Worried Republican leaders are plotting an "intervention" with presidential candidate Donald Trump in a desperate bid to get his careening campaign back on track.
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, Republican National Committee head Reince Priebus, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are among Trump supporters reportedly hoping to talk some sense into him before he blows the election and brings the party down with him.
They hope to enlist the aid of Trump's children who are believed to have the biggest pull with their dad, reports NBC News.
"A new level of panic hit the street," longtime GOP operative Scott Reed, chief strategist for the US Chamber of Commerce, told the Washington Post. "It's time for a serious reset."
The campaign has gone so astray that President Obama has called Trump an "unfit" candidate and asked the Republican Party to do something about him. Even Gingrich, one of Trump's staunchest backers, is now calling him "unacceptable."
Sources have revealed that campaign manager Paul Monafort is so frustrated that he has given up trying to rein in his boss, and that the staff is "suicidal."
Others have labeled the campaign's recent days and Trump's comments as "crazytown." Serious questions have been raised in the press, and by experts and political leaders about the candidate's mental state. "Is Donald Trump just plain crazy?" wondered Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson.
Manafort denied that any "intervention" was in the works, nor was it needed, he insisted. "The only need we have for an intervention is with some media types who keep saying things that aren't true," he told Fox News. "The candidate's in control of his own campaign."
And that's the fear for GOP leaders — even if they do manage an intervention, Trump might not heed anyone's advice or even admit his campaign is in trouble.
"There is great unity in my campaign, perhaps greater than ever before," he tweeted after news of the intervention was reported.
Trump has been floundering since the party convention as he attempts to switch gears from a primary to a general election mode. His biggest blunder has been his deeply unpopular attacks on the US Muslim Khan family, whose Gold Star son, Hamuyan Khan, died fighting for America in Iraq. In an odd display of his understanding of the controversy, Trump boasted this week after he was given a Purple Heart award by a veteran that it was so "much easier" to get it that way instead of being wounded in war.
Campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson seemed to switch tactics in the Khan controversy and blamed Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration for Hamuyan Khan's death in the Iraq war. Khan was killed during GOP President George W. Bush's administration, about five years before Obama moved into the White House.
Trump's other recent shoot-from-hip comments and perplexing campaign strategies have also been controversial, including his suggestion that women who are sexually harassed at work should find other jobs.
And, in a nearly unprecedented display of party disunity, he has also refused to endorse some top Republican candidates in upcoming elections, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, even though Ryan spoke on Trump's behalf at the GOP convention. (Trump's running mate Mike Pence, on the other hand, has "strongly" endorsed Ryan).
If the situation doesn't improve soon the Republican Party will likely begin to switch resources to back vulnerable House and Senate candidates. Many top GOP fundraisers and donors are already turning to the Senate races, dedicating their time and money into protecting the Republican majority.