It has finally happened.
After months of saying things that smack of being anti-conservative, Donald Trump may have finally taken things too far. What could Trump have done to cross the line? He attacked Ted Cruz in a wholly unreasonable manner and for all the wrong reasons.
For months conservative leaders like Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin have defended Trump’s missteps as being part of who Trump is, not because Trump was a liberal in sheep’s clothing. However, over the last couple of days Trump has attacked Ted Cruz first for being too hard to negotiate with (a thoroughly establishment kind of complaint), and then he attacked Cruz’s faith, his stance against subsidies, and finally, Trump complained about Justice Scalia’s view of affirmative action!
This confluence of Trump attacks/statements finally pushed Rush Limbaugh to speak out against Donald Trump.
Rush Limbaugh: Fox News Sunday, Donald Trump was on with Chris Wallace who said, “What do you think of Ted Cruz?”
Donald Trump: I don’t think he has the right temperament. I don’t think he’s got the right judgment. You look at the way he’s dealt with the Senate where he goes in there like a… You know, frankly, like a little bit of a maniac. You’re never gonna get things done that way. You can’t walk into the Senate and scream and call people liars and not be able to cajole and get along with people. He’ll never get anything done, and that’s the problem with Ted.
Rush Limbaugh: Whoa. Wait just a second here. Doesn’t that kind of describe the way Trump has been dealing with people he disagrees with? I mean, he’s been calling them stupid, he’s been calling them incompetent, he’s been saying you can’t get anything done with these people. But for the people in the Trump support base who are conservatives, and who may not even have any affinity for Cruz… The conservative base of the Republican Party likes a lot of different people.
But even people who are not particularly aligned with Cruz on the right have gotta be curious about this because this is no different than what the media would say about Ted Cruz. This is no different than what the Democrat Party would say. I mean, this is what the Republican establishment would say, for crying out loud. I mean, this is akin to saying, “I’m the guy who can cross the aisle and work with the other side.” That hasn’t been the way Trump has come off up ’til now. He’s not positioned that way…
I don’t know what kind of damage if any this gonna do to Trump because, frankly, folks, if you look at Trump’s support base, the majority of it is not conservative. In fact, if you look at the Trump support base… I’ve maintained this for I don’t know how long. If you look at the demographic makeup of Trump’s support, it’s exactly what the Republican claims they want. There’s a lot of independents in there, there are a lot of different ethnic groups in there, but it’s it is not majority conservative or Republican base. There’s a sizable number of them in there.
But this is almost a rote criticism of Cruz. This is almost… You know, if you have to go to a playbook or a manual and say, “Okay, time to criticize Ted Cruz. What do we say? What do we say?” “Well, the manual says, ‘Go after him for not being able to work together in the Senate,'” and so forth and so on. So I’m not sure that Mr. Trump even knows who Cruz really is in this regard. No, my only point is for somebody running for the Republican nomination who has set himself up as anti-establishment, to join the establishment in that kind of criticism of Cruz, I don’t get it.
It doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Now, Trump’s not trying to portray himself as a conservative, either. So it’s not a violation of that. But he’s clearly making himself out to be anti-establishment, yet he joins them here. And then he dumped on Cruz for being opposed to ethanol? In other words, we as Republicans must support government subsidies to corn farmers in Iowa if we’re to have any chance of winning Iowa? We’ve gotta stand for subsidies? And that, again, is not a conservative position. To go after Cruz on that basis, is again the way the Democrats and the media would go after him, and then there was this Sunday morning on CNN’s State of the Union, Jake Tapper.
“What do you think of Justice Scalia’s remarks, and where are you today on affirmative action?”
Donald Trump: I thought it was very tough to the African-American community, actually. I don’t like what he said. I actually saw it in print, and I’m going… I read a lot of stuff. I’m going, “Whoa.” I have great African-American friendships. I have just amazing relationships. But, yeah, I was very surprised at Scalia’s statements, actually.
Rush Limbaugh: Well, they weren’t “Scalia’s statements.” They were arguments that had been submitted to the court that he was engaging in oral argument over. But these are two things that… If you’re a conservative voter in the Republican primary, these two things have gotta raise some red flags for you people, I would think…
My questioning here about the way Trump has gone off Cruz here, calling him a maniac, refusing to work with people in the Senate, the reason I’m focusing on that, folks, ’cause that’s so unlike Trump. I mean, that’s a huge mistake. On paper it’s a huge mistake. Trump gets away with his mistakes. Such is the bond of loyalty that his support base has for him that he gets away with them. And I don’t think he’s made that many. Don’t misunderstand. But for any of you who are holding out hope that Trump is a genuine conservative. A genuine conservative, even in the Republican field, would not go after Cruz this way. So that just raised a red flag for me, made me somewhat curious.
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