Can the GOP Get Together in Cleveland?

By Pat Buchanan

Trump vs Cruz Ticket
Can the GOP Get Together in Cleveland?
Pat Buchanan
Patrick J .Buchanan

USA –  -( After winning only six delegates in Wisconsin, and with Ted Cruz poaching delegates in states he has won, like Louisiana, Donald Trump either wins on the first ballot at Cleveland, or Trump does not win.

Yet, as that huge, roaring reception he received in his first post-Wisconsin appearance in Bethpage, N.Y., testifies, the Donald remains not only the front-runner, but the most exciting figure in the race.

Moreover, after the New York, New England, mid-Atlantic and California primaries, Trump should be within striking distance of the 1,237 delegates needed for the nomination.

He will then have to persuade uncommitted delegates to back him, and perhaps do a deal with one of the defeated candidates, Marco Rubio or John Kasich, to win the remaining few needed to go over the top.

In 1976, Ronald Reagan, shy of the delegates he needed to defeat President Ford, offered second place on his ticket to Sen. Richard Schweiker, a moderate from Pennsylvania.

This brainstorm of Reagan campaign manager John Sears did not produce the required delegates, and Reagan received an envelope from a conservative Congressman with 30 dimes in it — 30 pieces of silver.

Still, Reagan was right to roll the dice.

But assume Trump reaches 1,237 on the first ballot.

Would the GOP establishment accept his leadership, back his ticket, and help to bring together all the elements — nationalist, Tea Party, conservative and moderate — of a grand coalition to defeat Hillary Clinton?

Or would the establishment refuse to endorse Trump, ensure his defeat, and hoping to pick up the pieces of a shattered party, as Govs. Nelson Rockefeller and George Romney assumed they would do after they deserted Barry Goldwater in 1964.

Prediction: If the GOP establishment does collude to steal the nomination from the candidate who has won the most states, most delegates and most votes, not only could the party be crushed in November, but that establishment could be discredited in perpetuity.

For those who have come out for Trump, and have given the GOP the largest turnouts of any party in a primary season in history, will not be give their allegiance to a Beltway elite that cheated them of the prize they had won.

Sullen and angry, they will be going home, not soon to return.

An establishment embrace of a rule-or-ruin course — Better to lose, than win with Trump! — seems irrational. But it is not irrational if one's preeminence and position are the summum bonum of one's political existence.

To avoid the Hobbesian choice — back Trump or abandon Trump — the establishment must block him from a first-ballot victory. And indispensable to the Anybody-But-Trump coalition is Ted Cruz, whom the establishment, if possible, detests even more than Trump.

One testament to the esteem in which Cruz is held is that only two of his 53 Senate GOP colleagues have endorsed him, and one of these, Lindsey Graham, did so as the lesser of two evils.

Here is the second peril for the GOP elites.

If Trump is stopped on the first ballot, the delegates who leave him on the second ballot may go to Cruz, and the stampede could be on.

Yet, it is hard to see how a Cruz nomination is better for the party than a Trump nomination.

For Cruz cannot win in Cleveland, unless the man with the most votes and delegates is deprived of a nomination to which he has a far stronger claim, if this country remains a democratic republic.

A Cruz victory in Cleveland would likely lead to the angry and bitter departure of the Trump delegates, and, in the fall, to a mass defection of the blue-collar, Middle-American Trump voters, especially above the Mason-Dixon line where Cruz is already weak.

The latest poll of Republicans in New York has Trump above 50 percent, with Cruz running third at 17 percent. Even in the South, which was to be Ted Cruz's firewall, Trump beat him repeatedly.

And while Cruz can claim to be a more reliable conservative than Trump, how does that translate into electoral votes in the fall?

Is the Republican establishment, having been repudiated in the primaries in a historic turnout by the party base, now engaged in a willful act of self-deception?

Can that establishment believe it can rob Trump of a nomination he has all but won, then hold off a right-wing Cruz surge that would ensue, then trot out of the stable one of its own, Speaker Paul Ryan, crown him at the convention, and then win in November?

This is delusional. And what this tells us is, to borrow from The Gipper, that the Republican establishment is not the solution to the party's problems; the Republican establishment is the problem.

While the GOP appears headed for a train wreck in Cleveland, the principal ingredients of a Republican victory and a Republican future will all be present there: Cruz conservatives and Tea Party types, Trumpite nationalists and populists, Rubio-Kasich-Bush centrists and moderates.

Political statesmanship could yet bring about unity, and victory.

Unfortunately, the smart money is on ego getting in the way.


Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

  • 11 thoughts on “Can the GOP Get Together in Cleveland?

    1. The GOP still doesn’t get it . The former middleclass is MAD . Give aways of money has gone too far , time for change . Government is SSDD , steal our money and what do we get 25 years in Iraq , 70 years in Japan , 15 years in Afghanistan , being the UN Lackey , policing the world at our expense. The GOP still hasn’t revoked the FOPA of 1986 an Unconsitutional law , with SCOTUS not wanting to rule , most likely for “public safety”.

