Campaign Leak: Did a Cruz-Rubio Ticket Nearly Happen?

From left: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)

It’s a time-honored tradition. Candidate runs for president. Candidate loses. Candidate’s campaign staff blames everyone and everything in an anonymous tell-all piece to the media. It happens every cycle — should’a, would’a, could’a.

But this piece at CNN is still worth a read. Apparently there was a real push to put Marco Rubio on Ted Cruz’s ticket prior to the March 15th primary in Florida. Jake Tapper reports at CNN:

Top officials of the Cruz campaign are convinced there is one specific step that could have stopped Trump — and they blame Sen. Marco Rubio for not taking that step.

In early March, it became clear that Trump was well on his way to the nomination and would even likely defeat Rubio in his home state of Florida’s March 15 primary. According to several sources close to Cruz, the Cruz campaign conducted several secret polls to see what the impact would be if Rubio joined Cruz as his running mate, with Cruz at the top of the ticket.

The Cruz campaign polled in three March 15 primary states, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina — though not in Ohio, home to Kasich, or in Florida.

They also tested the matchup in a poll in Arizona, which would hold its contest on March 22, and in Wisconsin, which would hold its primary on April 5.

What did polls suggest a Cruz-Rubio ticket would do in those states?

“Blowout,” said a source close to Cruz.

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BREAKING: Kasich to Suspend Campaign This Evening

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Last night, after finishing a distant third in the Indiana Primary, a defiant John Kasich appeared poised to continue his quest for the presidency, even as Ted Cruz ended his own. Despite his position far behind Donald Trump in the delegate count, Kasich’s campaign released the following statement through John Weaver, their chief strategist:

Tonight’s results are not going to alter Gov. Kasich’s campaign plans. Our strategy has been and continues to be one that involves winning the nomination at an open convention. The comments from Trump, on the verge of winning in Indiana, heighten the differences between Governor Kasich and his positive, inclusive approach and the disrespectful ramblings from Donald Trump.

However, many outlets are now reporting that Kasich has cancelled a Washington, D.C., fundraiser and subsequent press conference at Dulles Airport in favor of a press conference in his home state of Ohio. These same outlets are also reporting that Kasich’s Ohio press conference will be the end of the Governor’s longshot bid for the GOP nomination.

Kasich’s departure from the race removes the last potential, although highly unlikely, roadblock to Trump’s nomination and will officially cement Trump as the GOP’s presumptive nominee.

Joshua Pinho is a Digital Communications Associate for the American Principles Project. Follow him on Twitter @Josh_Pinho. Continue Reading

The Gospel According to Kasich (VIDEO)

John Kasich was back to his preachy self during a town hall in California last week. Watch as he wades once again into the issues of marriage and religious liberty:

QUESTIONER: Do you believe that some people are born gay? I’m a 62-year-old gay man who came out to both of my parents at 19, and I’ve been gay for 45 – over 40 years. Gay people are human beings and not a lifestyle choice. Please respond without prayer being an answer.


KASICH: In terms of me, I don’t believe in discrimination. I think there is a balance, however, between discrimination and people’s religious liberties. But I think we should just try to, like, take a chill pill, relax, and try to get along with one another a little bit better, instead of trying to write some law to solve a problem that doesn’t frankly exist in big enough numbers to justify more law-making. So, you know, I mean –

QUESTIONER: Republicans don’t believe in marriage equality. It’s your platform.

KASICH: Well – is it? I haven’t read that thing lately.

QUESTIONER: Well you should know what you’re doing.

KASICH: Okay, um. Well, no, they don’t tell me what to do by the platform. Republican Party is my vehicle and not my master. I have a right to define the Republican Party too.


KASICH: I believe in traditional marriage. I just went to a gay wedding. Buddy of mine just went, got, you know, got married. My wife and I went to the wedding.

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Clinton Ties (Statistically) Kasich — in Ohio!

From left: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Ohio Gov. John Kasich

PPP is a Democratic pollster so take it with a grain of salt, but their latest poll shows that Hillary Clinton is in a statistical dead heat John Kasich in Ohio. Clinton has 41 percent to Kasich’s 43 percent, within the margin of error.

Donald Trump is behind Clinton in Ohio 45 percent to 42 percent, while Ted Cruz is tanking there, losing to Clinton 44 percent to 35 percent.

What does a result like this tell us? First, Hillary Clinton is eminently beatable. The more voters see her, the less they like her.

Second, Kasich is likely taking a hit for running as a liberal Republican among his Ohio voters — and among Trump supporters who don’t understand why he is still in the race.

Third, Cruz has become the establishment candidate, and it’s killing him.

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project and can be followed on Twitter @MaggieGallaghe. Continue Reading

Barone Agrees: Trump Isn’t the Presumptive Nominee . . . Yet

From left: Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Michael Barone has a column on today where he points out the steep hill that Donald Trump still must climb to win the nomination outright.

We both agreed about the similarities with the Northeastern states, but he pointed out something that I missed — that turn out in these heavily blue states was just around 10 percent — which Barone points out is “lower than any other state besides Louisiana”:

But turnout in these primaries hovered around just 10 percent of eligible voters, lower than in any other state but Louisiana. That’s partly because registered Republicans are scarce on the ground in the Northeast: 37 percent of registered voters in Pennsylvania, between 21 and 29 percent in the other closed primary states. Not coincidentally, none except Pennsylvania has come close to voting for a Republican presidential nominee in recent years.

