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Presidential Horse Race 2016: #NeverTrump’s faulty advice for Ted Cruz would ruin his career

In recent days there have been several reports that Texas senator and former Donald Trump arch-nemesis Ted Cruz was getting closer to announcing an endorsement of the Republican nominee, something I’ve been predicting would happen for some time.

Or at the very least, they’re moving towards a détente.

Burgess Everett of Politico reports, “Two months after snubbing Donald Trump at the Republican convention, Ted Cruz is now praising the GOP presidential nominee for inserting himself in Congress' eleventh-hour Ted Cruznegotiations over a government funding bill…

“’Appreciate @realDonaldTrump’s support of our efforts to keep the internet free,’ Cruz tweeted on Wednesday afternoon.

“’And we appreciate @tedcruz appreciating @realDonaldTrump. Over to you, @jeffroe,’ responded Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, referring to Cruz's former campaign manager.”

At any rate, it certainly looks like the ice between Trump and Cruz is beginning to thaw, which has some Cruz supporters up in arms over what they see as a “betrayal” from their man.

This bunch of whiners are on the verge of losing the last pole still holding up the #NeverTrump tent and they aren’t about to relinquish it easily.

Josh Hammer writes in The Resurgent, “Without naming names out of respect for their privacy, I have also been in some conversations over the past few days with some friends who are closer—substantially closer, actually—to Ted than I am.  While we all understand the extremely difficult position Ted currently finds himself in, the sense of frustration—and, frankly, maybe even bewilderment—is palpable among all of us.  Following his highly principled, thankless stand in Cleveland, how exactly did we end up in a situation where Ted ‘Vote Your Conscience’ Cruz might still end up endorsing Donald Trump?”

Hammer’s lengthy post (the more desperate #NeverTrump gets the more words they require to explain themselves) goes on to name six reasons why Cruz should not endorse Trump. The reasons are not worth the effort to retype them in order to reproduce them all here. Utter nonsense.

But Hammer’s argument number three against a Trump endorsement reads “Cruz’s Most Ardent Supporters Will Be Disappointed and/or Horrified.”

I don’t get agitated very often in the course of commenting on the presidential race, but Hammer’s post truly sent me to the edge.

My question: what is so difficult for the #NeverTrumpers to understand on this matter? Most conservatives who aren’t blindly loyal to the Bushes, John Kasich or the GOP establishment (one and the same) have come to Trump’s side. Whether it’s the “new and improved” disciplined Trump under Kellyanne Conway and Stephen Bannon’s direction that’s motivating them or the intense need to defeat Hillary Clinton (as Cruz apparently laid out in his speech that Hammer attended last weekend), there is ONLY one viable alternative left in this race.

Kellyanne Conway herself was an ardent Cruz supporter during the primaries, but she’s joined Team Trump now. Who is Hammer to judge her? Or me?

Certainly Ted Cruz realizes the vast majority of his supporters are now singly concerned with battling Hillary. For those of us who spent the better part of eight months arguing passionately in favor of Cruz’s candidacy, we know how disappointing it was to fail in getting Ted across the finish line for the Republican nomination.

It wasn’t Ted’s doing, either, that he didn’t win. And it wasn’t Trump’s insults or anything of the kind that moved people to support Trump over Cruz. It wasn’t because of issue positions, obviously and it wasn’t a personal vendetta against the Texas Senator.

It wasn’t that Trump supporters disliked wife Heidi and Ted’s two cute-as-a-button daughters.

It was the fact many conservatives (such as the late Phyllis Schlafly) and Republicans saw Trump as the one man who could go to Washington and bring about real change. Trump may have given money to political candidates before (including Hillary), but he wasn’t part of the system. As a senator, Ted Cruz is part of Washington.

We can disagree with the Trump primary voters until we’re blue in the face – and we did – but they simply liked Trump better. Our candidate lost but our cause is still very much alive.

