Cruz, Rubio Claim Anti-Trump Title
Following Super Tuesday’s results, the respective campaigns of Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio vowed to carry on the fight to deny Donald Trump’s nomination for president.
“What you are hearing now is how do we prevent the party of Reagan and Lincoln from being taken over by someone who for days refused to condemn the Ku Klux Klan and someone who quite frankly is carrying the most elaborate con job we have ever seen in politics,” Rubio said Wednesday morning on Fox News.
In his victory speech in Texas on Tuesday, Cruz used policy differences to make the case why he is best suited to take on Trump. “Trump pledges to be neutral between Israel and Palestine. As president, I won’t be neutral. We’ll stand unapologetically with Israel,” said Cruz. “Trump says he’ll keep the Iranian nuclear deal. I’ll rip it to shreds on day one. If you’re angry with Washington, I understand. But Trump has been part of the Washington corruption for 40 years.”
The main argument now being implied is to unite the non-Trump voters around one conservative candidate that could win the nomination. But both Rubio and Cruz are convinced they have the best chance to take down the current Republican presidential front-runner at the ballot box.
“Let’s not forget last night was supposed to be Ted Cruz’s big night, it was supposed to be the night he was going to sweep — these states were tailor-made for the kind of campaign he was running,” Rubio argued.
But after winning three states – Texas (his home state), Oklahoma and Alaska, the Cruz campaign maintains that they have been winning so far in states that would’ve gone into Trump’s column.
“Here’s the bottom line: If Cruz was to drop out of the race tomorrow, Trump would sweep every remaining state because most of our voters would go to him,” Cruz’s senior advisor Nick Muzin told Jewish Insider. “If Marco drops out, Cruz defeats Trump because Rubio’s people will come to us.”
“The stakes for our nation and for Israel could not be any higher,” Muzin stressed. “Now is the time to join the only campaign that has beaten Trump, and that will beat Trump. Any dollar raised for any candidate not named Ted Cruz is a dollar that will be spent electing Donald Trump.”
The Rubio campaign dismissed the notion that winning first place in several states makes you the ultimate front-runner. “It’s not “If you’re not first, you’re last.” It’s about delegates,” Rubio’s director of Jewish outreach, Martin Sweet told Jewish Insider. “The American people came out against Donald Trump in different iterations across the country, and Ted Cruz’s southern firewall collapsed. Marco remains the only Republican candidate who can win the nomination, expand the party, and win the general election.”
Former Senator Norm Coleman, who successfully campaigned for Marco Rubio in Minnesota, told Jewish Insider, “Minnesotans are thoughtful voters on policy matters. It was the perfect environment for Marco Rubio and a poor environment for Donald Trump.”
“The Republican endorsement race is a long way from being decided,” Coleman declared.
The race for the Republican nomination shifts now to battleground states like Florida and Ohio, where Rubio hopes to reset his campaign and emerge as the alternative to Trump.
“Trump is about to be under enormous scrutiny like he hasn’t been before,” Dan Senor, founder of Foreign Policy Initiative and a Rubio supporter, said during an interview on Bloomberg’s “With All Due Respect” program on Tuesday. “I think he is going to be subjected to a paid media campaign – tens of millions of dollars that he hasn’t been subjected to before.”
As reported by NY Times’s Maggie Haberman, Republican donors Meg Whitman, Todd Ricketts and Paul Singer, among others, took part in a Tuesday conference call with about 50 people, urging them to fund “Our Principles PAC,” which started airing ads in Iowa before the caucuses to try to stop Trump.