"We're at war with a coalition of radical Islamists and radical secularists. It's not all one thing, nor is Islam all one thing," Michael Ledeen, a former Reagan administration official and a Cruz campaign adviser, told me. Jim Talent, a former Missouri Republican senator who was a key adviser to Romney in 2008 and 2012, is signed up for the Cruz team. So is Mary Habeck, a former staffer on George W. Bush's national security council, who is an expert on jihadi organizations and has warned against demonizing the entire religion of Islam. Another Cruz adviser, Elliott Abrams, helped craft Bush's policy to empower moderate Muslims in the Middle East against radicals. He told me he feels much the same way as Habeck.
If Ted Cruz was running in first, I would be singing the praises of Donald Trump. It does hurt to say that, but that is the definition of the lesser of two evils.