Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Cruz, Perry Take Opposite Tacks on Trump

 

Rick PerryHow do you solve a problem like The Donald? How do you catch a clod and pin him down?

While the Trump tsunami has receded this week, GOP presidential candidates are still trying to deal with the toupeed terror. Some contenders laugh him off while others avoid mentioning him at all. But the two Texans in the race have taken opposite tacks on dealing with the reality TV star.

Ted Cruz has publicly embraced the serial Clinton contributor, praising his frank talk and unconventional style. Cruz claims to be a “big fan of Donald Trump’s” and even flew to New York City to meet with him. The candidates discussed a variety of topics in a “very friendly” meeting at Trump Tower.

Trump hyped the meeting beforehand on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “Ted Cruz called me. And I don’t know why I’m meeting him, to be honest, but I do have respect for him,” Trump said. “I respect the fact that along with a couple of others, he came out and he came out very strongly and agreed with what I said on illegal immigration. And he came out very strongly and he came out early, and I respect that. I like him.”

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry took a decidedly different approach:

Donald Trump continues to demonstrate his fundamental misunderstanding of border security. Make no mistake – border security is a federal responsibility, but when I met with President Obama last year and it became clear he would not act, I told him if he would not secure the border, Texas would. Rather than thanking Texas for stepping into a gap it shouldn’t have to fill, Mr. Trump has made clear that he believes the states should fend for themselves on border security. Not only is this wrong, it perpetuates the same failed policies that have left our southern border porous and vulnerable.

I have a message for my fellow Republicans and the independents who will be voting in the primary process: what Mr. Trump is offering is not conservatism, it is Trump-ism – a toxic mix of demagoguery and nonsense.

America doesn’t need another president who pays lip service when issues of national security are at stake. America doesn’t need another president who will pass the buck on border security. We need a president who will finally act to secure the border after decades of failed leadership in Washington, D.C. And Mr. Trump has done nothing to prove that he is the president America needs.

I assume that the first draft added that Mr. Trump looks funny and his breath smells like Corn Nuts.

My preference is for candidates to just step aside while The Donald inevitably sabotages himself. But if you’re going to engage, I prefer Perry’s tactic over Cruz’s. I’m sure that Sen. Cruz would love Trump’s money and supporters once he drops from the race, but it makes this principled constitutionalist look like a suck-up. If we’re playing “who’s more conservative,” Trump isn’t worthy to scrape the muck off of Cruz’s cowboy boots. Don’t play the beta male, Ted; it’s unseemly.

Perry is setting himself up as the grown-up in the race. Along with his race speech a couple weeks back, it’s Perry, not Trump, who is the truth-teller of 2016. He knows he’s a bit of a long-shot, so he might as well say what he really thinks and roll with the consequences. By picking a public fight with Trump, Perry gets his name in the news but will get blowback from the few committed Trumpistas. Nevertheless, his swagger makes him look like the tough, no-nonsense alpha that Texans know he is.

How do you think candidates should handle The Donald? Fight, Flirt, or Flight?

There are 52 comments.

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  1. Hammer, The Member

    I’ll bet his breath does smell like corn nuts. That or an old bowling alley.

    • #1
    • July 16, 2015, at 6:09 PM PDT
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  2. The (apathetic) King Prawn Inactive

    Perry hit it just right.

    • #2
    • July 16, 2015, at 6:12 PM PDT
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  3. Commodore BTC Inactive

    Cruz likes disruption (so do I), and Trump is disruptive

    • #3
    • July 16, 2015, at 6:13 PM PDT
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  4. Probable Cause Inactive

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:How do you think candidates should handle The Donald? Fight, Flight or Flirt?

    All of the above. We have plenty of candidates to spare.

    • #4
    • July 16, 2015, at 6:13 PM PDT
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  5. Yudansha Member
    Yudansha Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I think it was Rob who mentioned in the Ricochet podcast, that Trump was sort of be-clowning the Republican field, and anyone who wrestled the pig…

    I get a different feeling from this juxtaposition. It looks like Cruz who’s be-clowning himself. Cruz’ conservative bona fides notwithstanding, I think he’s perhaps more useful as a senator than president. If I were a Cruz investor, I’d sell. Perry, on the other hand has now insulated himself from any further “probing questions” regarding Trump’s sure-to-be controversial statements, going forward. That can only help him as a candidate.

