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Presidential Horse Race 2016: Ted Cruz vies for a Super Tuesday surprise

As we head into the crucial Super Tuesday primaries tomorrow, conservatives should remember that it’s more important than ever to re-examine the candidates, their true positions on the issues – and whether they can not only compete in the nomination race, but also expand their base and win the general election.

For the past couple weeks the Republican establishment has been rallying to the side of Marco Rubio, arguing he’s the best candidate to consolidate party support and ultimately stop Donald Trump from getting the nomination. In doing so, they ignore the fact Ted Cruz is the only candidate to have defeated Trump already Ted Cruzand is likely to do so again tomorrow, at least in his home state of Texas.

Therefore, Cruz, the most principled conservative in the Republican race, is not only the one candidate who’s proven he can beat Trump, but also can bring more people into his camp and win in November as well.

Streiff at RedState writes, “In short, not only is Ted Cruz the strongest conservative in the race but, if the name of the game is ‘stop Trump’ (by the way, I don’t think that is the game but I’ll play along arguendo), Cruz is the only candidate showing sufficient strength anywhere to accomplish that task. 

“Rubio is perhaps too conservative to attract ‘moderates’ (a bloc I contend will coalesce around Trump) and his history is too sketchy on immigration and government eavesdropping to attract a huge number of Cruz’s conservatives. Marco Rubio can’t appeal to voters anywhere, he can’t carry his home state, and he cannot possibly beat Donald Trump.”

Game, set, match. Streiff neatly sums up the case against Rubio but leaves out perhaps the Florida senator’s most palpable flaw – Rubio’s role as the establishment candidate.

Marco’s list of establishment backers is growing by the day, and in a normal year, these people would be helpful if not imperative. He picked up another one this weekend in the form of Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander, a “moderate” at best from a conservative state who snuggles up to Mitch McConnell and the Republican elites at every opportunity.

Such endorsements mean nothing to the people who are making a difference in this year’s primaries – and even more likely, are hurting Rubio’s case in arguing he’s really changed his views on amnesty. Alexander, for example, is one of many Republicans who pretends to be conservative before party primaries but then reverses course once he gets back in office.

Ted Cruz is often criticized – primarily by Trump – for not having any endorsements from fellow senators. Conservatives should see Cruz’s lack of support from the establishment as a badge of honor rather than treat it as a stain.

With every endorsement from musty old politicians like Lamar Alexander (and you can add Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to the Rubio list, too), Rubio’s getting further away from earning the respect of conservatives.

If 2016 is indeed a “change” election, that change won’t come from standing with the old guard. Rubio might be a fresh face and a first term senator, but he reeks of the Washington Republican establishment.

Cruz is the only candidate who can beat Trump and move on to the general election with enough momentum to overcome Hillary Clinton. Tomorrow may be the day people start realizing it.

Unhinged Trump won’t condemn white supremacists

The need to defeat Trump gets more urgent by the hour as further evidence leaks out about the billionaire’s questionable past affiliations and lack of moral underpinning.

Trump’s latest hypocritical outrage involves his refusal to denounce the support he’s receiving from ex-KKK leader David Duke and other white supremacist groups.

Robert King of the Washington Examiner reports Trump told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he knew nothing about Duke and that he would look into the groups on whether he should reject their approval of his candidacy.

That’s not exactly true, Donald – your own words show you’re lying, again. “[W]ithin minutes of that claim, watchers unearthed evidence Trump knew of Duke and his KKK affiliation. A 2000 New York Times article on Trump's consideration of a presidential run with the Reform Party, founded by Ross Perot, quoted the real estate mogul on Duke,” King wrote.

Of course back then Trump was happy to denounce Duke and mentioned his Klan affiliation by name. For The Donald to claim he doesn’t know about Duke being a Klansman now is either a lie or a basic confession that he hasn’t been paying attention to American politics and culture for the past three-plus decades.

We know that’s not true. Trump is a high-profile celebrity and he’s willfully looking the other way at a significant bloc of his supporters. It’s sad.

To shield himself from further examination, meanwhile, Trump is once again threatening to leave the Republican Party.

Curt Mills of the Washington Examiner reports, “Donald Trump threatened Sunday to run as an independent if the Republican Party leadership treats him poorly.

“’The Republican establishment has been pushing for lightweight Senator Marco Rubio to say anything to 'hit' Trump. I signed the pledge-careful,’ Trump tweeted.”

It’s almost humorous that Trump threatens to bolt the Republican Party because of the establishment’s mistreatment yet heartily welcomed the endorsement of Chris Christie last week.

Christie is hardly an outsider. The New Jersey governor’s backing of Trump is a sign of the establishment coming around to Trump rather than treating him poorly.

