to discredit him for the nomination.