Cruz Supporters Blinded by Trump Hatred, Overlook Cruz’s Embrace of Establishment

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Apr 24, 2016 No Comments ›› admin

By Ben Barrack

For Lynn Woolley’s opposing view, CLICK HERE.

It’s no secret that my good friend Lynn Woolley is a “Cruz all the way” guy and is as anti-Trump as it gets. His views on those two Republican presidential candidates are shared by a huge swath of Cruz supporters. The Cruz / Trump camps are very passionate and very intransigent. Red State’s Erick Erickson – a staunch Cruz supporter – said he wouldn’t vote for Trump even if the real estate mogul selected Cruz as a running mate.

Take a listen (this is ridiculous on Erickson’s part):

That’s one reason why polls that show Cruz doing better against Hillary in the general election than Trump vs. Hillary are unreliable and fail to consider many factors. For example, if’ I’m a Cruz supporter and am asked about a Trump vs. Hillary election, I’m perhaps so anti-Trump that I may tell the pollster Hillary would win.

Lynn supports Cruz and is convinced Trump would lose the general. This is more an argument about why Trump supporters should support Cruz than it is factual. The #NeverTrump crowd – which asks people to pledge never to vote for Trump – would obviously rather have Hillary Clinton as their president.

Today, if Lynn were asked that question by a pollster, he would tell the pollster Trump can’t win; Hillary would clobber him. The reason is simple; it helps Lynn – and every Cruz or nothing supporter – argue that Cruz is a better choice. These polls are meaningless until there are only two candidates standing; there are simply too many unknown variables at this point. For example, no one is considering the support Trump may get from Bernie Sanders supporters who feel scorned should Hillary get the Democratic nomination.

It’s like predicting who would win the NCAA Basketball Championship depending on which teams win the Final Four. It’s a fool’s errand and impossible to predict.

Today, Sanders supporters loathe Hillary Clinton; they see her in a similar light as conservatives do. To that point, Trump has already started branding the former Secretary of State as “Crooked Hillary” in a way very similar to how he’s been successful at branding Cruz as “Lyin’ Ted”. Once Cruz supporters – who despise Hillary – see Trump do this, they will warm up to him.

As Cruz supporters have watched Trump effectively turn his rhetorical guns on Cruz, they fail to consider the consequences of a future in which Trump turns those guns on Hillary; it will be a completely different landscape; Trump will win many Cruz supporters over with that alone.

Many of Cruz’s supporters will vote for Trump if he’s the nominee, regardless of what they say now (and vice versa).

I do find it interesting that Lynn sees a Trump cult, a Hillary cult and a Bernie cult… but fails to see a Cruz cult; perhaps that’s because he’s part of it.

Defeating Establishment (not courting it) should be Priority One
As a conservative Republican, my first desire is to see the establishment defeated. That’s why I had a hard time being anti-Trump or anti-Cruz. Months ago, I was calling for a Trump/Cruz ticket. With those two anti-establishment figures uniting, it was a no-lose strategy to beat the establishment. With several Republican candidates in the race, Trump and Cruz were supported by a strong majority of Republican voters.

Neil Bush (L) and Ted Cruz (R) - Cruz's embrace of establishment ill-advised and smacks of desperation.

Neil Bush (L) and Ted Cruz (R) – Cruz’s embrace of establishment ill-advised and smacks of desperation.

Instead, egos seemed to get the best of both men. Trump went on offense against Cruz. I was put off by this strategy; I thought it counter-productive to defeating the establishment. To Cruz’s discredit, he adopted an even more ill-advised strategy. In a seemingly desperate move, Cruz embraced the establishment. The first sign was when he brought Neil Bush into the fold.

Soon thereafter, Cruz won the endorsement of Jeb! Bush. Lynn wrote the following in response to those who had a problem with Cruz’s courting of the Bushes [emphasis mine]:

Cruz is not in bed with Neil or Jeb or any other Bush. He simply needs campaign cash — and they have a talent for bringing it in by the bushel load. But suddenly, the win-at-any cost crowd is now the pure-as-the-driven-snow crowd. Let me repeat: Cruz cannot win without some Establishment support and endorsements and without big donor money. If Cruz does not win, he cannot reform the party and change the Status Quo.

Does anyone think such campaign cash doesn’t come with strings? You bet it does.

Lynn contrasts Reagan and Trump by saying that Reagan learned from his mistakes, implying that Trump has not. Nonetheless, Reagan’s biggest mistake was selecting George H.W. Bush as his running mate. He had no way of knowing but that decision paved the way for the Bush and Clinton dynasties that have done untold damage to this country. By courting the establishment, Cruz may be the one who doesn’t learn from that mistake.