Trump’s highly erratic behavior and outright lies unmask a man who will say anything at any given time to avoid providing the impression he condemns anyone who would be inclined to support him, no matter who they are or what they might represent.

Based on the weaknesses revealed during last Thursday’s debate, Trump appears to be starting to unravel. The question now is whether his supporters recognize it – or care about it at all.

Trump’s anti-establishment appeal has carried him to where he is today. Some will clearly walk through fire for him and would only consider voting for him and no one else. But if there are any Trump backers who are still on the fence, this latest episode has to be troubling.

Lindsey Graham’s “murder Ted Cruz” joke bares deranged fantasy of the establishment

Speaking of troubling, there are the disturbing words of another prominent Republican to consider.

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham’s presidential candidacy never quite rose above the “joke” level during his time in the Republican race, with the establishment politician unable to register any measurable support even in his home state.

Graham did eventually become known for wisecracking his way through several undercard debates, often poking fun at his humble background and lack of intelligence.

But some things he says just aren’t funny. Graham crossed the line late last week.

Catherin Treyz of CNN reports, “’If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you,’ the former presidential candidate said at the Washington Press Club Foundation's 72nd Congressional Dinner.”

Graham furthered the rant by saying his party has gone “bats—t crazy” during the presidential race. He also “thanked House Speaker Paul Ryan for his efforts in promoting conservativism and told his Democratic colleagues that they aren't his enemy. ‘We have a lot in common. We just don't realize it,’”Treyz added.

Conservatives have a lot in common with the Democrats? That’s news to me. Maybe it’s commonality with a collection of left-wingers that has people so upset about a lot of Republicans this year.

We all know Lindsey Graham is himself a joke and the whole notion that someone like him could actually run for president and expect to do well revealed once again how disconnected many Republicans are from the views of the conservatives who make up the party base.

In his speech, Graham also chided Marco Rubio for “changing his views,” which is no doubt a reference to the Florida senator’s evolved position on amnesty. Graham, who was a member of the Gang of Eight with Rubio, likely feels jilted by “secure the border first” talk considering he remains a firm believer in open borders and bowing deeply to the cheap labor desires of the Chamber of Commerce business class.

But as Ted Cruz often correctly points out, the real “compassion” involved with the amnesty issue has more to do with what illegal immigration inflicts on American citizens than it does to people who broke the law to cross the border or overstayed their visas.

Graham may joke about Cruz’s murderer being granted amnesty by fellow senators, but it would be just as easy to argue Graham’s removal would never be mourned at all by the Republican grassroots.

Doesn’t he recognize his own place in the scheme of things? After his and Jeb Bush’s and Marco Rubio’s belief in amnesty was so roundly rejected in the presidential race, why can’t Lindsey admit he’s the problem, not conservatives like Cruz who enjoy widespread popular support?

As long as establishmentarians like Graham keep opening their mouths and spouting vile “jokes” about murdering Ted Cruz, the more it highlights the need to get rid of the lot of them through the all-important primary process.

It is politicians like Graham that led to Donald Trump’s rise in the first place. Throw in wishy-washy Republican leaders like John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan and you’ve got perfect storm conditions for an angry Republican base that will vote for whatever they perceive as the opposite to the norm.

Go ahead and joke about that, Lindsey Graham.

No getting around it, Jeff Sessions’ endorsement of Trump hurts the conservative cause

Finally today, I spend a lot of time in this column bashing on endorsements, arguing they’re largely inconsequential and meaningless in most cases.

But there was one yesterday that could very well make a big difference in this year’s nomination race and it surprisingly went to Donald Trump.

Eli Stokols of Politico reports, “Donald Trump won another major endorsement Sunday, surprising the political world when he walked onto the stage for a rally in Madison, Ala., with Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions…

“While Chris Christie, who threw his support behind Trump on Friday, is a pillar of the GOP establishment, Sessions is a tea party idol who helps validate the New York City billionaire with the conservative grassroots.”

Whereas all or most of Rubio’s endorsements contain the stink of the establishment and power brokers in Washington, Jeff Sessions is widely popular with the grassroots and is recognized as a conservative leader on numerous issues in the Senate.

Like Cruz, Sessions is known for battling the establishment, not joining them.

During his speech on Sunday at the Trump rally, Sessions said Washington politicians had failed to repair the broken immigration system for 30 years – and Trump would fix it.

We can agree or disagree on that point, but there’s no question that having Sessions’ name behind Trump’s candidacy is a major benefit to him. With just one day to go until Super Tuesday, things are looking awful good for him right now.

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Secret Service protecting the wrong guy!

I'm sure that the GOPe does have collective fantasies about the removal of Cruz.
The bigger question is why the irrelevant Dr Carson is still taking the Secret Service along on his extended self-promotional exercise, while Cruz and Rubio get no protection?