If you traveled back in time a year and asked Republicans what the biggest threat would be heading into the 2016 election, they would have said Hillary Clinton. I would have. How quickly things change. Fast forward a year, and the biggest threat to Republicans is their own presidential front-runner.
Now that it’s down to a (technically) three-man race, with Kasich running a cynical pick-me-for-VP game, the time for choosing has come. It should have come a long time ago, but I’ve found that people are generally disappointing creatures.
For an indication of how desperate the drive is to stop Trump, some establishment players are even beginning to back Ted Cruz, the man they previously scorned with extreme prejudice. Some have backed Kasich, like John Boehner, who allegedly referred to Ted Cruz as “Lucifer“–but they’re in the minority.
Other prominent figures, however, are siding with Donald Trump.
Florida Governor Rick Scott recently endorsed Trump, saying:
“We have to win in November. If we want a president that’s going to focus on jobs, defending the Second Amendment, having somebody on the Supreme Court that believes in the Constitution, and rebuild the military, then we’ve got to start focusing on winning in November. The only way to do that is get behind Donald Trump today…”
Scott also posted the following on his official Facebook page:
“…I believe it is now time for Republicans to accept and respect the will of the voters and coalesce behind Donald Trump…the voters are speaking clearly–they want a businessman outsider who will dramatically shake up the status quo in Washington…We have to elect a Republican in the fall in order to grow jobs, rebuild our military, and put a person who respects the Constitution on the Supreme Court.”
Is it really the will of the voters, or is it the happenstance of a crowded field?
Looking at each primary, Trump has received many pluralities, but never a majority. Additionally, in every single state contest aside from one (Massachusetts), the anti-Trump vote significantly outweighed the Trump vote. In 28 out of 29 states, the anti-Trump vote averaged 63.4 percent. Even in Massachusetts, where Trump got 49.3 percent, the opposing vote was right behind it at 48.1 percent.
Factoring in Massachusetts, that means 62.9 percent of Republican voters do not want Trump. Out of the 20.3 million Republicans who have cast their ballots so far, 12.76 million have voted against the mogul with the mouth.
Looking at head-to-head match-ups between Donald Trump and the only other candidate who can mathematically beat him, Ted Cruz, it’s not even close–and we all know how much the Orange Crush loves polls.
In general election match-ups, the RCP average has Trump losing to Clinton while Cruz beats Clinton.
Governor Scott isn’t looking very closely, it seems. This is especially apparent when he implores us to elect a Republican who will “grow jobs, rebuild our military, and put a person who respects the Constitution on the Supreme Court.”
Let’s go through those, shall we?
Trump’s proposed tariffs would place an incredible economic burden on the American people. A 45% tariff on Chinese goods–as Trump has threatened–would lead to dramatically increased prices on the everyday products Americans purchase. It’s a tax by proxy. Regardless of any new jobs he may help create, Trump’s tariffs would erase economic gains at the cash register.
Regarding the military, I’m not certain I want a president who continually refuses to name foreign policy consultants, then claims he’ll consult himself. Yeah, I’m not joking on that last part.
Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” recently, Trump said:
“I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things…I know what I’m doing, and I listen to a lot of people, I talk to a lot of people, and at the appropriate time, I’ll tell you who the people are. But I speak to a lot of people, but my primary consultant is myself, and I have a good instinct for this stuff.”
I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things. Okay. First of all, I’m gonna call NOPE on that one. Second, he’s been promising to release a list of foreign policy consultants “soon” since September.
Lastly, we have absolutely no idea what kind of judge Donald Trump would appoint to the Supreme Court. This is a man who seemingly has little to no understanding of the Constitution, let alone what constitutes a good justice. Given Trump’s history of saying one thing, then doing a 180 within weeks, or even days, he cannot be trusted to appoint as many as four justices. He’s a loose canon.
If Governor Scott really wanted to respect the will of the voters, he’d be endorsing Cruz, and calling on Kasich to drop out immediately.
Ted Cruz is one of the most brilliant individuals to run for president in the last half-century, and a constitutional scholar to boot. Cruz is a man who does what he says he will do. There are no surprises. Donald Trump, on the other hand, is winging it, running a word salad campaign based on vacuous rage.
Choosing between the two should be pretty easy.