Trump schlonged: Cruz booed when doesn’t endorse Trump during RNC speech (Video)
To use the yiddish word he used during the primaries, Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump got schlonged at his own convention. By Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. You remember him. He’s the guy who was running against Trump and perceives himself as the country’s top conservative leader, the one whose father Trump suggested might have been involved in the JFK assassination. A funny thing happened to Trump on the way to his official political coronation: his camp gave Cruz time to speak and the convention — and Cruz made it clear he wouldn’t endorse Trump. So he got booed — giving him (for better or worse, depending on a Republican’s leanings) the image of someone who clearly would not endorse Trump and the Trumpublification of the Republican Party. Even worse, from the viewpoint of Trumpistas: Cruz said Republicans should vote their consciences.
It was a humiliation of a party’s nominee by a former competitor and ideological foe that we have not seen perhaps since New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller was booed by Goldwater supporters in 1964. I watched that convention live — and those boos lingered on in legend and news clips for decades to come.
These fireworks may burn a while, too:
Ted Cruz got a prime speaking slot at Donald Trump’s Republican National Convention on Wednesday, but he came and went from the stage without endorsing the party’s newly minted nominee.
The Texas senator not only failed to endorse Trump at any point during his 23-minute remarks, he also encouraged Republicans to “vote their conscience.”
“To those listening, please, don’t stay home in November,” Cruz said, a plea that suggested he was about to endorse Trump. But he didn’t.
“If you love our country and love your children as much as I know that you do, stand and speak and vote your conscience,” Cruz said. “Vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.”
When it became clear that Cruz was not was not offering a direct endorsement, the crowd broke out in boos that continued for the balance of Cruz’s remarks, shouting “We want Trump” as Cruz wrapped his speech.
And that wasn’t the only interruption. Toward the end of Cruz’s remarks, Trump himself made a previously unannounced entrance into the arena, prompting cheers and pulling the attention away from the main stage.
Republicans were livid with Cruz for declining to endorse. Mississippi state Rep. Becky Currie blasted Cruz, calling him “stupid” after proving that he “apparently only thinks of himself.”’
Some accounts, such as The Huffington Post’s note how Trump upstaged Cruz. But is that what will be remembered? Here’s some of the Huffington Post piece:
Critics will say that he had tried to be too clever by half. But the truth is, much of Wednesday night’s drama shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Over the course of the week at the Republican National Convention, one of the more entertaining side shows has been the battle among Republican elites to position themselves for the 2020 election. And no politician has been on the receiving end of more of that 2020 chatter ? facilitated, in part, by his top adviser ? than Cruz.
The Texas senator is naturally positioned to emerge from the wake of a Trump electoral defeat, should that loss transpire. He won the second most delegates during the 2016 primary, and as the most high-profile conservative in the party, he gives GOP voters a chance to move on from a Trump loss without moving ideologically to the middle.
Cruz has carefully fed the chatter. Well before he took the stage, it was leaked that he would not formally back Trump, in a speech he reportedly wrote himself. Part of it, naturally, is that the Trump campaign treated him like hell during the primary, mocking his wife, suggesting he had engaged in multiple affairs, and saying his father hobnobbed with Lee Harvey Oswald. But part of it is also because he wants to emerge as the candidate regretful Republicans turn to after the fall.
“Gotta give the guy credit. That’s stand-up. I’ve got to give him credit for his integrity to hold up and hold his own chops,” said a Wyoming delegate who said he was originally bound to Cruz. “At the same time, I know that he’s a good Republican and he’s going to back the Republican Party. And I’ve got to say, he’s not alone in this. He is by far from being alone.”
But by letting it be known early on that he would not formally endorse, Cruz also gave the Trump campaign plenty of time to prepare.
However, a few months or years from now will historians note Trump coming in for an unscheduled appearance? Or Cruz refusing to endorse Trump, telling GOPers to vote their conscience, letting himself be booed and setting himself up for 2020 — which one report says he is clearly planning to do, even if Trump is elected President.
For the first time in 36 years, there was a vote on the floor of a party’s nominating convention this past Monday that actually held an element of suspense.
In the hour or so ahead of a vote in which insurgents were attempting to reset the convention rules, Republican National Committee operatives circulated the floor and the back halls of Quicken Loans Arena, buttonholing delegates to argue why they should retract support for the motion, and getting them to sign their names to withdrawal forms. Trump aides, by contrast, bullied delegates with vague and ineffective threats.
