Here’s why I think one of these senators needs to show some leadership, be the bigger man, and move on with their campaign, away from this fight:
1) It’s giving Hillary and the media plenty of soundbites to use against either of them if one of them becomes the nominee
2)it’s also taking the focus off of Hillary and her horrible policies
3)it’s deepening the split between moderate and grassroots conservatives and will thus make it harder to unite these wings of the party going into the general election, which means that whichever side loses is more likely to have some voters stay home out of bitterness and disillusionment
4)It doesn’t do anything to hurt Trump, nor does it do anything to win over his voters. If anything, it makes those voters even less likely to switch their support from Trump to anyone else because this debate just seems like two lawerly politicians arguing over who said what and trivial details while forgetting about the american people and the bigger picture.
This fight between Cruz and Rubio is becoming a battle of egos, and it’s revealing to me that they’re letting their own personal ambition to be president completely drown out a focus on what’s best for the american people and the ideas and principles they claim they stand for.
Rubio started this fight, that much is clear, so to me, what will be very telling is who ends the fight, and how they end it. If Cruz does so, and in a way that isn’t nasty and personal but rather is magnanimous and humble, then it will show leadership.
But if they both insist on “winning” this debate to the point where they throw the kitchen sink at each other and completely lose sight of the real enemy of freedom, Hillary Clinton, then that tells me neither of them is ready to lead this country because a great president is one who puts the country first and who knows when to end a fight.
Here’s what I would expect a candidate who shows real leadership to do in this situation: back away from the fight and let the american people decide who’s right on immigration and what their record is. Trust that the GOP primary voters can cut through all the lies and bs and find the truth. Explain your position on immigration at campaign events and in ads without constantly attacking and impugning the character of your opponent.
When it comes to politics I try to think of everything through the lens of this question: WWRD? What would Reagan do?
Can you imagine Reagan squabbling with a fellow republican and getting into a nasty, drawn out fight on the fine details of various bills and amendments from years ago? Of course not, cause Reagan never did that.
He debated George HW Bush, who even went so far as to call his economic plan “voodoo economics”, yet he remained civil and respectful and didn’t return the favor. Cruz always says he’s a lifelong student and admirer of Reagan, but he’s doing the opposite of what Reagan did. He should learn from Reagan’s approach and take the high road here.
A good analogy for this fight is a marriage. Cruz and Rubio are the parents and the GOP primary voters are the children. Mom and dad are fighting and we don’t wanna see either of them lose because when it comes down to it, we’re all family and we’re not the enemies of each other, Hillary is our enemy, or at least opponent.
In marriage, a wise man learns pretty quickly that when he gets into an argument with his wife, it usually doesn’t matter if he’s right or wrong when they’re fighting about who said what or who did the right or wrong thing in the past.
Winning a debate or getting to the truth of the matter just isn’t worth it usually because in the process you’re hurting each other and more importantly, you’re either forcing your kids to pick sides (which the GOP shouldn’t want come time for the general since we have to be united as a party against Hillary), or you’re setting a bad example for them about how to handle conflict and making them view both of you in a more negative light.
So the wise thing to do is to let your wife win the argument and think she’s right, even if she’s not, cause that proves to her that your relationship with her is more important than winning a debate or being objectively right about a topic that isn’t as important as the fundamental unity of the family and the bonds we all share.
She might not even know you made that sacrifice of humbling yourself and letting yourself be called out even when you don’t deserve to be, but in the end it’s worth it.
Now, I don’t think Cruz should let Rubio “win” this debate, rather, I think he needs to take a step back and start contrasting his position with Hillary’s. He should say that whatever differences there are between him and Rubio are minor compared to the differences between republicans and Hillary. That would show real leadership and would make him seem more presidential than Rubio, who would come off as petty and overly ambitious if he continued to hammer Cruz even after Cruz backed down.
It’s great to be a fighter, but you gotta know when to pick your fights, and to prioritize your opponents. Reagan didn’t attack his fellow Republicans, even on issues he knew they were wrong on, because he knew that the media and the Democrat opponent would use those attacks against that republican if he ended up being the nominee instead of Reagan.
He was looking down the road at the bigger picture. He was wise and humble enough to not let his ego get in the way and to put his party and his country ahead of himself and his own personal ambitions.
Cruz needs to do the same. If he does, that would give him my immediate and unreserved endorsement. If he doesn’t, I’ll be very disappointed cause it’ll prove he’s just another ambitious politician who puts his own ego above all else when conflicts and debates arise, and I’ll be stuck between him and Rubio.