Super Tuesday: My Pick

When the 2016 election season began, I did what I try to do each election cycle, and clear my head out of any pre-conceptions. I let the first debate be the catalyst, watching in hopes someone would win me over and draw my interest and support. When that debate was over, the candidate that emerged on my immediate radar was Marco Rubio. I liked how he came across, both in how he spoke, and how he presented himself. I also liked Ted Cruz. And I thought Donald Trump was rather petulant, a mild criticism that would be magnified exponentially over the course of the campaign season.

As time went on, others in whom I had an interest dropped out. I particularly liked Rand Paul and had high hopes for him, but he exited the race after Iowa. Even Jeb Bush and John Kasich seemed to finally find themselves and come alive, but they did so fairly late into the campaign season, when most voters had made up their minds. Today, Kasich still remains in the race, but his path to the nomination is incredibly narrow. That’s not to say he wouldn’t be a great nominee; in fact, Kasich polls the best against Hillary Clinton out of all left standing. And, as a governor, he has the experience in leadership and an established history that he can demonstrate. In the past few weeks, he became a consideration of mine but, with the stakes now so high in that Trump may get the nomination if either Cruz or Rubio do not beat him, I’m not sure voting for Kasich helps stop Trump. What I can say is that Kasich would make a fine VP pick to balance out the remaining candidate’s perceived “inexperience,” with two first-term Senators and two complete outsiders.

That brings me down to Rubio or Cruz. I like both of these candidates and, if one were to drop out, my support would immediately go to the other. In fact, there have been many that have called for just this very course of action, as Trump continues to win primaries. The reasoning behind it is that, while Trump does keep winning, the combined vote tally of Cruz and Rubio would result in a win for either of those two over Trump. Granted, that’s presuming the majority of each candidate’s current support embraces the other (and not, for example, more voters to Trump), but it seems a more viable means of victory than both candidates splitting the vote. And let’s face it – Cruz and Rubio have similar appeal. The Super Tuesday election on March 1st sees Texas, the home state of Ted Cruz, get to vote, with 155 delegates at stake. March 15th sees Rubio’s home state of Florida vote, with a winner-take-all count of 99 delegates. Neither candidate wants to drop out before their home state can deliver a whopping amount of delegates. The problem is that, in the meantime, Trump’s still racking up delegates along the way. And, if he wins Florida, he gets all 99 on top of his current lead. So it’s a big risk for all both to remain in the race, but you can understand why they do.

There is also the idea that nobody gets to the magic number of 1,237 delegates before the Republican National Convention. If that happens, we get what’s called a brokered convention, in which each delegate is now released, and wheeling and dealing begin before revoting, and the nominee ends up decided at the convention itself. This is extremely rare and hasn’t happened since 1952 in either party. But it could happen this time, and it may be why both stay in — to deny Trump’s securing the nomination and hope they end up the nominee at a brokered convention.

So, between Rubio and Cruz… let’s get into it.

Regarding Rubio, I feel like he has some crossover appeal. I think a lot of the usual ammunition that Democrats usually use against Republicans goes out the window with him. He’s Hispanic and can speak Spanish. He hasn’t been wealthy for most of his life, living paycheck to paycheck and having school loans he had to pay back. If anything, I feel like they’d hit him on the usual “War on Women” rhetoric — but they’re going to do that no matter who it is. I feel like Rubio speaks better when he’s off-script, in a more conversational and personable way.

However, as someone that liked Rand Paul, I don’t like Rubio’s stance on the NSA surveillance, though. And I sort of get the impression that he views the Constitution as a guideline — a good one, sure, but if he feels like something must be done then that’s his motive regardless of what the Constitution says. An example of that would be his shutting down mosques if it’s believed that recruiting for radical Islam takes place.

I also generally don’t hold the Gang of 8 bill against him, as I understand that bi-partisan efforts make things happen — which, for the sake of clarification, is not to suggest that I support it. My actual issue with it, though, is Rubio saying he wouldn’t do that and then doing it doesn’t sit well with me.

Finally, what’s turned me off a lot on Rubio in the past weekend is his new campaign tactic. As recently as last week, I found myself torn between who to vote for between Cruz and Rubio. I saw Thursday’s debate and thought Rubio did great — he had Trump on the edge, and even fervent Cruz supporters on Twitter were praising Rubio. I attended a rally of his the next day, in which Rubio spent a good chunk of time reading mispelled tweets of Trump and poking fun at them (the ultimate suggestion being that perhaps Trump had foreign workers writing them). Then, over the course of the weekend, Rubio continued his assault on Trump, where Rubio made a joke about Trump having small hands, and suggested Trump sue “whoever did that to his face.” This was where Rubio lost me.

You see, to me there’s not much difference in a disparaging comment like that from Rubio about Trump’s looks than there was with Trump’s disparaging comment about Carly Fiorina’s looks last year. Trump was rightfully shunned for that, as should be Rubio. If your campaign has devolved to the point where you’re going there — from its previous classy place — you’re having a bad time.

