Well, Ted Cruz made his convention speech, all right.
I had a conversation with a friend about what he might do and my prediction was that Cruz's speech would mostly be an attempt to set himself up for 2020. Cruz could, of course be the one guy who could unify the party and at the same time position himself for a future run. If nothing else, just the fact that he kept his word to support the GOP nominee would mean a lot to people down the line.
That's the choice Reagan made after he was robbed of the nomination in 1976, and he manned up and worked hard for Gerald Ford. I personally think it helped Ronaldus Maximus a great deal in 1980.
Cruz is a very different kind of man, and I use the term loosely where's he's concerned.
The speech itself was basically boilerplate, and at least listenable for awhile because someone finally convinced Cruz somehow to drop the faux-preacher delivery this time that's always been a dead giveaway.
He got away with a lot of cute little lies, like trashing the Iran deal when it was Ted Cruz who voted for the Corker Amendment that allowed Obama to shove it through the senate. Or Cruz talking about how bad out of control offshoring and illegal migration is. It was Marco Rubio who pointed out Cruz's curious record on illegal migration in the debates and stumped him. And you don't get more globalist or pro offshoring than Cruz's choice of running mate, globalist shill Carly Fiorina. And of course, Cruz wasn't going to mention that he helped Obama fast track TPP, and lobbied heavily to increase H1B visas that throw Americans out of work in favor of cheaper foreign labor.
But I was prepared to let him get away with this horse manure because I hoped that just this once, he'd be concerned with something other than Ted Cruz. Silly me.
After talking about how we need leaders who stand for what he called 'shared principles,' Cruz told people not to stay home in November, which the crowd took as a lead in to his endorsing Donald Trump. Instead, he told essentially told people not to vote for Donald Trump with a line he threw in that was missing from the copy of the speech he submitted to Trump and the convention..."Vote your conscience."
Here's what happened after Cruz came out with this beauty..he was literally booed off the stage amid chants of “We want Trump!”
Typical Cruz moment... when the boos started, he flashed that sickly cobra smile of his and said, "I appreciate the enthusiasm of the New York delegation." Except it wasn't just New York as you can see from the video. But Cruz just stood there, smiling that creepy smile that reminded me of nothing so much as Humphrey Bogart's Captain Queeg in 'The Caine Mutiny' smiling while telling the court martial all about the non-existent key and the strawberries. Because like Queeg, Ted Cruz is always right. All that was missing is the little metal balls rattling in his hands.
Even most of the Texas delegation was fed up with him:
Fortunately, Trump and Ivanka appeared to hear Eric Trump speak, and the angry crowd was diverted, which is why you can hear the loud cheers at the end.
The fallout didn't stop there. Back stage, many of Cruz's supporters were visibly angry with him, as the Politico, CNN's Dana Bash and the AP reported. Cruz was refused entry to Sheldon Adelson's Skybox loaded with Republican conservative donors and strategists and was told simply to get out, that 'you don't belong here after what you just did.'
Another well known, long time Cruz backer was reportedly so angry he had to be physically restrained from assaulting the senator, and Heidi Cruz was heckled so badly she had to be hustled out of the arena by security.
The fun didn't end there either. Apparently the Texas delegation holds a traditional breakfast the morning after every convention roll call, and it's usually a pretty easygoing affair. It wasn't this time. Ted Cruz attended to try and make up some lost ground and the delegates called him to account for his behavior, as the New York Times reported:
Repeatedly, the taunts rained down on him.
“Sit down!” one man said, before a “Clinton-Cruz 2020” sign was raised.
“You need to do it now!” shouted another.
“Do it!” yelled a third. “Do it now!”
The episode supplied another vivid demonstration of a party sharply at odds during a moment historically reserved for unity, a snapshot of a convention hurtling into chaos in what was intended to be a celebratory week.
When attendees pointed out Mr. Cruz’s past pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee, Mr. Cruz, under duress throughout 25 minutes of heated questioning, suggested that any agreement was “abrogated” when Mr. Trump attacked his family.