    2. The following is one statement that I feel Pat Buchanan got wrong: “Sullen and angry, they will be going home, not soon to return.”

      If the convention goes as Mr. Buchanan described, I will be one of those that wil be “angry”. I will not, however, be “sullen” and “going home, not soon to return.” I will be angry (very); but, after going home, will return in November – at that time, I will be casting a write-in vote for Donald Trump.

      My logic for doing so is that there will likely not be enough difference between a candidate endorsed by the Republican Establishment and whatever Democrat alternative may surface by then to make any significant different in the challenges our county will face. So, a vote for Trump is not going to change the future of our country. UNLESS we can convince enough voters to do likewise.

      Unfortunately, it is unlikely that we will be able to convince enough voters (who currently claim to support Trump) to take the positive action of writing his name on their ballot. So, our write-in vote will not change the outcome; but, it WILL tell the Establishment Republicans how pissed we really are! It will provide some measure of how many votes (although, I’m sure, it will only be a small percentage of the people who would have) had Trump’s name been on the ballot.

      Conservative voters still MUST COME OUT IN FORCE to put as many conservative candidates from the ‘undercard’ as possible into office. It is these people we have to elect to support the conservative agenda; and to give us an opportunity to evaluate those who will do the job they are elected to do and to provide us with future candidates for higher office. We must draft well for the ‘farm team’ that will be the future of the Conservative Movement.

      We cannot let one more (certainly not unexpected) betrayal by the Republican Establishment deter us from the long-term goal of THROWING ALL the BAS—DS OUT!

    3. Through all the primary races Trump has not been able to win more than 50% of the votes cast and yet his supporters demand he be given the nomination even if he doesn’t reach the 1237 delegates required. How is this fair to the other candidates while his unfavorability ratings are even higher than Clinton?

      1. 17 applicants for one position and Trump cannot surge above 50%? In case you have not been watching The semi-Democrat party has fielded some very, very good candidates. The race for POTUS has become two things in the last three election cycles, A Popularity contest presided over by one leg of the Big 3, the Media, and a $$$$ contest presided over by another leg of this three legged stool, Business. The Career Politicians are in if for the POWER and CONTROL aspect. Their EGO’s demand it.
        If protecting the most important document in the life of this Republic was not at stake I would not care who won the next election. I suggest that whoever inherits the mess left by O’Bozo is going to have a very tall mountain to climb and may not be able to pull enough [ Career Politicians] together to do what MUST be done to start erasing the National Debt and addressing the Islamic threat with something more than rhetoric. Any one with functioning neurons knows a Bernie or Hillary as POTUS will ring the Death Knell for the Republic. The PARTIES have become more important than the Nation and therein lies the bigger problem.

    4. The establishment detests Ted Cruz because he’s a completely unlikable asshat, it has nothing to do with him stirring things up Hell, the SOB is married into GOLDMAN SACHS, so they aren’t worried about him, not really. They hate Trump because they are scared that he will actually try to do something to disrupt their carefully cultivated status quo of pretending to listen to voters bitching and then doing the thing the voters screamed that they didn’t want done, but hey, the other side did it too so it’s all their fault.

      Basically the RNC will guaranty that Hillary wins to maintain the current situation where they can blame the Democrat in the Oval Office for why they get nothing done that their base wants.

      Ron Paul was the last olive branch we should ever extend them. They spat on him in 2012, disrespect for the sake of disrespect when he already had no chance to win, and by extension anyone supporting him. We don’t need to take any higher road than that.

      So when they shoehorn Hillary in can we count on you to finally understand that your vote means nothing? When she Wacos another family, can we count on you to actually understand what it’s going to actually take to fix things? THis is a gun website so figure it out.

    5. I don’t think it will make a difference either way, we just need to have the most experienced guys standing by in the wings. The Ringlet Brothers, Barnum & Bailey would be the best for any three ring circus, they have been doing it for years.

    6. Mr. Buchanan, I always enjoy your articles and generally agree with your viewpoint. I kept reading and thinking that you might have a path for The Republicans to follow in winning the Presidency. Unfortunately we agree. That is highly unlikely.

    7. Well JORGE, that’s because you’re not yet a Real American. If you were, you would realize that in this election hinges the absolute direction that this Greatest Nation in History should take, whether it be dissolution into chaos, or a reemergence like the Phoenix rising from the ashes of quasi-socialist misdirection. If you were a Real American, you would be excited that we as Americans have the first opportunity in years to break the chains of slavery to the Establishment that has brought us to this brink in history.

      Get Excited, amigo. Find out what it is to be an Real American and GO WITH TRUMP !!!!

    8. Buchanan proves again that we are well rid of him just as with Gore.
      To call Trump anything close to a conservative is to say night is day.
      To be honest with ones self He acts like a spoiled child.


      1. Take your non American democrat language and stick it in your ass. Don’t worry about America and fix your own damned country. Speak English or get the fu&% out.

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