Voters on both sides of the aisle have made one thing clear this cycle: They’re sick of the status quo, and want an outsider who will shake things up. Unfortunately for conservatives, some of our compatriots have fallen for Donald Trump’s anti-politician shtick despite his liberal record. But the good news is that we have a credible, conservative alternative in Ted Cruz. In fact, Cruz is the only Republican who has proven so far that he’s capable of beating Trump, as he demonstrated in Iowa.
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Meanwhile, the media and political establishment are circling the wagons around their new golden boy Marco Rubio. This has been a phenomenon in the making for some time, but since Jeb Bush ended his campaign after yet another lackluster performance in South Carolina, it’s no longer a question: The establishment is behind Rubio. For a candidate who hasn’t won a race yet, and only beat Cruz by 1,091 votes in South Carolina when he had the backing of Gov. Haley, Sen. Scott, and Rep. Gowdy, the establishment seems naively confident that Rubio’s fresh face (with the same Bush policies) is the new standard bearer.
Rubio, while young, isn’t the kind of outsider voters are looking for right now. He’s played in the establishment lane his entire career. Rubio’s unrepentant participation in the Gang of Eight and support of amnesty for illegal immigrants shows he’s simply out of touch with the conservative base. This is an anger that, for all of his policy faults, Trump has tapped into. This speaks to why Ted Cruz, a proven conservative on not just immigration, but every policy question imaginable, is the only candidate with the chops and campaign organization to stop Trump.
In the wake of Saturday’s contest in South Carolina, The Guardian published an apt article by Richard Wolffe with an amusing headline: “Marco Rubio: the winningest candidate who just can’t seem to win.” This is completely accurate. As Wolffe said, “Whatever Rubio knows about Nevada, it isn’t impressing the state’s voters. According to the most recent polls (in a state that is notoriously difficult to poll), Rubio is at least 20 points behind Donald Trump and can barely tie Ted Cruz for second place.”
Ouch! Especially considering the fact that Rubio spent a good portion of his childhood in Las Vegas, has a ton of family there, and the state brings a strong Latino population. Isn’t Rubio supposed to be the candidate of demographic crossover appeal? If so, he’s yet to prove it. As Wolffe added, “Rubio is faring no worse in [Nevada] than he is elsewhere. He is running third in two of the bigger states on Super Tuesday – Texas and Georgia – in line with his third-place finish in Iowa and his effective tie for second place in South Carolina.”
At what point, exactly, do Rubio’s defenders see him actually winning? If he can’t make a splash with fellow Floridian and ultimate establishment candidate Jeb Bush out of the race, this narrative that he’s the one to take Trump out simply doesn’t pass muster. Matt Purple at Rare broke down the situation well: “The upcoming geography … favors Cruz. Though he’ll probably come in second or third in Nevada, the following Tuesday is the Dixie-flavored SEC primary, with plenty of southern states for Cruz to mine. According to Super Tuesday polls taken over the last 30 days, Cruz leads in his home state of Texas and in Arkansas—a win in either one could juice his campaign. In states where Rubio should do well, like Virginia and Massachusetts, his path is blocked by the indomitable Trump. Unlike Cruz, Rubio isn’t leading in a single Super Tuesday contest.”
If you want to stop Trump, it’s time to get behind the conservative outsider who can win. Exit polls in South Carolina showed that while Trump did do well across the board, Cruz won the voters that identify as “very conservative.” He also won voters under 29 – a major and unheralded accomplishment. While the media engages in its pro-Rubio wishful thinking, actual Americans just don’t seem to be on their side. Rubio’s defenders keep citing his “electability,” but he has to get nominated first. And the truth is, Hillary Clinton is so damaged that polling shows any Republican, including Cruz, is poised to beat her.
Ted Cruz is the most conservative candidate, and he can win. Instead of trying to shove the same establishment policies down the throats of unwilling voters by rallying around Rubio, let’s satisfy the desire for an outsider; but one who opposes Obamacare, partial birth abortion, and funding Planned Parenthood. Pick a candidate who can be trusted with nominating Justice Scalia’s replacement, and wants to actually reduce the size and scope of government. Conservatives can’t trust Donald Trump. But we can trust Ted Cruz. Vote Cruz to stop Trump, beat Hillary, and restore our constitutional republic!