Ted Cruz Refuses To Endorse Trump In Convention Speech

Ted Cruz's convention speech was about what you'd expect, a gamble designed to set up his campaign for President in 2020 or beyond.

Ted Cruz

When the speakers list for the Republican National Convention was announced last week, many people were surprised to see Senator Ted Cruz’s name on the list of people who would not only be speaking, but speaking in prime time when the largest number of people would be watching. After all, the 2016 Presidential race ended with an ocean of bad blood between Cruz and Trump leading up to the Indiana primary, with Trump having called Cruz “Lyin’ Ted” virtually every day for the previous four months and even gone so far as to retweet a meme with an unflattering picture of Cruz’s wife and casually suggest that Cruz’s Cuban immigrant father was somehow involved in the Kennedy assassination. Earlier in the campaign, Trump was suggesting that Cruz was ineligible to even run for President due to his Canadian birth. For his part, Cruz spent the closing days of the campaign calling Trump a pathological liar and attacking him relentlessly. More importantly, though, Cruz left the race without endorsing Trump and has consistently refused to endorse Trump on the recording since then even though he had said repeatedly in the past that he would support the nominee. Heading into his speech then, there was much speculation about which direction Cruz would take and he ended up taking the direction that led to him being derided from the convention floor and either setting himself up to reap the benefits of an eventual Trump  loss or become a man with no real political future beyond Texas:

CLEVELAND — The Republican convention erupted into tumult on Wednesday night as the bitter primary battle betweenDonald J. Trump and Senator Ted Cruz reignited unexpectedly, crushing hopes that the party could project unity.

In the most electric moment of the convention, boos and jeers broke out as it became clear that Mr. Cruz — in a prime-time address from center stage — was not going to endorse Mr. Trump. It was a pointed snub on the eve of Mr. Trump’s formal acceptance speech.

As hundreds of delegates chanted “Vote for Trump!” and “Say it!” Mr. Cruz tried to dismiss the outburst as “enthusiasm of the New York delegation” — only to have Mr. Trump himself suddenly appear in the back of the convention hall. Virtually every head in the room seemed to turn from Mr. Cruz to Mr. Trump, who was stone-faced and clearly angry as he egged on delegates by pumping his fist.

Mr. Cruz was all but drowned out as he asked for God’s blessing on the country and left the stage, while security personnel escorted his wife, Heidi, out of the hall. One delegate yelled “Goldman Sachs!” at her — a reference to the company that has employed her, a job that Mr. Trump attacked during the primaries.

A short while later, Mr. Cruz faced insults as he made his way down a corridor — one woman yelled “Traitor!” When he tried to enter the convention suite of the Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, he was turned away.

The commotion on the night that Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, Mr. Trump’s running mate, later gave a well-received speech, was a jarring demonstration of just how divided Republicans remain and a stunning departure from modern political conventions. The uproar over Mr. Cruz’s refusal to endorse Mr. Trump recalled an earlier political era, such as when the moderate Republican Nelson Rockefeller was heckled for using his speech at the 1964 convention to criticize Barry Goldwater, the party’s nominee that year.

“I’ve seen some crazy things,” said Brandon Bell, the chairman of the Rhode Island Republican Party, who was still stunned as he absorbed what had happened on the convention floor. “I don’t think this is going to play well.”

Mr. Cruz, who has all but declared that he wants to run for president again in 2020, especially angered Republican leaders who had been counting on him to keep his pledge that he would support the eventual nominee, a vow that other leading Republican contenders also made last fall.

Mr. Trump had invited Mr. Cruz to speak even though he had doubts that peace was possible after their brutal race, during which Mr. Trump repeatedly called him “Lyin’ Ted” and suggested Mr. Cruz’s father had a role in President Kennedy’s assassination.

Mr. Trump called Mr. Cruz on Monday and asked for his endorsement, according to a senior aide to Mr. Cruz who requested anonymity to relay private conversations. Mr. Cruz indicated to Mr. Trump that he would not offer an endorsement, the aide said.

Convention organizers were furious at the length of Mr. Cruz’s speech. He was originally allotted 12 minutes, but planners made a late decision to allocate 20 minutes instead.

Mr. Cruz wound up speaking for over 21 minutes, pushing parts of Mr. Pence’s speech well beyond prime time. Mr. Cruz’s aides said the speech ran long because it was interrupted for applause.

“Awful” and “selfish,” is how Mr. Christie described Mr. Cruz to a CNN reporter at the end of the evening.

Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter: “Wow. Ted Cruz got booed off the stage, didn’t honor the pledge!”

Even after the hubbub subsided, allies of Mr. Trump kept hammering Mr. Cruz. Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, who spoke after the senator, quickly revised his remarks to taunt Mr. Cruz for not endorsing Mr. Trump.

“To paraphrase Ted Cruz, if you want to preserve the Constitution, the only possible candidates this fall is the Trump-Pence Republican ticket,” Mr. Gingrich said.

The rumpus on the floor, which broke out shortly before 10 p.m., captured a reality that Republicans had hoped to minimize: that significant factions of the party remain hostile to Mr. Trump, while his own base of supporters are fervent and unyielding.

In retrospect, it’s difficult to believe that the Trump campaign and the RNC didn’t see this coming when they invited Cruz to speak to begin with. As I’ve noted above, the bad blood between the two men at the end of the race for the Republican Nomination was so intense that the gap was seemingly unbridgeable. Additionally, as I have noted before, it has been clear for some time now that Cruz sees himself as Ronald Reagan in 1976 when Reagan used the opportunity of a speaking slot at the convention after a hard fought nomination battle against President Ford to set many of the themes that formed the basis for his run for the White House in 1980.  The difference, of course, is that there couldn’t be a bigger difference between two candidates as there is between the Ronald Reagan of that era and Ted Cruz today. Where Ronald Reagan presented a positive vision of a Republican Party guided by a conservative political philosophy that would rebuild a nation that was in crisis, Ted Cruz projects the image of a calculating, self-serving political operative who lacks the graciousness and likeability that played such as a large role in Reagan’s ability to not only win the GOP nomination in 1980 after having failed to do so in 1968 and 1976, but also win the Presidency in a landslide election against an incumbent President. Additionally, while Reagan’s speech in 1976 wasn’t a formal endorsement of Ford’s candidacy, he did end it with an appeal to party unity that was distinctly lacking in Cruz’s speech last night. Whether that ends up hurting Cruz in the long run is something we won’t know for quite some time to come.

