A Cruz v. Rubio Observation

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I’ve been saying since September that this Presidential primary is going to sort itself into Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio camps. That is where we are headed and it has been obvious to me since September.

As the sorting happens, there is one thing I am noticing over and over.

The people whose chief issue is opposition to illegal immigration have no plans to forgive Marco Rubio and are solidly with Ted Cruz. Their conscience has been pricked more than that of Christ, who despite all that done to him, could still forgive. There will be no forgiveness for Marco Rubio. Though he claims to have learned his lessons, though he admits the error of his ways, and though he says he realizes now we must seal the border before doing anything else — there is no forgiveness. Now, we should not conflate faith and politics too much, but it is worth noting that Rubio’s immigration position helps him with most evangelicals. We should also note that given how often Republican politicians have burned the base, there is reason to be distrustful of Rubio and to show him little to no mercy, given his campaign for the Senate versus what he did once he got there.

But, that’s not actually my observation.

Take the anti-illegal immigration people out of the equation. Here is my observation.

The people I know moving toward Rubio are vastly more intolerant of Ted Cruz than the people who are moving toward Ted Cruz. The people I know who are drawing into the Cruz camp look at Marco Rubio and say, “Here’s a guy with a Heritage Action score of over 90%. Ted is at 100%, but I could live with 90%.” I hear people say they like Cruz because he’s had a real job, he’s the best debater, he’s the smartest guy, but most every one of them could settle for Rubio.

I hear this less from those moving to Team Rubio. Cruz is arrogant, Cruz is too conservative. Cruz cannot win. That’s very telling to me. There are plenty of people supporting Marco Rubio because of Marco Rubio. But as this sorting begins, there are a whole lot of people moving to Rubio more because they don’t like Cruz than because they like Rubio.

It is the establishment’s intolerance of conservatives playing out in the Republican Primary. I figured it would happen. I just didn’t think people would be so open about it.

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Erick Erickson
By Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson

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