The Buzz

TheChat: Lindsey Graham starts sidling up to Ted Cruz

Good morning.

▪ The GOP “may be in a position to where we have to rally around Ted Cruz as the only way to stop Trump.” — South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a former Republican presidential candidate, on the situation the party now finds itself in.

This is how bad things have gotten for Republicans. To stop Donald Trump, they may have to embrace the reviled Cruz, the Texas senator who has few friends in the nation’s upper chamber. Given those feelings, any such push to get behind Cruz is likely to fail.

▪ “If he’s the Republican nominee, I’m voting third party. I can’t do it.” — Missouri state Rep. Shamed Dogan, a Ballwin Republican, on what he’ll do if Trump is the GOP nominee.

The party establishment is peeling away from the GOP frontruner —but not the voters. At least not so far. (link via

▪ “Senator, you know, out of all due respect, this is some bull (expletive).” — Missouri state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, a St. Louis Democrat, questioning the sponsor of a bill that would require public workers to give annual consent for money to be taken out of their paychecks for union dues.

Nasheed was chastised for not maintaining decorum on the floor. But she said Republican Sen. Dan Brown of Rolla was seeking to wipe out unions across the state with his bill.

▪ “My sense is that it’s close. I don’t think it will be a blowout on either side.” — Tom Witt, executive director of the gay-rights group Equality Kansas and a leading progressive activist, on the upcoming Democratic presidential caucuses in the state.

Bernie Sanders continues to perform well in caucus states where turnouts are lower and that attract more liberal activists. Hillary Clinton has former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius working the state for her. Sanders will be in Lawrence on Thursday.