Poor Donald Trump. He was just so thoroughly swindled by Ted Cruz it's not even funny.
Yes, this is the New York City billionaire we're talking about here. Supposedly the big-time deal-maker. This is the guy who wrote the book, "The Art of the Deal."
Trump is constantly bragging about his ability to make great deals. He'll beat the Chinese. He'll beat the Japanese. He'll beat the Mexican government. Nobody is supposed to be able to pull one over on Trump.
Yet along comes Ted Cruz and, with the ease of taking candy from a baby, he swindles Trump out of his shorts right off the bat.
It all began a few months ago in the summer of 2015. Cruz identified his clueless mark well in advance, like a Texas rattler spotting a hapless rodent from afar. Cruz actively sought out Trump and courted his attention, mainly by simply plying Trump with compliments. Trump has such a ridiculously inflated ego that he is a sucker for flattery, and Cruz zeroed right in on Trump's weakness.
It worked like a charm.
Cruz landed a meeting with Trump in his office in Trump Tower in New York City. "I don't know why I'm meeting the guy, to be honest," Trump said.
Poor Trump. He never even saw it coming.
Trump was quickly ensnared in Cruz's little trap. The bromance was on. The two competing Republican candidates declined to attack each other, and instead began publicly complimenting each other. Trump even spoke at an event in Washington, D.C. hosted by Cruz to protest Obama's historic nuclear agreement with Iran.
But Ted Cruz had ulterior motives in striking-up this little fling with Trump. In September of 2015, Trump was enormously popular with around 31% in the national polls, and Cruz was down in the doldrums with around 6%.
So Cruz saw the opportunity to gain popularity for himself by hitching his wagon to Trump's wagon. By appearing to be an ally of Trump, and suckering Trump into talking about Cruz and saying positive things about Cruz, the massive fan-base of Trump supporters would get to know Cruz, warm-up to Cruz, and even begin to like Cruz.
Trump fell for it like a rookie.
It seems blatantly obvious to everyone what Cruz was doing. Well, everyone, that is, except for Trump, who couldn't seem to see past Cruz's disingenuous flattery. Cruz was simply playing nice-nice with Trump in order to position himself to one day be able to steal Trump's supporters.
In fact, Cruz was caught admitting this on a secretly recorded audio tape during a closed-door fundraising session with donors. Cruz told his donors that even though he was saying nice things about Trump in public, Cruz personally believed that Trump did not have the judgment to be president, and that Trump's campaign would eventually bring itself down.
Indeed, Cruz is a cunning little conniver who had Trump duped.
By December-January, Cruz had climbed his way up in the polls to second place behind Trump and far above all the other candidates. And suddenly, Cruz became Trump's biggest competitor. Trump finally recognized the threat posed by Cruz and reportedly told his staff that Cruz "is hanging around the top too long. Time to take him down."
Thereafter, Trump began fervently attacking Cruz for potentially being ineligible to serve as president due to Cruz's birthplace in Canada, and for loans that Cruz received from Wall Street to help fund his 2012 senate campaign that Cruz did not properly disclose. The bromance was over.
By this time, however, it was too late. Cruz had already built-up his base of supporters. And lo and behold, Cruz skated past Trump to win the Iowa caucuses, thereby rendering Trump a loser.
Poor Trump. Outsmarted, used and abused.
So much for Trump being some sort of a super-hero deal-maker. On his very first outing he was outwitted by Cruz in a simple little maneuver. How in the world could Trump handle world leaders, much less national affairs, when he got so smoked by Cruz in Iowa?
Well, this all seems to clear things up. We can now see that Trump is full of bluster, but empty in substance.
This little tale has also shed an unfavorable light upon Cruz. While he is shrewd and cunning, we see that Cruz is also highly dishonest. His entire outward display of affection for Trump was completely false and part of a highly calculated grand deception. Wow. This guy wasn't just telling a fib or two, but he was acting out an elaborate and pre-meditated false scheme. And he was good at it, too! We clearly see that this wasn't his first rodeo in lying and deceiving.
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect is that the central theme in Cruz's entire campaign is that he is the candidate for "truth." Wow. Now this is hypocrisy on a whole new level! This guy is dangerous.
Neither of these men belong in politics. But they do seem to have a lot in common. They should both drop-out of the campaign and rekindle their bromance.
They deserve each other.