Moderate GOP Rep.: ‘Malleable’ Trump More Electable Than ‘Rigid’ Cruz

Tom Williams/CQPHO

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), a moderate Republican, believes that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has too “rigid” of an ideology to win the presidency, making Donald Trump the better bet.

“Ted Cruz is a rigid ideologue,” Dent told the New York Times in an interview published on Tuesday. “Donald Trump is ideologically scattered and malleable. In my view, a more rigid ideology would have a much harder time assembling a winning general election coalition than the less doctrinaire candidate.”

It’s not surprising that Dent does not believe Cruz’s beliefs would best represent the party in the general election. The congressman often bucks the party’s most conservative members and has previously criticized Cruz’s “incendiary” remarks.

But Dent joins a few other establishment Republicans who have voiced their preference for Trump over Cruz, arguing that that the real estate mogul would be easier to guide and work with.

Dent told the New York Times that the Republican nominee “must build a winning coalition that extends beyond the Republican base.”

“Some Republican presidential candidates are in demographic denial,” he said. “Winning a larger percentage of the conservative white vote in 2016 is neither a viable nor realistic general election strategy.”