It looks to me like Cruz is coming to grips with this fact, as well he should. This campaign year hasn’t been like any other in the recent past where the stakes are so high and the choices so clear for two halves of the country to be so indelibly split down the middle.

For Hammer and the #NeverTrumpers to keep pounding on the “stay principled” stance in the face of so many reasonable and smart people having come to the realization that honoring principle means staying engaged and supporting Trump.

As far as I know – and history supports me on this one – I can’t think of a single instance were non-voting ever amounted to anything. Boycotts sometimes work but not in an election sense. Not participating leaves the decision up to someone else, or as Hammer’s colleague Erick Erickson said, to God (as if tasking God with making the ultimate choice is virtuous).

If non-participation is so honorable, should we start labeling Colin Kaepernick “principled” because he kneels during the national anthem? If Trump is elected, should the #NeverTrump cabal stage a sit-in at his inauguration because they’re principled?

It’s absurd and it’s a shame that it’s come to this.

For those Cruz fans who still maintain that “principle” should keep Ted on the sidelines, consider this: many of us recognized even before Cruz ran for the Senate that he was an up-and-coming star in the conservative movement.

Since 2012 when he was elected, Cruz has taken more principled stands on more issues than anyone else (with maybe fellow senators Mike Lee and Rand Paul coming in a close second). If Cruz stays out of this election, all of it will be for naught. He will simply be lumped in with the others who one, helped Hillary get elected, or two, stood by while everyone else furiously worked for Trump’s win.

The ONLY option for Ted Cruz is to back Trump now -- publicly. In doing so he instantly goes from a lose-lose proposition to win-win. And his career will have been saved. You can’t mobilize an army of supporters if the soldiers don’t exist. There are a lot more of us than there are of them. As Robert the Bruce’s father notoriously said in Braveheart, “How does it help us to join the side that is slaughtered?”

Politically speaking, it is stupid to choose the fealty of the last pathetic remnants of #NeverTrump over the millions of Ted Cruz fans (such as the ones who attended the Republican Convention and were turned off by his speech there) who now back Trump. This group has recognized that Trump is far from perfect but he’s willing to work with conservatives. Hillary will work tirelessly to destroy us for good.

For those who are still encouraging Cruz to commit political seppuku over what they consider “principle” that will only hurt him just proves they never really supported Ted in the first place.

If Hammer really is a Ted Cruz fan as he maintains, maybe he needs to listen to some of us who have an alternative view. And Cruz himself knows what he needs to do.

(Note: All the writers at The Resurgent, not just Hammer, have gone off the proverbial deep end. It's not enough to oppose Trump now, they’re taking off after his supporters, too.)

Conway could be the key to breaking the Democrats’ lock on Millennials

Much has been written over the past month about Donald Trump attempting to break through the near-monopoly the Democrat Party holds on certain groups like African-American voters or Hispanics.

One demographic group that hasn’t received much attention is Millennial voters – you know, the young people who are almost single-handedly responsible for giving America two terms of Barack Obama. Many young folks seem wowed by Democrat pipedream promises of free college, a spotless environment, abolishing racial divisions and punishing the evil corporate class, but Trump is hoping they’ll be open to a slightly different message this year.

And his campaign manager just might be the one to help him deliver it.

Gabby Morrongiello of the Washington Examiner reports, “Kellyanne Conway, who took the helm of Trump's campaign in late August, has developed intimate knowledge of America's largest voting bloc through her years of polling millennials. She knows their likes and dislikes, which issues they find most important, and the anxiety they bear over affording college, purchasing a home or belonging to the first modern generation that is doing worse economically than their parents.

“In recent history, Conway has gauged millennials' opinions on a wide range of issues, from health care and domestic spying programs to Black Lives Matter and the size and scope of government. Said one communications professional who previously worked with the Trump campaign chief: ‘She has far more superior knowledge of millennials than most conservative operatives.’”

