Karl Rove, establishment hack extraordinaire, has cobbled up a new plan to deny a proven conservative (read: Ted Cruz) the nomination. In an interview with Hugh Hewitt, the former George W. Bush strategist also known as The Architect explained what he and his fellow establishmentarians have in mind:
I think, though, that let’s say this. If we have somebody who we think has, has been battle tested, and has strong conservative principles and the ability to articulate them, and they are nominated at this convention, there will be a lot of acrimony from the people who were seeking the nomination. But if it’s somebody who has, you know, has those convictions that they can express in a compelling way, we could come out of the convention in relatively strong position, because we do have, you know, look.
Donald Trump excites a lot of enthusiasm. But he also excites a lot of anger within the Republican Party and outside of the Republican Party. And a fresh face might be the thing that could give us a chance to turn this election and win in November against Hillary.
Rove rightfully pointed out that Trump’s negatives are through the roof, which means it’ll be virtually impossible for him to win a general election. But he has no good reason to argue against nominating the Ted Cruz, who’s second in the delegate count and who seems to be on track to win in Wisconsin, which would provide his campaign with a major boost.
The only argument Rove has is that Cruz is sometimes winning against Hillary Clinton and sometimes losing:
Well, the polls would indicate that he is somewhat more electable. He looked a lot more electable earlier in the year. But now, he is, along with Trump, fallen behind Hillary Clinton in the polling on a pretty regular basis. But you could make the case that he lacks the misogynist comments, and the four bankruptcies and all these other things that are causing trouble for Donald Trump. But yes, he is more electable.
Well, guess what? That’ll be true for each and every single conservative politician the GOP can nominate. The only one I’m excluding is John Kasich, but that’s because he’s not an actual conservative: his positions are indistinguishable from Hillary’s, which means it’d be a ludicrous for the GOP to nominate him even if he does wipe the floor with Hillary in the polls.
Cruz has been attacked ferociously by Trump, who’s constantly referring to him as “Lyin’ Ted,” and who has even gone after his wife for not being pretty enough. It’s utterly shocking that, despite these aggressive attacks, he’s still basically equal with Hillary in the polls. After all, nobody has laid a hand on her yet. But that will change once Cruz and Hillary are the nominees and have to take on each other. Cruz has been dealing with attacks for months in a row, while Hillary will — for the first time — truly face a barrage of attacks, which will drive down her numbers.
And that means that it’s very likely Cruz can and will defeat Hillary in a match-up between the two.
Rove also understands the above — he didn’t guide Bush 43 to two presidential victories because he’s a dope — but simply refuses to admit it. Because that would mean that he’d actually have to publicly call for the nomination of a solid, reliable conservative. He’d rather eat his hat — or Trump’s chubby little fingers — than do that.