“Nooooo!” shouts Cruz half-heartedly as he lounges in the briar patch.
“There’s a lot of people who don’t feel he can appeal to people across the board,” [Orrin] Hatch said. “For us to win, we have to appeal the moderates and independents. We can’t just act like that only one point of view is the only way to go. That’s where Ted is going to have some trouble.”…
“An awful lot of us really didn’t like to be targeted as corrupt, establishment bought by the lobby establishment,” [Dan] Coats added. “It sure looks like someone was using it as a way to gain notoriety as the only true conservative in Washington.”…
“I think people are concerned,” [John] Cornyn told CNN. “Because obviously the top of the ticket will have a big bearing on whether we’ll hold a majority of the Senate. We don’t need any headwinds from the top of the ticket. We need some tailwinds.”…
“There’s no doubt he has harmed relationships among people,” said Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee. “I would assume that all members would work with the elected president for the good of the country. But there is no doubt there would be strains in the working relationship.”
“I’ve come around a little bit on Trump,” added Hatch, who beat back a tea-party primary challenge in 2012 by running as a true conservative and then promptly voted for the Gang of Eight bill eight months later. It’s not just current senators who are all aboard the Trump train in Iowa either. Check out this nuclear non-endorsement:
Welp, Trent Lott just told me he'd take Trump over Cruz if he had to choose.
— Molly Ball (@mollyesque) January 21, 2016
Senator Pork also prefers Trump, who’s supposedly going to take a wrecking ball to the Beltway establishment, to Cruz, huh? Go figure.
Given that Cruz’s campaign rests on the idea that the “Washington cartel” hates him, it’s deeply weird to find name-brand members of the “cartel” confirming for the media that they do indeed hate him 10 days before Iowa votes. Instinctively I want to read it as reverse psychology: These are successful politicians, they know how Cruz will exploit this among voters, therefore it must be the case that they secretly favor Cruz over the loose cannon Trump and are doing their part to hand Cruz ammo. But I don’t think that’s what’s happening. Partly I think Gabe Malor is right that this is just people who despise Cruz not being able to restrain themselves from making that plain, even if it hurts their political interests to do so. That’s a pitiful lack of discipline — compare it to Cruz’s strategic restraint in refusing to attack Trump for month after month — but that’s the Occam’s Razor explanation. The other part of it is probably Hatch et al. suspecting that a huge volume of anti-endorsements of Cruz from all directions will push undecideds against him in Iowa, even if they come from the dreaded “establishment.” If you’re trying to decide between Trump and Cruz and you’ve got Sarah Palin and Terry Branstad and half the U.S. Senate telling you that Trump would be better for reasons ranging from “strength” to ethanol to electability to better prospects for bipartisan compromise in Congress, that’s a lot of pressure from different angles pushing you in one direction. Maybe, for Hatch and company, it’s all part of a pie-in-the-sky attempt to rescue Jeb by taking out Cruz early and hoping that Rubio then fades in NH, setting up a “Trump versus Bush” race. Jeb Bush would certainly win that, right?
But don’t miss the forest for the trees here. The fact that “conservative” senators openly prefer a boorish loose cannon with no ideological allegiance to the right like Trump to a guy whose conservatism isn’t in doubt even among the people who hate him proves Cruz’s point of how perverse the GOP leadership’s priorities are. I can understand why a Senate colleague would dislike Cruz and strongly prefer Rubio to him as nominee. But when you’re given a binary choice between someone who reminds you of Tracy Flick but will vote for what you claim to believe and another guy like Trump who’s deeply unpopular among the wider electorate and barely makes a pretense of sharing your principles, the choice should be obvious. How come it isn’t for these people — many of whom, by the way, are moderates on immigration and should in theory be even more appalled by Trump than they are by Cruz?
As for Cruz, he’s doing exactly what you’d expect him to do strategically with all of this. When life hands you establishment lemons, make populist lemonade.
“Donald is publicly bragging about how all the big establishment players are getting behind him, and his criticism of me is he said I went to Washington and actually stood up and fought in Washington and Donald has said, well, the problem he has with me is that I won’t go along to get along in Washington,” the Texas senator said in an interview Wednesday night with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
“He’ll go along to get along,” Cruz said. “I’ve got to tell you Sean, you know the conservatives across this country, I don’t think the problem with Washington is we haven’t had enough Republicans willing to cut deals with the Democrats.”…
“And the establishment seems to have made a determination Donald Trump’s a guy they can make a deal with who will continue the cronyism and corporate welfare and bailouts for big banks,” he added. “And I think that we’re seeing conservatives getting behind us, and we’re seeing the Washington establishment getting behind Donald Trump, interestingly enough.”