Morrongiello’s article notes that even with Conway’s vast knowledge of the age group, tempting more Millennials to vote for Trump will be an uphill battle. The GOP simply doesn’t have many surrogates to draw crowds on college campuses like the Democrats do.

I personally feel Trump should deliver one of his policy speeches specifically targeted at Millennials and concentrating on the national debt, not unlike the famous chart heavy infomercial-like presentations Ross Perot provided as campaign commercials in 1992 (funny, Perot pointed out that the national debt was $4.1 trillion back then…my how things have grown under the spending sprees of both parties).

It’s my impression Millennials simply do not understand and have not been educated to the fact that massive government spending programs are going to be on their lifetime credit cards, not the current generation spending all the money’s account. Each year the interest on the debt will eat up a larger share of the non-entitlement government spending. And if interest rates rise, watch out.

Someone is going to have to pay for all of it, including the country’s expensive wars.

Like with the black and Hispanic blocs, politically speaking, if Trump is able to sway a few percentage points of the Millennial vote it could make a significant difference in several close polling swing states. Hillary and the Democrats are so dependent on identity politics and demographics that they can’t hope to compete if the contest comes down to a practical yours-versus-ours policy standpoint.

Just like with Obama, Hillary’s economic platform is held up with little more than hot air, unattainable assumptions and unreachable goals. But oh yeah, she gives us her word that she can accomplish all those things…

No one is claiming Trump doesn’t have a long way to go to win over young voters, but he can improve his chances dramatically by offering a new direction in this year’s election. Here’s hoping Conway can convince him to do it.

Trump’s non-traditional views on TV advertising confounds the political class

Should Donald Trump decide to take my advice and do a Ross Perot-style infomercial ad, it would signal a change in the campaign’s already non-traditional strategy of largely staying away from television advertising.

Everyone knows by now that Trump doesn’t believe in dumping millions of dollars into 30-second and one-minute spots, but his almost complete absence from the airwaves leaves a lot of people wondering how he’s hoping to make up for the opportunities lost.

Steven Shepard of Politico reports, “It’s seven weeks before Election Day, [four] days before the highly anticipated first debate, and Donald Trump’s television advertisements have all but vanished…

“The strategy has perplexed political media buyers who aren’t affiliated with the campaign. Trump’s campaign is underfunded compared to Hillary Clinton’s — his campaign had only $50 million on hand as of Aug. 30, according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission Tuesday night — but Trump’s failure to advertise consistently threatens the efficacy of his entire paid media campaign, limited as it is.”

The balance of Shepherd’s article talks about where Crooked Hillary is spending her tens of millions on ads and how the Democrats are swamping the Republicans.

There’s only one problem with this: all the ads in the world touting Hillary aren’t going to work because everyone thinks she’s a liar and all they hear is “email” whenever she’s mentioned.

Phillip Bump of the Washington Post reports, “Since July 11, that's the word that's been the most common response when Gallup asks what people have ‘read, seen or heard about Hillary Clinton’ over the preceding few days. In eight of the 10 weeks since the middle of July -- a period that covers both conventions -- email was the top response, with convention edging it out during the week of the Democratic convention and health taking the top honor in the most recent week, following Clinton's fainting spell at the 9/11 Memorial.”

It could almost be argued that Clinton’s intense TV ad bombardment would be counter-productive because people don’t like her or believe her when they hear her name.

As far as Trump goes, part of his hesitation to do more TV advertising could be cost related and the other part is he clearly doesn’t believe in it. It’s a gamble not to do it, since TV spots are what presidential candidates and outside groups have always done.

(Note: Trump is getting some help from outside groups running spots.)

But both candidates are so well known and defined already, how much more can TV alter the balance?

We’ll find out how it all comes down on Election Day.

Would smiling more help Crooked Hillary in Monday’s debate?