Damon Linker and Dara Lind both hint at this in their analysis of Cruz’s speech and their conclusions that what we actually saw last night was the beginning of Ted Cruz’s campaign for 2020. It’s not very hard to believe, of course, given the fact that practically everything Cruz has done since coming to Washington has been calculated toward running for President this year, and the fact that he fell short this year seems unlikely to deter him Indeed, one RNC official was saying that Cruz could end up running in 2020 even if Trump wins in November, meaning that he would be taking on the role of running against his own party’s President, something we haven’t seen done seriously since Ted Kennedy took on Jimmy Carter in 1980. Much as Kennedy saw himself as the guardian of classic Democratic Party liberalism, Cruz quite clearly sees himself as the guardian of what conservatism has become in the modern Republican Party. That, combined with what is obviously blind ambition on Cruz’s part makes it unsurprising that he would do something like what he did last night and essentially repudiate his party’s nominee from the convention dais. Actually running against an incumbent Republican four years from now? Yes, I could see Ted Cruz doing that.

As things stand today, Cruz is walking away from this convention speech looking as if he’s wounded. He had promised to support the party nominee and not only failed to do so, but failed to do so in prime time at a convention meant to rally the party behind that nominee. At the same time, though as I noted this morning it’s interesting that the delegates on the convention floor, upon hearing Cruz implore people to vote their conscience took that to mean that they should vote for someone other than Trump. It’s almost as if they have a guilty conscience for rallying behind a candidate that, by all accounts, lacks the temperament, qualifications, or knowledge necessary to serve as President of the United States. In that respect, though, they have only themselves to blame.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Donald Trump, Politicians, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Stormy Dragon says:

    Cruz accomplished a miracle last night. He actually made me angry on Donald Trump’s behalf.

    His speech was the equivalent of the guy who gets drunk at a wedding reception and starts giving a speech about how the groom isn’t good enough for his sister. If you’re unhappy with the marriage, then stay home. Trying to ruin the wedding just makes you look like an ass.

  2. Robert in SF says:

    Trump could have spun this…saying that the ‘media’ has always charged Trump with being an candidate who only wanted ‘yes-men’…but here Trump was, giving time to one of his most passionate (if not trustworthy) opponents in the race, to offer an alternative view, giving him his chance to speak his mind, to make his case, uncensored, unvarnished…so that people would clearly see that Trump is not in this for ego, he’s in this for America! He’s in this to show that even with outspoken criticism, opportunistic attacks, Trump and America would prevail, in recovering from ….blah blah blah blame Hilary.

    But he didn’t…I think he tried a little, in admitting that he knew what Benedict Ted Cruz was gonna say, but I don’t see the follow-thru that Trump actually welcomed it, since Trump knows he right, and right for America.

    Or some other self-serving drivel like that, that builds up the supporters belief that Trump actually knows what he’s doing in politics.

  3. C. Clavin says:

    Obviously I’m no fan of Ted Cruz.
    But good for him. He may be the most principled Republican at that convention.
    It’s critically important that we don’t allow this madman to become President.
    Cruz did his best to stop Trump.
    Good for him.

  4. CSK says:

    Some people thought that Cruz’s true ambition was to be appointed to the Supreme Court by President Trump. That seems even more unlikely to happen now.

  5. Andrew says:

    Okay, Cruz went rogue, Ingraham went Nazi, Christie got the up off his knees for a while to defend Trump.

    Did anything of substance actually get said last night?

    This is coming off like a WWE/Monster Truck/Roman Coliseum event more so than an actual political convention on how the republican party will run the country if elected.
    Or maybe, it is exactly how the Republican party will run the country…
    One new episode every day, or week. People tuning in to see who gets fired, or replaced, or what so and so says next. Will Jon Snow die?! Will Carl kill those zombies!? Will Kim and Kanye get that new Lamborghini?!

    It’s a $hit show. Anyone see any Trump 3:16 signs? Were there lions locked in a cage, waiting in the wings?

  6. CSK says:

    Cruz has a real talent for alienating people. Didn’t he win the coveted title of “Most Loathed Person in the Senate, Even by His Own Side”?

  7. Mark Ivey says:

    “I don’t think this is going to play well.”

    Says the guy who’s gonna get a “T” tattoo on his forehead in the next 3-6 weeks to show what side he’s on in the upcoming GOP purge night..

  8. al-Alameda says:

    To be fair, there is an element of payback and fairness in this.

    For a few months Trump, in his usual juvenile manner, constantly taunted Cruz with “lyin’ Ted.” So, in addition to satisfying his Trump-level narcissistic tendencies and his political ambitions, Ted managed to indirectly, yet very obviously, slime Trump and exact some payback .

    All of this begs the question: Why was Ted asked to be a speaker? This is like asking Sarah Palin to speak at a conference on Literacy: Why It’s A Good Thing.

  9. Pete S says:

    If Cruz really believes that Trump is the wrong candidate for President, it is only because his name is not “Ted Cruz”, not for any other reason. Cruz’ only motivation for just about anything he does is to be president. To whatever degree this was a principled decision, the principle involved is “I want to be president”.

    Yesterday we were questioning whether or not Donald Trump really wants to be president. I get the same feeling about Cruz as I have about Trump. Both really really want to be elected President, neither one seems terribly interested in the best interests of the country or in what they will have to do starting the day after Inauguration.

  10. CSK says:

    @al-Alameda:

    If I had to guess why Cruz was chosen, it was because he was one of the very, very few who would accept the invitation, and he did so solely in order to further his own ambitions for 2020. That may have backfired.

  11. DK says:

    Funny, all Cruz did was congratulate Trump, explain his view of the differences between conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats on liberty and the Constitution, and then urge Americans to defend the Constitution and “vote your conscience.” Cruz did not say a single bad word about Trump.

    So apparently Cruz upset Trumpublicans because they know voting your conscience automatically means not voting for the cheeto-faced, ferret-head, baby-handed con artist Trump haha.

    Is Trump letting Cruz speak without procuring an endorsement first another example of Trump’s awesome dealmaking skills? Hahahaha #epicfail #VoteYourConscience

  12. Scott says:

    It is obvious to me that Trump is a vain, stupid man. All it took to disarm Cruz ahead of time is to say something like: “In the heat of the primaries, I said some thing about Ted Cruz that went too far. I have to apologize for that.” Then Cruz would have been totally disarmed. But no! Douchebaggery prevailed. And here we are.

  13. SKI says:

    A few thoughts:

    Trump’s camp had the speech ahead of time. They knew what he was going to say and they knew, before they invited him, that he wouldn’t endorse.

    Not only did they let him go ahead (in a prime time spot on day 3 no less), Mannafort seeded the crowd with “leaders” to lead/inspire the booing/chanting. In other words, they deliberately made it a bigger deal.

    It is not unheard of to have a former rival speak without endorsing. Jerry Brown in ’92, Kennedy in ’80 and Reagan in ’76 all spoke without endorsing. They were notable stories but not totally disruptive events.

