The strategy is sound, but it likely will not be enough.
Mr Trump’s rise has split the Republican party between mainstream figures like Romney, and Trump supporters who complain the party does not reflect their concerns about illegal immigration, the slow economic recovery and what they see as America’s diminishing role in the world. “Has to”, Trump said at a news conference at his golf club in West Palm Beach, Florida, where dozens of friends and club members mixed in with reporters covering his campaign. The problem for Cruz is that of the remaining states, only Hawaii will be a caucus. “One of them is a socialist…the other one is under FBI investigation”.
To save the party from a Trump nomination – and an exodus of GOP voters – Romney outlined the case against Trump: He’s crude. Trump boasted during Thursday night’s Fox News debate that Trump U had a Better Business Bureau rating of A. Trump has claimed that he “handpicked” instructors, but FactCheck.org found a top executive deposition that attested Trump picked none of the instructors. “That’s the reason why, because he’s getting all this attention”, Rubio said. Most of all, Romney railed, Trump is “a phony”.
Not all on the right, of course, are willing to go to pledge opposition to Trump. Cruz has won four of the 15 primaries and caucuses held so far. Indeed, the schedule is perfectly suited for such an arrangement. Thus, Cruz, Rubio, and Kasich have the opportunity to gain on Trump while not significantly changing the dynamic between each other.
For Marco Rubio, recent polls show him anywhere from 5 to 20 points behind Trump in Florida. It was Rubio’s first overt reference to Trump during the exchange with Bash, but not the last.
Ted Cruz’s motivation for following the strategy is the trickiest. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, Saturday, March 5, 2016. Cruz believes if he could just face Trump one-on-one, he could secure the nomination.
Party leaders worry Trump would not be able to beat Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in the election, but time is running out after he won most of the states that voted in this week’s Super Tuesday.
Rubio had suggested that because Trump’s hands were small, his genitals might also be small. Moreover, if Rubio and/or Kasich fail to defeat Trump on March 15, Cruz would still be in a better position than if he hadn’t participated, since he would have gotten Rubio and Kasich to pull out of the Missouri primary. “We can sit back and let them light their own dumpster fire and wait until they’re finished”, said Eddie Vale, spokesman for American Bridge, a Clinton-allied group which collects negative research on Republican candidates. “Because they know that the establishment is going down if Trump gets in”.