    • #5
    • July 16, 2015, at 6:24 PM PDT
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  6. Jeff Peterson Inactive

    Meanwhile, Scott Walker waits, like the Siamese fighting fish, until the survivor of the struggle is so exhausted he cannot continue; and then, like SPECTRE, he strikes!

    • #6
    • July 16, 2015, at 6:24 PM PDT
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  7. E. Kent Golding Member

    Ryan M:I’ll bet his breath does smell like corn nuts. That or an old bowling alley.

    Don’t insult corn nuts.

    • #7
    • July 16, 2015, at 6:26 PM PDT
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  8. Profile Photo Member

    Attack the press for dressing up a Hillary donor as a conservative.

    • #8
    • July 16, 2015, at 6:29 PM PDT
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  9. Leigh Member

    Probable Cause:

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:How do you think candidates should handle The Donald? Fight, Flight or Flirt?

    All of the above. We have plenty of candidates to spare.

    I’m fine with essentially ignoring him (as Walker and I think Bush are doing), and I’m fine with Perry slamming him.

    Cruz is not impressing me on this one. It’s one thing to say you understand why people are supporting him, for now. It’s another altogether to give extra credibility to Trump, himself. The guy’s unpredictable — Cruz is playing with fire here.

    • #9
    • July 16, 2015, at 6:30 PM PDT
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  10. Guruforhire Member

    The lulz this year are going to be awesome.

    I kinda want to donate to trump to keep this epic troll going. But I kinda want to vote for Carly.

    • #10
    • July 16, 2015, at 6:32 PM PDT
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  11. Hammer, The Member

    jeffp:Meanwhile, Scott Walker waits, like the Siamese fighting fish, until the survivor of the struggle is so exhausted he cannot continue; and then, like SPECTRE, he strikes!

    oh, how I hope you’re right.

    • #11
    • July 16, 2015, at 6:34 PM PDT
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  12. Hammer, The Member

    Here’s my best case scenario.

    Walker/Perry on the presidential ticket for the win. Cruz for supreme court justice.

    • #12
    • July 16, 2015, at 6:36 PM PDT
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  13. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    It’s a mistake for any candidate to specifically reference another candidate. Why devote your airtime to publicizing someone else?

    Reference only the other person’s policy proposals and arguments, even refusing to use the person’s name while doing so if possible. And never devote more than a minute or two to addressing another candidate’s positions without leading into your own.

    Journalists won’t like that. A candidate has to be ready to beat them at that game and control the conversation.

    • #13
    • July 16, 2015, at 6:45 PM PDT
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  14. The Reticulator Member

    I think you’ve got it right.

    • #14
    • July 16, 2015, at 6:57 PM PDT
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  15. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    I want Cruz picking federal judges as AG in the Perry administration.

    • #15
    • July 16, 2015, at 7:00 PM PDT
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  16. Profile Photo Member

    Aaron Miller:It’s a mistake for any candidate to specifically reference another candidate. Why devote your airtime to publicizing someone else?

    Unless you do it to knock them down a peg.

    Trump hyped the meeting beforehand on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “Ted Cruz called me. And I don’t know why I’m meeting him, to be honest, but I do have respect for him,” Trump said. “I respect the fact that along with a couple of others, he came out and he came out very strongly and agreed with what I said on illegal immigration. And he came out very strongly and he came out early, and I respect that. I like him.”

    Very condescending. Reflects poorly on Cruz if Trump gets away with treating him like that.

    • #16
    • July 16, 2015, at 7:01 PM PDT
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  17. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I like Perry’s play. Somebody needs to start hanging the Donald’s previous political donations to Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Ted and Patrick Kennedy, Harry Reid, Dick Durbin (eeeew!) and Anthony Weiner around his neck like a flock of deceased albatrosses. Somebody needs to point out that Trump praised the Kelo decision and that he admires the Canadian health care system. (The Canadians admire the Canadian health care system so much that they are clogging up all the U.S. doctors’ offices within 50 miles of the border.) Somebody needs to point out that he bankrupted a casino three times, and not in the cool way at the baccarat table with a Bond girl under one arm.

    Enough is enough. We’re still working our way through the administration of one malignant narcissist; we don’t need another one.

