The One Thing Donald Trump & Ted Cruz Agree On About This Presidential Race
These days, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz find little to agree on. However, the two candidates recently found a common ground: John Kasich. In an unusual case of agreement, both Trump and Cruz have urged Kasich to drop out of the presidential race. To the dismay of Trump and Cruz, and even though The Washington Post reports that there is no mathematical way for Kasich to win the 1,237 delegates he would need to win the Republican nomination outright, the Ohio governor has not removed his name from the ballot and has continued his campaign.
Trump and Cruz have not exactly come together to share their anti-Kasich sentiments, but both candidates have recently made statements (albeit separately) urging Kasich to leave the race. In said statements, Trump and Cruz referred to Rule 40, which states that a Republican candidate can only be on the ballot at the Republican National Convention if he or she has won a majority of delegates in at least eight states (Kasich has only won his home state, Ohio). Neither Trump nor Cruz are popular amongst the so-called Republican establishment, and both candidates want to ensure that it is impossible for Kasich — the establishment candidate — to be legally chosen as the Republican nominee at the convention in July.
CNN recently quoted Cruz speaking about Rule 40 on a conservative radio show: "We should operate under the rules that existed when this whole process started. And those rules say that in order to be on the ballot, you have to have won eight states. Only two of us will meet that threshold — me and Donald Trump. Those will be the two names on the ballot."
Furthermore, CNN reported that few days later, Cruz even hinted at the agreement between himself and Trump stating, "If there's a contested convention, 80 percent of the delegates are gonna be Cruz delegates or Trump delegates. Both Donald and I have been very clear, we shouldn't be changing the rules because Washington is unhappy with how the people are voting."
Trump's campaign, too, has spoken openly about the agreement between the two candidates on the fate of Kasich. A Trump campaign advisor told NPR, "Both campaigns have the same goal. We both see there is no path for Kasich to get nominated without massive rules changes. If it means the two campaigns need to work together to see the current rules are enforced, we will in fact work together." Though NPR reported that the Cruz campaign denied they are working with Trump's campaign to remove Kasich from the ballot, the unity between the two anti-establishment campaigns on the Kasich issue is clear.
While campaigning in Wisconsin before the state's April 5 primary, The Washington Post reported that Trump, too, shared his anger at Kasich, stating, "It’s very unfair because he's taking our votes. Anybody could have stayed in. You could have had [Jim] Gilmore stay in. I mean, to be honest with you, Gilmore could have just stayed in. A guy like [George] Pataki could have just stayed in, he had zero. So it’s very unfair that Kasich stays in, is my opinion." Surprisingly, for Trump, this is an opinion his opponent shares.
Though Trump and Cruz unequivocally agree that Kasich should suspend his campaign, it should be noted that the two candidates have opposing end-goals in mind when it comes to removing Kasich from the race — simply put, both Trump and Cruz want to be the Republican nominee.
Most importantly, no matter if Cruz and Trump are in agreement on the subject of his candidacy, Kasich has promised he will not drop out of the race before the convention. In fact, according to NPR, in response to Cruz and Trump's suggestion, the Kasich campaign said, "They know Governor Kasich will win at the convention because he is the only Republican who can defeat Hillary Clinton."
Clearly all three candidates disagree on who they think will win the nomination.