There are many things the GOP is willing to do to stop Donald Trump. Pretending to like Ted Cruz is not currently one of them.
But with Rubio’s exit from the race, Cruz—who is perpetually bombastic, annoying and frankly unsettling in a visceral way—has become the closest thing to a mainstream candidate the GOP has. And though politicos are beginning, reluctantly and unenthusiastically, to coalesce around Cruz, they are still unable or unwilling to hide how little they actually think of him.
There was Jeb Bush, who last week issued a statement endorsing Cruz because he’s not Donald Trump. Mitt Romney, who endorsed Cruz (but only in the Utah primary) because he’s not Donald Trump. And of course, Lindsay Graham—who said he’d rather be shot or poisoned than endorse Cruz—endorsed Cruz because he’s not Donald Trump.
While the Romney and Bush endorsements drew headlines, what has been just as striking is the sound of silence from the vast majority of Republican elected officials and leading donors. Nearly two weeks after Senator Marco Rubio dropped out of the race, there has been no mass rush to Mr. Cruz, even as he appears to be the last line of defense against a Trump nomination.
The decision by so many leading Republicans to remain on the sidelines is all the more notable because it appears inversely proportional to the scale of concern about Mr. Trump. His recent attacks on Mr. Cruz’s wife and soaring unpopularity among women, minorities and college-educated voters have left many in the party more convinced than ever that, with Mr. Trump as their standard-bearer, they are churning toward a political iceberg this fall.
And that’s the thing—most people seem to hate Ted Cruz enough to just burn the whole thing down. Everyone hates Ted Cruz—even the people supporting him.
Ted Cruz: The Guy Who’s Just As Bad As The Other Guy But In Different Ways. A candidate you can really get behind, unless Paul Ryan runs—is he running?