The Corner

Politics & Policy

Don’t Stir Up Bad Blood Right When You Need Allies!

In response to Calabresi’s Power

Alexis, it’s pretty clear Ted Cruz needed to do something.

Cruz appears to have permanently irked Ben Carson over the rumor of his imminent campaign suspension in Iowa, and now he’s in danger of doing the same with Rubio with the PhotoShopped handshake image and the false story of Rubio mocking the Bible. Maybe every campaign starts playing fast and loose with the facts about their rivals when the competition gets intense, but the label is sticking to Cruz.

Cruz fans will argue their guy is no worse than everybody else, but these controversies play into the criticism of the Texas senator – that even potential allies and like-minded conservatives turn away from him over his personality and slipperiness with the truth.

Perhaps it isn’t time to panic for the Cruz team, but a guy who seemed so tailor-made for the South Carolina Republican electorate ended up with just 22.3 percent of the vote. A whole bunch of demographically-similar states are coming down the pike. If Cruz could lose the Evangelical vote to Donald Trump in the Palmetto State, who’s to say he’ll win the majority of those voters in the SEC Primary states?

Is it the reputation for dishonest attacks that’s hurting Cruz? It can’t help, and if Cruz sees himself getting into a two-man race with Trump, he’s going to need Marco Rubio’s voters to prefer him to Trump.

At a time when candidates need their coalition to grow, these sorts of attacks stir up bad blood.

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