Besides, if Cruz can’t beat Trump without the establishment, the opposite must be true; Trump can beat Cruz without it.

Rubio, Jeb and Kasich. Will Cruz select one of these men as running mate if he wins nomination?

Rubio, Jeb and Kasich. Will Cruz select one of these men as running mate if he wins nomination?

You see, that’s exactly the problem. Whether Cruz knows it or not, he’s being bought just as members of Congress are bought by lobbyists who want a return. That’s also the appeal of Trump; he isn’t bought.

Should Cruz win the nomination in Cleveland, he will owe the establishment, but what will he owe them? A vice presidential candidate like John Kasich, Marco Rubio, Jeb or Paul Ryan? There would certainly be calls for other favors to be granted, perhaps even a list of demands. For example, Cruz may have to agree not to release the 28 pages from a 2003 Congressional Report censored by George W. Bush that would be very embarrassing to the former president.

Cruz isn’t just getting establishment endorsements from the likes of Lindsey Graham and Austin Barbour, the nephew of entrenched establishmentarian Haley Barbour who served as Mitt Romney’s 2012 National Finance Chair; he’s also being used.

Speaking of Romney, here is what he had to say about his decision to vote for Cruz in the Utah primary:

The only path that remains to nominate a Republican rather than Mr. Trump is to have an open convention. At this stage, the only way we can reach an open convention is for Senator Cruz to be successful in as many of the remaining nominating elections as possible.

Along those lines, in a recent interview, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave additional voice to this strategy by saying he is “increasingly optimistic” that there will be a brokered convention:

The establishment is exercising what it sees as a can’t lose strategy. By endorsing Cruz, it hopes to increase the possibility that Trump will not get to the magic number of 1237 delegates before the convention. If that happens, you can watch the establishment drop Cruz like a bad habit for someone like Ryan. If the political winds are such that Cruz were to succeed at a brokered convention and get the nomination, he would owe the establishment in a big way.

Trump / Palin ticket?

Trump / Palin ticket?

Under such a scenario, Cruz would most assuredly select an establishment running mate like Rubio, Kasich or Jeb! Lynn will of course tell you that in order to win the general, an establishment figure needs to be part of the ticket for the party to unite.

However, it wasn’t too long ago that Lynn made a very salient observation that doesn’t square with that logic when he correctly identified three wings of the Republican Party – the Trump, Cruz and Establishment wings.

Coincidentally, those three wings are represented in the literal sense right now by the only three Republican candidates still in the race – Trump, Cruz and Kasich. Ask yourself: If you were to pick a two-man ticket from that triad, which would be the most effective?

Those who say one that includes Kasich are just plain wrong. The same can be said about anyone who thinks any establishment figure should be on the ticket.

Though Cruz will owe the establishment such a running mate, Trump will not.

NM Governor Martinez: Immigration hawk a good choice for VP.

NM Governor Martinez: Immigration hawk a good choice for VP.

If Trump is smart and understands the makeup of the three wings Lynn has accurately identified, he would select a running mate like Sarah Palin, Allen West or New Mexico governor Susana Martinez; that would get some Cruz supporters.

Conversely, Cruz would not get Trump supporters by selecting an establishment running mate. A question I’d have for Lynn – who counts the issue of illegal immigration as being among his most important – is this: Would you prefer a Cruz/Rubio ticket over a Trump/Martinez ticket?

Rubio was part of the infamous gang of eight and Martinez has been a hawk on immigration.

With only a place for a presidential and vice presidential candidate and three wings of the party, logic would dictate that the two largest wings be represented. Those two wings are the Trump and Cruz wings so why on earth should the establishment wing be represented on the ticket?

It’s just not logical and Cruz is misreading the voters by embracing that establishment, which he seems to be doing out of desperation.

The pro-Cruz crowd loves to talk about how Trump IS part of the establishment – the liberal establishment. If that’s true, why do both the liberal and Republican establishments equally despise him? The answer has to do with just how similar those establishments are, which is why Cruz’s decision to embrace the Republican side of that coin is compromising business.

Trump / West ticket?

Trump / West ticket?

Trump has landed some very key endorsements. Among them are: Palin, Phyllis Schlafly, Steve Forbes, Pat Buchanan, Ann Coulter, Senator Jeff Sessions, the U.S. Border Patrol Union, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Ben Carson, Geert Wilders, Marine Le Pen, Jon Voight, Ted Nugent, and Juannita Broderrick. Two of the soldiers who survived the Benghazi attacks – Mark “Oz” Geist and John “TIG” Tiegen – have also endorsed Trump.

That field represents people who are warriors for immigration enforcement, social issues, sound economic policy, fighting Islamic threats, and making America great again.

Excluding the establishment, isn’t that what we all want?

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