When one thinks of the Republican Establishment in the Senate, the names John McCain, Mitch McConnell, and Lindsey Graham ultimately come to mind. They represent the failures of the Republican majority to curtail President Obama’s out-of-control spending through their desires to walk the moderate line on nearly every policy that doesn’t include an F-22 or Stinger Missiles. Big government Republicans hate Ted Cruz, the Constitutional conservative who believes in less government, lower spending, and a growth economic model outside of Republican norm.
It says a lot when the South Carolina Senator is willing to eat a little crow in order to stop the one candidate who is incapable of beating Hillary Clinton in November. Donald Trump is leading the race for the GOP nomination, but he will be destroyed in the general election. Even shortsighted moderates like Graham are able to see the bigger picture, which is why he’s going from joking about murdering Ted Cruz to reluctantly recommending the party’s untrumped wing coalesce around him.
Had you asked anyone before Super Tuesday who they believed Graham would support after he and the candidate he endorsed, Jeb Bush, failed to make an impact, most would have thought he would embrace “acceptable” conservative Marco Rubio or moderate John Kasich. As Super Tuesday totals were coming in, he chose Cruz as the best anti-Trump.This is hard to accept for those who support Rubio. I jumped on the Cruz bandwagon early, but Rubio has been my second choice for a while. He is probably the best to beat Clinton in the general election, but a win’s a win regardless of the margin and Cruz is also polling to beat Clinton unlike Trump who is consistently losing to her in head-to-head polls.
Perhaps former Red Stater Erick Erickson has the right idea – Cruz/Rubio. As a personal friend to both Rubio and Cruz, Erickson has been neutral between the two… and that might represent the problem Republicans are having with Trump. The general sentiment is that Cruz is the strong conservative with likability issues and Rubio is the conservative-lite candidate with achievement and financial issues, but both have much fewer issues than Trump, so both are hanging in there. A Voltron ticket would be the best chance the Republican party has of uniting the 2/3 that aren’t supporting Trump, especially when Kasich and Ben Carson drop out.
In his Super Tuesday victory speech, Donald Trump repeatedly called himself a “unifier.” If Lindsey Graham can put aside his differences to support Ted Cruz, perhaps we should all recognize that he’s the best chance the country has of not having one of the New York liberals sitting in the Oval Office.
It may be the only thing keeping the Trump situation from turning horrible.