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WASHINGTON — Worried about ‘‘Republican on Republican’’ hostility, top party donors are taking action, with one firing off a letter calling for more civility and another seeking to block businessman Donald Trump from the debate stage.

Foster Friess, a Wyoming-based investor and one of the party’s top 20 donors in the last presidential contest, issued a letter to 16 White House prospects and the Republican National Committee late last week calling for candidates to stay on the ‘‘civility reservation.’’

‘‘Our candidates will benefit if they all submit to Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment, ‘Thou shall not speak ill of a fellow Republican,’ ’’ Friess wrote in a copy of the letter sent to Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus.


In the dispatch, Friess cites the backing of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts. ‘‘Would you join the effort to inspire a more civil way of making their points?’’ Friess wrote. ‘‘If they drift off the ‘civility reservation,’ let’s all immediately communicate that to them.’’

The call for calm comes as the sprawling Republican field shows signs it could tip into a bare-knuckles struggle for the nomination.

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey on Monday charged that Republicans don’t need ‘‘lectures’’ from Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin repeatedly dismisses Republicans in Congress as having few real-world accomplishments. And Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky regularly jabs his Republican opponents by name.

Yet no candidate has injected more provocation into the 2016 Republican presidential primary than Trump.

Few party officials see the reality-television star as a credible candidate, yet he has stolen the spotlight, lashing out at a growing number of Republican critics who have condemned his recent description of Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists.

Over the weekend Trump posted a message from another user on his Twitter account charging that former Florida governor Jeb Bush ‘‘has to like the Mexican illegals because of his wife,’’ Columba, who was born in Mexico.


Campaigning in New Hampshire over the weekend, Bush said he ‘‘absolutely’’ took the remark personally.

Trump has not apologized, but spokeswoman Hope Hicks on Monday said that, ‘‘Mr. Trump did not write this tweet. This was a retweet from somebody else on the posting of a major story that appeared on Breitbart.’’

California-based Republican donor John Jordan said Monday GOP leaders should take steps to block Trump’s access to the first presidential debate in early August.

Organizers at Fox News, backed by the Republican National Committee, have released guidelines allowing the top 10 candidates in national polling to participate.

Trump would qualify under the current terms, while contenders such as Ohio’s two-term governor, John Kasich, would not.

‘‘Someone in the party ought to start some sort of petition saying, ‘If Trump’s going to be on the stage, I’m not going to be on there with him,’ ’’ Jordan said. ‘‘I’m toying with the idea of it.’’