Tags: DAmato | Cruz | Jeb | Kasich | Back | Trump

D'Amato: 3 Amigos — Jeb, Cruz, Kasich — Should Back Trump

D'Amato: 3 Amigos — Jeb, Cruz, Kasich — Should Back Trump
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By    |   Monday, 01 August 2016 01:11 PM

I recently had the challenge of trying to explain to my 8-year-old son Alfonso the story of this summer's National Republican Convention and how three men broke their promise to stand with the man who won a rough and tumble primary for president fair and square.

Knowing that Alfonso wouldn't mind me mixing my character metaphors I entitled the story, "Three Amigos and the Tooth Fairy."
 
The first amigo is Ohio Gov. John Kasich. I supported Gov. Kasich from the beginning of this primary run knowing that no Republican has ever captured the White House without winning Ohio. John has enjoyed a superb record as Ohio's governor and served 12 years in the House rising to the position of chairman of the Budget Committee when Congress actually balanced the budget. 

Kasich, like the other presidential candidates, pledged to support the winner of the primary, but promptly broke that commitment, declined to appear at his party's convention and in case no one got the message, refused to even greet the Republican delegates who came to his state. 

Then there is Jeb Bush, the second amigo. What the Republican Party has done for him and his family is to permit them to make American history by electing two presidents and two governors with the name Bush. But that wasn't enough. This year they felt entitled to have a third president in the family, but when Jed's campaign collapsed, this amigo "forgot" his pledge to support the winner and disappeared. 

This elitist political family couldn't handle the fact that their dynasty had run its course. 

The third amigo is Ted Cruz. Rather than use his primetime convention speech to speak of a united party welcoming diverse opinions, a petulant Cruz urged the convention to, "Vote your conscience." 

Here, the "great" constitutionalist who pledged to support the winner, conveniently broke his word. He became a political suicide bomber who blew himself up, revealing in the process that his campaign was never about ideas but cynical personal ambition.

Now there is a Tooth Fairy in this parable.

Endorsing John Kasich was not the only mistake I made when it comes to presidential endorsements. In 2012, I endorsed Mitt Romney as the GOP presidential candidate. It is often said that the cheapest people in the world are politicians, and the second cheapest are former politicians.

I plead guilty to the second cheapest, but I actually contributed a sizeable amount to the Romney campaign because I thought it was so important that a Republican defeat President Obama. The money would have been better spent supporting my local animal shelter.

In announcing his opposition to Donald Trump during the primary, Mitt Romney maintains that his son asked him, "When the grandkids ask 'What did you do to stop Donald Trump?' What are you going to say?'"

If you believe that conversation occurred, then you probably also believe in the tooth fairy. It also serves to remind us that insular patrician Republicans who believe they hold an entitlement to direct their party's presidential nominee live in a fairytale world, one that has come to an abrupt and appropriate end.

I know something about Republican primaries having won my place on a statewide ticket for U.S. Senate by unseating an incumbent some 36 years ago. The fact is Trump's message and the medium he uses to transmit that message has unlocked a rising Republican populism in this country the likes of which we haven't seen since Ronald Reagan, the man I was honored to share the ballot with in 1980.

I too can recall that the Republican establishment was dismissive of my race for they could not fathom that an Italian-American politician from the suburbs could possibly take on their GOP Senate icon. Their illusionary world was shattered when I not only won the Republican primary, but went on to win in November. For me, Trump is walking a familiar path.

This country is more important than anyone's hurt feelings for having lost to Donald Trump. Kasich, Bush, Cruz and Romney will find themselves an asterisk in the story of this year's history making presidential campaign.

The footnote will observe that not only did they fail to support their party's candidate but they failed to understand that they are not the Republican Party. Some 14 million Republicans dismissed their rhetoric, ignored opponents and voted for Trump in the belief that he has the means to usher meaningful, honest change into Washington.

While they may now be irrelevant to this election, the fable of the "Three Amigos and the Tooth Fairy" will always serve as a reminder that it is people, not politicians, who define a political party. 

Alfonse D'Amato served in the U.S. Senate from 1981-1998 as the Republican from New York. He is the managing director of Park Strategies.
 

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I recently had the challenge of trying to explain to my 8-year-old son Alfonso the story of this summer's National Republican Convention and how three men broke their promise to stand with the man who won a rough and tumble primary for president fair and square.
DAmato, Cruz, Jeb, Kasich, Back, Trump
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2016-11-01
Monday, 01 August 2016 01:11 PM
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