Last night’s fifth Republican presidential debate will probably go down as one of the most out of control, worst moderated and least informative debates in a long time. The winner? Anyone who found a better way to spend two and one half hours of his or her time.
From my perspective, two things became clear from last night’s dysfunctional family melee. One, Jeb will be withdrawing from the presidential race sooner rather than later. And two, Ted Cruz will be the Republican presidential nominee.
Jeb Bush came out swinging against his nemesis, Donald Trump, calling him a “non-serious” candidate. “You can not insult your way to the presidency,” scolded Bush.
As much as Jeb tried to bloody Trump, the in-your-face attitude was too little, too late. Yes, Bush landed a few punches but not enough to turn around his moribund campaign. The only question is when will GOP establishment leaders and donors finally see the light and pull the plug on a rotting corpse.
Jeb could be right. Trump may not be able to ride his Don Rickles routine all the way to the presidency but he could certainly insult his way to the Republican nomination!
But Trump does not want the nomination.
When asked about his recent criticisms of his nearest competitor, Ted Cruz, Trump demurred. Earlier in the week, Trump questioned Cruz’ temperament and judgment to be president. He went so far as to say Cruz was “a little bit of a maniac.”
When Cruz was asked about a comment he had made in private questioning Trump’s competency to be commander in chief, Cruz skirted the issue. But then, in the most telling moment of the night, he and Trump looked at each other … adorningly.
In an interview with Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet The Press, Trump was quoted as saying he would leave the race if his poll numbers started to slip. “I’m not a masochist,” said Trump. “And if I was dropping in the polls where I thought I wasn’t gonna win, why would I continue? I’d go back to my business. I have no problem with that.”
Trump and Cruz have what some like to call a “bromance.” I think it is more than that. (My Trump Question For Upcoming Debate.)
Look for Trump to lose Iowa to Cruz. Watch for Trump to employ his exit strategy. See Trump throw his support behind his amigo, Raphael Edward Cruz, born December 22, 1970, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Oh the irony!
Photo | cnn.com