Forget the Chris Christie endorsement; here’s the one that really matters — Jeff Sessions has endorsed Donald Trump. He did so at a campaign rally in Huntsville, Alabama this morning.
This endorsement is more than a little consequential, coming as it does two days before a large cluster of Southern states — including Sessions’ Alabama — vote. And even apart from its timing, this endorsement comes from arguably the nation’s most influential strongly conservative office holder.
In this report, it appears that the Senator based his endorsement largely on Trump’s positions on immigration and trade. Sessions said that “Gang of Eight” type of immigration reform bill would not will be passed in a Donald Trump presidency. Probably not, but I’m at least as confident that it wouldn’t be passed in a Ted Cruz presidency.
Similarly, I have at least as much confidence that the U.S. won’t make bad trade deals under Cruz as under Trump. And I have more considerably more confidence in Cruz and Marco Rubio when it comes to dealing (or refusing to deal) with Putin, the Palestinians, and other enemies of the U.S. and Israel. The same goes for health care, federal spending, and a host of other issues that most conservatives see as vital.
In sum: (1) the Sessions endorsement seems to owe itself to his agreement with Trump on a very small set of issues and (2) on these issues, Trump is no sounder (and if anything, less trustworthy) than Ted Cruz.
But sound or not, the Sessions endorsement is a major coup for Trump, it seems to me.
UPDATE: Coming on the heels of the Christie endorsement, Sessions’ once again demonstrates the range of Trump’s appeal. His ability to draw significant support from both Christie Republicans and Sessions Republicans goes a long way towards explaining why Trump is nearly running the table in this primary season. (Explaining why he’s drawing support from Sessions Republicans is a more difficult matter.)
Two of Trump’s biggest previous endorsements came from Sarah Palin and Scott Brown. At the time, I noted that these two are pretty much at polar ends of the GOP.
Christie and Sessions aren’t quite as part apart. Yet they make an unlikely pair.