Florida Senator Marco Rubio has tried to distance himself from the “establishment” label throughout his campaign, but he sure sounds like a shill for the party leadership lately. By adopting Mitt Romney’s cynical strategy to vote for the second-place candidate in states where Donald Trump is vulnerable, he shows himself more interested in keeping Trump from the nomination than in actually winning the election.
“If you are a Republican primary voter in Ohio and you want to defeat Donald Trump, your best chance in Ohio is John Kasich, because John Kasich is the sitting governor, he’s very close to Donald Trump in some of the polls there,” said Rubio’s spokesman Alex Conant on Friday.
Rubio himself endorsed the strategy in a West Palm Beach press conference. “Clearly,” he said, “John Kasich has a better chance than winning Ohio than I do.” He stopped short of actually encouraging Ohio voters to cast their ballots for Kasich, but he hardly needed to spell it out.
Showing at least some shred of dignity, Ted Cruz said he was no fan of the idea. “It’s the Washington establishment’s last gasp: ‘Let’s divide things up. Let’s play games,’” Cruz said. “It’s real, real simple. How do you beat Donald Trump? You beat him.”
Exactly. Without some earth-shaking shift in the campaign, it is mathematically impossible for Rubio to win the nomination. So the plan now is to do whatever it takes to make sure Trump doesn’t get to 1,237 before the convention. But here’s the question: what happens then? Rubio thinks the delegates are going to crown him the nominee in subsequent votes, apparently. If that happens…it just…so…
These guys really don’t get it, do they? You’ve got these people like Romney out there defending this kind of outcome, assuring everyone who will listen that it’s perfectly democratic, perfectly legal, and completely within the proper rules of the Republican National Convention. As if that’s going to mean anything to the millions of Trump supporters at the moment the party steals his nomination away from him.
At this point, it may not even matter if Cruz beats Trump fairly. This party has engaged in so much chicanery and so much anti-Trump fervor that his supporters are going to walk either way. Even if Trump himself threw the full weight of his support behind the nominee (fat chance), it’s really unlikely that his fans are going to vote for them in November. Trump might be the only chance to stop Hillary Clinton.
And since there’s no way the RNC is blind to that, their continued opposition to Trump says a lot about their true loyalties.