The pre-nomination paths of President Ronald Reagan and Senator John McCain were very different. One was loathed by the bi-partisan DC establishment while the other was embraced. One would ignite wars within the party while the other would unite the party. One was attacked by the media while the other was often given a free pass.
One was hated by the power brokers of the Republican party. The other was generally liked, even revered.
One had a reputation of standing alone on many issues while sticking to his guiding conservative principles. The other was known for crossing the aisle and making deals with the Democrats.
One was a true conservative. The other was a conservative when convenient.
One went on to be one of the greatest Presidents of all time. The other was overshadowed by his own VP choice and lost an election to one of the worst Presidents of all time.
Today, we’re seeing this unfold right before our eyes. For now, we’ll disregard Donald Trump’s support (not his supporters, though). He’s the wildcard in this race and has a good chance of winning the nomination, but it’s in the other two who have better chances that we want to focus on right now.
Ted Cruz is a man who is facing the same type of path that Ronald Reagan faced in 1980. You could say all of the things above and he would fit in with the initial comparison statements. He is a conservative who the elite don’t like that would ignite wars with the party. Like Reagan, Cruz is being relentlessly attacked by both the media and the power brokers.
Cruz and Reagan both stood alone on many issues but continued forward guided by their conservative values. Cruz and millions of Americans hope that like Reagan, Cruz can persevere through all of the attacks and become the President that we need at this moment in time.
Now, plug Marco Rubio into all of the McCain statements and you’ll see that he, too, fits perfectly. Despite winning his Senate seat through the hard work of the Tea Party and the support of strong conservative pundits like Mark Levin, Rubio fell quickly under McCain’s arm and was converted in less than a year to become the face of the Gang of Eight bill.
There’s another similarity between McCain and Rubio. While both have been liked nationally, it’s their own constituents who know them best and hate them the most. McCain will likely face strong competition to retain his seat while Rubio has been asked by his former supporters, including local publications that endorsed him originally, to step down as a failure in the Senate.
— Lori Hack (@lorihack_az) November 27, 2015
— Scarlett Madison (@scarlettmadi) February 4, 2016
We should note a final similarity between the past and present candidates. Both McCain and Rubio would probably make fine Presidents in the right situation. Both have good hearts and want what’s best for America. In 1980, Reagan was needed at a time when strength was needed against powerful foes. However, the type of “military adventurism” that McCain promotes could have been disastrous. Today, we’re faced with even more threats. It’s a time when the same military adventurism that Rubio shares with McCain could be even worse than in the 80s. Thankfully, Cruz shares Reagan’s foreign policy philosophies.
The pre-nomination paths of Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Marco Rubio are very different. We’ll see if America goes the Reaganesque route or if we pull another McCain out of the hat.