For those conservatives who have been hoping for a Donald Trump-Ted Cruz joint ticket to finally stick it to the establishment it looks like that isn’t going to happen. Now that the race for the GOP nomination is down to three (if you count Governor NAFTA) it’s only a matter of whether Trump is able to nail down the 1,237 delegates in order to avoid the treachery of a Mitt Romney led cabal looking to screw the front-runner and millions of voters at a brokered convention. The one thing absent of Trump winning the nomination outright that would thwart the best laid plans of the RINO rats would be a Trump-Cruz alliance – it makes a hell of a lot of sense because while the Texas senator may be raking in the endorsements he is also unlikely to come out of Cleveland a winner. But Cruz may be going native now that he has reportedly tried to recruit the former “future” of the Republican party and establishment savior Marco Rubio as VP on his own unity ticket.

Politico is reporting that “Exclusive: Marco Rubio rejected ‘unity ticket’ with Ted Cruz”:

Ted Cruz’s campaign has been exploring the possibility of forming a unity ticket with ex-rival Marco Rubio — going so far as to conduct polling looking into how the two would perform in upcoming primary states.

The motivation, hashed out in conversations among Cruz’s top aides and donors: to find a way to halt Donald Trump’s march to the Republican nomination.

It’s unclear whether Cruz’s campaign brass views a partnership with Rubio as realistic or quixotic. In Rubio’s orbit, according to three sources, it’s seen as an outright nonstarter — with Rubio telling his team he isn’t interested.

Yet in recent weeks, within Cruz’s camp, talk of a joint ticket has run rampant. Utah Republican Mike Lee, one of two senators to endorse Cruz, has emerged as an outspoken supporter of a unity ticket — and as a potential broker. The freshman, according to several sources briefed on the talks, has reached out repeatedly to Rubio to gauge his interest, but has been rebuffed.

Shortly before Lee endorsed Cruz on March 10, Lee and his advisers discussed the possibility of organizing a meeting between the Utah senator and Rubio in Florida, just days before the state’s primary, according to two sources. The meeting, though, never happened.

A Lee spokesman, Conn Carroll, declined to comment for this story. So, too, did spokespersons for Cruz and Rubio.

But the Cruz camp’s apparent fascination with the idea of joining forces with Rubio didn’t end with Lee’s efforts.

In recent days, Cruz’s team has begun to investigate how the two would fare on a prospective ticket. Over the past week, according to a person familiar with the Cruz team’s internal deliberations, the campaign has conducted polling in forthcoming contests — including the one on Tuesday in Utah — in which questions are posed about the two running side-by-side.

The deliberations come at a time of rising anxiety among Republican leaders and donors about Trump, who many fear is becoming unstoppable. The real estate mogul holds a 256-delegate lead and is seen as the favorite in a number of upcoming primary states, including New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania — contests that could push Trump toward the 1,237 delegate number he needs to secure the Republican nomination.

Rubio’s sense of entitlement – since crushed by the Trump juggernaut – would seem to preclude any chance of the two joining forces and Little Marco likely isn’t up to endorsing Cruz either. Doing such a thing would leave him out of the running for whatever establishment ticket comes out of the rigged convention, Romney-Rubio is a distinct possibility if Paul Ryan isn’t up to it. Team Cruz is really reaching here and some of the sheen is already coming off his halo as an outsider at war with the Washington-Wall Street oligarchs.

Of course it all could be bullshit but as the old saying goes: where there’s smoke there’s fire.