There’s only two reasons why Bob Dole would suddenly be trending in America. Here’s one reason:
Sees Bob Dole trending
Orders wreath from florist
Reads why Bob Dole is trending
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) January 20, 2016
Luckily for him, that wasn’t why.
Here’s the reason today:
Bob Dole, the former Kansas senator and 1996 Republican presidential nominee, has never been fond of Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. But in an interview Wednesday, Mr. Dole said that the party would suffer “cataclysmic” and “wholesale losses” if Mr. Cruz was the nominee, and that Donald J. Trump would fare better.
“I question his allegiance to the party,” Mr. Dole said of Mr. Cruz. “I don’t know how often you’ve heard him say the word ‘Republican’ — not very often.” Instead, Mr. Cruz uses the word “conservative,” Mr. Dole said, before offering up a different word for Mr. Cruz: “extremist.”
“I don’t know how he’s going to deal with Congress,” he said. “Nobody likes him.”
But Mr. Dole said he thought Mr. Trump could “probably work with Congress, because he’s, you know, he’s got the right personality and he’s kind of a deal-maker.”
The remarks by Mr. Dole reflect wider unease with Mr. Cruz among members of the Republican establishment, but few leading members of the party have been as candid and cutting.
“If he’s the nominee, we’re going to have wholesale losses in Congress and state offices and governors and legislatures,” said Mr. Dole, who served in the House and Senate for 35 years and won the Iowa caucuses twice. He described Mr. Cruz as having falsely “convinced the Iowa voters that he’s kind of a mainstream conservative.”
The only person who could stop Mr. Cruz from capturing the nomination? “I think it’s Trump,” Mr. Dole said, adding that Mr. Trump was “gaining a little.”
He said he had met Mr. Trump only once, 30 years ago. “But he has toned down his rhetoric,” he added. As for Mr. Cruz, he said: “There’ll be wholesale losses if he’s the nominee. Our party is not that far right.”
BUT… let’s take his warning with a grain of salt, because as Erick Erickson reminds us, he said the same of another popular Republican:
Bob Dole actively opposed Ronald Reagan in 1980, openly fretting that Reagan would be the end of the GOP. https://t.co/zaaiQK93YY
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) January 20, 2016
From the Resurgent:
Former Senator Bob Dole opposed Ronald Reagan in 1980. Dole feared Reagan would cause substantial losses for the GOP. In fact, Dole was so terrified of what Reagan would do to the GOP that in March of 1980, as Reagan was on course to secure the GOP’s nomination, Dole publicly and privately urged former President Gerald Ford to get into the race to stop Reagan.
Sooooo we’re not saying that Cruz is in the same league as Reagan, but it does say something about Bob Dole’s power as a candidate picker, doesn’t it?