“I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father,” he said, adding that he was not a “servile puppy dog.”
(Quite a give away, since it proved it wasn't about Cruz's principles, but all about him. - ed. note)
A man in the back hollered at the stage: “You’ve got to get over it. This is politics.”
One attendee, Thomas Mathis, said loudly that he was helping to elect Hillary Clinton and demonstratively turned his back, facing a table of beverages, as Mr. Cruz pressed on.
Another guest, Shawn McAnelly, who twice shouted at Mr. Cruz, was warned by security that if he did so again, he would be ejected.
Mr. Cruz sought to depict his critics as reflective of two men considered boogeymen for hard-line conservatives: John Boehner and Mitch McConnell.
He suggested that the calls to endorse under any circumstances reminded him of Washington ethos of “sit down, shut up, just support the team.”
“If that’s the price, I ain’t gonna do it,” he said.
Other members of the Texas delegation made no attempt to mask their anger at Mr. Cruz, who rose to political stardom with his attacks on other Republicans.
“It’s consistent behavior from him,” Representative Pete Sessions said before Mr. Cruz spoke on Thursday, adding, “He continued what he is — it’s about Ted.”
Representative Jeb Hensarling told reporters that Mr. Cruz had delivered the beginnings of an effective speech on Wednesday night and then “missed a two-foot putt” at the end.
The criticism was particularly striking, given that Mr. Cruz will need the support of the activists and officials in the room here when he seeks renomination to his Senate seat in less than two years.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who spoke earlier endorsing Donald Trump said it exactly right..."If You're not voting for Donald Trump, you're voting for Hillary."
There's no doubt in my mind that Governor Walker, an uncommonly brave and principled man will work his heart out to get Donald Trump elected. What a contrast to the subject of this story!
The latest attempt by the #neverTrumpers to whitewash this was a series of articles by the usual suspects especially at places like the rapidly sinking NRO. According to their line of - well, I censor myself -why no-oo, Ted Cruz didn’t say anything negative about Donald Trump. 'Vote your conscience' never meant don't vote for Donald Trump, Trump supporters just chose to take it that way. And say, if Trump is such a great, principled guy and it didn't apply to him, then why are you complaining, hmmm?'
Oh, please. Everybody knew exactly what 'vote your conscience' meant after Cruz delivered it with his signature smirk. Even Hillary Clinton got it and tweeted the phrase right after Cruz uttered it, likely cackling while she did it. So did every delegate on the the floor and Cruz caught hell for it even from a lot of his own people. Ted Cruz essentially endorsed Hillary Clinton, with all that portends. She knew it, and so did everyone else.
Vote your conscience. http://hillaryclinton.com/vote
It was a sick, shameful exhibition of a man putting his own ego before country, let alone party.
I'm sick and tired of people defending this malignant narcissist. This was Trump's convention, he earned it fair and square and if Cruz didn't want to do the right thing, he should have stayed home just like John Kasich, Jeb!, and Lindsay Graham.
Donald Trump showed some real strategy smarts in how he handled this. Cruz wanted a speaking slot and Trump agreed he could have one, even giving him one in prime time. Trump had held out an olive branch to Ted Cruz before when the campaign ended only to have his hand slapped away, but perhaps he figured that given time to get over himself, Ted Cruz might actually do what he pledged to do, swallow hard and support the nominee. That, by the way is how winners behave. They give people the opportunity to come around and do the right thing.
Instead Cruz saw this as an opportunity to do whatever he could to help Hillary Clinton torpedo Donald Trump, figuring the party would rally around him in 2020.
When Trump's people received the speech Cruz planned to give, Cruz's invitation could have been rescinded. It certainly would have if it was Hillary's convention. But Trump wisely let it go through.
He gave Ted Cruz enough rope to hang himself in front of the entire party and millions of voters on prime time television. It actually unified the party by showing people the real Ted Cruz.
The Ready For Hillary #NeverTrump diehards will still worship him, but a lot of people who used to support him now see Ted Cruz for what he is.
2020? I doubt he even gets re-elected to the senate in 2018.