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The Republican candidates are unanimous in two convictions: that this is a do-or-die election and that each believes that only he is selfless enough to be our nation’s savior.
Otherwise, why haven’t any of the not-going-to-wins thrown their support behind either Senators Cruz or Rubio, the two plausibly-elected conservative candidates? And why don’t Walker, Perry, and Jindal do the same? Unless something happens in the interim, it is plausible — if not probable — that Trump will win both Iowa and New Hampshire and then clinch the nomination. That should be enough to motivate a selfless series of endorsements from those candidates who haven’t a reasonable chance. After all, I thought they were team players running in the interest of the country? But, for all candidates not named Cruz and Rubio, pride is apparently more than equal to their professed desire to rally the GOP to the White House.
Specifically, I think that Carson throwing his support to either Rubio or Cruz before Iowa could have a game-changing effect. A sober analysis indicates that he won’t win, but he’d be more than a footnote in history if he were able to swing his supporters to an electable conservative (Carson’s Real Clear Politics Average in Iowa: 7.4 percent).
Similarly, Jeb Bush — whose foolish and arrogant candidacy arguably paved the way for Trump — could redeem his name by tossing his support behind someone with a chance to win New Hampshire (Bush’s Granite State RCPA: 7.8 percent). As things stand, however, his only accomplishment will be pulling down Rubio. According to Stephen Hayes at the Weekly Standard:
On December 7, [Right to Rise] the pro-Bush super PAC launched its all-out offensive on Rubio, the first of what would become a $20 million assault on the Florida senator that ran nationally on Fox News and extensively in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. The first ad asked, called ‘Desk,’ asked voters to imagine Rubio – along with Ted Cruz and Donald Trump – in the Oval Office. Rubio ‘skipped crucial national security hearings and votes just to campaign,’ the narrator says. That ad was followed by another, ‘Briefing,’ that also hit Rubio for missing votes and a third, ‘Promotion,’ which alleged that Rubio was missing votes even before he decided to run for president. In early January, the super PAC went up with an ad called ‘Vane,’ which portrayed Rubio as a flip-flopper on immigration and “just another Washington politician we can’t trust.’
Sprinkled among these Rubio attack ads were spots criticizing Governor Chris Christie and Governor John Kasich as ineffective. But the main target was Rubio – on the receiving end of some $20 million of the roughly $22 million that Right to Rise spent on negative ads between early December and this past weekend.
Reading this sort of thing makes me long for the days when candidates were selected in smoke-filled backroom deals.Published in