Is Trump really worse than Cruz

Longtime GOP voter and former Reagan administration employee, Peter Wehner, said in the NY Times that he draws the line against voting for Donald Trump for POTUS.

“…If Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton were the Republican and Democratic nominees, I would prefer to vote for a responsible third-party alternative; absent that option, I would simply not cast a ballot for president. A lot of Republicans, I suspect, would do the same.”

Mr. Wehner explained that, “If Mr. Trump heads the Republican Party, it will no longer be a conservative party; it will be an angry, bigoted, populist one.”

Is Peter Wehner right that Donald Trump’s politics are that much worse than the other GOP nominees?

Ted Cruz has said advocates of traditional marriage should “fall to our knees and pray” against a court decision legalizing same-sex marriage.

Cruz has repeatedly promised, “We will carpet-bomb them into oblivion,” in response to threats in the Middle East. Cruz would bar women and girls from reproductive care and outlaw abortion, even in cases of rape or incest.

So is the Cruz candidacy a model of compassionate tolerance and pluralism by comparison with Trump?

Why should GOP voters suddenly draw the line with Trump when the Cruz candidacy is just as bad?


speaking as a texan who lived through the senate campaign of ted cruz and hears about almost anything he does and says in the senate on the local political news, my considered answer to your question is-- NO!

this has been today’s edition of simple answers to simple questions.


Fair enough. I edited the post to try and reach the harder question:

Why should GOP voters suddenly draw the line with Trump when candidates like Cruz favor policies which are just as bad?

There seems to be no meaningful differences in policy proposals of the two candidates.


Trump is a buffoon. A scary buffoon, but I think he’s too much of a clown to be taken seriously in the general election; sure, he’s polling well, but it’s easy for old people with land-lines to say “sure, I like that guy” when they get pollster calls.

Cruz genuinely scares me as a candidate, because he’s quietly more extreme than Trump. His public face is a smartly-crafted one of a genial, friendly, funny guy – an everyday dude who posts videos of himself doing Princess Bride routines and sells wacky, ridiculous shirts on his nicely-designed website. He’s working so hard at being likable. But he’s the rightest of the right wing, a Tea Party banner-carrier who wants to carpet-bomb civilians, eliminate same-sex marriage, PBS, the NEA, the Dept. of Education, the EPA, and get rid of all environmental protections. He’s scarier than Trump by a mile.

EDIT: I forgot to mention Ted’s fun little habit of lying and making shit up to scare people, such as this image he posted right after Obama outlined his plan to expand background checks on violent criminals and crazy people and literally said “I do not want your guns. We aren’t taking anyone’s guns.”


Trump’s policies are all over the shop. He’s actually expressed some policies that are very much not in line with his party.

He’s called for immediate tax hikes on hedge-fund profits; tax hikes for the ultrawealthy like himself to pay for sweeping cuts for the middle class; vast spending increases on health care in general and for veterans and women in particular; huge capital investments in the country’s infrastructure, beginning with roads and bridges.

Of course, he’s a crazy racist fascist, too. But he just says whatever he feels like to get headlines. He’s just an angry troll. Which polls well, apparently.

Cruz is totally awful. Everybody that has to work with him hates him. He would be worse than Trump. It boggles me that none of his Tea Party supporters can see through his Good 'Ol Boy act - he’s a Harvard Grad married to someone who works for Goldman Sachs.

Trouble is, the longer the Trump campaign captivates the lunatic ‘fringe’ of the GOP, the more likely it is that they’ll settle with Cruz as the closest they can get to an Establishment candidate. I really think they’d rather have Rubio, Christie or Bush. All of whom are dreadful, but are at least vaguely sane.

It’s funny to read what Cruz’s old college roommate thinks of him:


Something that I’m surprised doesn’t make his ‘lunatic fringe’ followers more upset is his stance on healthcare. Where the rest of the GOP and the Tea Party has made it their religion to destroy Obamacare and replace it with… uh… nothing, Trump’s idea is to adopt a European/Canadian style single-payer system, the kind of thing Obama actually wanted to do in the first place. His platform is a crazy quilt.