    I’d call the Trump campaign a clown-show but clown shows are extremely well choreographed.

  14. Andrew says:

    For those that think that this convention is going off looking like amateur hour, and not well planned. Let me ask you this:

    What if this convention is exactly what Trump and Co. wanted?

    What if this is just a P.T. Barnum-esque production for the 21st century television reality show crowd? Drama, lights, theatrics?

    Again, please keep in mind : There is no such thing as bad press.

    Ratings = Money. Whether it is radio personalities, political personalities, or television personalities. Any attention is good for this bunch. Nazi salute? Horrible, just horrible. For the conservative radio crowd? Chum in the water, and look who’s sponsors are raking in the cash.

    Sorry, but I can not think that something along the lines of this $hit show is just people throwing stuff against a wall to see what sticks, and trying to pass it off. It’s ratings, money, attention, exactly what Trump wants.

  15. Andrew says:

    For those that think that this convention is going off looking like amateur hour, and not well planned. Let me ask you this:

    What if this convention is exactly what Trump and Co. wanted?

    What if this is just a P.T. Barnum-esque production for the 21st century television reality show crowd? Drama, lights, theatrics?

    Again, please keep in mind : There is no such thing as bad press.

    Ratings = Money. Whether it is radio personalities, political personalities, or television personalities. Any attention is good for this bunch. Nazi salute? Horrible, just horrible. For the conservative radio crowd? Chum in the water, and look who’s sponsors are raking in the cash.

    Sorry, but I can not think that something along the lines of this $hit show is just people throwing stuff against a wall to see what sticks, and trying to pass it off. It’s ratings, money, attention, exactly what Trump wants.

  16. Kylopod says:

    @SKI:

    Trump’s camp had the speech ahead of time. They knew what he was going to say and they knew, before they invited him, that he wouldn’t endorse.

    Yeah, but as Josh Marshall pointed out, it’s not clear they grasped its full implications until it was actually delivered. Given the campaign’s repeated amateur-hour errors, this wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

    Gingrich talked as though Cruz had endorsed Trump. It was like that scene from the movie Quiz Show where the contestant doesn’t give the (rigged) answer he was instructed to, and the host momentarily responds as if he gave a different answer, before having to quickly correct himself.

  17. Andre Kenji says:

    Trump messed with Ted Cruz´s wife. With his f* wife. He also called Ted Cruz a liar. He should be grateful that Ted Cruz only trolled him during a speech because he could have been punched had he messed with the wife of other man.

    Anyone that had said to Mamie Eisenhower HALF of the things that Trump said about Heidi Cruz would not have survived to tell the story.

  18. Pch101 says:

    Donald Trump is the first internet troll to seek the presidency. (If you have any doubts about this, then read his Twitter account, which appears to be managed by a 12-year old boy who is having a tough time with the onset of puberty.)

    Trump is quite media savvy. He thrives on melodrama. Don’t be surprised if Cruz’s non-endorsement speech was self-serving for both of them. A guy like Trump needs enemies; if he didn’t have any, then he would have to invent them.

    That being said, that approach is not going to give him any additional electoral votes. He seems to be more interested in building this latest brand of his and in whatever his post-election plans may be. (Sounds as if he wants to have a syndicated political talk show and media production business, not a gig at the White House.)

  19. SKI says:

    @Kylopod:

    Yeah, but as Josh Marshall pointed out, it’s not clear they grasped its full implications until it was actually delivered. Given the campaign’s repeated amateur-hour errors, this wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

    Except Mannafort organized the booing reaction. Absent that, it was fairly unremarkable. Cruz didn’t bash Trump in any way in the speech. Put another way, the only reason there were major implications was the uproar – that the Trump camp created.

    What they should have done was go to Cruz and tell him he didn’t have to endorse but to lose the “vote your conscience” line. The press makes a comment about him not endorsing but it doesn’t become a big deal/story about the uproar in the convention and the divided party.

  20. Loviatar says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    Trump messed with Ted Cruz´s wife. With his f* wife. He also called Ted Cruz a liar. He should be grateful that Ted Cruz only trolled him during a speech because he could have been punched had he messed with the wife of other man.

    #Truth

    Too many here and in general don’t get that. They move in the world of no accountability or the non-apology apology. Sometimes you just have to curse a motherf@#$ out and threaten to whip his ass. Cruz came close.

  21. Kylopod says:

    @Andre Kenji: I think the “illegitimate black daughter” smears against John McCain’s adopted daughter by members of the Bush team in 2000 were at least as vile as Trump’s attacks on Cruz’s family. It didn’t stop McCain from eventually endorsing and campaigning for Bush (though according to later reports, he might not have voted for him). Unlike McCain, Cruz has apparently calculated that he doesn’t have to be a good soldier to enhance his political future.

  22. barbintheboonies says:

    @Andrew: You are so right it actually reminds me of the hunger games at the capital. They seem so out of touch with reality or I should say what was reality, back in the day. I guess it’s a sign of the times people now live in a strange reality show world.

  23. Loviatar says:

    Ted Cruz: I Am Not In The Habit Of Supporting People Who Attack My Wife And Father

    Speaking to Texas’s delegation at the convention at a Thursday breakfast, Cruz said his pledge to support the GOP’s eventual nominee was “abrogated” when the campaign between Trump and him became personal.

    “I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father,” he said.

    “Neither he nor his campaign has taken back a word of what they said about my family,” Cruz added, his voice rising. He was referring to Trump floating rumors alleging his father was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and retweeted a disparaging picture of Cruz’s wife, Heidi.

  24. stonetools says:

    Shorter Republicans:

    Trump: “Eff you!”

    Cruz: ” No, eff you!”

    This is better than any House of Cards or Game of Thrones. Unfortunately, the fate of the country is at stake. Ted is setting up for a run in 2020, by distancing himself from Trump. He foresees (I think correctly) that Trump will get walloped in November. At that point, he can step forward as the True Conservative that the masses will embrace next time

  25. Andre Kenji says:

    @Kylopod: I don´t know. I think that the attacks against Heidi Cruz were much more personal. Maybe it´s my typical latino-machismo, but I don´t understand why Ted Cruz should have been taking attacks against Heidi lightly. I would have punched Trump to his face, Ted Cruz is a much better man than I am.

  26. Loviatar says:

    Ted Cruz: I will not be a “servile puppy dog” for Donald Trump

    “I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father,” Cruz said at a press conference, his voice rising. “That pledge was not a blanket commitment that if you go ahead and attack Heidi that I’m going to come like a servile puppy dog and say, ‘Thank you very much for maligning my wife and maligning my father.’”