It’s sad, really. Someone in his campaign must have told Rubio that the best way to take down Trump was to make a joke out of him. Use his own words and actions against him. I believe this would have been effective last year sometime but, now, it just comes across as a desperate tactic, and such a switch from his former classy campaign that even his own supporters are questioning what the hell he’s doing. On his Facebook page, I’ve seen people post similar pleas to him to drop this shtick. But then others have pointed out that it worked for Trump, so now Rubio is trying it. If this had happened last Summer, they may have knocked out Trump then, and be able to be classy now. But you can’t go from classy to trashy.

Finally was this story in the NY Times over the weekend that Rubio worked with (read: coerced) conservative media (read: Fox News) on how to report on immigration issues. Now, he’s probably not the only one that’s done that. But he’s running for President, so it’s fair game.

Conversely, Cruz has run a pretty steady campaign. While I have some concerns about how he may do in the general election among moderates, and that his manner of speech sometimes comes across as a proselytizing televangelist, the fact of the matter is that he’s consistent. He’s a “means what he says and says what he means” kind of person without the roughness of Trump, and his principles are unquestionable. The man once spoke for over 21 straight hours on principle! Whereas I mentioned that Rubio comes across as someone that sees the Constitution as a guideline, Ted Cruz clearly sees it as gospel. He’s an originalist and I can rest easy knowing I would not need to worry about unconstitutional actions with Cruz at the helm.

To be fair, while the Iowa/Carson incident is unfortunate, but it came not directly from him, but from his staff in Iowa trying to get him elected. I can understand that, having seen the fervor of people at the Scott Brown HQ when I volunteered for his 2012 election; if they had heard that Warren was dropping out, I bet they would’ve instructed us to make calls suggesting that. And Cruz has apologized for what took place. It’s a blemish, yet it at least has some backstory to it, an accompanying apology after the fact, and was not a personal attack.

The Cruz rally I went to was also much better than the Rubio one. Ted Cruz had State Senator Don Huffines, Congressman Louie Gohmert, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and current Gov. Greg Abbott all speak on his behalf before Cruz himself came out. Each one of them had substantive talk, comparing policy and ideology. There were some jokes sprinkled in, but nothing like Rubio’s run since last Thursday.

Finally, one of the things that was said that stuck with me was that, with Cruz and his record, regarding any policy position of his, you never have to add, “yeah, but…” Not so with anyone else.

In the end, while I was torn last week between the two, recent events and some critical analysis have helped convince me for tomorrow. My vote will be going to Ted Cruz.

 

Ted Cruz


When the 2016 election season began, I did what I try to do each election cycle, and clear my head out of any pre-conceptions. I let the first debate be the catalyst, watching in hopes someone would win me over and draw my interest and support. When that debate was over, the candidate that emerged on my immediate radar was Marco Rubio. I liked how he came across, both in how he spoke, and how he presented himself. I also liked Ted Cruz. And I thought Donald Trump was rather petulant, a mild criticism that would be magnified exponentially over the course of the campaign season.

As time went on, others in whom I had an interest dropped out. I particularly liked Rand Paul and had high hopes for him, but he exited the race after Iowa. Even Jeb Bush and John Kasich seemed to finally find themselves and come alive, but they did so fairly late into the campaign season, when most voters had made up their minds. Today, Kasich still remains in the race, but his path to the nomination is incredibly narrow. That’s not to say he wouldn’t be a great nominee; in fact, Kasich polls the best against Hillary Clinton out of all left standing. And, as a governor, he has the experience in leadership and an established history that he can demonstrate. In the past few weeks, he became a consideration of mine but, with the stakes now so high in that Trump may get the nomination if either Cruz or Rubio do not beat him, I’m not sure voting for Kasich helps stop Trump. What I can say is that Kasich would make a fine VP pick to balance out the remaining candidate’s perceived “inexperience,” with two first-term Senators and two complete outsiders.

That brings me down to Rubio or Cruz. I like both of these candidates and, if one were to drop out, my support would immediately go to the other. In fact, there have been many that have called for just this very course of action, as Trump continues to win primaries. The reasoning behind it is that, while Trump does keep winning, the combined vote tally of Cruz and Rubio would result in a win for either of those two over Trump. Granted, that’s presuming the majority of each candidate’s current support embraces the other (and not, for example, more voters to Trump), but it seems a more viable means of victory than both candidates splitting the vote. And let’s face it – Cruz and Rubio have similar appeal. The Super Tuesday election on March 1st sees Texas, the home state of Ted Cruz, get to vote, with 155 delegates at stake. March 15th sees Rubio’s home state of Florida vote, with a winner-take-all count of 99 delegates. Neither candidate wants to drop out before their home state can deliver a whopping amount of delegates. The problem is that, in the meantime, Trump’s still racking up delegates along the way. And, if he wins Florida, he gets all 99 on top of his current lead. So it’s a big risk for all both to remain in the race, but you can understand why they do.

There is also the idea that nobody gets to the magic number of 1,237 delegates before the Republican National Convention. If that happens, we get what’s called a brokered convention, in which each delegate is now released, and wheeling and dealing begin before revoting, and the nominee ends up decided at the convention itself. This is extremely rare and hasn’t happened since 1952 in either party. But it could happen this time, and it may be why both stay in — to deny Trump’s securing the nomination and hope they end up the nominee at a brokered convention.