Finally this week, there’s little doubt the candidates will be putting their final touches on debate preparation this weekend in anticipation of Monday’s first presidential debate. In the process, Hillary Clinton received a piece of advice from one of her supporters.

Paulina Firozi of The Hill reports, “A top surrogate for Hillary Clinton said that the Democratic presidential nominee needs to ‘smile more’ in the upcoming presidential debates against Donald Trump.

“Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell told NBC's Hallie Jackson that he was sure Clinton would be able to prove she's presidential — but added that he agreed with a recent controversial comment by the Republican National Committee chairman that Clinton should smile during the debate.”

You might recall Carly Fiorina received the exact same advice during the Republican presidential primaries and some in the media said it was sexist to suggest that a woman needs to smile more in order to be seen as appealing.

(Note: If you have time, look at this video. Then compare Fiorina with Clinton. Who would you rather have?)

I don’t believe smiling has anything to do with the fact people see Hillary Clinton as a slimy, corrupt snake of an individual. You can paste all the polished enamel in the world on top of her face and it still wouldn’t make a bit of a difference to most people. As soon as she opens her mouth, everyone knows there’s a better than average chance that what’s coming out is a lie or a half-truth intended to put a snow job over on someone.

Remember when Obama said she was “likable enough”? That’s probably the most truthful thing Obama ever uttered.

Trump can score points on Monday night by being himself but also by acting “presidential”. The facts are on his side and they will come through whether Hillary flashes a grin or not.

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I sincerely hope Cruz does

I sincerely hope Cruz does not take the never Trump route. I give him more credit than that. To me the 'Never Trump Republicans" are all traitors and should be labeled as such. They should not be called Americans as a vote against Trump or any other candidate is a vote for Clinton who is truly anti American. As for myself, I would NEVER vote for anyone for anything who would cast a vote that would give Clinton a vote on purpose or by default. Anyone who would do such a thing is not ignorant, but stupid.

Cruz, redux

I will simplify.

Today's news suggests The Donald would potentially nominate Ted's colleague, Mike Lee, a clear signal to Ted.

Let's assume he were to announce he would ONLY nominate Ted.

Upwards of 6M GOP'ers would become activated!


Again, initial-disclosure is desirable: I'm "Not Yet" Trump, but not "Never Trump"...just as is the next SCOTUS-justice [assuming the Trumpster wins].

You were doing fine [historically], until you lumped Ted with the GOPe, simply because he's a Senator; cummon, now, recalling your prior fealty for him, cannot you differentiate Ted from the "uniparty"-types?

You were also doing fine [operationally], until you failed to follow-through with regard to Ms. Conway's prowess; having met her [and her husband] once during a Cruz $-raiser in NYC [one year ago], she is clearly motivated to dismantle prior problems [such as birtherism]...and that should include the competitors The Donald dissed unjustifiably [as you constantly noted, in real-time].

You were doing fine [functionally] as well, until you failed to recognize that the pieces in TheResurgent and RedState are decreasingly persuasive because BOTH of you fail to recognize the suasive-power of watching/waiting.

Note that, hyperlinked from the 6-point article [which you correctly characterized] is that Ted's speech last Saturday emphasized anti-Hillary views; also note that, last night, Pence let-on [to Mark Levin, on his radio-show] that he's been meeting with Ted [such as during his D.C. visit with the party caucuses in Congress].


SUGGESTION: The Donald must ASAP publicly invite all 16 of his fellow-candidates [ALL of them, including Pataki] to meet wherever/whenver, at which time he will [1]--pledge to ensure he will uphold Constitutional rule-of-law; [2]--rescind the low-blows [particularly against "Lyin' Ted"]; and [3]--state that he wants/needs their support.

People forget that the CANDIDATE must act affirmatively to recruit support; the onus isn't not on "party loyalists" to behave as lemmings, particularly after noting the deceit that emanated regularly from The Donald's lips.

Chat with Kellyanne, and see what you can do....