During an appearance on yesterday's edition of “Face the Nation,” Sen. Ted Cruz said that Donald Trump needs to be defeated “at the ballot box,” not at the Republican National Convention. Cruz offers several reasons the #NeverTrump is not the way to defeat Trump:
- A brokered convention will be seen as an effort of the Washington Establishment to steal the nomination and will cause uprising.
- It's wrong and illegitimate for a the Washington Establishment -- a bunch of Washington deal- makers and lobbyists to parachute in their preferred candidate because they don’t like what the voters are doing.
- It would be an enormous mistake to use a brokered convention as some want -- to try and stifle the will of the people.
John Dickerson, the host of “Face the Nation,” got right to it with Sen. Cruz, asking the Senator if he had a path to the nomination or if he was just trying to stop Trump. As stated in this CBS write up, Cruz replied, “Any time you hear people talking about a brokered convention, I think that is the fevered talk of the Washington establishment,” Cruz went on to note that “The Washington establishment is in a panic. They’re confused. They don’t understand what’s happening.” And he correctly pointed out that there’s a difference between a movement against Trump led by the people, and an “illegitimate” movement to choose the nominee by the Republican Establishment in Washington that would cause a “manifest uprising” against the Establishment in response.
It’s better to hear this from the horse’s mouth. Watch the first four minutes of this YouTube video of the Cruz interview with Dickerson:
DICKERSON: Let me ask you about your political path. Is it to win the nomination and the delegates outright, or is it to just deny and get to Cleveland and figure it out there?
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, we’re campaigning to win.
And I will say any time you hear people talking about a brokered convention, I think that is the fevered talk of the Washington establishment. The Washington establishment is in a panic. They’re confused. They don’t understand what’s happening.
And their favored candidates, the ones that they want to win, are not getting the votes. But if a bunch of Washington deal-makers try to step in, in a brokered convention and steal the nomination, I think we will have a manifest uprising.
If you want to beat Donald Trump — and I don’t think Donald Trump is the right nominee to go up against Hillary Clinton. If you want to beat him, you got to beat him at the ballot box. And our campaign is the only campaign that has demonstrated we can do so over and over again.
DICKERSON: Do you think there is something illegitimate, though, about trying to have a brokered convention, work it out at the convention?
CRUZ: You know, I think, if it’s a bunch of Washington deal- makers and lobbyists who want to parachute in their preferred candidate because they don’t like what the voters are doing, I think that is illegitimate. I think it’s wrong.
DICKERSON: Ronald Reagan in 1976 used convention to try and beat Gerald Ford. So, there wasn’t anything inherently bad about that.
CRUZ: But there’s a difference there when that’s coming from the people, when it’s a battle of the people.
A lot of the folks pushing brokered convention in Washington don’t want it to be based on the people. They want to drop in their favorite candidate and then try to stifle the will of the people. I think that would be an enormous mistake.
After a brief discussion about upcoming primary contests Dickerson returned to blocking Trump, asking Cruz if he has engaged in any conversations about denying Trump the nomination:
DICKERSON: Have you had any conversations or has anybody approached you about any kind of an alliance to stop Trump?
CRUZ: Listen, I’m having the conversations with all sorts of people.
And what we’re seeing is, we’re seeing supporters from other candidates coming and joining us, whether they were with Jeb Bush, whether they were with Chris Christie, whether they were with Ben Carson, whether they have been with Marco Rubio or Rand Paul.
We’re seeing people come together because they are recognizing that their candidates were not in a position beat Donald. And if Donald is the nominee, it is a catastrophe. Hillary wins. We lose the Supreme Court for a generation. We lose the Bill of Rights. And we lose the Senate.
During the last minute of the interview Dickerson derisively asked Cruz why he would vote for Trump if Trump is the nominee. The answer is another important reason why one should not refuse to support a nominee chosen by the voters:
DICKERSON: And the last question is something that puzzles me, is that you talk about, he’s going to be a president you can’t even let your children watch TV. Marco Rubio says he’s a con man. All of these terrible things. And then, at the end, you’re asked if you’ll still support him, and you do. Doesn’t that undermine all of these criticisms that say he’s going to be such a danger to conservatives and Republican values?
CRUZ: At the outset of this campaign, I promised I would support the Republican nominee. And — and I am someone who keeps his word. You know, this past week, on Super Tuesday, in the state of Texas, we won an overwhelming victory. We won Texas by 17 points. And that was particularly meaningful because the people of Texas, they know me. They know my heart. They are the people that I made promises to. When I ran for Senate, I promised, you elect me, I’ll lead the fight against Obamacare, I’ll lead the fight against amnesty, I’ll lead the fight against our debt and I’ll lead the fight to protect religious liberty, the Second Amendment and the Bill of Rights. And the reason we won an overwhelming victory in Texas is because Texans said, Ted, you’ve kept your word. And I’ll tell you, John, as president I’ll do the very same thing.
That’s the way this game is and should be played. You fight as hard as you can for your candidate and, if your candidate doesn’t win, you vote for the nominee. It is understandable to not want a candidate who at best is a Johnny-c0me-lately to Conservatism and has been on the wrong side of so many important issues much longer than he has been on the Right side. Worse is the fact that Trump is already starting to backtrack in a clumsy attempt to appear more moderate as if he were already the nominee. Then there is also Trump’s extremely unpresidential demeanor. I certainly don’t support the Donald. Nevertheless, the voters get to choose our nominee.