Cruz and Rubio: Here Come the Cubans

I've noticed something about Rubio and Cruz. They're white guys.

They're sons of Cuban immigrants, and their ethnic background is Hispanic, in that their ancestors were from Spain. Spaniards are genetically just as white as Finns, only with a dark complexion. Many Hispanics, in Cuba and elsewhere, intermarried with Native Americans, and to a certain extent with black Africans. The ancestors of Cruz and Rubio did not, to any appreciable extent. You can tell by looking at them.

Since they're Cuban-American, they are not Mexican-Americans. Their language skills will help them a bit, but the large majority of Hispanic-Americans do not identify with them. They're Cubans.They're white.

The Republican presidential candidate can prevail by increasing his share of the Hispanic vote, or the white vote. The problem with concentrating on Hispanics is that they're mainly in the wrong states. Apart from Florida and Colorado, the battleground states cannot be won by a shift to the Republicans by Hispanics. The key to a Republican victory is in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa. These are not blue states. Look at their state legislatures. A lot of working class whites in these states stayed home rather than vote for Romney. If Cruz or Rubio can appeal to them in a way that Romney did not, they'll turn out and give the Electoral College to the Republicans.

Kasich, the mailman's son, might have been able been able to appeal to them, but he is relapsing into the moralizing elitism that will, in the end, be met with contempt by mainstream conservative voters. His hiring of John Weaver was a tell. Huntsman Republicans, the kind Weaver likes, take pride in their disdain for the conservative core of the party. Insulting voters by instructing them on Christianity, John the Evangelist has written off a huge part of the Republican base, and can no longer be considered a serious contender. Kasich thinks that God told him to expand Medicaid, apparently believing that the Gospel's call for charity is an endorsement of expansion of the welfare state. This is the political theology of the left. He has been revealed in this campaign as a self-righteous know-it-all. It's odd that a man with his record still suffers from insecurity.

The media candidates (Trump, Carson and Fiorina), along with Christie and Bush 3, are not going to get the nomination. So we're down to the Young Guns, Rubio, Cruz, and Paul. But Paul seems to lack the fire in the belly, so we're left with a couple Cubanos.

"Numbers Nate" Silver and the gang at have an interesting five pie chart graphic on the Republican candidates. The overlapping  pies are Establishment, Moderate, Christian Conservative, Libertarian and Tea Party. Smack dab in the middle of the Republican Party is Marco Rubio. Marco will surely reject the label "establishment", but he's their last best hope. Bush 3 was the guy they wanted, with Christie, Walker, Perry, or Kasich as possible backups. But none of them can make it to the final round. Rubio is all they've got left, even though his political career was born in the Tea Party.

When all the media candidates are gone (which may not be until March) Cruz is poised to pick up the disestablishment banner. He's positioned himself as an electable Trump, and one with a solid conservative record.

Each has advantages. Rubio is a natural politician, while Cruz is stiff and formal. Rubio wins Florida in a breeze, where Cruz might struggle. Rubio is a practicing Catholic from a blue collar background, which will help him with the ethnic Catholics of the upper Midwest, the "Reagan Democrats". Roger Ailes, a fellow Catholic, likes Marco a lot. And women like him. Those are big pluses. And being white doesn’t hurt you in the Republican Party.

Cruz should be the beneficiary of most of the anti-establishment fervor behind the surge of the media candidates. There are a whole lot of Republicans, and Americans, for that matter, who are so infuriated by the impotence of Congressional Republicans, and the GOP in general, that they will rally to his side.  He'll be their only alternative.

And so, in 2016, a year when immigration restriction is one of the major campaign issues, the Republican Party, supposedly home of nativist know nothings, will probably have a son of immigrants as its standard bearer.

Barring a political earthquake, either one will beat any of the Democrats.

That's what I think. It's not what I've always thought.  We can all listen, and learn, and change, if we keep an open mind. This site is called the “American Thinker” for a reason, and sometimes the more you think about something, the closer you get to the truth. And the nice thing is, in six short months we'll all find out who thought it through correctly, and who didn't.

Fritz Pettyjohn is a former Alaska Legislator, and a Co-founder of the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force.  He blogs at

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