That’s basically what Hatch et al. are telling you. When push comes to shove, they can do business with Trump.
It would be amusing to see Cruz shake the ground in Washington, but I think the article under estimates Trumps ability read the motives of the Washington Elite, unfortunately he cant fire members of congress lol. A Trump/Cruz ticket could cause some of them to jump from the scaffolding that surrounds the dome.
@kitt: C’mon Cruz would never take a V.P. slot from Donald—or give him one.
I still believe at the end the Repubs. will chose a winning Rubio/Kasich ticket.
Cruz already said he would give Don a VP slot at the last debate Don said it too. If Don thinks it would be a way to the oval office you damn well betcha he would take Cruz as the VP. Don on the other hand will accept nothing less than the top job 2nd in command of the most powerful country on the Planet isn’t good enough for him. But the thought of the RINOs jumping from the scaffolds still amuses me.
@kitt: I agree The Donald would offer V.P to anyone he thinks would help him win–including a Dem.
For better or worse Cruz is more principled and would not accept the offer.
Are you clear enough today to realize how much Dems dislike both The Donald and dear Sarah?. Do you think that can change?
Because of the history and current events of the crowned queen of the Democrats and the openly socialist Sanders perhaps its the liberals who are not sure of Trumps lack of appeal to Dems
@kitt: Ref unavailable-
Do you realize that the majority of Repubs. do not support Trump?
A Trump nom will elect HRC—Rubio/Kasich would beat her.
NYT can never depend on those links
All Sarah did was give him a few more days of face time on the news it isn’t going to attract more voters.
@kitt: “self identified Repubs. who are registered as Dems.” WTF??
how bout self identified Repubs. who are registered as Repubs? More than half dislike him.
He–as any Repub– needs to .win Ohio–note to Donald don’t badmouth Kasich–a great V.P pick
Damn straight he will bad mouth Kasich if he comes up too high in the Polls.
You can see how confused the Dems are when the choices are non-choices
Granted, no actual votes have been cast nor counted, but there is zero chance of Kasich being anywhere on the ticket, especially with his nonsensical obamacare expansion palaver. Honestly, if the GOP.still.thinks they can out-Santa demomarxist giveaways to win a presidential election, the party is dumber than whigs.
Conservatives upset over GOPe betrayal, vis a vis giving the dems everything they wanted in the omnibus spending bill, will NEVER support another spineless hack like Kasich. Dem voters will always pick the dem who will give them more “free” stuff over a GOPe flack spouting in favor of less egregious leftist policies.
As the McConnell wing of the GOPe, along with all the K street lobbyists, conclude that neither Jeb nor Rubio can win the GOP nomination, they are aligning with Trump – with whom they feel they can begrudgingly deal – over the conservatively principled Cruz whom they fear. The GOPe were disdainful of Reagan back in 1980, making similar “he’s too conservative to beat the dems” proclamations just as they are doing now against Cruz.
We gave the GOPe the House in 2010. They claimed they couldn’t stop Obama while Reid controlled the Senate. The GOPe talked a conservative game and we gave them the Senate in 2014, as well.as.a.larger majority in the House. They STILL have not managed to stop Obama and the dems. Cruz spoke openly of the GOPe betrayal and his proclivity in acting via conservative principles over the typical GOP bend over for the leftists has them worried about their position in the political fiefdoms.
Now, after all the elitist opprobrium against Trump, these same betraying hacks are warming to Trump – who donated money to as many if not more dems (including the Clintons) than republicans – because they perceive Cruz as a threat to their power.
Will I hold my nose and vote for Trump over any demomarxist? If I have no other choice, yes. But I hope it won’t come to that, and that Cruz is able to replicate his Senate victory over Dewhurst in Texas.
@Pete: Glad to see your lean towards Trump was short lived.
Did you see Palin’s endorsement–comedic. Cruz can win if true Conservatives like yourself do not waver–His G.E. electability is at least as good as Trumps’ –though I’d say they’d go in as slight underdogs to HRC.
