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Ted Cruz’s Act of Defiance

The Texas senator undercut his own party’s nominee in perhaps the most public way possible.

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Ted Cruz reacts to the crowd after his speech to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on Wednesday night.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The third day of the Republican National Convention was a dramatic one. Donald Trump began the day as the party’s official presidential nominee, and apparently, under the impression that stifling dissent is tantamount to achieving unity. Ted Cruz showed him otherwise.

The Texas senator began his speech by congratulating Trump on winning the nomination, and went on to talk about the conservative principles that he would like to see prevail in November. Some delegates, apparently, were expecting this to culminate in an endorsement of Trump’s bid for the presidency. It did not. Rather Cruz called on Republicans to “vote your conscience” in November; to vote for candidates “who you trust” to defend the Constitution. Trump supporters in the arena interpreted those lines as a direct snub of their candidate. Near the end of Cruz’s speech, Trump emerged from backstage with an angry glower on this face as delegates hurled boos at Cruz, who was standing right in front of them refusing to give in to their demands.

Trump and his surrogates spent the rest of the night, and most of this morning thus far, denouncing Cruz on various media outlets as a weasel who lied to the candidate and the country; an ambitious opportunist who could have helped unify the party but decided to prioritize his own ambition; a creep with no friends in Washington who just committed political suicide, and so on. I’m not sure why they consider that a good strategy for Trump, whose campaign was trailing Hillary Clinton’s in polls well before Cruz took the stage. They may be looking to scapegoat Cruz for their defeat in November, but if I were them I’d be focused on avoiding the humiliation of a landslide defeat.

Setting aside the political strategy, Trump supporters’ criticisms of Cruz are wrong. If Trump was banking on Cruz’s endorsement he has only himself to blame for that. Sources close to both Cruz and Trump have said that Trump knew, prior to last night, that Cruz was not going to endorse Trump; Trump’s supporters have cited that as evidence of Trump’s graciousness, despite the fact that in doing so they flatly contradict their argument that Cruz played a dirty trick on Trump. Beyond that, though, they could have easily anticipated that Cruz, unlike so many other Republican officials, would refuse to comply on this point. I reported in May that Cruz was almost certainly not going to back Trump. Cruz had specified certain criteria about character and intentions that Trump could not meet. I made the same prediction last week, on the eve of the convention, and again yesterday afternoon, during a “thank you” event Cruz held for his delegates, at which he had, similarly, called for fidelity to principles and encouraged everyone to vote their conscience. Some of the delegates there yesterday, incidentally, told me that they would support Trump in the general, even though they had supported Cruz in the primary; some may have been taken aback by his remarks last night, but most warmly applauded his very similar remarks yesterday afternoon.

It’s true that during the primary Cruz did sign a pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee. And although Trump is hardly in a position to insist that the pledge was inviolate, we shouldn’t hold Cruz to Trump’s debased standard. We can, however, fairly consider the point that Cruz made this morning to the Texas delegation: when he signed the pledge, it was under the assumption, which subsequently proved naive, that the eventual nominee wouldn’t have directly attacked his wife and father.

We should also consider that Trump is offering nothing other than the pledge as evidence that he is entitled to an endorsement. As I’ve pointed out before, Cruz’s criteria for endorsing a candidate weren’t exactly that stringent. If Trump can’t credibly claim that he can be trusted as commander in chief, no one should be endorsing him for president, surely. And yet just last night, as Trump’s surrogates were berating Cruz all over cable television programs, the news came out that Trump doesn’t see why America should honor its commitments under NATO—a treaty that can, ironically, be considered a sort of pledge and a vitally important one.

None of that, of course, will be sufficient to exonerate Cruz in the eyes of his critics, who have been pouring scorn on him since last night. In some cases, their criticisms can be dismissed as ideologically or personally motivated. Chris Christie, for example, may sincerely have felt that Cruz’s speech was “awful” and “selfish,” as he told CNN’s Theodore Schleifer. Alternatively, he may have merely been uncomfortable watching Cruz illustrate that the craven path chosen by Christie, and many others, was not the only one available. And some of Cruz’s critics are grousing, more generally, that his decision to publicly defy the party’s 2016 nominee was proof that he threw Trump under the bus in order to establish himself as the leading candidate for the nomination in 2020. That line of criticism is impossible to falsify; Cruz clearly plans to run for president again in 2020, and watching his speech at the state convention in May, I had the impression that he wouldn’t hesitate to do so even if Trump wins in November.

