Stealing the spotlight from Donald Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, and son Eric Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz refused to endorse the Republican nominee as he spoke at this year’s Republican National Convention.
Cruz only mentioned Trump’s name once – to say “congratulations” – and then went on to deliver a self-serving speech clearly calculated to undercut his party’s nominee.
From ABC News:
“I want to congratulate Donald Trump on winning the nomination last night,” the Texas senator said, addressing the Cleveland gathering on its third evening. “And like each of you, I want to see the principles that our party believes prevail in November.”
And then Cruz, whose primary battle with Trump turned increasingly bitter when the billionaire businessman attacked Cruz’s wife and his father, pivoted to this: “Conventions are times of excitement. But given the events of the last few weeks, I hope you’ll allow me a moment to talk to you about what’s really at stake.”
When delegates from New York loudly urged Cruz from the convention floor to “say it” — referring to endorsing Trump — the Texas senator only responded: “I appreciate the enthusiasm of the New York delegation.” Cruz then exited to loud booing from the crowd.
Speaking to the Texas Republican delegation this morning, Cruz explained he was not going to “come like a servile puppy dog and say, ‘thank you very much for maligning my wife and maligning my father.’”
In the aftermath of the debacle, Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort told CNN, “Trump made the offer to speak without any conditions. He thought Sen. Cruz might be a little more politically smart.” That doesn’t sound like The Donald is a very good deal maker, does it?
Afterwards, Trump tweeted that he knew ahead of time about Cruz’s intentions but “let him speak anyway.”
Wow, Ted Cruz got booed off the stage, didn’t honor the pledge! I saw his speech two hours early but let him speak anyway. No big deal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 21, 2016