By S.A. Miller – The Washington Times – Thursday, November 26, 2015
A group of tea party activists is convinced that Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has struck a secret deal with rival Sen. Ted Cruz to guarantee the Texan the vice presidential spot on the ticket, and conservatives are raving that it would be the best pairing since Harry Burnett Reese combined peanut butter and Hershey’s chocolate.
The Cruz campaign vehemently denied that there was an agreement to form the conservatives’ “dream ticket,” while the Trump campaign remained mum.
“There is no such secret deal,” said Cruz campaign national spokesman Rick Tyler.
Still, speculation about an arranged marriage of Mr. Trump’s self-styled conservative crusade and Mr. Cruz’s die-hard tea party convictions gained credibility last week when Mr. Trump broached the subject himself.
The billionaire businessman named Mr. Cruz as an acceptable running mate during an interview on Laura Ingraham’s nationally syndicated talk radio show.
“I like him. He’s backed everything I’ve said,” Mr. Trump said in endorsing the senator from Texas as a possible VP. “Ted Cruz is now agreeing with me 100 percent.”
The remark piqued the interest of tea party and conservative activists who had already theorized that recent moves by the two campaigns signaled a secret pact.
“It’s highly likely that there is a sweetheart deal there, and it is a very good thing with almost no downside,” said Tom O’Halloran, host of the Texas-based conservative webcast Patriot Radio Show, who subscribes to the theory of a secret Trump-Cruz ticket.
“It’s a brilliant move,” he said. “It sounds to me like a deal that was made in heaven.”
Mr. O’Halloran and other believers pointed to a purported secret meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Cruz in Dallas at the end of the summer and the absence of attacks waged by the combative Mr. Trump against Mr. Cruz, the only major candidate to be spared Mr. Trump’s blisteringly personal attacks.
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