Today sees some interesting developments. First up is a report that Jeb Bush secretly met with Ted Cruz, John Kasich, and Marco Rubio before the last debate.
Then SuperPACs supporting Ted Cruz seem to have decided to stop going after Marco Rubio in Florida and shift their spending elsewhere. Meanwhile Rubio’s spokesperson has urged voters in Ohio to vote for John Kasich.
Does all this mean that the three semi-finalists are following Mitt Romney’s suggested strategy and have decided to form a united front against Donald Trump to deny him wins in Florida and Ohio, and that Jeb Bush is in on the plan? If so, this would be the first evidence that the anti-Trump forces have got their act together.
But then why did they not pursue a more aggressive anti-Trump strategy during the debate? Perhaps it was because if the plan to stop him is too obviously coordinated, then that will outrage Trump’s supporters and it will be harder to keep them in the Republican fold if Trump does not get the nomination.
But Trump is no fool. He knows about all these meetings too and if he thinks he is getting sandbagged, you can bet that he will use it in his favor by arguing that the establishment is secretly conspiring to deny the ‘will of the people’. He will have enough allies to do this, such as Sarah Palin who, with no trace of self-awareness, attacked her former friend Ted Cruz in her characteristic rambling incoherent way as a half-term senator with no achievements.
Whether this is a real effort or not will be revealed in the coming days before next Tuesday’s primaries.
But what is in it for each of the conspirators Bush, Romney, Cruz, Rubio, and Kasich. Is each hoping to emerge as the anti-Trump champion at the convention? These are ambitious politicians and you can be sure they are not doing it for altruistic motives such as saving the Republican party. Is it that each of them hate Trump so much that they are happy just to stop him even if it does not benefit them? It is possible that Cruz is not part of the plan but has decided that Rubio will lose Florida anyway and that this is only a deal between Rubio and Kasich.