Rubio would be favored—Kasich brings Dems across in crucial Ohio.
When faux Conserv. Trump talks deals—referring to folks like Reid and Mitch M?
He will dump any semblance of Conservatism by the summer of 2017.
Let’s not forget that Trump poured $60,000.00 into the McConnell coffers in 2014 to defeat true conservative, Matt Bevin. $10,000 directly to McConnell’s campaign and $50,000.00 to a Karl Rove PAC created just for McConnell.
So Trump’s “epiphany” that he is anti-establishment, seems to be fairly recent.
So who is endorsing Trump? Pols like Palin and Dole who are long past their shelf life. The one thing Trump has tapped into is that even conservatives can be mesmerized by a shiny object, just as Dems were mesmerized by a shiny object in 2008. Half the nation relates to reality shows more than they do anything remotely important.
Rich and Retire,
The sad fact of the current election cycle is that when looking at how the DC crowd and the MSM are portraying things, any opinion other than what the political elitists put forth is considered “extremist”, and these self-appointed aristocrats are becoming more blatant in their disdain for those they consider beneath them.
It is nauseating to see the potential development of having to vote for someone like Trump because the dems top two offerings are a nasty, greedy thug about to be indicted on felony charges for clear cut national security violations, and a true marxist gasbag. The irony of Trump being portrayed as a political outsider who would break the cronyism in both parties in DC, while he himself is quoted as talking about “making deals with the dems” glows so fluorescently bright it can be seen from the international space station.
I went to Trump’s website last night. He had 5 positions spelled out, of which his tax plan was the most detailed. While I can honestly say I agree with his tax reform ideas, there is a YUGE missing element – his discussion completely fails to mention any plan to reign in federal deficit spending. Reforming the outrageously confiscatory tax system is a good start, but will fail if nothing is done to curb the habit of politicians to buy votes through federal pork Keynesian insanity. What sort of art of the deal negotiating will he have to do with the likes of Schumer and Pelosi to get anything close to his website plan tax reform?
I have become more convinced than ever that we have to get term limits on Congress if we ever hope to break the power of the elites. The sheer political ignorance of the masses makes it far too easy for hacks like Reid, McConnell, Schumer, et al to manaipulate the populace into voting away their freedoms in exchange for government crack, all while the party elites build their collective fiefdoms.
The pending dire worldwide financial crash is going to place excruciating pressure on politicians to “do something”. How much lower than zero can the Fed lower interest rates? With almost $20 trillion in national debt, where does the federal government get money for another failed Keynesian TARP program? The number of people on foodstamps nearly doubled, peaking around 48 million, after 2008. What happens when even more millions apply for the program? Who pays for that? The dems insist that the “rich” just have to pay their “fair share”, and everything will be peachy, as if there is an inexhaustable supply of rich people sitting around using money to light their fireplaces.
The consequences of this election are truly existential for our nation. I just don’t think we can afford to elect someone with questionable principles.
@Pete: Well stated—“questionable principles”–that would be HRC and DT—I will campaign AGAINST both.
Note Iowa and N.H polls are all over the map–both parties–almost anything could happen
It’s always amazed me how these 2 small states–both 90%+ White–hold so much attention.
@Richard Wheeler: You give him that long?
@another vet: That would be 6 months into his Presidency–God forbid –Heck you’re right–his “Conservatism” will be gone before election day.
Did you see Cruz commercial with little old lady who lost her home to Trump’s bulldozers?–made room for a casino parking lot in Atlantic City–Great time of year though college football is over. I think Pats will repeat.
@Rich Wheeler: There are some things I like about Trump- his support of the 2nd Amendment, his plan to privatize Veterans health care, and the fact that he is non PC and not afraid to fight back. With that being said, he has no real history of fighting for conservative causes before now and has backed just as many liberal dems as he has conservative Republicans. In other words- marriage of convenience. Steve Forbes he ain’t. Perry and Walker both had solid conservative credentials, fought off attacks by the dem smear machine, stood up to Obama, and were successful governors. Now that they are gone, my vote is up in the air not that it matters because by the time the GOP primary gets to Illinois the nominee will have been picked. Same for POTUS. Illinois is solid blue so the dem will get the electoral votes.