Trump dispatched his primary opponents with epithets, Jeb Bush fell victim to "low energy". Rubio became "Little Marco". Cruz was "Lying Ted".
Trump tried to knock out his Democratic rival with "Crooked Hillary". When that did not work, Trump and eager surrogates like the pay to play king, Rudolf Giuliani, spread rumors that Hillary's health was too frail to stand up to the Donald.
But stand up she did. So the juvenile delinquents advising Trump tried a new tactic. The polls showed Hillary winning, so the system must be rigged.
John Boehner hand picked Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to succeed as Speaker upon Boehner's retirement.
McCarthy announced that the House established a Select Committee on Benghazi to drive down Hillary's poll numbers.
The Republican Conference punished McCarthy for telling the truth, and selected Paul Ryan as Speaker. McCarthy remained Majority Leader.
Republicans desperately needed an issue to prevent Hillary Clinton from running for president. No Republican could match Hillary's experience and dedication. Only a smear could work.
On 9/11/2012 terrorists attacked the U.S. Mission in Benghazi, Libya, killing four brave American-including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Republicans decided to blame Hillary for the loss of life.
Republicans recruited Mrs. Patricia Smith, mother of Sean Smith, who was killed at Benghazi. Mrs. Smith was dissatisfied with Hillary's explanation after the Benghazi arrack. Mrs, Smith blamed Hillary for her son's death.
There were nine investigations of Benghazi, none of which found Hillary culpable. The Select Committee, chaired by Trey Gowdy (R-SC), had as its sole purpose the destruction of Hillary as the Democratic 2016 nominee.
Hillary testified for eleven hours, which was a record. Trey Gowdy failed to bring Hillary down. Pat Smith called Hillary a murderer at the Republican Convention. Giuliani and Christie held mock prosecutions on the convention floor.
Hillary devastated Trump at the First Debate, and won all three debates. Trump alienated women, minorities, Hispanics and immigrant families.
Trump appealed to uneducated white men, Fascists, nationalists, and White Supremacists.
Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at first apologized for Trump's intemperate rants.
The Republican Party was coming apart at the seams.