Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT):
"I think we'll lose if he's our nominee."Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA):
"He’s heavily financed by Big Oil. So we think once Iowans realize that fact, they might find other things attractive, but he could be very damaging to our state. I think it would be a big mistake for Iowa to support him."Rep. Peter King (R-NY):
"He would definitely be a negative," said GOP Rep. Pete King of New York, who represents an evenly divided Long Island district. King dismissed Cruz as a "fraud" and said, "I don't know of anyone else in Washington, certainly, who gets this opposition from his own people. ... I'm talking about people as conservative as he is who just can't stand him."From the
Rudy "Noun, Verb, 9/11" Giuliani:
“If it came down to Trump or Cruz, there is no question I’d vote for Trump,” said former New York mayor and 2008 presidential candidate Rudolph W. Giuliani, who has not endorsed a candidate.What might be the "thinking" behind the mini-surge of some "establishment" Republicans toward Rump? Try this: if the "establishment" candidates are going nowhere, and the nomination is destined to go to an "outsider" this year, their preferred outsider is Rump, because the party power brokers think they can make deals with him, whereas Cruz is an uncontrollable destructive force. (It also helps that narcissist Rump has no particular ideology except promoting Rump.) If that's the case, you might have to agree with some the hair- on- fire ideologues on the right (think Glenn "Boo Hoo" Beck and Rush Limpballs) that these "establishment" Republicans have no allegiance to their concept of take- no- prisoners "conservatism."
For our money, the reaction of Sen. Lindsey "Huckleberry Butchmeup*" Graham (R-SC) sums up our analysis:
"If you nominate Trump and Cruz, I think you get the same outcome," Graham told reporters, according to the New York Times. "Whether it’s death by being shot or poisoning doesn’t really matter. I don’t think the outcome will be substantially different." (our emphasis)The "establishment's" growing acceptance of Rump as the likely Republican standard bearer serves as a measure for how awful this election is going to be for them, and for their future prospects. If that holds true, what a wonderfully deserved outcome that would be.
BONUS: Not all are giving up the fight to stop Rump:
Thursday night, the National Review unveiled a special issue: "Against Trump," featuring essays by 22 prominent conservative thinkers from various ideological factions opposing Trump's candidacy."Conservative thinkers." Isn't that an oxymoron? We prefer the more accurate "Douchebag Who's Who."
In a press conference, Trump brushed off the National Review's criticisms, calling the magazine a failing, irrelevant publication.
BONUS II: Here's Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog exposing the hypocrisy of the National Review's critique of Rump. Laura Clawson, too. And, most definitely, Jeet Heer.
* h/t Charles Pierce