Nobody expected Ted Cruz to win Nevada. But the disappointing third place finish behind Marco Rubio has now poured quicksand around Cruz’s campaign headed into Super Tuesday.
Worse, we’re beginning to see cracks in what has been touted as the best-run campaign in the GOP field. First Cruz was forced to fire communications director Rick Tyler after a string of public flubs that opened Cruz to “dirty tricks” accusations.
CNN quoted Erick in its piece:
“Cruz’s messaging is a muddled mess,” Erick Erickson, a conservative commentator close to both Cruz and Rubio’s campaigns who is neutral between them, wrote Monday. “For about eight months I have said it was Cruz’s race to lose. Now I think it is Rubio’s race to lose. The race has shifted in Rubio’s favor. Republicans want to beat Trump and Rubio is seen by many of them as the likable, electable alternative.”
But more damning, they quoted a Cruz campaign operative throwing in the towel:
“The Cruz campaign has to focus on getting basic campaign techniques right,” said a Republican operative who works for the presidential campaign, who asked not to be identified. “I don’t think Cruz can win the nomination at this point. I think his campaign is done.”
I like Ted Cruz, and to be totally transparent, he’s my second choice. Rubio is a close third. But getting rid Trump is my first choice. And if Cruz can’t do it, he should get out of the way for someone who can.
Cruz still has significant assets, but the one he doesn’t have right now is time. This is not the time to be retooling your campaign at a foundational level. This is the time to attack Trump, not play footsie with Rubio. I fear Cruz may run out of his most important asset before he runs out of money, data, or goodwill, and that’s a terrible shame.