Not long ago, what just happened might have seemed unfathomable. But, once again, politics is making strange bedfellows — even if in this case it qualifies as more like a one-night stand.
GOP 2012 nominee Mitt Romney — who has become a face for “establishment” efforts to seize control of this election cycle — just said he will be voting for Sen. Ted Cruz, the insider insurgent, in his home state’s primary. But rather than endorsing Cruz, Romney has made it clear that his vote is only a tactical move to prevent Trump and make way for an open convention.
Via The Daily Caller:
Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee, says he is voting for Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz because doing so is the best way to keep Donald Trump from winning the White House.
“This week, in the Utah nominating caucus, I will vote for Senator Ted Cruz,” Romney wrote in a Facebook post. “Today, there is a contest between Trumpism and Republicanism. Through the calculated statements of its leader, Trumpism has become associated with racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, vulgarity and, most recently, threats and violence. I am repulsed by each and every one of these.”
That Romney would publicly announce support Cruz — to hurt Trump — is something that would have been seen as unfathomable a short time ago. Both come from different wings of the party and have publicly criticized each other in the past.
Of course, some will jump to say that Romney’s vote for Cruz is just another establishment kiss of death for Cruz, like the endorsement earlier this week of Sen. Lindsey Graham. However, Romney has made it clear his vote is not an endorsement of Cruz; rather, it’s a practical move in an attempt to reach an open convention.
“The only path that remains to nominate a Republican rather than Mr. Trump is to have an open convention. At this stage, the only way we can reach an open convention is for Senator Cruz to be successful in as many of the remaining nominating elections as possible.”
Romney goes further to suggest that those voting for Ohio Gov. Kasich as their “anti-Trump” vote are not actually helping — and may only be furthering the likelihood of a Trump nomination:
I like Governor John Kasich. I have campaigned with him. He has a solid record as governor. I would have voted for him in Ohio. But a vote for Governor Kasich in future contests makes it extremely likely that Trumpism would prevail.
I have a feeling Romney’s revelation today is going to be popular with just about nobody. The anti-establishment candidates don’t really want to be associated with him, and establishment types may be miffed that he’s not pushing their only remaining boy standing.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]