In the wake of yesterday’s primary results, however, another and easier path to defeating Trump has arisen; it can be Plan A. It basically relies on the patriotism, good sense, and rational self-interest of two men: Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. The plan is simple: Each candidate publicly pledges to support for president whichever of them has the most delegates to the Republican convention. In return, the winner will make the other one his running mate.
Together, it is reasonable to think they could muster enough delegates to beat Trump at the convention, where you need a majority — not a plurality — of delegates to secure the nomination. If such a deal were announced publicly, Rubio and Cruz could stay positive about each other — while debating their different policy stances and training their joint fire on Trump.
For many going into the election, either a Cruz-Rubio or a Rubio-Cruz pairing was a dream team. And while some had their favorite, for many, it did not matter much who was on top. Things always look different in the middle of a campaign, and now the candidates appear to be at each other’s throats. But this appearance is deceiving. Setting aside the now routine and regrettable modern practice of a calling a rival candidate a “liar” about his own record — or what he says about yours — neither has personally attacked the other. To see what a personal attack would look like, you need only see what Donald Trump — or the New York Times — has said about each of them. So there is no insuperable barrier for a rapprochement between them. And if they publicly make this deal, the degree of acrimony in the campaign — as well as between their supporters — would be greatly reduced. Whatever hostility is left can be trained on Donald Trump.