The Northeastern results are the latest example of a phenomenon seen throughout this Republican race: Voters in one state are not much moved by the choices of voters in an earlier contest.

Barone compared this race to the 1980 Democratic primary between Ted Kennedy and Jimmy Carter:

This reminds me of the 1980 Democratic race between Edward Kennedy and Jimmy Carter. Just when Carter seemed to have things wrapped up, Kennedy would get a big win. Then Carter would come back.

It was as if many Democratic voters wanted neither one to clinch the nomination. Perhaps this year many Republican voters don’t relish a Trump victory or a contested convention where Cruz or someone else could win.

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Kasich’s Crusade Against GOP Voters

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

John Kasich is longing for the days of smoke-filled rooms at conventions.

He’s made it clear recently that he believes voters have been silly not to vote for him, and that political elites will correct them at the convention. In an interview with The Washington Post last week, he explained why he still believes that he has a chance to win a majority of delegates at the convention:

I just think it’s very hard for [the delegates] to pick somebody who they know is going down, because who’s going to be there? These are going to be people who are like, political types, they’re elected officials, they’re former elected officials, they’re ward heelers. I mean, these are not like robots. These are people who engage in politics. And I’m just not convinced they’re going to pick somebody who’s destined to lose.

Yes, apparently the voters just aren’t quite as bright as the “political types” who will carry John Kasich to victory.

To strengthen this argument, Kasich has pointed out numerous times that of the ten multi-ballot GOP conventions, seven of them nominated someone other than the front-runner. Strangely enough, however, he neglects to point out that the last multi-ballot convention was 64 years ago, when only thirteen states held primaries — which is perhaps what Kasich would prefer.

Kasich’s continued candidacy is a far-from-tacit crusade against the Republican voter, in favor of some kind of Republican elite. In Kasich’s eyes, it seems, the opinions of a mailman or a coal miner, for example, are of little value compared to those of, say, a prestigious elected official like the Governor of Ohio. Continue Reading

Trump Goes Off on Twitter, Finally Gives John Kasich a Nickname

Donald Trump is known for “branding” his rivals in an attempt to point out their perceived weakest qualities.

Jeb Bush was “low energy.”

Marco Rubio? “Little Marco.”

Ted Cruz, of course, is known as “Lyin’ Ted” on Trump’s Twitter feed.

But for whatever reason, Trump has avoided branding John Kasich. That changed this morning after news broke that Cruz and Kasich were teaming up to stop Trump in Indiana, Oregon, and New Mexico.

He now calls him “1 for 38 Kasich.”

“1 for 38 Kasich” is, of course, referring to Kasich’s miserable win-loss record in GOP primaries this year. Kasich’s lone win came in his home state of Ohio.

Jon Schweppe is the Communications Director for American Principles Project. Follow him on Twitter @JonSchweppe

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Cruz and Kasich Announce Cooperation to Stop Trump in Indiana, Oregon

From left: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich

Fox News reports on this breaking development:

“In a pair of simultaneously released statements, the campaigns announced that Kasich would pull out of Indiana to give Cruz ‘a clear path’ ahead of that state’s winner-take-all primary May 3, while the Cruz campaign will “clear the path” for Kasich in Oregon, which votes May 17, and New Mexico, which votes June 7.

‘Having Donald Trump at the top of the ticket in November would be a sure disaster for Republicans,’ Cruz’s campaign manager, Jeff Roe, said. ‘To ensure that we nominate a Republican who can unify the Republican Party and win in November, our campaign will focus its time and resources in Indiana and in turn clear the path for Gov. Kasich to compete in Oregon and New Mexico, and we would hope that allies of both campaigns would follow our lead.'”

Will this have an impact on Indiana’s primary next Tuesday?

Thomas Valentine is a researcher for the American Principles Project and a junior at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. Continue Reading

Is Kasich’s Campaign Website Mocking Trump?

A few weeks ago, “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver urged his viewers to refer to Donald Trump as “Donald Drumpf,” a reference to Trump’s ancestral last name. Well, it seems John Kasich’s campaign has taken Oliver’s advice to heart.

A page on Kasich’s website touting his supposed electability compared to Mr. Trump repeatedly refers to the GOP front-runner as “Donald Drumpf”:

Screenshot of (4/20/16)


You can watch John Oliver’s segment here.

Danny Cannon works for the American Principles Project. Continue Reading

Kasich Touts Electability — As He Continues to Lose Elections

Following Ted Cruz’s distant third place finish in New York, John Kasich triumphantly tweeted yesterday:

In reality, there are quite a few mathematical differences between Cruz and Kasich. Cruz has around 400 more delegates, for example, and more than twice as many votes. Ted Cruz has won 10 contests; John Kasich has won one. Of the 36 or so primary and caucus votes to date, John Kasich has finished last in 15 of them, and worse than last three times. He received no votes in the Virgin Islands, was trounced by “Others” in Puerto Rico, and lost to the ghost of Marco Rubio in Arizona, a week after Rubio dropped out of the race. In fact, Kasich is still losing to Rubio a month later, trailing in both delegate count and number of votes. He might not even catch up by the end of April.

Nevertheless, Kasich is trying very hard to brand himself as the “electable” candidate without winning elections, but it’s difficult to buy that the electable candidate in this race is the one who, more often than not, did worse than Ben Carson. It’s even harder to accept the notion that Republicans should nominate somebody they don’t like because maybe the other side will like him more.

But if there were any region of the country in which Kasich should be able to prove his point, it’s the Northeast, the only region of the country outside D.C. Continue Reading