Although Donald Trump likes to smear his opponents — as he did with Ben Carson late last year, and he’s doing now with Ted Cruz — Cruz likes to talk about the issues. The reason for this difference in strategy is obvious: the Texas senator’s policy views are conservative whereas Trump’s are not. This means that the only way for Trump to beat Cruz is to avoid talking about policy. That’s why he’s getting personal. All the time.
The only policy issue he does talk about is illegal immigration. The problem with that is that he’s not telling voters the truth: he’s not the border hawk he pretends to be. As Cruz pointed out on Twitter today:
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 21, 2016
The fact is, Donald Trump is an establishment figure and he has always been, albeit not always in the same party. He’s pro-ethanol subsidies (in other words: crony capitalism); he has supported leftist Democrats like Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Rahm Emanuel; he’s not half as hawkish on illegal immigration as he pretends to be; and he’s all about making deals with liberals. He even says so on the campaign trail now, accusing Cruz of not reaching out across the aisle to make deals with Reid and Pelosi!
No, he doesn’t. And you know why? Because unlike Trump, Cruz is a real conservative; he understands that deal-making is the problem, not the solution.
Trump wasn’t a conservative, isn’t a conservative, and will not be a conservative president should he reach the White House. He’s a poseur, a man who will says whatever’s necessary in order to get elected. If that doesn’t convince voters that he’s establishment through and through, nothing will.