Worth considering, though, is that what Cruz said in an interview with me back in May was more or less exactly what he said last night—even though, at the time, Trump was widely considered a more competitive general election candidate than he is today; many people were still under the impression that he would “pivot” to the general election, and perhaps even expand the party. Also worth considering is that regardless of what happens in November, Cruz took a major risk last night. With so many of his peers having issued their endorsements of Trump, grudgingly or not, there would have been no real downside to him from doing the same. As it stands, he’s out on a limb, nearly alone. He’s in good company, with Republicans like Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush, but it’s a small company, and Cruz is the only member who is likely to run for president again. If so, he can expect to be criticized for having helped Hillary Clinton get elected, even though the blame for that will clearly belong with the Republican Party, which has now nominated Donald Trump.

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  • John Bernard Books

    Man of principles…

  • WUSRPH

    Cruz’s supporters will claim that his speech proves he is a man of his word who will not bend his principles to suit the need of the moment. His haters or which there are probably a few more after last night, will say it was an attempt to undermine Trump to open the door for Cruz to run again in 2020. Both may be right.

    Whatever it was….it was one of those rare events when a public official is willing to stand up and take the hate for “telling it like it is”…

    Although I will never support Cruz….it was a welcome sight to see someone stand up and say NO to Trump rather than bow down before the claim of “party loyalty”. We honor those who show political courage in this country because it is so rare. Last night was one of those rare events. Cruz knew he would be condemned and attacked, but he did it anyway. It is strange that some of those, such as JJ, who almost constantly attack those who “go along to get along” as being totally without principles are now screaming the loudest. It is also likely that some of those attacking Cruz are doing so because of their shame that they were not able to do the same.

    In many ways, it reminded me of the “old days” when attacks on the honor of a man or his family were considered out-of-line and subject to public rebuke. Today we are all supposed to just “get over it”….as if it is “all part of the game”…..Well, to me—-and perhaps to Ted Cruz—there are still some lines that cannot be crossed without a response. The basic question is, if a man has no honor or refuses to defend it, what good is he?

    • txasslm

      Splendid response and oh so true.

    • Unwound

      my god, im going to be sick with everyone lauding ted cruz as some sort of sterling example of decency. hes making a political calculation here. his policies are repulsive and so is his personality, and unlike trump, he actually believes in them. he deserves no praise.

      • Sacagewea

        Not me.

    • space2k

      Honor? This was just a typically self-serving move by Cruz. A President Hillary scenario is in every way better for his future, and that’s all that matters to him. I expect that he won’t even join in the GOP’s attacks on Clinton in the fall (though he might teach us more about “love”). After all, narcissists love nothing more than to say “I told you so”.

      • John Johnson

        Bingo.

      • WUSRPH

        I suspect you will see Cruz hitting the campaign trail this fall to speak for any and all GOP candidates down the ballot who will welcome his support. He needs to show that he has not rejected the party to have any kind of a future.

    • BCinBCS

      Right on, W.
      Too bad that the example of respecting honor had to be Ted Cruz but it is what it is,

  • Rachel Flanagan

    What the Texas Monthly calls an “Act of Defiance,” many of us are calling sour grapes.

    Ted Cruz who clings to the Constitution, whilst stripping away the rights of the average American.
    Ted Cruz who doesn’t think American’s have a right to now if they’re eating GM foods.
    Ted Cruz, like Hillary Clinton who was for the TPP, before it became unpopular, and are now against it.
    Both Cruz and Clinton are globalists, and bad for America.

  • Vik Verma

    I’m never going to be a fan of Ted. But at least he can leave this convention being his own guy, unlike the Christies, Pences, Rubios, and Gingrichs of the world who just shamelessly became sheeplike Trump sycophants. Pence got a VP nomination that saved him from a competitive re-election campaign for governor. The rest of them? Nothing. And they will be no sympathy from me for that

    • space2k

      The only difference between them is that they see different answers to the question “What is best for me?”

