Lee Fails to Derail Trump

Sen. Mike Lee traveled to South Carolina last week to broker a plan to stop the momentum of GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, reports Bloomberg, but the effort fell flat, and Trump scored decisive victories in both S.C. and Nevada.

Writes Ben Brody:

Lee made the trip to South Carolina with hopes of trying to arrange a cease-fire between Rubio and Cruz, according to a person working for one of the presidential camps. Lee’s team denies an attempt at a meeting but doesn’t dispute that he had hoped a trip to the Palmetto State might result in some plan to blunt Trump’s momentum before it was too late. Speaking to reporters before a Monday rally in Las Vegas, Cruz unequivocally shot down rumors that he had met secretly with Rubio.

 

As a senator who backed Cruz’s successful shutdown attempt in 2013 as well as Rubio’s resume-burnishing tax plan in 2015, Lee could claim to have important ties to both sides — although his relationship with Cruz cooled after splitting over a sentencing bill. But Rubio and Cruz, each with raging presidential ambitions of his own, have little incentive to team up against Trump.

 

Never particularly friendly, the two lawmakers have fought bitterly in recent weeks, as Rubio pounded Cruz over dirty campaign tactics that ultimately led to Cruz dismissing his national spokesman on Monday.

 

Meanwhile, Trump stands alone, and far ahead, with a clear path to the nomination — leaving Republican establishment figures scrambling to do something.