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Those tweets are amazing.

Cruz is more inauthentic … speaks like a lawyer … could serve as evidence that the GOP needs to appeal to enough working voters to elect candidates lawyerly enough to then deliver income to idle, wealthy dealmakers.

As @nungesser pointed out, Trump is nothing if not authentic.

As you said, Trump’s past positions on issues like taxation and health care are outside the usual GOP medicine show about trickle down from tax and regulation cuts for rich kids.

Image, first of all. The Republicans still like to think of themselves as conservative, and most of the time they get away with it, but flamboyant narcissism takes it to the breaking point.

Second, control. Trump is uncontrollable by the hidden masterminds of the Republican machine.


This makes a lot of sense to me, esp. combined with the second point. Trump does not seem to have any caucusing organization in Iowa in the traditional sense.

OTOH, media coverage seems too coarse for Trump-goes-too-far sorts of distinctions — even if GOP voters were inclined to subtlety. Think of all the hyperbolic hooks and sensationalized claims blurring together. Think about Palin’s popularity.

Maybe the GOP evangelical wing is just more organized in Iowa and will decide Trump is too Tinseltown?

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I don’t get the impression that Trump understands caucusing at all. I think he’ll do better in the primary states, but I don’t think he has much of an organization behind him really.


I agree and would add that corporate culture generally favors concepts that preempt community organizing work which would include caucusing.

Ideas like branding, “vision” and marketing tend to frame voters as consumers … as prospective purchasers to be “closed” or “settled” rather than an independent sources of ideas or a community of peers. The corporate model serves shareholders not constituents.


I’ve worked in branding for 20+ years, and every election year, I think it’s fascinating to see who’s hired a good team of marketers. In Bush v. Gore and Bush v. Kerry, the team behind Bush was incredibly strong and did a brilliant job of branding and marketing. Gore and Kerry, not so much. Boring branding.

For all his talk of building a brand, Trump’s marketing team sucks. His merchandise looks like knockoff Cafepress templates and his signage is just godawful ugly, cramped, messy. Compare that with Cruz, whose team came up with a fairly classy (though utterly generic) “oil drop” logo for his campaign, and are putting out some nicely designed buttons, phone cases, and snazzy sportswear. From a marketing perspective, Cruz is running circles around Trump.


I checked all of those links out and can’t argue the point. When you’re right, you’re right.

No, because nobody really knows what his politics are, other than hatemongering, fear, and endless bloviation. I believe someone will give him an award should he ever present a coherent, actionable policy on damn near anything.

Also, fuck Cruz, because while he does release actionable policies, they are ridiculously nutty.

Thank you for the laugh–I needed that.


Somebody get this guy a freakin talk show already:

I had a roommate like that, too. The boy could’ve bathed in Chanel No. 5 every three hours and it wouldn’t have helped a bit. Puked on himself in bed one night after a drink-up AND DID NOT CLEAN HIMSELF OR THE GODAMN BED FOR TWO DAYS. I’d sooner vote for him than Cruz or Trump.

True, and yet he’s actually being taken more seriously than both of them, currently. My reading seems to indicate that the GOP kingmakers have decided they need to “be okay” with Trump as candidate and they’re making all the necessary cranial lobotomies needed to bring that about.


I think the thing is that Trump is already a household name. I also understand that Trump has actually spent little on advertising compared to other candidates. Basically he has the news media do all his advertising for him. And if they advertise him is a crazy bigot, it doesn’t seem to matter.


This is very true. And Trump is basically going for “any loony who’ll vote for me, what the hell, all hail the beast” as opposed to someone like GWB, who marketed himself to specific groups with western-themed clothes, urban stuff, professional stuff, etc etc.


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