      • Vik Verma

        That will always be true for everybody. Cruz just did it better than all of these hapless sycophants. He is a good politician, even if I disagree with him on virtually every issue

  • WUSRPH

    Trump’s new foreign policy declaration: America will fight to preserve all the freedom you are willing to buy…..

    I thought the price of preserving liberty, as our founders put it, was “eternal vigilance” but to Trump it is the Dollar Sign.

    Goodbye Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia and anyone else who is not willing to meet his price.

    • Kozmo

      I’m not going to defend hypothetical Russian aggression, but really, when did it become the duty of the USA to police the world and protect every single nation? (At least the ones that we think “matter”). We’re not being altruistic, we’re mainly being hypocritical. We don’t intervene unless there’s monetary gain to be had by US business interests, or to enforce an American view of global hegemony (and woe to the nation that dares stand in our way). And what NATO is really about these days is being a Big Stick to threaten the Russians with encirclement.

      Let the Europeans form their own defensive alliance to look after the Balts and the others, they’re rich and powerful enough, or would be if Uncle Sam insisted they stand on their own feet. But then, Uncle Sam likes being the unquestioned paterfamilias and has, since 1945, actively resisted European independence and first sought to undercut the French and British empires, then take their places. And the Europeans also, by and large, are sick of war and prefer to spend their treasure on bettering the lives of their citizens and advancing their societies, while the US’ critical needs go underfunded in the face of the vast money-suck of the National Security State and the Pentagon.

      • WUSRPH

        I’m an not about to defend all the actions of the United States over the last 70 years. We have been wrong on some occasions and we deserve criticism for those acts. But your attack on us is about as leftist andrevisionist as I have seen in years. We acted, sometimes to our own detriment, because we saw a world in chaos after WWII and found ourselves as the only power able to defend basic human liberties. We overreacted on occasion, but I believe that history will recognize that our intentions were good and, in general, the outcome bettered the world. You see, unlike you, I believe that our history, our constitution, our declaration and our basic beliefs in the rule of law do make us a different and better nation. I am sorry that you do not.

      • Oh yes, let’s return to the good old bad old days of the Cold War with the Soviets…

        Have we made mistakes in foreign policy in the past? Absolutely. Is being part of Nato one of them? IMO no. Alienating our allies by threatening to break treaties* to stroke someone’s ego? Epically disastrous.

        *Does the President even have that power? I know he can’t enter the US into a treaty without the approval of Congress but can he break one?

        • Beerman

          As someone else said, Ronald Reagan must be spinning in his grave with the Presidential candidate from the GOP inviting Putin to put the wall up again.

          Oops, I forgot, Mr. Trump is going “to fix everything.”

  • You know that I am no fan of Ted Cruz. I do not like his policies, the way he wears his faith publicly like a badge of honor, or the way he tends to only represent those that agree with him.

    However, he stood up and defended his honor, the honor of his wife, his father, the rest of his family and ultimately, the honor of our state. It takes a lot of courage to stand up to a bully as powerful as Trump. Was it self-serving? Perhaps, but does it matter if it was, when it was obviously the right thing to do? He essentially committed political suicide by not openly or even quietly endorsing Trump. He made those “leaders” who endorsed Trump look like shallow unprincipled cowards. They are, but he stood up on that national stage and proved just how cowardly they are with his show of courage. I can say for the first time ever, not only do I support Ted Cruz for today, I can say I am proud, at least in this moment, that he represents Texas.

    Cruz could have opted out of the convention, declined to speak, and walked away from it with no repercussions what so ever, but he didn’t. He chose to speak, he submitted his speech days ago and followed it. The Trump staff, the RNC, allowed it even knowing what he would say. Maybe they though that he would soften his rhetoric once he was in front of the podium with the eyes of the convention and nation on him. Maybe they thought that his speech would engender sympathy for Trump among those republicans who are on the fence. I bet that the convention organizers are wishing that they had rescinded their invitation to allow Cruz to speak.

    It is my fervent hope that the Republican leaders who have not endorsed Trump, those that boycotted the convention will now stand up and publicly denounce Trump for the danger that he is to not just the GOP – but to the nation as a whole.

    If I have one quibble with Cruz is that he did not go far enough, that I would have liked to have heard him say I can not and will not support or endorse Donald Trump as the Republican Nominee. I understand why he didn’t, that he took the high road in not using harsher language or explicitly stating his stance. If he had used such a bald statement it would definitely have given the impression of sour grapes. As it was, he was gracious and humble in declining to endorse Trump.

