I’m intending to vote for Rubio, even though on paper Cruz is better aligned to my positions.
When I consider the Presidency, I consider not just a candidate’s views on issues, but how well they will represent the United States and how well they will represent me. I also think it is critically important that my candidate be able to advance my ideas and persuade others. I’d much rather have a candidate who is very persuasive and only 80% in agreement with me than one who is 100% aligned and causes people to tune out.
My assessment then is that Rubio’s shortcomings are more forgivable and less consequential than are those of Cruz. Of the two, who will better represent the United States internationally? Domestically? Critically, who is more likely to persuade people, and who is just preaching to a choir?
Cruz’s shortcomings I consider less errors of judgment and more errors of character. The ‘voter violation’ mailers in Iowa, while based on valid research and likely effective in boosting turnout, are in my view a slimy tactic. Cruz seems to think that “by whatever means necessary’ is OK. Embellishing a news account about Carson pulling out of NH and SC was misleading and deliberate. Perhaps it was a one-time mistake. But in light of the mailer and in light of Cruz’s utter disingenuousness about what he did and didn’t support with the Gang of 8 amendments, it seems to me he’s just not a man of forthright character at times.
Which makes his preachiness all the more grating. It’s Televangelist to me. Perhaps sincere, perhaps totally corrupt. Who can know?
Because of his Clintonian prevarication and tendency to wear his Christianity on his sleeve as a political tool, I cannot support Cruz; I believe he doesn’t have the character to represent me well, and I do not think he can effectively persuade large number of people to move in the direction of liberty and limited government.
Rubio has his own baggage, but it is mostly just one area—immigration. I think that Rubio, as a young Tea Party Freshman, was pushed by party leaders into a role where he could be expended. He was told this “bipartisanship’ would earn his bona fides with the Party establishment. He wanted to get along, so he went along. And, like someone inexperienced and unprepared, he got rolled by Schumer and Reid and others. At least he had the judgment to recognize he was had, and pulled out rather than ride it all the way down like Slim Pickens in Dr., Strangelove.
Rubio learned from that experience. He has been very reliable since. I think he sees the proper picture of America’s place in the world and how best to advance our interests. I also think he’s far more electable than any other candidate in the field when pitted in a general election.
A Rubio candidacy is not only more likely to win, but likely to preserve governing majorities in the House and Senate. A Cruz candidacy? Perhaps that governing majority disappears and you end up with a self righteous President railing about a do-nothing Congress (sound familiar?).
Unless new information comes out showing Cruz to have been the victim of smear tactics about his own tactics, or new informaion comes out about Rubio (a scandal of some kind), I'm going to support Rubio.