Every vote cast for Ben Carson and John Kasich is, at this point, a vote for Donald Trump. But let’s stop kidding ourselves. While Rubio fans are blasting Cruz as keeping Trump ahead, Cruz fans are blasting Rubio for keeping Trump ahead. The sad reality is that both Cruz and Rubio will share the blame for Donald Trump’s nomination and both sides should accept it.
For months, the conventional wisdom, conveniently drafted by Republicans in Washington who love Rubio, was that Ted Cruz should have hit Donald Trump earlier instead of playing nice. The reality was that Cruz was no where near striking distance to do such a thing until about the time he did it. And he did it quite effectively after having built his favorability ratings to be higher than anyone else in the race — effectively enough to win Iowa. But again, the people who write the conventional wisdom on this are almost to a person in the tank for Rubio so the convention wisdom has determined Cruz made a strategic error.
Now, of course, Rubio is just starting to get attacked for not attacking Trump. He got into second place in South Carolina and now, even in places like Georgia where Cruz has been ahead of him for months, Rubio is suddenly in second place and has done little against Trump. I await the conventional wisdom that Rubio made a mistake to wait so long to attack Trump. I’m already starting to see it crop up in some locations.
Regardless, that both men continue to attack each other instead of Trump means we will get Trump. That they and many of their supporters do not recognize it, suggests that they are as guilty of cult like candidate worship as they attack Trump’s supporters for being.
The latest example of all of this came when Ted Cruz fired his spokesman, Rick Tyler, for passing out a video that suggested Marco Rubio hated the Bible. Anyone who knows anything about Rubio, as Tyler should, would know the attack was a lie. In firing Tyler, Cruz had to make the lawyerly argument of “even if it were true,” which made him look more like the petulant jackass Rubio’s supporters have been claiming he is and only kept the hostilities flaming.
Rubio’s response was to be kind to Rick Tyler while attacking Cruz as dishonest, which made Rubio look like the whiny bitch Cruz’s team says he is.
And for those of you outraged by my language, because of this fighting we’re going to wind up with Donald Trump, a man who says far worse on the campaign stage.
Rubio made a strategic mistake by being whiny because he could have taken the high ground and, through surrogates, pointed out that Rubio did take the high ground even after Cruz’s mendacious “even if it were true.” The media, already out to get Cruz, would have eaten it up.
The truth is that Cruz and Rubio are both behaving like crybaby toddlers toward each other and every day that each fights the other is a day that Donald Trump is spared attacks. We know that attacking Donald Trump on his own record actually works. We also know it has barely been done.
Because Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz cannot help but be whiny jackasses to each other, the jackass-in-chief is going to get the nomination. They will be to blame for it. Both of them.
New polls today:
Georgia (Trump +9)
Mass (Trump +34)
Vermont (Trump +15)
N Carolina (Trump +18)
Michigan (Trump +18)
Illinois (Trump +13)
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) February 23, 2016