Close this search box.

Politically Uncorrected: Cruz-Fiorina: A Good Idea, Bad Timing

Cruz-FiorinaMost saw it as a desperate act by a desperate candidate.

The New York Times referred to it as “the political equivalent of a student pulling a fire alarm to avoid an exam.”

Ted Cruz’s naming of Carly Fiorina as his “running mate” underwhelmed most of the political world.

But are they wrong?

Has Cruz actually pulled a political rabbit out of his hat, finally finding a way to stop Trump, and buy himself a ticket to Cleveland and a contested convention? Is a Cruz-Fiorina ticket the magic bullet anguished Republican leaders have been searching for to stop Trump?

Not Likely!

It is true that Fiorina could help Cruz by reminding women voters of Trump’s many misogynistic remarks. She after all was the object of some of them; remember Trump’s comments about her face. Fiorina might be of some help in California, her home state. And Fiorina is a solid conservative like Cruz himself, certainly a plus with the Cruz base.

Furthermore, in picking Fiorina, Cruz selected someone whose positions on the major issues are more similar than dissimilar to his own. But she is not likely to help him very much in Indiana. After a shining moment in one debate, she dropped out after the New Hampshire primary, and captured a single delegate in the Iowa caucuses.

But, none of this is going to matter. Ted Cruz, now mathematically eliminated from winning the nomination outright, isn’t going to win the nomination any other way. He will still lose. Trump will still win. And naming a running mate or any other last minute Hail Mary’s he attempts will change none of it.

However, it’s not Cruz’s tactic that is defective; it’s his timing. If he had done this a month or two months ago, it might have worked – albeit perhaps not Fiorina, whose few plusses outweigh her multiple minuses.

Cruz’s 2016 tactic is neither new nor unique. In fact, Republican Ronald Reagan pioneered it forty years ago. In 1976, when incumbent president Gerald Ford was closing in on the nomination, Ronald Reagan made a bold move to stop Ford.

Dramatically breaking with political tradition, he selected his vice presidential running mate before the convention. To sway uncommitted northern delegates, he selected Pennsylvania Senator Richard Schweiker, a member of the moderate wing of his party.

Reagan’s tactic did not work in 1976 for many good reasons. One was that he was running against an incumbent president for the nomination, almost always unsuccessful in American politics.

Reagan had inherited the GOP’s Barry Goldwater conservative mantle. But, his early selection of Schweiker brought about an unexpected backlash among many Republican conservatives – especially those from the south.

Schweiker had voted numerous times to override Nixon’s vetoes and he had opposed two of the president’s Supreme Court nominees. His voting record made the Pennsylvania senator unacceptable to many conservatives.

Yet, what didn’t work in 1976 might work in 2016 if used early enough and differently.

A Cruz-Rubio or even a Cruz-Kasich ticket could have had a transformative impact on the nomination fight, stopping Trump earlier in the contest. Then, his support ceiling was rarely above 35 percent and his delegate count was far short of the 1,237 needed to nominate him.

Moreover, Trump has had huge polling “negatives” averaging higher than 60 percent in most polls. Indeed, about 30 percent of Republicans said they would not vote for him under any circumstances. It was this large number of anti-Trump voters that created Trump’s ceiling, as well as made a fusion ticket of his rivals viable.

Instead, Trump picked them off, one by one.

Finally, Cruz has offered such a fusion ticket. But it is too little and it is too late.

Cruz’s last minute move is rightly seen now as an act of desperation, a last stand from an embattled candidate – the Texan Cruz staging his own personal Alamo.

In fairness, once Trump swept all five April 26th northeastern primaries, Cruz was left with only bad choices. He made the one that made the most sense to him. Arguably, there were worse things he could have done. But when the choices are bad and worse, it hardly matters.

The tragedy for Cruz and the still formidable number of Republicans worried about Trump is almost palpable: a fusion ticket might have worked earlier when there was still time.

For Cruz and for them, time has run out.

31 Responses

  1. rsklaroff-

    Cruz just dropped out.

    He lost Indiana, so I guess he can pick his cabinet now.

    He made the smart move picking Carly, so she can lay off his staff. Experience counts.

    Well, now there is more Cruz juice for you.

  2. “know that people are often optimally defined the noting the quality of those who fear him.”

    LMAO. The mental patient is punch-drunk after reading all those quotes.

  3. Noting that some of those who were quoted have endorsed him, know that people are often optimally defined the noting the quality of those who fear him.

  4. People who really, really hate Ted Cruz:

    George W. Bush: “I just don’t like the guy.”

    Bob Dole: “I don’t know how he’s going to deal with Congress. Nobody likes him.”

    John Boehner: “I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”

    Lindsey Graham: “If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you.”

    Peter King: “I hate Ted Cruz, and I think I’ll take cyanide if he ever got the nomination.”

