Paul Waldman writes in the Washington Post on why the GOP establishment should endorse Cruz over Trump:
Marco Rubio, the Republican establishment’s golden boy/fallback position, isfloundering. If he doesn’t prevail in the winner-take-all Florida primary next Tuesday — and he’s currently trailing there by 15-20 percent — it may really be just a two-man race, between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.
That would leave GOP elites in a position where their only chance at stopping a candidate they find terrifying is a candidate they find loathsome.
Not a great choice – especially considering how strong the initial field was.
I’m not going to argue that Ted Cruz is a great option for the GOP. But between him and Trump, it shouldn’t even be a close call. In fact, many of the things they hate about Cruz would be completely irrelevant if he were to become president, or even their party’s nominee.
If you’re a party insider facing this choice, you have three main things to consider. First, which one of these candidates is more likely to win in November? Second, what would happen if either one became president? And third, if you do lose the election, what happens after?
That’s a very good way to look at it.
On the first question, the truth is that we don’t know for sure, but there are strong reasons to think that both Cruz and Trump would be headed for big defeats.
The current general election polling (which is not very reliable at this stage) has Cruz 4% behind Clinton, Rubio tied with Clinton and Trump 6% behind Clinton.
What if either one of them actually got elected? Here’s where Cruz would be vastly preferable for Republicans. Trump, who doesn’t appear to have any sincere beliefs on issues, would likely uphold conservative positions on some things and flip on others, whenever he saw political or personal advantage in doing so.
Cruz, on the other hand, believes pretty much everything establishment Republicans do on matters of policy. As Lindsey Graham says, “if Ted’s the alternative to Trump, he’s at least a Republican and conservative.” Cruz’s arguments with others in the party have been over tactics.
Yep Cruz actually stands for thins he believes in.
And if he were president, Cruz would no longer be rebelling against the party establishment, because he’d be the leader of the party. The arguments that have consumed the GOP for the last seven years would become all but irrelevant with any Republican in the White House. President Cruz would deliver them exactly what they’ve wanted: ACA repeal, tax cuts, regulatory rollback, military spending increases, conservative judges, and so much more. The only question would be whether he’d develop carpal tunnel syndrome from signing all the bills a Republican Congress sent to his desk.
But Cruz actually winning is unlikely. So what if he were the nominee and lost? The party would be in a much better position than it would be if Trump ran and lost. The threat of a Trump nomination is that it could tear the GOP asunder. There may be an independent candidacy funded by conservative donors, or maybe even the start of a whole new party. Even if those things don’t happen, Trump’s nomination will likely cause all kinds of problems for down-ballot Republicans, and could deliver the Senate and maybe even the House to the Democrats, giving President Hillary Clinton the chance to accomplish who knows how many liberal goals during her presidency.
I suspect there will be a serious third party candidate of Trump is the GOP nominee.
The logic argued is very strong – as much as the Republican establishment hate Cruz, he is a vastly better choice for them than Trump.