  27. Andrew says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    You are not the only one who thinks that.

    Colbert: Hungry For Power Games: Republican National Convention Edition …
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFjDBvRxcbM

  28. Jen says:

    I honestly don’t know what to make of this.

    Cruz’s speech was calculated to be a non-endorsement speech–but would anyone outside of pundits and those who really follow this stuff closely have really noticed that if it hadn’t been for the booing? It would have been the focus of a few articles and the talking heads, but the general public really wouldn’t have noticed beyond thinking “eh, Cruz had a tough time in the primary” *shrug.* In other words, if Manafort orchestrated this to show the crowd supports Trump, I’m not sure he really came out on top because all of the articles focus on Cruz running in 2020.

    On the other hand, I’m also swayed by the “all press is good press” argument. If this had been just another yawner of a political speech and the night went off like perfect clockwork, people wouldn’t notice. Again, Trump is dominating all aspects of the media–the Cruz speech, his insane comments about NATO, even the Kasich thing from yesterday–he’s everywhere. That is airtime that would cost a lot of money if paid for–just ask Clinton, who has been spending an astonishing amount on paid media.

    I predict Trump is going to find a way to step on the coverage of the Democratic convention next week. It will be a carefully orchestrated event, well-planned and organized. Meaning: just like every other convention that happens every four years. I think it’s entirely possible the media is being played. The only thing that makes me doubt that angle, at least a little bit, is the fallout from the Melania mess. I don’t think that Trump would have intentionally set up his wife for ridicule.

  29. CSK says:

    @stonetools:

    Except that the Trumpkins don’t really want a true conservative. They want a populist xenophobe demagogue. They thought they had one in Palin, but she sold them out to become a reality show starlet.

    It’s interesting. First they worshiped a politician turned reality show star, now they worship a reality show star turned politician.

  30. Pete S says:

    @SKI:

    Cruz didn’t bash Trump in any way in the speech. Put another way, the only reason there were major implications was the uproar – that the Trump camp created.

    Who exactly is Trump trying to appeal to by doing this? His supporters already believe he is being mistreated by the Republican Party. His non-supporters think his campaign is a farce, just not a funny one. You are right, it seems like something this campaign would have designed – pointless and counterproductive.

  31. DrDaveT says:

    @C. Clavin:

    [Cruz] may be the most principled Republican at that convention.

    Being principled, like being a leader, is not in itself a positive attribute. Gandhi was very principled, but so was Torquemada. The moral value is not merely in sticking to your beliefs; it requires having beliefs that are worth sticking to.

  32. Kylopod says:

    @Loviatar: So when Trump calls millions of Latino immigrants rapists, that’s okay. When he falsely claims Muslims in New Jersey were cheering after 9/11, that’s okay.

    But call Cruz’s wife ugly? This means war.

    (Why is that old poem “First they came for the…” floating through my mind now?)

  33. Gustopher says:

    Orchestrated or not, I have to smile every time Ted Cruz is booed off stage. And, if it backfires on the Trumpeters who organized it, so much the better.

    They are horrible people.

    I thought Mitt Romney was a serial liar — because, well, he was — but he also genuinelely cared for his country. I think he was wrong about most of the things that would be good for the country, but he put things before himself. I cannot say that about Trump or Cruz.

    They say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and that may be so, but Trump,and Cruz are both going off-road, trying to forge new paths to hell.

  34. stonetools says:

    Hoo boy:

    Speaking to Texas’s delegation at the convention at a Thursday breakfast, Cruz said his pledge to support the GOP’s eventual nominee was “abrogated” when the campaign between Trump and him became personal during the primaries.

    “I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father,” he said.

    “Neither he nor his campaign has taken back a word of what they said about my family,” Cruz added, his voice rising. He was referring to Trump floating rumors alleging his father was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy and retweeting a disparaging picture of Cruz’s wife, Heidi.

    Like they say on the streets, “Its on!” Hopefully, all the way to November.

  35. michael reynolds says:

    @Loviatar:

    So basically Cruz is not quite the jellyfish Chris Christies is.

  36. James Pearce says:

    As things stand today, Cruz is walking away from this convention speech looking as if he’s wounded.

    I disagree. He was booed, yes, and it’s clear he will have no place in Donald Trump’s America, if Donald Trump’s America were ever to happen. But it’s also clear that all this talk of loyalty might actually benefit Cruz.

    Look at who he’s being disloyal to: Donald Trump, a political amateur and professional big mouth, a guy whose incompetence is demonstrated daily, a guy who is so ignorant of mainstream conservative thinking that he doesn’t even seem to know how much he diverges from it.

    And look at who’s he being loyal to: The principles of the Republican party, his own family, his own misguided mission to be the standard bearer of conservatism.

    Even as the boos drowned out his words, his face remained as pale as ever and his dopey smile never wavered. If someone threw a shoe, he would have ducked in Bush-like fashion. Picture him in sunglasses and a leather jacket, he was that cool.

    He also may have sown the seeds, quite subtly, for a new type of conservatism that this country desperately needs, one that might actually win a presidential election:

    Freedom means religious freedom, whether you are Christian, Jew, Muslim, or atheist.

    Whether you are gay, or straight, the Bill of Rights protects the rights of all of us to live according to our conscience.

    Sticking up for Muslims and gay people? Whuh? It’s almost as if Hillary Clinton’s Supreme Court already exists in his mind and he’s staking his ground now.

    Ted Cruz pissed off a lot of people with his speech, but I suspect he reassured many more.

  37. Loviatar says:

    @Kylopod:

    Cruz’s mindset is that insulting Mexicans and Muslims are okay, because they are policy positions. Insulting his wife is not okay, because its personal. Also, he truly believes they will never come for him, because he will always be the one doing the coming for.

    —–

    My take, forget all the 11th dimensional theories, it was another unforced error from a lazy idiot. Realize Trump is cunning not smart, he instinctively gets certain things and then moves rapidly to take advantage of the circumstances. However if the circumstances change in a manner that requires thought and consideration he is wholly unprepared to react. See any of his failed business deals.

  38. Loviatar says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Did you notice Cruz’s servile puppy dog insult in my second link. That most definitely was directed at Chris Christie.

  39. Andre Kenji says:

    Attacking your wife/girlfriend, the mother of your children, is much different than being simply a racist. I´m much more likely to punch someone that does the first than the latter.

    Frankly, I can´t understand why Grover Norquist accepts so much people in his own party attacking his wife. I don´t like Ted Cruz, I really despise him. But I don´t understand people that can´t understand why he did what he did.

  40. michael reynolds says:

    @Loviatar:

    Sorry, I did not. I plead nervous exhaustion – just drove through the center of Paris with my two obnoxious teenaged kids. At rush hour. With some kind of accident on the bridge. So basically I’m lucky to be alive.