    Donald Trump: “He’s a nasty guy. Nobody likes him. Nobody in Congress likes him. Nobody likes him anywhere once they get to know him.”

    Marco Rubio: “Ted has had a tough week because what’s happening now is people are learning more about him.”

    Rand Paul: “He is pretty much done for and stifled, and it’s really because of personal relationships, or lack of personal relationships, and it is a problem.”

    Chris Christie: “For him to somehow be implying that certain values are more appropriate, more American, depending upon what region of the country you’re from, is to me just asinine.”

    Carly Fiorina (aka, Cruz’s hypothetical running mate, as of this week): “Ted Cruz is just like any other politician. … He says whatever he needs to say to get elected, and then he’s going to do as he pleases.”

    Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer: “Everybody who knows him in the Senate hates him. And I think hate is not an exaggeration.”

    Conservative columnist Ann Coulter: “Cruz is a sleazy, Rovian liar.”

    Former Republican staffer John Feehery: “Cruz is an army of one, alienating anybody who is in his path. He advocates losing strategies purely to further his own career at the expense of the party.”

    Princeton classmate Mikaela Beardsley: “There are not that many people in my life who I can think of who I didn’t actually have extensive interactions with who bring up such bad feelings.”

    Another Princeton dormmate: “He was just sort of an odious figure lurking around.”

    Princeton roommate Craig Mazin: “Ted Cruz is a nightmare of a human being. I have plenty of problems with his politics, but truthfully his personality is so awful that 99 percent of why I hate him is just his personality. If he agreed with me on every issue, I would hate him only one percent less.”

  5. Met Santorum, unfortunately, about a half-dozen times during the past quarter-century; the poster is in the trunk of my car.

  6. HaHaHa-

    rsklaroff actually thinks more meetings with Cruz is something to brag about (4 vs 3).

    I’m sure rsklaroff pleasures himself to that poster every night.

  7. Four …. 4 times!!!!

    I’m sure that poster is mounted above the mattress your bed, right?

    It’s a shame. You know … Trump and all … … …

  8. #4 occurred 13 days ago @ the National Constitution Center; he and Carly [“The Ticket”] signed my poster [suitable for framing].

  9. DD – it is hard to “intimidate” a mental patient. Do you know that sklaroff has met Cruz three times? 3 times !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. rsklaroff-

    Any rioting Trumpsters should be jailed (or shot) before they hurt someone. The Trump campaign has already threatened to publish the names, hotels and room numbers of delegates that don’t plan to support Trump so interested people can “talk” (ie intimidate/harm) them.

    You have to lay off the Cruz juice.

  11. David,

    The Grand Ol Party is already in turmoil. They are falling apart at the seams. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz could not have done a better job ripping the Party apart if they were saboteurs hired by the Dems.

    Hillary – if she could design her opponent in November – could not have designed a more deplorable pair of disgusting creeps. It’s almost comical.

  12. Any rioting Trumpsters will be perceived as Soros-financed and, thus, will fade in importance; they would be voting Dem regardless.

  13. robert sklaroff-

    Cruz winning on the second ballot will cause a riot by the Trump supporters. Either way, the GOP loses in November in the turmoil.

  14. Poor sklaroff. His guy got so close. And now he will be defeated by an even bigger fraud.

  15. rsklaroff-

    The poll is an outlier. Just like the polls showing Hillary winning PA by 30 points, when it was obviously a 10-point race. All the other polls show Trump ahead.

    But, the joke still stands because Cruz is down to gimmicks.

  16. G. Terry Madonna-

    When do you plan to issue an apology for releasing that piece of sh*t F&M poll showing Hillary with around 30 point lead? Were you as embarrassed to publish it as I was to have to read it?

    The motivation behind Cruz picking a VP is to try to force Trump’s hand into prematurely picking/announcing a VP that can be attacked/investigated by Cruz to undermine Trump’s “judgement”.


    Would Trump pick another idiot like Palin the way McCain did?

    When Cruz loses Indiana, he can announce his Cabinet picks. LOL

  17. Furthermore, if/when Cruz wins Indiana and does well in California [noting how poor Trump’s speech was today @ the GOP Convention], Trump won’t win the first-ballot…and Cruz will win the second-ballot.

  18. This may be the lib-twist on what transpired, but it omits the key-force that led to this decision; they mesh, and this cannot be said between Cruz and the other semi-finalists.

  19. And really… Fiorina? After she drove HP into the ground? What has she accomplished that would make anyone want to vote for her?

  • Do you agree that ByteDance should be forced to divest TikTok?

    • Yes. It's a national security risk. (60%)
    • No. It's an app used by millions and poses no threat. (40%)
    • What's ByteDance? (0%)

    Total Voters: 30

    Loading ... Loading ...
Continue to Browser


To install tap and choose
Add to Home Screen