The biggest casualty of the bloody 2016 Republican presidential campaign may be what Ronald Reaganalways called the Eleventh Commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.’’
Candidates who agree on little besides Reagan’s political divinity have broken his admonition routinely, enthusiastically and creatively. “They’re flat-out shredding it!’’ says Ford O’Connell, a GOP consultant and author of Hail Mary: A 10-Step Playbook for Republican Recovery.
At the last debate before the New Hampshire primary — on Reagan’s 105th birthday, a fact participants reverently noted — the candidates applied the words “lie,’’ “liar” or “lying’’ to each other about two dozen times.
Things have gone downhill from there, with the next GOP debate on Thursday in Detroit.