  41. Kylopod says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    But I don´t understand people that can´t understand why he did what he did.

    I understand it just fine. In my email to my parents and brother this morning, I described Cruz’s remarks as “understandable but self-centered.”

    There’s an important difference between “understandable” and “justifiable.”

    And I totally disagree with you about the attacks on McCain’s “illegitimate black daughter” being any less vile than the attacks on Cruz’s wife. They went after his family in a thoroughly racist way, they went after a child for goodness sake. The only mitigating factor I can see there is that the attacks didn’t come directly from Bush himself, though he never apologized for them.

  42. Andrew says:

    @Jen:

    The only thing that makes me doubt that angle, at least a little bit, is the fallout from the Melania mess. I don’t think that Trump would have intentionally set up his wife for ridicule.

    This is my problem with that, Jen.

    Trump has been around in the media for how long? Decades?

    You can not tell me that his current wife did not know what she was getting into when she agreed to marry Donald.

    Sorry, I simply do not believe she is that naive. At least as far as I know of her. Which, granted, is not very much. I do not wish to insult her intelligence.

    She is a attention seeker, just as much as he is.
    Now, not all acts succeed as much as others, there are always flops of some sort. But, I do not think Mrs. Trump did not know what she was doing when she walked onto that stage. She wanted in on it, and she decided to go with the script she was given.

  43. michael reynolds says:

    @Loviatar:

    Still not as bad as an epic drive through Rome years back in which every street was one way the wrong way. We could literally see our hotel and it took an hour to get there.

  44. Loviatar says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    Frankly, I can´t understand why Grover Norquist accepts so much people in his own party attacking his wife.

    Some men will do anything for power, if that means offering your wife up to Caesar, then so be it.

    I’m with you, I don’t understand that mindset.

  45. @Loviatar:

    And Cruz has never insulted a political opponent’s wife or parents? Cruz spent the entire campaign implying Trump’s wife was a whore, but we’re supposed to be outraged that one time Trump insulted his wife back?

  46. JKB says:

    Now all those independents and center Democrats who have been conditioned by the media to hate Ted Cruz don’t have to worry that a vote for Trump is a vote for the Cruz-way.

    Trump is different, heck his immigrant wife is even inspired by Michelle’s saccharine boilerplate.

  47. MBunge says:

    I don’t know if this ploy by Trump to rally the GOP around him will work, though I will point out the people who seem to think Cruz did something great are pretty much the same people who’ve been wrong about everything Trump related so far this campaign.

    But let’s all be clear about one thing. The idea that this is going to do anything to help Cruz is insane.

    1. Major political parties are filled with functionaries and apparatchiks to whom the party is either an employer or a social/culture environment like the Elks Club or the Shriners. Cruz just urinated on all of those folks.

    2. There are already elements of the party and big donors who are on board the Trump train, or at least willing to ride it to November. Cruz just urinated on all of those folks.

    3. If Trump loses, Cruz now has his fingerprints all over it as a guy who helped put Hillary Clinton in the White House.

    Outside the the NeverTrump rump that proved itself pitifully small and powerless, Cruz just flushed away his political future. If he did that knowingly to screw with Trump, even though I’m not sure it will work, you could respect that. Thinking this gives him a leg up for 2020, whether by Cruz or anyone else, is moronic. He barely won the Evangelical vote running against Trump this time.

    Mike

  48. Loviatar says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Cruz spent the entire campaign implying Trump’s wife was a whore

    That kind of reinforces one of the differences I see between Trump and Cruz; Cruz actually seems to love his wife and is willing to defend her. Trump won’t even fire the speechwriter who embarrassed his wife on national TV.

  49. michael reynolds says:

    @MBunge:

    If Cruz wins the primaries in 2020 the GOP apparatchik’s will support him. If Jeffrey Dahmer won the primaries the GOP apparatchik’s would support him. They have neither core beliefs nor spines.

  50. michael reynolds says:

    @Loviatar:

    The “speech writer” may be a fabrication. All evidence of her existence has appeared within the last 48 hours.

  51. James Pearce says:

    @MBunge:

    If Trump loses, Cruz now has his fingerprints all over it as a guy who helped put Hillary Clinton in the White House.

    Cruz won’t bear the blame for Trump’s loss. He will be the “If only we had nominated him” guy.

  52. SKI says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The “speech writer” may be a fabrication. All evidence of her existence has appeared within the last 48 hours.

    Nope. She is real. Trump used her as a scapegoat in a deposition regarding an inaccurate fact in his 2004 book (for which she was credited as the co-author) and others have reported talking to her in the past. Whether she actually wrote the speechor the apology letter may be questionable but she is an actual real human.

  53. SKI says:

    @MBunge:

    3. If Trump loses, Cruz now has his fingerprints all over it as a guy who helped put Hillary Clinton in the White House.

    Only if it is really close. If Trump gets blown out, Cruz is the guy that tried to warn everyone. You can’t blame a blowout on the lack of endorsement.

  54. Loviatar says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The “speech writer” may be a fabrication.

    Possibly, probably, but fire somebody dammit. Your wife just got embarrassed in front of the world. People in the shit spot village shes from in Slovenia have probably heard and are laughing at her, at least make the pretense of firing someone. Come on, he can’t do one actual manly thing in his life, like defending your wife.

  55. MBunge says:

    @James Pearce: Cruz won’t bear the blame for Trump’s loss. He will be the “If only we had nominated him” guy.

    No, you’re thinking of Kasich, Jeb or even little Marco. They’ve made it perfectly clear they think Trump is going to be a disaster but they didn’t take a public dump on the party while smiling on national TV.

    Cruz is not Reagan, the guy who almost beat the eventual nominee. He got crushed by Trump, just slightly less horribly than everyone else.

    Mike

  56. Loviatar says:

    @michael reynolds:

    You’ve said this before and others are starting to pickup on it.

    In other words, he’s basically a low-grade sociopath.

    As near as I can tell, no one who does business with Trump wants to repeat the experience. Nor does he have any genuine personal friends. He’s cordial only as long as you’re useful to him. In other words, he’s basically a low-grade sociopath. He just doesn’t care about people except as markers in whatever game he happens to be playing at the moment.

    —-

    Melania’s embarrassment and value to him was worth less that his personal embarrassment would be if he had to fire someone. Now that she has been shown her place, depending on the pre-nup we’ll see how much longer this “marriage” lasts.

  57. Kylopod says:

    @SKI:

    If Trump gets blown out, Cruz is the guy that tried to warn everyone. You can’t blame a blowout on the lack of endorsement.

