Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is teaming up with his Republican presidential primary rival, Donald Trump, to host an upcoming rally attacking President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.
The event, which will be held in Washington D.C. on September 9, is one sign of Cruz’s comfort with Trump. In fact, according to a recent report, Cruz might actually think Trump can help him win.
National Journal’s Tim Alberta published a story Thursday that suggested Cruz and his team have a strategy to use Trump to their advantage. Alberta talked to Cruz, several of his allies, and experts who suggested the senator believes Trump will help activate the conservative base before ultimately fading.
“In the end, I think Trump will have generated the interest — and then Cruz will benefit from it,” Bill Stewart, a former chair of the University of Alabama’s political-science department, said.
Alberta described this as Cruz’s “endgame.”
“It explains why Cruz has cozied up to Trump at a time when most of the Republican political class shunned him. It explains why the Texas senator refuses to utter a negative word about the real-estate mogul,” Alberta wrote.
According to Alberta, the goal of this strategy is that “voters who are energised by Trump’s message but looking for a more polished messenger discover a natural transition to Cruz.”
In his interview with Alberta, Cruz acknowledged he has attacked some of his other opponents but has “bent over backwards” to avoid taking a shot at Trump.
“Many of the Republican candidates have gone out of their way to take a two-by-four to Donald Trump,” Cruz explained, adding, “I think that’s a mistake.”
Cruz also indicated he is pleased Trump has brought the issue of immigration to the fore.
“I am grateful he is focusing the media’s attention on illegal immigration, and I’m grateful he’s causing more and more people to pay attention to this race,” Cruz said.
While Trump has historically supported some liberal causes and is a political outsider, Cruz has a lengthy political career and has been a staunch conservative. Cruz told Alberta he is confident voters ultimately will support someone with a “consistent” record pushing for conservative policies.
“I also believe at the end of the day, that Republican primary voters are going to look for a consistent conservative, someone who has walked the walk — who has been a fiscal conservative, a social conservative, a national security conservative, and who has the record to demonstrate that consistency,” said Cruz.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.