The attacks on Donald Trump by the establishment are not forthcoming. Do not expect them to happen. Expect instead that Marco Rubio starts going up in the polls. It has come to this — the establishment of the Republican Party has decided that Ted Cruz must be stopped. The way to stop Cruz is to not touch Trump and start helping Rubio.
This goes back to the story the other day about Karl Rove helping Ben Carson. The Establishment has decided it wants to keep Trump and Carson in the race for as long as possible. They are now calculating that Bush, Christie, Kasich, Fiorina, etc. can get out and that will give Rubio enough momentum to beat Cruz + Trump + Carson.
The thinking is that as long as Trump is there, Cruz cannot grow further. If Trump gets damaged, his support would go to Cruz. At least that is the thinking.
The Texan portrayed himself as a third way between the stalwart, non-interventionist views of Senator Rand Paul and pro-interventionist policies in pursuit of spreading democracy and human rights through the Middle East that Rubio espouses. Cruz’s belief is that trying to democratize those societies can be counterproductive and that U.S. military power should be focused narrowly on protecting U.S. interests.
“If you look at President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and for that matter some of the more aggressive Washington neo-cons, they have consistently mis-perceived the threat of radical Islamic terrorism and have advocated military adventurism that has had the effect of benefiting radical Islamic terrorists,” he said.
So now the fates of Donald Trump and Marco Rubio are intertwined. The Establishment will treat Trump with kid gloves in hopes of boosting Marco Rubio. All’s fair in love and politics. It might work for them. The Establishment tends to have an advantage. And remember, the way the GOP has stacked the delegates, more moderate Republicans have an advantage.
In reality, the GOP nominating contest will be decided by an intricate, state-by-state slog for the 2,472 delegates at stake between February and June. And thanks to the Republican National Committee’s allocation rules, the votes of “Blue Zone” Republicans — the more moderate GOP primary voters who live in Democratic-leaning states and congressional districts — could weigh more than those of more conservative voters who live in deeply red zones. Put another way: The Republican voters who will have little to no sway in the general election could have some of the most sway in the primary.
All this will be brought to bare not to stop Donald Trump, but to stop Ted Cruz.