    I agree that a blowout cannot reasonably be blamed on a lack of endorsement by one rival–but you’re underestimating people’s capacity for delusion. After hearing so many Republicans blame Obama’s 2012 electoral victory on Chris Christie’s (literal and figurative) embrace of the President in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, I don’t take anything for granted.

  58. grumpy realist says:

    What Cruz is trying to do–and will probably fail, simply because everyone loathes him so much–is split the Republican Party down the middle. He was hoping to walk off with the Establishment Republicans (along with all their fund-raising sources and all the political machinery) while Trump remains supported by the rabble out in Hicksville willing to listen to any demagogue who tells them what they want to hear.

    At least that’s how Cruz planned it. Unfortunately, this Clever Plan ran into the rocks because although a lot of Republicans don’t think Trump is all that great a banner-carrier for Republicanism, they really, really, really loathe Cruz.

    And that’s not even getting to the other 60% of Americans…

  59. Andre Kenji says:

    @michael reynolds: I drive for you if you ever going to visit São Paulo. 😛

  60. Scott says:

    @Loviatar: Then there’s this:

    If he were writing “The Art of the Deal” today, Schwartz said, it would be a very different book with a very different title. Asked what he would call it, he answered, “The Sociopath.”

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/07/25/donald-trumps-ghostwriter-tells-all

  61. Andre Kenji says:

    @Kylopod: I think that there is a huge difference between something that´s done by your campaign and something being done by you. Maybe it´s Latino thing(Ed O´Keefe said that Cubans in Florida said that was the most Cuban thing that Cruz has ever done, Ana Navarro on CNN was quick to point out about what Trump said about Cruz wife and father ), but I don´t understand why Cruz would have to accept someone that thrashed his wife and his father.

  62. MBunge says:

    @Andre Kenji: why Cruz would have to accept someone that thrashed his wife and his father.

    He doesn’t have to accept it. That’s a reason why you don’t speak at the convention.

    Mike

  63. steve s says:

    Again, please keep in mind : There is no such thing as bad press.

    Ask Dennis Hastert if press attention is never bad. Or Bill Cosby. I’m so tired of that bullshit cliche.

  64. bookdragon says:

    I think it was easily predictable that Cruz would not endorse. It also could have been swept under the rug and ignored if not for the boo-ing. That was orchestrated.

    The question is whether it was orchestrated to put Cruz in his place for not kowtowing to Trump. I suspect it was because Trump has some pathological need shame and dominate his rivals, which seems to be a lot more important to him than ‘party unity’. Plus, it plays into the WWE trope of having a bad guy to boo.

    Otoh, it may have been purely Manafort’s idea to make sure this would be the headline today. After all, we’re all talking about Cruz not endorsing rather than about the NYT interview and Trump’s truly frightening position on pulling out of NATO.

  65. wr says:

    @michael reynolds: “The “speech writer” may be a fabrication. All evidence of her existence has appeared within the last 48 hours.”

    She does exist. She’s ghosted a couple of Trump’s books.

    She’s also taken the blame for some lies in one of those books about how much Trump is worth. And Trump refused to accept her resignation then, as well.

    Seems like she’s a very useful person to have around.

  66. Kylopod says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    I think that there is a huge difference between something that´s done by your campaign and something being done by you.

    The only real difference between attacking your opponent directly and having your goons do it while acting like you’re above it all is that the latter is the more traditional approach in US politics. Your hands are dry but the shiv is still in your opponent’s back.

  67. Monala says:

    Cruz wasn’t the only speaker who failed to endorse yesterday. As I was driving home from work and listing to NPR’s live coverage of the RNC, I got to hear Eileen Collins, the first female NASA astronaut to command a space shuttle mission, talk about making America great again by reviving the manned space program. After she finished, the NPR reporter noted that in Collins’ prepared remarks, she was supposed to say, “And the man who will make NASA and America great again is Donald Trump!” It’s unclear, the NPR reporter added, whether the omission was accidental or deliberate.

  68. Monala says:

    @Kylopod: Yeah, a child who later asked her father, “Why do the Republicans hate me?”

  69. Monala says:

    @Andrew: I’m not so sure. The profile in GQ about Melania Trump portrays her as shy, quiet (something verified by lots of her friends) and someone willing to totally bend to Trump’s will. Her father is also very similar to Trump in attitude and behavior. By the time she met Trump, she was in her late 20s, past her prime for modeling, and it seems like she was looking for a sugar daddy like her father to take care of her. In interviews, she talks about how she does exactly what he wants – makes sure the kid is taken care of and the house, always looks her best for him, never fart or burp in front of him, etc. I can see her not wanting to get up and speak, but doing it because Trump said she had to.

  70. Monala says:

    @Scott: It’s interesting, because Trump asked Schwartz to ghostwrite his book after Schwartz wrote a scathing article about him that Trump loved. Meanwhile, apparently Trump hated the GQ profile of Melania, and the writer of the article has been harassed relentlessly by Trump’s followers ever since. One thing that struck me about the GQ profile is that it made Melania seem like a nice person, but also a boring puppet of Trump’s. So Trump loved a negative article that portrayed him as ruthless and hateful, but hated a more neutral article that portrayed his wife as nice but passive.

  71. Pete S says:

    So after a week of the mess this convention has been, what will be the headlines from the DNC Convention next week?

    A) Democratic speakers and supporters present professional convention.
    B) Democratic convention is boring, lacks conflict and drama
    C) Donald Trump says he is the best showman ever, calls Democratic convention sad
    D) B and C above

  72. Andre Kenji says:

    @MBunge: He was the runner to the nomination. He was supposed to speak.

  73. MBunge says:

    @Andre Kenji: He was the runner to the nomination. He was supposed to speak.

    He was also supposed to endorse Trump. Do we now have Trump Derangement Syndrome where anything anti-Trump that occurs is automatically and unquestioningly the greatest and most wonderful thing in history?

    Cruz is a Republican. Trump stomped him fair and square. Cruz then gets up on national TV and tries to sabotage the GOP Presidential candidate. If he did it because he believes Trump to be too racist, sexist, dangerous, etc. for the position, that would be one thing. But he did it exclusively because he, like a total idiot, thinks crapping on the GOP nominee in 2016 will help him become the GOP nominee in 2020.

    Mike

  74. @MBunge:

    Do we now have Trump Derangement Syndrome where anything anti-Trump that occurs is automatically and unquestioningly the greatest and most wonderful thing in history?

    The commenters on this site are predominately yellow dog democrats. They have no principles whatsoever beyond what helps their party most at this exact moment.

