After watching Donald Trump rack up victory after victory in last night’s Super Tuesday contests, Lindsey Graham – a vocal Trump opponent – made a surprising suggestion for a last-ditch Trump alternative.
"Ted Cruz is not my favorite by any means," Graham told Charlie Rose. "We may be in a position where we have to rally around Ted Cruz as the only way to stop Donald Trump, and I'm not so sure that would work."
Graham’s words don’t amount to a ringing endorsement. Emboldened by the presence of both Trump and Cruz in the race, Graham made his own long-shot bid for the Republican nomination and, after dropping out, threw his support behind another onetime candidate, Jeb Bush.
What’s more, Graham’s animosity toward Cruz is well-known and well-documented. In a speech to the Washington Press Club last week, Graham joked that if Cruz were murdered on the Senate floor, no one would be convicted.
So the fact that Graham is now seriously floating Cruz as a Trump alternative should signal how desperate he and some other Republican politicians are to never back Trump. So far, Cruz is the only candidate other than Trump to pull off multiple primary victories, winning three states — Texas, Oklahoma, and Alaska — just last night. Marco Rubio, Republicans’ Trump alternative for weeks, managed to win his first and only contest last night in Minnesota.
It remains to be seen whether Graham’s words have any impact, but Graham’s comments indicate that the establishment is still trying to fight the inevitability of a Trump nomination — even if it means backing the much-hated Ted Cruz.