On his conservative radio talk show today, Rush Limbaugh pointed out that for years Sen. Ted Cruz has been a political outsider in D.C., battling against the establishment and making a lot of enemies as he stuck to his core values amidst career politicians he accused of caring about reelection more than anything else. And coming into this election, Cruz was expecting the race to be him against Jeb, Marco, and everyone else in the Republican establishment. He even originally drew up the delegate-getting strategy he's using now as a way to beat out the establishment's choice candidate.
"Cruz was prepared for the entire Republican Party to be arrayed against him," Rush explained. "So he knew he had to master the delegate rules in every state in order to have a chance to take these guys on. He was just planning way ahead. Cruz is the quintessential anti-establishment guy, because he's the one who knows how [the establishment's] process works and how to beat them at their own game, which is what Cruz has been doing."
Then along came Donald.
Trump rapidly rose in popularity and swept the anti-establishment mantle from Cruz' shoulders. Rush explains that Trump has been able to show people he's even more of an outsider than Cruz because he's never been part of D.C.
"It's much easier for Trump to actually make the claim," Rush said, "particularly to low-information voters and others who are just now starting to get interested, to being the genuine outsider, the genuine anti-establishment. Whereas Cruz, he's in the establishment, he says he's anti-establishment, says he's outsider, but he's still in the Senate."
Cruz is still using his mastery of the delegate-selection process to improve his chances, but now he's having to use the strategy against Trump instead of the Republican establishment, and he's being called a cheater by Trump supporters.
"I'm sure for Cruz it's maddening the way this has played out," Rush added.