03.02.2016 2

If #neverTrump forces are serious, they should back Cruz

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By Rick Manning

#neverTrump has become the fashionable Twitter hashtag in GOP political circles over the past few days, as Republican wags and others declare their willingness to turn control over the Supreme Court to Hillary Clinton should Donald Trump get the nomination to oppose her.

The question the hashtag warriors need to ask themselves is whether they are willing to throw their support and effort behind the only candidate in the race who can beat Trump nationally – Senator Ted Cruz.

Cruz’ convincing, powerful wins in Texas, Oklahoma and Alaska position him in second position closely behind Trump in his overall delegate count, and for those who are dump Trump or bust, backing Cruz would seem like a no-brainer, but as Lee Corso says, “not so fast my friend.”

Marco Rubio supporters will point to his Minnesota caucus victory as a launching point as he heads toward his home state, Florida’s, primary. The fly in the ointment is that right now Rubio loses to Trump by almost 20 percent according to Real Clear Politics which averages the four latest polls. Any honest observer has to conclude that there is no pathway to victory for Rubio if he cannot win his own state.

Ohio Governor John Kasich hopes to trip Trump up in his own home turf in the Buckeye state and other big delegate Midwestern strong holds.  Except that Kasich loses to Trump in the latest poll largely due to Marco Rubio sucking up 13 percent of the votes, all of whom could go to someone other than the front runner.

Rubio played the same roll in Texas where his votes, if they had been cast for Cruz, would have put the Texan over the 50 percent threshold to garner all of the state’s 155 delegates, instead giving Trump a sizeable chunk of the states delegate gold mine.

If the “anybody but Trump” crowd were brutally honest with themselves, they would tell Marco to hit the sidelines with a promise of support for another day.  In states that are conservative, he hurts Cruz’ chance to beat Trump, and in states where the GOP electorate is more moderate, he hurts Kasich.

And in states like California, they would band together in support of Cruz who already enjoys the support of the powerful California Republican Assembly.

The irony of course is that many of the angry anti-Trump hashtaggers would be voicing the same sentiments that they fire at Trump against Cruz if the Texan was ahead in the race.  Issuing dire warnings that Trump means the end of the Republican Party, and maybe even the end of the republican form of government, many anti-Trump leaders are determined to impact the primary campaign.  Their best bet would be to sit Rubio down, convince Carson to wholeheartedly support Cruz and to throw whatever remaining weight they have behind Cruz.

However, this assumes that those behind the #neverTrump Twitter branding actually mean it, and are not just creating a fiction that they can hide behind in false righteous indignation. It’s time for them to step forward, and take responsibility for the sense of abandonment that the Republican Party base rightfully feel.  No more excuses, no delay.  Just put your money where your mouth is and introduce Cruz and his conservative principles to an renewed bid for the White House.

Anything less would prove that it isn’t about Trump or Cruz, but instead maintaining raw power and a general agreement that Trump and Cruz — one a populist, the other a classic conservative — cannot be allowed to have a desk in the Oval Office, even if that means throwing the election to Hillary and skewing the Supreme Court far left for the next thirty years.

It’s time for the GOP establishment to suck it up, admit defeat, and get Marco Rubio out of a presidential race that his only seeming role is to take votes from candidates who might otherwise defeat their purported Trump nemesis.

#neverTrump indeed.

Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government.

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