There were a lot of people talking about this idea. Many conservatives in the media thought it would be a great idea to bring Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio together on one ticket and go out to consolidate their support in order to defeat Donald Trump.
Many people suggested it would be Ted Cruz who would oppose such an idea. After all, Cruz was winning more states and had the ability to lock down more of the conservative vote in many states still yet to vote.
Turns out it was Marco Rubio who rejected the idea. From Politico:
Ted Cruz’s campaign has been exploring the possibility of forming a unity ticket with ex-rival Marco Rubio — going so far as to conduct polling looking into how the two would perform in upcoming primary states.
The motivation, hashed out in conversations among Cruz’s top aides and donors: to find a way to halt Donald Trump’s march to the Republican nomination.
It’s unclear whether Cruz’s campaign brass views a partnership with Rubio as realistic or quixotic. In Rubio’s orbit, according to three sources, it’s seen as an outright nonstarter — with Rubio telling his team that he isn’t interested.
Yet in recent weeks, within Cruz’s camp, talk of a joint ticket has run rampant. Utah Republican Mike Lee, one of two senators to endorse Cruz, has emerged as an outspoken supporter of a unity ticket — and as a potential broker. The freshman senator, according to several sources briefed on the talks, has reached out repeatedly to Rubio to gauge his interest, but has been rebuffed.
There is one reason that explains why Rubio may have declined: He still thought he was going to win Florida.
On March 2, the day after Super Tuesday, the younger Deason reached out to Cruz campaign manager Jeff Roe. Rubio had suffered a rash of defeats the night before, and Deason told Roe that it would make sense to reach out to the Florida senator’s team. By that time, Deason had been talking to a number of major Rubio donors, but now wanted to go to the official campaign to pitch the unity-ticket idea.
In an interview, Deason recalled telling Roe he wanted to call Marc Short, a senior Rubio adviser and former operative for the Koch-founded Freedom Partners political operation. After Roe didn’t object, Deason connected with Short and gave him his pitch.
Short’s response, Deason said, was unequivocal: Rubio wasn’t interested. (Short didn’t respond to a request for comment.)
“Rubio was to pompous too act on it (sic). He believed his own internal polls and there was no swaying him away from staying in the race through the Florida primary,” Deason said. “If he had signed on before the first Super Tuesday, Cruz would have won all of the Texas votes and a lot more delegates. They may have very well won Florida.”
After the results, Rubio had to be fuming about the internal polls. He was saying very boldly, “We are going to win Florida” and he was trounced. This is an issue where surrounding yourself with yes people can be a bad thing. The post-mortem on Rubio’s campaign is going to be fascinating.
It would have been interesting to see where these two would have gone if this idea too shape.