  75. charon says:

    @bookdragon:

    some expansion on that theme – Tim F. at Balloon Juice:

    https://www.balloon-juice.com/2016/07/21/it-turned-into-a-ballroom-blitz/

  76. charon says:
  77. Andre Kenji says:

    @MBunge: Why was he supposed to endorse Trump?The parties in the United States are very decentralized and are relatively powerless. In Brazil, for instance, the party leadership can expurge party members for refusing to vote according to the leadership of the party, that´s not the case in the US.

    Reagan did not endorse Ford in 1976, there was the whole Democrats for Nixon in 1972.

    Trump supporters can argue that Cruz is weakening the nominee of their party but they are not entitled to his endorsement.

    And, yes, there is the whole issue of messing with his wife and his father.

  78. An Interested Party says:

    Do we now have Trump Derangement Syndrome…

    That’s amusing coming from someone who has dipped his/her toe (or perhaps even the entire foot or leg) into the pool of Hillary Derangement Syndrome…

  79. Barry says:

    @Andre Kenji: “Trump messed with Ted Cruz´s wife. With his f* wife. He also called Ted Cruz a liar. He should be grateful that Ted Cruz only trolled him during a speech because he could have been punched had he messed with the wife of other man.”

    Methinks that you are confusing Ted with a decent man.

  80. Hal_10000 says:

    I can see the point of the people praising Cruz. However, my feeling is that if you’re not gong to endorse the candidate, don’t speak. Many Republicans stayed away for precisely this reason. So while a part of me likes what Cruz did, the larger part thinks it was just Cruz being vain and self-centered. Again.

  81. Andre Kenji says:

    @Barry: Ted Cruz might be a POS. But I understand why he did that, and frankly, doing that for his wife was the most decent thing that he has done in a long, long time.

  82. MBunge says:

    @Andre Kenji: Why was he supposed to endorse Trump?

    Uh…why is Bernie supposed to endorse Hillary?

    Again, Cruz clearly and unarguably did not do it because he thinks Trump is unfit for the White House. He did it because…

    A. His widdle feelings were hurt.
    B. He stupidly thought publicly undercutting the GOP nominee in 2016 will help him become the GOP nominee in 2020.

    Just because you got a thrill over Cruz whizzing in Trump’s punch bowl, that shouldn’t blind you to what it really means.

    Mike

  83. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @steve s: I remember someone in my past saying that the difference between a sociopath in prison and a ruthless business person or politician is that the second type of sociopathy has figured out ways to make his disorder fit with the values of society. For those kinds of people, there truly may NOT be any such thing as bad publicity because they won’t eff it up the way arrogant arse hats like Hastert and Cosby did.

  84. michael reynolds says:

    @MBunge:

    Mike, do you seriously feel Trump is just another normal candidate? Jesus, man, even most educated Republicans despise him. Collaborating with him in any way is offering support for a fascist, for the most evil and dangerous presidential candidate in American history.

    This is not business as usual. This is all-hands-on-deck if you give a damn about liberty, not to mention the security of everyone within reach of our nuclear weapons.

    This is one of those rare moments in history when the United States lives or dies. Decorum? Party loyalty? Seriously?

  85. Pch101 says:

    @MBunge:

    He was also supposed to endorse Trump.

    You might want to get your information from, oh, I dunno, a news source:

    Cruz personally told Donald Trump Tuesday that he would not endorse him from the dais on Wednesday night. In Trump’s campaign, there was a glimmer of hope that his mind could be changed, that if the right messenger delivered the right appeal at the right time, that Trump could: unify the Republican Party.

    So Jason Miller, who a month ago spurned some Cruz associates by leaving his circle for the payroll of their arch-rival, picked up the phone.

    “Mr. Trump would really appreciate it — he would remember it — if we endorsed,” Miller told his former boss, Cruz campaign manager Jeff Roe, in Roe’s retelling.

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/21/politics/ted-cruz-non-endorsement-donald-trump/index.html

    So, no, apparently the Trump camp were well aware that Cruz would not be offering an endorsement. Not only did Trump’s people know it, but they also had a plan for dealing with it once their efforts to obtain that endorsement had failed, i.e. stirring up the crowd during Cruz’s speech.

    It should also be noted from this series that Trump lied yet again. He claimed that Cruz reneged on a deal, but it should be clear from the timeline that there was no such deal.

  86. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @CSK: Cruz wants the Big Enchilada, not being given the consolation prize of a Supreme Court nomination. Of course, in his mind, it’s his destiny to be President; but after two terms as president, why not a Supreme Court nomination? The man believes he has a divine destiny.

  87. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @michael reynolds: I understand. I can get nervous exhaustion from a ride through Place de l’Etoile in the back seat of a Paris taxicab, even sans teenagers.

  88. MBunge says:

    @michael reynolds: Mike, do you seriously feel Trump is just another normal candidate?

    Of course Trump isn’t a normal candidate. The point I keep trying to make is he’s the product of an abnormal environment which includes more than just Republicans. For example, the GOP money guys thought they could get people to support another Bush and while everbody is freaking out over Trump, nobody seems concerned that the Democrats are going to nominate probably the only candidate Trump might be able to beat.

    Mike

  89. MBunge says:

    @Pch101: So, no, apparently the Trump camp were well aware that Cruz would not be offering an endorsement

    Which other people previously brought up in this thread, including me when I referred to this whole thing as a “ploy” by the Trump campaign. Please try to keep up.

    I wrote that Cruz was supposed to endorse Trump because that’s what people in his situation are supposed to do, which is why some people who might not be big Trump supporters could still be really angry with Cruz. Jeb doesn’t support Trump. Neither does Kasich. But they understood that accepting a speaking slot at the convention and then not endorsing Trump would be seen as a jerk move by a lot of Republicans and hurt them politically.

    It always feels awkward to explain such obvious points, but you seem to be a little on the slow side so allowances must be made.

    Mike

  90. Mikey says:

    @MBunge:

    a jerk move

    I see you actually do understand Cruz. Of course it was a jerk move, because Cruz is the consummate jerk. The last thing he’s concerned with in this situation is what he’s “supposed to do.”

    Of course he was going to show up and deliberately piss everyone off, just like the scorpion will always sting the frog.

    What I don’t get is why you even care.

  91. Andre Kenji says:

    Reagan did not endorse Ford in 1976. Cruz could not “unify” the party because the party is not united, you´d just have to scroll over Redstate, National Review, The Federalist or any Conservative blog to note that.

  92. Andrew says:

    @Monala:

    I stand corrected.

  93. Loviatar says:

    @Mikey:

    What I don’t get is why you even care.

    He is working himself up to do something that he knows is wrong so he has to find “reasons.”

