As the Republican field of presidential candidates continues to grow, a new alliance emerged yesterday between two of its thirstiest candidates–Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.
The two met in Manhattan yesterday and had what Cruz dubbed a “delightful” conversation. Apparently, Cruz set up the meeting because he is such a big fan of Trump’s that he wanted to meet him. Before the meeting yesterday, Trump explained, “Ted Cruz called me. And I don’t know why I’m meeting him, to be honest, but I do have respect for him.”
Apparently, Trump and Cruz bonded over their shared love of hyperbole and hatred of immigrants. Said Cruz of their meeting:
I’m a big fan of Donald’s, and we talked about the race. …We talked about how we are each enjoying it and how there is a need for more truth tellers.”
Even though they’re running for president against each other, don’t worry–they’re still BFFs. Cruz continued:
“No, we had a conversation about the race. He’s running, I’m running, and we both agreed that we started out as friends, and will end as friends.”
The alliance between Cruz and Trump is simply formalizing weeks worth of mutual admiration the two have expressed for one another. Cruz has said he’s “proud to stand with Donald Trump. I like him and respect him,” even after Trump said that all Mexican immigrants were rapists and then continued to double down on his racist rhetoric. Trump responded by calling Cruz “very brave” for sticking up for him.
While Trump and Cruz may be two of the most laughable passengers on the Republican presidential candidate clown car, their alliance could have some implications for the broader race. As Josh Voorhees at Slate noted, “the simple possibility of a loose partnership between the two will only add to the GOP establishment’s Trump-related heartburn.” For example, at next month’s debate, the two “could work in concert next month at the first primary debate to target establishment favorites like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio…over immigration reform.” Trump could throw the first punch with some of his typical racist nonsense, while Cruz would deliver the knockout with a more eloquent (but still anti-immigrant) rebuttal. And, as Voorhees notes, Cruz could be the candidate that Trump’s supporters rally behind when Trump inevitably loses.
But what does Cruz’s alliance with Trump mean for Texans–you know, the people he’s supposed to be representing in Congress? (And, let’s be real–the only people he’ll ever represent because there’s no way he’s going to be president.) It means that Cruz is done even pretending to respect his constituents. Texas is home to over 2 million Mexican immigrants. We all knew Ted Cruz was terribly anti-immigrant, but aligning himself with Donald Trump takes things to another level. Trump’s comments about Mexicans led to several major players distancing themselves from him–from the Miss Universe pageant, to NBC, to the chefs who were supposed to work at his restaurants. Cruz, on the other hand, has continually reiterated his support for Trump. The fact that Cruz has chosen to align himself with someone so virulently racist, a man who freely admits that he has no respect for Mexican immigrants, is yet another a clear indicator that Cruz cares far more for himself than those he was elected to represent.
Trump has faced well-deserved backlash for his comments. Let’s make sure that Cruz faces similar pushback for this alliance come election time.