Ted Cruz suspended his campaign after the Indiana primary on Tuesday, May 3, 2016.
Donald Trump won the state with 53.3%. Cruz’s share of the vote was 36.6%. John Kasich picked up the remainder.
A number of Cruz’s supporters will not be supporting Trump — at least for now.
However, it is worth noting two things.
One is that Trump’s life has been an open book since he entered the Manhattan property market in the 1970s. I have been following his life and career since 1980. Everything worth knowing about him — good and bad — appeared in the media as it happened, not years later.
The other is that he is the only Republican who can defeat Hillary Clinton in the general election. He has the facts and the rhetoric, whether one likes his style or not, to reveal who she is.
The possibility of Bernie Sanders winning the Democratic Party nomination is rather narrow at this point. However, should he win, Trump will prevail.
Trump struck a chord with Hoosiers (Indiana residents) because he understands the economic climate. While Cruz focussed on conservatism, Trump spoke of jobs and lamented the number of firms going overseas. Indiana’s governor Mike Pence heard this and praised him for it. Pence’s fine words for Trump greatly outweighed his tepid endorsement of Cruz, no doubt pledged sometime earlier.
As I write, it is unclear as to what the exact catalyst was for Cruz’s withdrawal from the race was. The first few days of May were difficult for him, even though he went to Indiana at the end of April to make the state his. At the time, it seemed possible.
Soon, things began to derail. Cruz called a basketball hoop a ‘ring’ in a basketball-mad state. Then, with just over half of Trump’s delegate total, Cruz strangely named Carly Fiorina — another of the failed GOP presidential hopefuls this year — his running mate. On Monday, the day before the primary, she lost her footing at one of Cruz’s rallies and fell off the stage. Was it a sign? One cannot help but wonder.
Also that day, five out of six polls for the state showed Trump in the lead between two and 15 percentage points.
Then, on Tuesday morning, the polls had been open only a few hours when Cruz launched into an attack on Trump, who had spoken of a National Enquirer story linking Cruz Sr with Lee Harvey Oswald. (Wayne Madsen’s story about the two, complete with photos, has been on the Internet for several weeks now.) CNN described Cruz’s lengthy tirade as:
extraordinary even by the standards of the 2016 campaign …
Trump responded, in part, with this:
Today’s ridiculous outburst only proves what I have been saying for a long time, that Ted Cruz does not have the temperament to be president of the United States.
There are a number of unanswered questions surrounding Ted Cruz and his parents: his father’s political involvement before and after leaving Cuba, his mother’s possible Canadian citizenship in years past and, more importantly, Cruz’s own citizenship story. He appears not to be a natural born citizen of the United States, a requirement for both the presidency and the vice presidency. No one can say for sure because his records are sealed. However, all that can rest unless, heaven forfend, he has a major role to play in a possible Trump administration or puts his hat into the ring in 2020.
For the moment, we can focus on Donald Trump. Let us hope that it is he and not Hillary Clinton who nominates Antonin Scalia’s replacement on the Supreme Court. The next president may also have to make between one and three more Supreme Court nominations between now and 2020.
Thomas L Friedman wrote a considered editorial for The New York Times called ‘Trump and the Lord’s Work’. The last two paragraphs read in part (emphasis mine):
It’s clear: Free trade with China has hurt more people than originally thought. It’s clear: Low-skilled illegal immigration has hurt more American workers than we’ve fully understood. (And more high-skilled immigration in a knowledge age would enhance our economy more than most people understand.) It’s clear: Social Security, Medicare and Obamacare all need fixes to remain sustainable. It’s clear: Capitalism driven more by machines and robots poses new challenges for both white-collar and blue-collar workers.
Every one of these challenges can be met if we put our heads and hands together. For that to happen, though, this version of the Republican Party had to be destroyed, so a thinking center-right party can emerge. If that is what Trump has done, he’s done the Lord’s work …
This evening, my better half and I will celebrate with lobster and a glass of Meursault.
May God bless Donald Trump and keep him and his family safe from harm.