So, between Rubio and Cruz… let’s get into it.

Regarding Rubio, I feel like he has some crossover appeal. I think a lot of the usual ammunition that Democrats usually use against Republicans goes out the window with him. He’s Hispanic and can speak Spanish. He hasn’t been wealthy for most of his life, living paycheck to paycheck and having school loans he had to pay back. If anything, I feel like they’d hit him on the usual “War on Women” rhetoric — but they’re going to do that no matter who it is. I feel like Rubio speaks better when he’s off-script, in a more conversational and personable way.

However, as someone that liked Rand Paul, I don’t like Rubio’s stance on the NSA surveillance, though. And I sort of get the impression that he views the Constitution as a guideline — a good one, sure, but if he feels like something must be done then that’s his motive regardless of what the Constitution says. An example of that would be his shutting down mosques if it’s believed that recruiting for radical Islam takes place.

I also generally don’t hold the Gang of 8 bill against him, as I understand that bi-partisan efforts make things happen — which, for the sake of clarification, is not to suggest that I support it. My actual issue with it, though, is Rubio saying he wouldn’t do that and then doing it doesn’t sit well with me.

Finally, what’s turned me off a lot on Rubio in the past weekend is his new campaign tactic. As recently as last week, I found myself torn between who to vote for between Cruz and Rubio. I saw Thursday’s debate and thought Rubio did great — he had Trump on the edge, and even fervent Cruz supporters on Twitter were praising Rubio. I attended a rally of his the next day, in which Rubio spent a good chunk of time reading mispelled tweets of Trump and poking fun at them (the ultimate suggestion being that perhaps Trump had foreign workers writing them). Then, over the course of the weekend, Rubio continued his assault on Trump, where Rubio made a joke about Trump having small hands, and suggested Trump sue “whoever did that to his face.” This was where Rubio lost me.

You see, to me there’s not much difference in a disparaging comment like that from Rubio about Trump’s looks than there was with Trump’s disparaging comment about Carly Fiorina’s looks last year. Trump was rightfully shunned for that, as should be Rubio. If your campaign has devolved to the point where you’re going there — from its previous classy place — you’re having a bad time.

It’s sad, really. Someone in his campaign must have told Rubio that the best way to take down Trump was to make a joke out of him. Use his own words and actions against him. I believe this would have been effective last year sometime but, now, it just comes across as a desperate tactic, and such a switch from his former classy campaign that even his own supporters are questioning what the hell he’s doing. On his Facebook page, I’ve seen people post similar pleas to him to drop this shtick. But then others have pointed out that it worked for Trump, so now Rubio is trying it. If this had happened last Summer, they may have knocked out Trump then, and be able to be classy now. But you can’t go from classy to trashy.

Finally was this story in the NY Times over the weekend that Rubio worked with (read: coerced) conservative media (read: Fox News) on how to report on immigration issues. Now, he’s probably not the only one that’s done that. But he’s running for President, so it’s fair game.

Conversely, Cruz has run a pretty steady campaign. While I have some concerns about how he may do in the general election among moderates, and that his manner of speech sometimes comes across as a proselytizing televangelist, the fact of the matter is that he’s consistent. He’s a “means what he says and says what he means” kind of person without the roughness of Trump, and his principles are unquestionable. The man once spoke for over 21 straight hours on principle! Whereas I mentioned that Rubio comes across as someone that sees the Constitution as a guideline, Ted Cruz clearly sees it as gospel. He’s an originalist and I can rest easy knowing I would not need to worry about unconstitutional actions with Cruz at the helm.

To be fair, while the Iowa/Carson incident is unfortunate, but it came not directly from him, but from his staff in Iowa trying to get him elected. I can understand that, having seen the fervor of people at the Scott Brown HQ when I volunteered for his 2012 election; if they had heard that Warren was dropping out, I bet they would’ve instructed us to make calls suggesting that. And Cruz has apologized for what took place. It’s a blemish, yet it at least has some backstory to it, an accompanying apology after the fact, and was not a personal attack.

The Cruz rally I went to was also much better than the Rubio one. Ted Cruz had State Senator Don Huffines, Congressman Louie Gohmert, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and current Gov. Greg Abbott all speak on his behalf before Cruz himself came out. Each one of them had substantive talk, comparing policy and ideology. There were some jokes sprinkled in, but nothing like Rubio’s run since last Thursday.

Finally, one of the things that was said that stuck with me was that, with Cruz and his record, regarding any policy position of his, you never have to add, “yeah, but…” Not so with anyone else.

In the end, while I was torn last week between the two, recent events and some critical analysis have helped convince me for tomorrow. My vote will be going to Ted Cruz.

 

Ted Cruz


About the author

Jason L. Hubsch

Jason L. Hubsch

I love music, video games, comic books, pro wrestling, politics, and God -- and not necessarily in that order! If you like any of these, chances are we'll get along.

Related posts

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *