Speaking for the establishment, MSNBC analyst Nicolle Wallace on Monday announced that D.C. political types have decided they can “live with a President Trump.” But not, apparently, a President Cruz. Wallace, who previously worked for the McCain/Palin ticket, derided, “Ted Cruz's lack of civility toward his colleagues....He was not a very collegial person.”
The former View co-host marveled, “Trump has turned Cruz's ideological purity" into a "vulnerability." She enthused, “...You have to give Trump credit for creativity.” Liberal MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow appeared shocked at this concession: “I mean, really? Like, him [Cruz] not being a nice guy is a bigger deal than policy differences between these two?”
Wallace cheered, “That Trump has the potential to defeat Cruz, where those are two defining issues for voters, is a revelation to me.”
In October of 2014, Wallace, who is now hyping Trump, appeared to endorse a Hillary Clinton run for the White House, praising, "I'm a huge fan." On March 8, 2015, she downplayed Clinton's e-mail scandal as a "media problem."
A transcript of the exchange is below:
Place for Politics
NICOLLE WALLACE: I'll give you the honest scoop. I am an establishment Republican. We actually have to wear stickers. So we all have to identify ourselves. When we leave down the Acela corridor and go to a place like Des Moines, this is where I was yesterday and today, we have to identify ourselves. And unfortunately folks like the Cruz campaign pick us out because we’re badly dressed for the weather. But, anyway, what the establishment has sort of concluded, if I may deign to speak for the establishment tonight, is that they could live with a President Trump or nominee Trump a lot easier than a nominee in Ted Cruz. That Ted Cruz's lack of civility toward his colleagues, not just in the Senate, I mean, that is well known.
But you go back to the Bush campaign, where he was just his ambition was unchecked. He was not a very collegial person. It's something that makes Republicans, and I think the only reason this matters, because the entire election cycle is about a complete rejection of the Republican establishment, right, but the reason it matters is because Trump has turned it into a weapon, that he's wielding against Cruz, with great success. Every time Trump attacks Cruz— he goes through the O Canada thing. He goes through his, you know, lacking to get along with people, and then he turns it into a strength that he's evolved on issues and he can make a deal. So the fact that Trump has turned Cruz's ideological purity, which should be an asset in Iowa among the, you know, 120,000 to 150,000 people who typically turn out, into not only a vulnerability, but a way to so up the turnout model, that he triumphs, you have to give Trump credit for creativity.
RACHEL MADDOW: The thing that is surprising to me, in terms of you putting it that way is that, collegiality and civility would be such a deal breaker on the Ted Cruz nomination, that Trump seems like a good idea to the establishment.
MADDOW: I mean, really? Like, him not being a nice guy is a bigger deal than policy differences between these two?
WALLACE: Well, that's why Iowa is so important. In Iowa, it is not. Iowa, they chose Rick Santorum really on the grounds of ideological purity, credibility among evangelicals. That Trump has the potential to defeat Cruz, where those are two defining issues for voters, is a revelation to me.