February 25, 2016
The eyes of Texas are upon their senator tonight as he attempts to salvage his campaign while fighting off simultaneous salvos from Donald Trump and Marco Rubio. For weeks, I’ve counselled Ted Cruz to change his course, alter his pitch, widen his appeal, before it becomes too late.
The doomsday clock is now at 3 minutes to midnight. But I’m an optimist, hoping that with no other alternative, he will listen to me. The past couple weeks have made the task infinitely more difficult. South Carolina and Nevada proved the depths of the hole Ted stumbled into.
In the immortal words of Yogi Berra, it isn’t over ’til it’s over. If he wants to reverse his fortunes, I would suggest he works the following dialogue (or an approximation thereof) into the debate tonight:
Marco, it’s great that you want to unify the party and take on Hillary Clinton. All of us want to win in November with the whole party behind us. Saying it won’t make it so. That requires leadership.
At times that means sticking your neck out instead of waiting for other candidates to take a hit. As we all know, I’ve had more than a few exchanges with Donald. Jeb was not afraid to confront Donald. You’re sitting back and waiting on the rest of us to get destroyed.
Seven years of Barack Obama reminds us how dangerous it is to lead from behind. America doesn’t hide behind others. If you’re afraid of Donald, how are you going to handle Putin? It’s going to take more than rehearsed 25 second bits to lead the free world.
I find it interesting that Donald questions my honesty. I have a record that shows I do what I say. Texans will tell you. I was their solicitor general. They saw the issues I brought before the Supreme Court. They saw me win more than I lost. They’ve followed my voting record and can match it with my campaign promises.
The people of Texas have me ahead in the polls here. The people who know me best are standing up for me. While my constituents show their confidence, Donald is in the middle of a lawsuit for his fraudulent Trump University.
He talks about how he’s built a great company. One with his name on it took thousands of dollars from hard-working Americans who signed up for something they didn’t receive.
When people ask Donald about foreign policy, he says trust me. When people ask him about economic policy, he says trust me. When people ask him about Obamacare, he says trust me. When people ask him about abortion, he says, I’m pro life now, trust me.
Thousands of people trusted Donald Trump to help educate them on real estate, something supposedly his specialty. Now they are holding the bag. He will tell you it wasn’t him, that he just licensed his name.
Either he committed fraud, or he isn’t paying attention to how his precious brand is being used. He says he will do for America what he did for his company. Did he steal money, or not pay attention, or both?
I’m not the most likeable candidate in the field. Marco is nicer than I am. What you see isn’t an act. Everyone in the Senate likes him. I’m not the most charismatic. Donald can wrap the media around his finger.
We aren’t electing someone to be nice. We aren’t keeping our country safe through force of personality. If you want the candidate for a backyard barbeque, I’m not your guy.
If you want someone to stand up all day every day for the constitution, the way it was written, the way the founders envisioned it, not the way a rogue justice wants to interpret it, I’m your man.
If you want someone to stand up to lobbyists and special interests, to level the playing field so small businesses can compete with huge companies, so single moms can get educated and get ahead, so middle class Americans can keep most of what they earn, I’m your man.
If you want a strong national defense, without spending ourselves into bankruptcy, if you want to protect social security, without robbing from one generation to subsidize another, if you want to completely destroy ISIS, without getting us bogged down for another decade in the Middle East, I’m your man.
If you don’t support Donald Trump, if you can’t imagine four years of Hillary Clinton, if you’re tired of America being nicer to Iran than Israel, more faithful to China than Britain, and know we cannot afford a leader who says one thing and does whatever he or she thinks is safe or whatever he or she thinks they can get away with, I’m your man.
This is a time for choosing. Do we move forward as Americans, or do we turn back and take cover? If you still believe in America, if you want to protect this last, best hope on earth for yourselves, your children and your grandchildren, I request the honor of your vote on Tuesday.