Cruz and Rubio Still Battling – But Could They Cooperate?
Although today’s news seems to be mainly about Donald Trump and Mitt Romney (who?) dissing each other, there are still other players in the presidential race.
We reported that Ben Carson was not going to be in tonight’s debate, and now, the other shoe has fallen, and he says he will speak tomorrow about getting out altogether. That’s what Cruz has been asking for—to get everyone else out, so it will be a one-on-one race between Trump and Cruz.
As we’ve also said elsewhere, that would defeat the “divide-and-conquer” approach, to have each candidate get as many delegates as possible, so that there would have to be an “open” or “brokered” convention. If no one wins on the first ballot, anything could happen.
However, on Super Tuesday night, Cruz said that “anyone who hasn’t won a state” should get out. He obviously didn’t know that Rubio would win Minnesota. It was meant as code to Rubio.
The Daily Intelligencer is reporting that Cruz is now asking, point-blank, that Rubio get out.
On Wednesday night, Cruz tried a new strategy to convince Rubio to drop out, revealing that he definitely would have quit if he hadn’t won in Texas. “Listen, everyone recognizes Donald Trump is a unique phenomenon. And we were encouraged by internal numbers, but you know, I asked the team what do we do if we lose Texas?” Cruz told reporters in Kansas. “And we had reached the conclusion, if we had lost Texas, that would’ve been the end of the road.”
Of course, that highlights another Cruz technique—coulda, shoulda, woulda. AFTER he won Texas, he claims that he would have gotten out of the race if he had lost Texas. Yeah. We’re sure.
But despite the rancor, the National Review, which gave a whole issue to trashing Trump, now thinks it’s time to add Cruz and Rubio together, to see if they can build a big enough straw man to beat The Donald:
Like many others, I have been deeply disturbed by the rise of Donald Trump to become the front-runner for the GOP nomination. As I explained in USAToday, I view him as a threat to the very idea of constitutionally limited government. Because of this, I propose the formation of a new American Constitution party to serve as a lifeboat in which Americans — conservatives, constitutionalists, and others who cannot support the Democratic nominee — can take refuge. Such a party would either win outright, win in the House of Representatives after no candidate secures an electoral majority, or lose but deny Trump the chance to remake the Republican party in his own image. Call this Plan B.
In the wake of Tuesday’s primary results, however, another and easier path to defeating Trump has arisen; it can be Plan A. It basically relies on the patriotism, good sense, and rational self-interest of two men: Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. The plan is simple: Each candidate publicly pledges to support for president whichever of them has the most delegates to the Republican convention. In return, the winner will make the other one his running mate. . .
The beauty of this arrangement is that the primary voters would be the ones to decide which candidate will be at the top of the ticket. And voters could freely vote for their favorite with much less concern that failing to rally around the other would be helping Trump. Let Ted compete with Trump in the states with electorates like Texas, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Alaska. Let Marco compete with Trump in states with electorates like Florida and Minnesota. In short, let Ted be Ted. Let Marco be Marco. Let the most popular Republican win. And let Trump be defeated. Deal?
I think this is unlikely. When huge egos are involved, compromise is difficult. The party was split in 1976. President Ford offered a “co-presidency” with Ronald Reagan, offering him equal say in governing, but it fell apart, since each man wanted to be the top of the ticket. And we ended up with President Carter.
However, Reagan won in 1980, and that’s why a Cruz-Rubio or Rubio-Cruz ticket is so unlikely. Both men think they’ll come back next time, and win all the marbles, by themselves.