It’s conspicuous that Marco Rubio and the Republican Establishment backing him are going hard after Ted Cruz and all but ignoring Donald Trump. It’s not that they received some secret memo telling them that Cruz is the bigger threat for getting the nomination. Chances are very strong that they are making one of two devious plays, neither of which would be good for the country.
The most likely scenario is that, judging by the math, the only hope they have of getting Rubio the nomination is through a brokered convention. They need to be positioned second to Trump when the convention starts but with the delegates split in a way that prevents Trump from having the required number for an outright election. In this scenario, they’re playing for second which would be the reason that they’re trying to get Cruz out of the way.
The second reason is less likely, but only because we really don’t want to believe it. In fact, it might be even more destructive for the party and the country than a brokered convention. Scenario two involves a backroom deal similar to the one brokered in 1980. When it became apparent that Ronald Reagan wasn’t going to be stopped from getting the nomination, the Neocons and the Republican Establishment that had been hammering him with lies for months made an offer: we’ll back off and even support you if you make George H. W. Bush your running mate and promise to support him in 1988.
Reagan had no reason to make Bush his running mate otherwise. There were better choices that would have had the same effect of consolidating the Republican vote without making him embrace the man that attacked him so heavily for months. The attacks were so strong that some feared the former CIA Director might even try to take Reagan out in a mafia-style hit. Nevertheless, the deal was struck and the Establishment backed off, at least publicly.
Fast-forward to today and there’s likely no deal done, but it may be in the works. Rubio missed an important Conservative Review speaking engagement in order to meet with Frank Luntz. It’s no secret that Luntz worked with Rubio in the past and favors Trump today. As one publication put it, if there’s a conspiracy that is going to bring Rubio over to Trump’s camp, Luntz is the guy who can make it happen.
— JD Rucker (@0boy) February 19, 2016
Before anyone starts jumping up and down and thinking this is a great ticket to take up against the Democrats, I must remind you that regardless of his running mate, Trump will not be able to win. If he’s able to solidify the nomination, the left-leaning mainstream media will engage in the most devastating attacks we’ve ever seen about a politician. Trump has been bulletproof thus far, but only because the media has taken it easy on him. There haven’t been the investigative reports showing how crooked he’s been. There haven’t been the interviews with women, minorities, and former business partners that will paint him as an evil man. So far, there have just been news reports that his fawning fans can embrace as Trump being Trump. The things that will be revealed by the mainstream media make him the best opportunity for even a weak Democratic ticket to ride into the White House as the lesser of two evils.
Running-mate Rubio will not be able to shield the ticket from the carnage that will ensue. If Trump gets the nomination, he will lose in at least 40 states. It will be a bloodbath.
For Rubio, either path is poor but better than outright losing. For the Republican Establishment, they realize that this all means at least four more years of a Democrat in the White House but that’s the price they’re willing to pay to prevent a conservative like Ted Cruz from getting the spot. They see Cruz as more dangerous to their hold on power than Reagan.
Rubio is playing a dangerous game. It’s a two-headed monster that could result in the destruction of the Republican party as we know it. More importantly, either scenario guarantees that the Democrats will win in November.