Julian Zelizer says Ted Cruz is hardly the reasonable alternative to Trump

Historians in the News
tags: election 2016, Ted Cruz

 Julian Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University and a New America fellow. He is the author of "Jimmy Carter" and "The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society."

The greatest political sleight of hand in the 2016 campaign has been Sen. Ted Cruz's remaking himself into the reasonable, establishment candidate in the GOP race. 

The strategy seems to be working. Now that Marco Rubio is out of the race and John Kasich struggles to win any state other than Ohio, where he is the governor, a number of prominent officials are turning to the Texas senator. 

Former Republican candidate Mitt Romney, who has decried what Donald Trump would do to the legacy of his party, campaigned for Cruz in Utah and said that he will vote for him. Jeb Bush, the scion of the so-called establishment, formally announced that he was endorsing Cruz. 

The campaign within the GOP to stop Trump now seems to be placing much of its firepower behind a politician who has been at the far end of the political spectrum and who has practiced an aggressive, smashmouth style of politics that has sometimes made Trump look tame. 

The senator from Texas has never strayed from the right-wing of the GOP. If Republicans like Mitt Romney are looking for a candidate who can have broad appeal in the general election, Cruz is not that person. Throughout his relatively short congressional career, he has done more than almost any other politician to champion the ideas of tea party conservatism. ...

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