Republican elders, desperate to stop Donald Trump, are increasingly convinced they would rather forfeit the White House than hand their party to the divisive Manhattan billionaire.
That’s why the party’s establishment is suddenly rallying behind Ted Cruz, a man they’ve long despised and who has little chance, in the view of many GOP veterans, of defeating Hillary Clinton on Election Day.
“People think we’re not going to win in November anymore. All the candidates that had a shot at winning don’t appear to have a shot at winning the nomination. Everyone is resigned to that,” said a high-ranking GOP operative about the thinking among Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio alums as well as Republican party officials and big-money donors.
“People think we lose with Cruz, but we don’t lose everything,” said the operative, who opposes Trump and asked to speak anonymously. “He’s still a real Republican. We don’t lose the House and Senate with Cruz. We don’t lose our soul as a party and we can recover in four years and I’m not sure people think we can recover from Donald Trump.”
Said one high-level operative inside the Koch network: “He’s the devil you know.”