In one corner of the arena floor, near CNN’s broadcast booth, delegates from the District of Columbia listened to appeals from high-ranking RNC officials.
The RNC’s argument to the D.C. delegates boiled down to this: A vote for the rules reset would open the door to Ted Cruz becoming the GOP’s nominee four years from now.
Cruz is already laying the groundwork for another run for president in 2020, but a top RNC official told Yahoo News that they expect him to run even if Donald Trump becomes president this fall. That would represent the first major challenge of an incumbent president from inside his own party since Teddy Kennedy ran against President Jimmy Carter in 1980.
“If Trump wins, you better bet your ass Cruz is going to primary him,” the RNC official told Yahoo News.
And so the RNC officials told D.C. delegates that a rules reset would open the door to an effort by a key Cruz ally, former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, to close primary contests in several states to independent and Democratic voters. Cuccinelli and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, pushed for the closed primary in the convention rules committee meeting last week.
Closed primaries would exclude independents and limit the nomination process to registered Republicans, a more conservative voting group overall, which would favor Cruz.
But the bottom line on Cruz’s big night is in the end — like him or not — he came across as someone who stood on principle, and the Trump campaign seemed to have bungled it again. Dick Polman notes:
I suppose it was bad form for Cruz not to play the good sport for the sake of party unity. I suppose it was an unseemingly raw calculation, to basically bet that Trump is doomed this fall, so why not deliver a speech on enduring party principles, a thematic speech that serves as his opening salvo for the 2020 nomination. I suppose that looks selfish, and some Republicans will long remember that.
On the other hand, put yourself in Cruz’s place. Would you endorse a guy who maligned your wife’s looks? Who accused your father of assisting the assassination of JFK? Who repeatedly assaulted your character, calling you a serial liar every day? Quite possibly not.
You might say: Wait a minute. Cruz is a politician, and he knows darn well that politics ain’t beanbag because he himself plays it rough – so why should he be so sensitive?
Think of it this way: As a politician, he understands the value of sticking to his principles. And he arriculated one of those principles back on May 3, when he accurately critiqued Trump’s character: “This man is a pathological liar. He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically evey word that comes out of his mouth.” He also called Trump “a serial philanderer” and narcissist.
Tonight, he didn’t want to eat or amend those words. Good for him, even though he dissed tradition.
Actually, the mystery is why Team Trump gave him such a prominent prime-time slot, apparently without first securing Cruz’s promise to kiss the ring. Did the campaign vet this speech in advance? (Reportedly, it did.) Did Team Trump screw up yet again, this time ensuring that an ugly conflict, another disunity freak show, would be the story of the night, topping the appearance of the vice presidential nominee? I think we know.
The evening’s YUGE moment was not one created by Donald Trump.
Here’s the part of the speech where Cruz is booed:
Here’s his full speech:
A CROSS SECTION OF TWEETS (note that they are not coming out as embeds)
The look on the Trumps faces as they watched Cruz’s speech pic.twitter.com/0FoGaoM9Xp
— Jon Passantino (@passantino) July 21, 2016
— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) July 21, 2016
— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) July 21, 2016
Steve King told me Trump delegates weren't respectful of Ted Cruz and their actions make it harder for him to back Trump
— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) July 21, 2016
Yep. Never good to be booed, but Cruz placed a bet tonight. A year from now, it could be a good one. https://t.co/eK5Q0Ipd6H
— Teddy Schleifer (@teddyschleifer) July 21, 2016
Steve Schmidt speaking truth – Cruz is the story of the night.
— Armando (@armandodkos) July 21, 2016
Not endorsing Trump is literally the only thing Ted Cruz has ever done that I don't detest. #RNCinCLE
— Harold Cook (@HCookAustin) July 21, 2016
Once again, Cruz didn't deviate from the embargoed remarks organizers released before speech — knew it was coming https://t.co/AEblNBKmOZ
— Mark Murray (@mmurraypolitics) July 21, 2016
Chris Matthews actually comes up with a powerful image: "Cruz left a ship he wants to see sink." Indeed–he doesn't want to wait until 2024.
— Richard Yeselson (@yeselson) July 21, 2016
"When you leave a ship, you want it to sink. That's what Cruz did tonight." -Chris Matthews, apparently unfamiliar with ships
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) July 21, 2016
The RNC cleared Cruz's speech. That has to mean some seriously, seriously unhappy staffers. #RNCinCLE
— Liz Mair (@LizMair) July 21, 2016