Instead of knocking each other out of the race, they could collaborate.
For the past four years, there have been four conservative Tea Party senators who have, each in their own way, worked together for the good of the country: Mike Lee, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio. Three of them decided to run for president. When Rand Paul asked me to help his campaign, I agreed. Rand was already the closest to my views on the proper role of the judiciary in enforcing the Constitution, and was the most libertarian candidate for president in my lifetime (with a chance to get the nomination). So I joined his campaign as an adviser, and the more I saw him in action behind the scenes, the more my respect for him grew. I now look forward to seeing him play an increasingly influential role in the Senate, a job he clearly relishes.
I first met Ted Cruz when he was Texas’s solicitor general, preparing to argue Medellin v. Texas in the Supreme Court. I was giving a speech at the University of Texas Law School and had been invited to be a judge for the moot court that was being held to help him practice his argument. He was so impressive that I resolved to watch him argue the following week in the Supreme Court; I never saw a better advocate before the Court. Sometime after this, I became involved with the Tea Party in promoting the Repeal Amendment, which would give a majority of state legislatures the power to repeal any federal law or regulation. While we were both attending a meeting, I asked Ted if he would support the initiative. After hearing my description, he paused and replied, “You know, it just doesn’t do enough” (which I must confess was my own reservation). I thought to myself, “Wow, this is my kind of guy.”
I have never met Marco Rubio, but shortly after he was elected to the Senate, I was lecturing in Germany to a group of European liberal students. (In Europe, “liberal” means libertarian.) I played for them a YouTube clip of Senator Rubio making a seven-minute floor speech extolling the exceptionalism of the United States as a land of opportunity. I used the clip to make two points. First, the fact that they had never heard of Rubio showed that they live in a left-wing media cocoon. Unless they cultivated reliable online sources, they would never have a complete picture about the American political scene. Second, I wanted them to see how an actual elected politician can make an argument from principle in a clear, coherent, passionate, and inspiring way, and that they need not sacrifice their principles to advance liberty in the public realm. After he started his campaign, I was pleased to see my Georgetown Law colleague Nick Rosenkranz sign on as one of his advisers. Like many others, I have been deeply disturbed by the rise of Donald Trump to become the front-runner for the GOP nomination. As I explained in USAToday, I view him as a threat to the very idea of constitutionally limited government. Because of this, I propose the formation of a new American Constitution party to serve as a lifeboat in which Americans — conservatives, constitutionalists, and others who cannot support the Democratic nominee — can take refuge. Such a party would either win outright, win in the House of Representatives after no candidate secures an electoral majority, or lose but deny Trump the chance to remake the Republican party in his own image. Call this Plan B.
In the wake of Tuesday’s primary results, however, another and easier path to defeating Trump has arisen; it can be Plan A.
It basically relies on the patriotism, good sense, and rational self-interest of two men: Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
Continue reading below for PLAN A: