The GOP establishment is going nuts. Super Tuesday didn’t go well for Marco Rubio, and it didn’t go well for any of the old guard in the GOP who hoped voters would somehow “come to their senses” and not support Donald Trump. Instead, Trump had an amazing night, and conservative Ted Cruz won three states to add to the establishment frustration.
As noted in the Associated Press story running on GOPUSA, “Republican leaders searched on Wednesday for a last-chance option that could derail Donald Trump’s momentum fueled by seven commanding Super Tuesday victories.”
Overshadowed by Trump’s wins, Ted Cruz came in a close second in the night’s delegate haul, thanks to a win in his home state of Texas. The strong showing bolstered the senator’s case to be the party’s Trump alternative, even as rival Marco Rubio vowed to continue his fight.
The unrelenting division represents the biggest crisis for the GOP in decades, with the party seemingly on track to nominate a presidential candidate it can’t control. Some party leaders are considering the once unthinkable option of aligning behind Cruz, whom many dislike, while others are talking of a brokered convention. Some influential outsiders even raise the option of forming a new party.
In the story, liberal Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is no fan of Cruz, even suggests he’d support Cruz if it meant stopping Trump.
“Ted Cruz is not my favorite by any means,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, a former candidate whose disdain for his Texas colleague is well known, told CBS News. “But we may be in a position where rallying around Ted Cruz is the only way to stop Donald Trump and I’m not so sure that would work.”
And how about this from GOP blogger Erick Erickson:
“It may be necessary for men and women of principle within the party to set the self-detonation sequence as they escape the ship to a new party,” wrote conservative blogger Erick Erickson. Erickson was among those calling on the party to coalesce around Cruz.
John Nolte at Breitbart.com covers a recent interview that GOP pundit Bill Kristol had on MSNBC. In the interview, Kristol says that it would be better for Hillary Clinton to win than Donald Trump.
KRISTOL: You have to beat him in Florida and Ohio, the first two winner-take-all states, which means there has to be a de facto agreement between the opposition candidates — between the resistance to Trump, which I am proud to be a part of, because I think he’d be a terrible nominee and a terrible president…
SCARBOROUGH: You have the authority to broker that deal right now?
KRISTOL: Well, they need to. They need to defer to Rubio in Florida and probably to Kasich in Ohio, and say, or imply, that if you are a Cruz voter in Ohio, and if you look up the day before the primary and it’s Trump 42%, Kasich 35% — vote for Kasich. And the truth is if Trump doesn’t win Florida and Ohio, it remains very much of an open race. …
Donald Trump [so far] has 35% of the popular vote and 47% of the delegates. That’s a lot better than having 24% of the popular vote and 25% of the delegates, granted. …
JOHN HEILEMANN: Just to go a little further on this topic of what Bill’s advocating: As you talk more and more to Republicans, who will say to you privately and sometimes publicly, that they would rather vote for Hillary Clinton than for Donald Trump, [these are the] people who are going to try to stop him — their attitude is: We know that would happen at a contested convention if we took the nomination away from a Donald Trump [who has won through] a plurality of delegates.
What would happen is that we would likely alienate his supporters and we would likely lose the presidential election. But their position is that it would be better for us to lose the [general] election than to have Donald Trump tear the Party in half as the nominee.
Now you can say that’s suicidal, but that is the posture of people [worried] about the negative effects down ballot.
KRISTOL: And [Trump] would still lose the election. And shouldn’t win the election, So, yeah, I agree.
Here’s a portion of the interview:
This is the craziest situation I’ve ever seen! What’s really troubling is that these GOP leaders had no problems holding Trump’s feet to the fire at the beginning of the campaign season for him to pledge to support the eventual nominee. Now, we have establishment Republicans saying they won’t support Trump if people choose him to be the nominee, and they are openly plotting to bring him down. Can you say “hypocrites”???
It’s great that there is such a battle for the GOP nomination. People want change, and they are expressing their opinions loudly and clearly. Only our so-called leaders aren’t listening. Once the nominee is determined, then we must all rally around that person, and the GOP establishment needs to get on board with that concept!