Cruz tries to pull off a Reagan moment and misses by a mile
WASHINGTON – Welcome to Donald Trump’s to newest reality series better known as the “Republican National Convention.” The show hit day three and it was time for the man who was Trump’s biggest rival Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to make his long anticipated prime-time speech and as he took the stage as the crowd gave him a standing ovation. Cruz was on point and the crowd was with him as he was nearing the end of a 23 minute speech.
But then he took the air out of the building by declining to endorse Trump, instead telling Republicans to “vote your conscience.” His speech drew massive boos from the audience.
As both the New Jersey and New York delegations began a chorus of boos, it did not take long for the rest of the Quicken Loans Arena to turn on Cruz. Even staunch supporters of Cruz in his own home state of Texas were seen yelling their discontent for the senator from the Lone Star State.
While, the crowd booed Cruz, Trump entered the arena taking his seat in a skybox where he was all smiles, giving the crowd a thumbs up. The surreal scene concluded as Cruz left the stage while his wife Heidi was quickly ushered out of the building with the help of security as GOP officials felt she needed to be protected.
Cruz was attempting to pull a stunt that worked in 1976 for then candidate Ronald Reagan. He spoke at the convention much in the same way as Cruz did hitting all the high notes but then Reagan didn’t endorse the reelection bid of then President Gerald Ford.
Ford was beaten by his Democratic opponent Jimmy Carter and the Republicans quickly looked to the then California governor to rally the base. Reagan, would go on and win the Republican nomination pointing out that he never backed Ford because was not a true conservative. Unlike Reagan who was loved by many members of the GOP, Cruz was thought to be a traitor and his moment at least for now went south quickly.
One thing Cruz will not do is vote for Hillary Clinton, he said at a Texas delegation briefing Thursday morning, but said that he was not ready to back Donald Trump.
Cruz walked the Texas delegation through his thinking in giving Wednesday’s speech, saying that he had given the Trump campaign ample heads up that he was not planning to endorse the Republican Party nominee, and that they had spoken three days ago, when the Texas senator made clear that an endorsement would not be coming.
But he did not rule out an endorsement in the future.
“I am watching and listening to make that decision,” Cruz said. “The election isn’t today. What I don’t intend to do is go out and throw rocks at Donald. I don’t intend to criticism him.”
He went on to say. “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.
Nodding to the boos he received on Wednesday night as he left the convention stage, Cruz urged Trump supporters to “not just scream and yell and attack anyone who would dare question our candidates.”.