Yes, the comments on this post are going to be brutal. In fact, I’m not even going to promote this post. I’m just going to write it up, Tweet it out, and see what comes of it. There’s a scenario, albeit an extremely unlikely one, where Ted Cruz is the GOP nominee.
About a week ago, I started seeing things falling into place. I chalked it up as wishful thinking since, as a Cruz supporter, there was always the chance that I was simply in denial. The more I watch, the more I realize that there are two things that make me believe there’s a chance it could actually happen. The first is that circumstances favor Cruz if the tide turns against Trump at the right moment. The second is that God is sovereign; while I would never presume to know anything about His plan for America or the world other than what’s in scripture, I know for certain that nothing is impossible when His will is at play. Whoever is supposed to be President of the United States will be President of the United States. Now’s not the time for a theological discussion, but it should be noted that acknowledging God’s sovereignty is not a license to sit back and do nothing.
A few things have happened surrounding Cruz that makes the scenario work. It’s important to note here that I do not believe this is Cruz’s plan. He filed to run for re-election to the Senate in 2018. He’s been pushing for delegate control in an effort to shape the Republican platform towards conservatism. He’s travelling to various state conventions to rally support for this reason.
For various reasons, Cruz is staying in the mix and doing things that would be required for him to win the nomination even if he has no plans of doing so. By filing for re-election, he’s able to continue fundraising. Being out of the nomination race will put him two months behind the Democrats for general election fundraising. By filing now and soliciting campaign contributions, he can keep the money dripping in. More importantly, he can still maintain a small campaign staff to keep the machine warm.
His goal of a contested convention meant that he would need to accumulate delegates favorable to him for subsequent ballots. There are reports that some of his delegate victories are starting to fade and support Trump, but that’s to be expected now that he’s out of the race. If push comes to shove, they’ll support him.
One of the most important indicators that he has a chance is that he hasn’t endorsed Trump. This is important as we’ll soon see because it will need to be someone not tainted by Trump who is nominated. Of course, all of this is for naught if the single catalyst doesn’t occur at the exact right moment: Trump’s scandal, meltdown, and/or disqualifying revelation.
Since announcing his candidacy, the media and most pundits have been waiting for Trump to get wrapped up in a scandal or meltdown right before our eyes. It didn’t happen, at least not in a way that could hurt Trump. For Cruz to get the nomination, something bad will have to be revealed about Trump. A serious scandal, complete public meltdown, hidden camera recording of him saying or doing something really bad… sadly there are plenty of options that would fulfill this. We’re not talking about the feeble attack piece the NY Times posted over the weekend. We’re talking about something yuge. Whatever it is, it needs to happen right before the Republican National Convention.
One might wonder why it has to happen right before the convention. The reason is RNC rule 40b and the meddling of the GOP Establishment. Under rule 40b, a candidate can only be on the ballot if they have a majority of delegates in eight or more states. Only Cruz and Trump qualify. If the disqualifying/scandalous Trump event happens before the rules are modified, the RNC will almost certainly shift the rules to allow for more candidates on the ballot. We would see Marco Rubio and John Kasich almost certainly making a play on the floor if they’re on the ballot. We might even see someone else make a move. The Establishment will do whatever they can to prevent Cruz from getting the nod. That’s why this must transpire after the rules are finalized the week before the convention.
Another question might be why the nominee would need to be someone who didn’t endorse Trump. I’m not talking about the lukewarm acceptance that some have given him. I mean those who completely shifted from enemy to fanboy such as Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal… anyone who hopped all the way onboard the Trump train. Anyone who currently supports Trump will be tainted. Whatever the revelation is about him, it will be far-reaching. It will not just affect his candidacy. It will be like a scarlet letter painted on the chest of those who were too blinded, corrupt, or politically ambitious to see through Trump’s deceit and incompetence.
Lastly, this scenario means that Cruz would have been better served to stay in the race through to the end, right? No. He was being brutalized by Trump and his media surrogates. The damage, the scars, were starting to stick. The “Lyin’ Ted” moniker was making an impact on his own supporters even though Trump’s primary backing for it was the Iowa caucus when a campaign staffer alerted people of the Carson CNN post. Watching Trump label Cruz as a liar is like Bill Clinton attacking someone as waging a war on women, but for whatever reason Trump sold the idea that he’s honest and Cruz is not. It was important for Cruz to get out when it became clear he couldn’t prevent Trump from getting to 1,237. That’s why he dropped out shortly after the Indiana results were announced.
The chances of a Trump-proof scandal happening at the right moment are next to nil which means this article is an exercise in futility and false hope. Again, I won’t promote this story to the masses, but it was important to get it off my chest. It’s like watching a painter at work without knowing what’s being put to canvas. I’m seeing what could be if all the right things happen and I’m willing to accept it as possible even if it only has a fleeting chance. There, I said it. Now that it’s out there, I can go back to working on more realistic scenarios.
As the Cruz campaign said, no regrets.