    • #17
    • July 16, 2015, at 7:02 PM PDT
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  18. Freesmith Inactive

    Of the three of them – Trump, Cruz and Perry – which one has said that today America needs fewer immigrants?

    The answer? None.

    Wake me up when somebody does.

    • #18
    • July 16, 2015, at 7:09 PM PDT
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  19. Eric Hines Inactive

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.: How do you solve a problem like The Donald? How do you catch a clod and pin him down?

    Why do I want to? Trump has a couple of points. Take them, make them, ignore him, and let the blowhard bombast blow himself up.

    The idea that this…person…will turn Hispanics against the Republican party is insulting to Hispanics’ intelligence.

    Eric Hines

    • #19
    • July 16, 2015, at 7:14 PM PDT
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  20. Hammer, The Member

    Freesmith:Of the three of them – Trump, Cruz and Perry – which one has said that today America needs fewer immigrants?

    The answer? None.

    Wake me up when somebody does.

    Do you think any of them should?

    • #20
    • July 16, 2015, at 7:26 PM PDT
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  21. Guruforhire Member

    It doesn’t make Perry look alpha at all.

    Oh this keeps getting more and more hilarious.

    • #21
    • July 16, 2015, at 7:40 PM PDT
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  22. tabula rasa Member
    tabula rasa Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I wrote a post a few months back saying that I was willing to give Perry another look (you’ll have to trust me: it’s somewhere in the “misty memory” archives here at Ricochet). This confirms why.

    Trump is a toxic mess. He’s not a principled conservative, and as much as my tiny populist streak agrees with some of what he has to say on immigration, we need to send Trump back into well-earned oblivion, the sooner the better.

    What Perry said is exactly right. Does this mean he’s my number one candidate? No, but he just moved into third place, after Rubio and Walker.

    Does this mean I don’t think Cruz is a principled conservative? No. Cruz is conservative to the core of his being. All of which makes causes me to be surprised to watch him play footsie with Trump. Bad tactic, bad strategy.

    Perry is now my favorite Texan in the race.

    • #22
    • July 16, 2015, at 7:54 PM PDT
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  23. Lockdowns are Precious Inactive
    Lockdowns are Precious Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Trump is a kind of RHINO Rino and charges at pretty much everything and everyone on his Twitter feed.
    The candidate who can play matador has a lot to win and it looks like some of the dark horse candidates
    are trying to pull out their capes.

    • #23
    • July 16, 2015, at 8:17 PM PDT
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  24. Commodore BTC Inactive

    Is he a phony clown, absolutely. But I like people throwing hand grenades into the DC/NYC elite power structure. That’s what Cruz likes about Trump.

    Cruz is much more polite and reasoned and sincere, but like Trump, he says and does things that give the elites the vapors.

    • #24
    • July 16, 2015, at 8:27 PM PDT
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  25. Guruforhire Member

    Former democrat and current republican candidate for president, stamping his wittle feetsies and having a pout because another former democrat and current republican candidate for president is too popular.

    This is the world we live in now.

    • #25
    • July 16, 2015, at 8:40 PM PDT
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  26. David Williamson Inactive

    As usual, I am with Cruz.

    • #26
    • July 16, 2015, at 9:19 PM PDT
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  27. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    Cruz is the most Reaganesque candidate in the race.

    • #27
    • July 16, 2015, at 11:20 PM PDT
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  28. Eustace C. Scrubb Member

    Trump featured on Drudge for opposing Gun Free Zones on Military Bases. Why isn’t another candidate associated with this issue?

    • #28
    • July 17, 2015, at 12:54 AM PDT
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  29. Bob Thompson Member

    Guruforhire:Former democrat and current republican candidate for president, stamping his wittle feetsies and having a pout because another former democrat and current republican candidate for president is too popular.

    This is the world we live in now.

    Ronald Reagan was a former democrat and then republican president. Are you against such a transition? Why not actually compare the two and see what the record says about their actions and motives. There may be a real and substantive difference.

    • #29
    • July 17, 2015, at 5:06 AM PDT
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  30. Guruforhire Member

    I am just pointing at the absurdity that is a former democrat jumping on a great big pile on of another former democrat for being a former democrat.

    Especially when this exercise in a tween girl temper tantrum is presented as apex masculinity.

    The lulz are going to epic this year.

    • #30
    • July 17, 2015, at 5:20 AM PDT
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