Trump Brings Enemies Together in Solidarity
Donald Trump himself said he was a “unifier,” and that’s proving to be the case…although perhaps not in the way he meant it. Desperate to prevent him from becoming the Republican nominee, senators who have had very few compliments for Ted Cruz in recent months are now reluctantly backing him for president.
A former contender for the nomination himself, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said this year that choosing between Trump and Cruz would be like deciding whether to be “shot or poisoned.” On another occasion, he joked that if Cruz was killed on the floor of the Senate and the trial was held there, no one would vote to convict. But despite that striking animosity, Graham announced this week that he would be joining the Texas conservative’s campaign.
Graham will join Cruz at a Washington fundraiser on Monday, a development that has surprised many. Graham said that Cruz was “the best alternative to Donald Trump” in a statement. He said that even though he would prefer John Kasich to Cruz, he didn’t see any way the Ohio governor could overcome the delegate deficit.
In an interview Thursday, Graham acknowledged that he still had problems with Cruz.
“Having said that, it pales in comparison with my differences with Trump,” Graham said. “I think Ted Cruz is a reliable Republican, strong on Israel, will repeal and replace Obamacare, will be good on the Supreme Court. So we have many things in common, but we also have many differences.”
Not as surprisingly, Marco Rubio has also indicated that he’s throwing his support behind Cruz. In a conference call with Minnesota supporters, Rubio said that Cruz was “the only true conservative left in the race.”
Asked Thursday if his comments translated into an endorsement, Rubio told reporters that he wasn’t ready to make that announcement. However, he did say that it was important to keep the frontrunner from winning.
“There’s time to prevent a Trump nomination, which I think would fracture the party and be damaging to the conservative movement,” Rubio said.
As amusing as it is to see these enemies aligning against Trump, it’s hard to see what difference it will make. In fact, it’s entirely possible that these endorsements will hinder Cruz, who has been second only to Trump in building an anti-establishment narrative. With prominent party figures like Graham, Rubio, and Nikki Haley suddenly moving his way, will he lose the very thing that made him special?