  94. Pch101 says:

    @MBunge:

    I wrote that Cruz was supposed to endorse Trump because that’s what people in his situation are supposed to do

    People in his situation take risks by endorsing Trump, since Trump is a party outsider who is disdained by key Republican constituents such as the folks who pay for the party, i.e. donors.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/2016-election/campaign-finance/

    This isn’t a normal situation. Hitching ones proverbial horse to Trump is likely to backfire. You seem not to grasp that it’s guys such as Chris Christie and Mike Pence who are taking the political risk.

    A freshman senator who began as a self-appointed leader of a fringe populist movement is positioning himself as a dominant voice within his party after only four years in office. Giving the finger to a guy who is going to stink like old cheese in November is smart for his career, and not a bad idea for the Republican party, either.

  95. Pch101 says:

    @Loviatar:

    He is working himself up to do something that he knows is wrong so he has to find “reasons.”

    I would just attribute it to bad analytical skills. He’s off-kilter much of the time.

  96. Andre Kenji says:

    @MBunge:

    Uh…why is Bernie supposed to endorse Hillary?

    He is not. If he does not endorse Hillary he can be blamed if Hillary loses, Democrats can retaliate against him if Hillary wins. But Hillary is not entitled to his endorsement.

  97. Kylopod says:

    @Pch101:

    Giving the finger to a guy who is going to stink like old cheese in November is smart for his career

    As I wrote upthread in my response to SKI, you are underestimating people’s capacity for delusion when dealing with election losses. A lot of Republicans, rather than seeing Cruz as having taken a brave stand against a rotten candidate, will instead view him as a backstabbing Judas who contributed to their party’s defeat.

    Trump isn’t a normal candidate but a lot of otherwise sane people have talked themselves into thinking of him as one. Imagine Bernie Sanders pulling a stunt like this at the Democratic Convention. When you consider the current factions of the GOP, it seems that any advantage Cruz would gain is far outweighed by those he has alienated.

    First, a sizable portion of the party does like Trump (say, the 40% who actually voted for him in the primaries), and Cruz has now made himself persona non grata among them. That in itself is a big deal, especially when considering there was previously a significant overlap between Cruz and Trump fans. Now he’s got no hope of picking up those voters in the next go-around, and he’s essentially trying to wed himself to the anti-Trump factions of the party, including many who already loathe Cruz.

    Even among those Republicans who don’t care for Trump or even outright despise him, many (if not most) still prefer him to Hillary Clinton and are therefore likely to be outraged by Cruz’s antics.

    There really is just one group whom Cruz may have impressed here, and that’s right-wing NeverTrumpers, represented by the likes of Erick Erickson or Sen. Ben Sasse–people whose hatred for Trump has reached the point of being willing to sacrifice their party’s chances at the White House this year to express it. I suspect this group is not very large, and unless the 2020 GOP field becomes as clogged as it was this year (which was probably a once-in-a-blue-moon situation), the winner will need a bigger coalition to get anywhere.

  98. Pch101 says:

    you are underestimating people’s capacity for delusion when dealing with election losses.

    Establishment Republicans, including the guys with the purse strings, are unhappy with Trump’s introduction of anti-trade rhetoric to the GOP platform.

    They are also unhappy with the degree to which Trump beats the anti-immigrant drum. (Some of it is acceptable, but at some point those people are needed to fill low-paying jobs provided by said donors.)

    Hence, the fundraising problem. The Republicans who matter the most don’t want this nominee. Trump poses a danger to the health of the party because the donors don’t trust him.

    There is no comparison to Bernie Sanders, as the Dems have chosen an establishment nominee.

    The equivalent to this would be for Sanders, someone who isn’t a Democrat, to have won the nomination even though most Democrats preferred somebody else. And even Sanders never could have gotten to the point within the Democratic party that Trump has reached with the GOP, as none of Sanders’ core ideas are completely alien to the Democratic platform. (Sanders may take his version of those ideas a lot further, but the core concepts are compatible enough with those of the Dem establishment.)

    This is not a normal election for the Republicans. Paul Ryan essentially told the crowd that they should vote for someone who isn’t Hillary while barely mentioning the name of who that was supposed to be; to refer to that as an endorsement would be a gross exaggeration. They are trying to cover all of their bases with these speeches in order to have something for everyone.

  99. Kylopod says:

    @Pch101:

    Establishment Republicans, including the guys with the purse strings, are unhappy with Trump’s introduction of anti-trade rhetoric to the GOP platform.

    The problem is that Cruz is about the worst vessel for attracting those sorts of Republicans. They literally can’t stand the guy. If it had been someone like Rubio or Kasich or Jeb–all orthodox conservatives reasonably popular with the GOP donor class–that would be a different story.

    (Of course it’s hard for me to imagine any of those candidates ever doing such a thing. Cruz’s penchant for self-aggrandizing stunts is a big part of why he’s so hated.)

  100. Pch101 says:

    @Kylopod:

    The point remains that there is more risk associated with getting into bed with Trump than not, which makes it an unusual election for Republicans because it is generally wise to support the candidate even if that candidate is likely to lose the election.

  101. Kylopod says:

    @Pch101: The risk is dependent on who we’re talking about, and how they go about it. It’s not surprising that elected Republicans from blue states (Charlie Baker, Mark Kirk) have generally been the boldest in refusing to endorse Trump. Then there’s someone like Chris Christie, whose political career in NJ is basically over, so there’s little risk to his hitching a ride on the Trump Train (apart from destroying any last shred of dignity he was ever once thought to possess).

    Also keep in mind that holding back an endorsement (as several Republican leaders have done) is one thing; actually attending the convention just to moon the Trumpists is quite another. It’s a very Cruzian thing to do, as his entire career has involved the use of conflict to promote himself. But for him, it merely reinforces his reputation as a factional bridge-burner. It reminds the Establishment folks why they hate him, and meanwhile it p!sses off the Trumpists big time.

  102. Pch101 says:

    meanwhile it p!sses off the Trumpists big time.

    They aren’t particularly relevant in the scheme of things. If anything, that should be seen as a plus.

  103. Kylopod says:

    @Pch101:

    They aren’t particularly relevant in the scheme of things.

    40% of the GOP electorate isn’t “relevant”? What are you smoking?

  104. Pch101 says:

    @Kylopod:

    So you think that it’s a great idea to appease the wing of the party that is (a) completely untrustworthy and impossible to please, (b) utterly unwilling to negotiate with the other factions within the party and (c) provides the worst possible opportunity for raising money.

    The GOP cannot go on with them, so it would be wise to cut them loose before they do even more damage.

    The guy who is smoking something is the one who believes that these Trump fans can possibly serve as viable partners within a coalition. They should be purged, not coddled.

  105. Eric Florack says:

    So the way I see it is this. If you’re complaining about Bernie Sanders selling out and complaining about Ted Cruz not selling out you might want to look up the word hypocritical in the dictionary. You may just find your picture next to it