    • John Johnson

      Cruz’s staff start the wife war; his staff pulled slimy campaign tactics on Carson and Rubio. Ted used plausible deniability as an excuse…and then righteous indignation regarding wife knocking as his reason for not supporting Trump. Cruz is a phoney. Even major Evangelical leaders abandoned him. Stick a fork in him; he’s done.

      • Oh stop with the Trump apologetics. Or, keep picking up the crap and flinging it – I hope you’re wearing waders while you’re at it though.

        You have gotten as bad as JBB at not reading what you are replying to. You emphatically state you don’t care what we think of you – well not only do I not care what you think of me personally – I also don’t care about the drivel you continue to post that has absolutely nothing to do with the posts you are replying to.

        So my response to what you posted above is

        Whatever…

        • John Johnson

          Hahaha. “You can lead a nag to water but you can’t make her drink.” I was right on topic. I’m trying to broaden your scope and get you to start thinking objectively. I am one of the few here who have, at one time or another, been critical of most all candidates at one time or another.

          • donuthin2

            You are right about one thing. You are consistently inconsistent.

          • Sacagewea

            No. He is rigidly consistent.

      • Vik Verma

        He always has been a phony. That isn’t new

      • Bad Blood

        Cruz’s staff did not start the wife war. Cruz’s staff did not pull slimy campaign tactics on Carson and Rubio. Donald would like you to believe those things, but they aren’t true.

        • John Johnson

          Says who? I watched all of that unfold. I saw the Cruz initiated slam on Melania as a past Victoria’s Secret model; I read and heard the breaking news as Carson and Rubio camps railed on Cruz’s dirty tricks. Where were you?

          • Bad Blood

            Cruz had nothing to do with the model attack. You know that. You choose to pretend he did alway.

            Cruz had nothing to do with CNN reporting Carson was suspending campaign right before the Iowa caucuses started. Staff relayed that report around. You know that. You choose to pretend he engaged in dirty tricks anyway.

            Look, if you want to believe the crap you’ve been spoon-fed by the Trump campaign, that’s fine. But I won’t.

          • John Johnson

            Hey, I know you are upset, just like Erica, but don’t kill the messenger. Your guy is done. He goes more insignificant by the minute.

          • Bad Blood

            I’m not upset in the least. At least not about Ted. I’m upset our country has to choose between two terrible options for President.

            And for someone who is getting more insignificant, y’all sure do care about who he does or doesn’t endorse a whole lot. If he were as insignificant as you claim, y’all’d be a lot more quiet — which I actually wouldn’t mind.

          • WUSRPH

            No one is saying that Cruz is some sort of Martin Luther making a “Here I stand. I can do no other” declaration… Nor is he some sinless altar boy. But what he did….for whatever reason….took guts.

            P.S. I’ll hold you to that “prognostication” in 2018 and later.

        • Sacagewea

          The Cruz campaign – either directly or indirectly – caused an image of Melania, nude on a fur rug, to be sent around to the voters in Iowa before Trump retaliated.

          • Bad Blood

            Yeah, no. That’s 100% false. 1) It wasn’t sent to Iowa. It was sent to Utah. 2) It was done by a PAC that was Anti-Trump. It wasn’t a Cruz PAC. In fact, that PAC was more supportive of Walker before he got out.

          • Bad Blood

            Cruz had nothing, NOTHING, directly or indirectly to do with it, and unless you have evidence to the contrary, you should stop alleging crimes because that’s exactly what it is.

          • Sacagewea

            Even Ms. G. agreed it was a Cruz superpac.

          • Bad Blood

            Then Erica is mistaken. The Make America Awesome Again super PAC was not a Cruz super PAC.

          • Sacagewea

            It was an anti-Trump super pac. All same-same, dude. And it was Iowa:

            http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/03/heidi-cruz-donald-trump-melania

          • Bad Blood

            Dude, can you read? the story you link says it is Utah. Also, pro-Cruz and anti-Trump super PACs are actually very different entities.

          • Sacagewea

            Iowa, Utah . . . The point is Cruz started the attacks on spouses, not Trump. (Iowa was where Cruz’s staff spread the rumor that Carson was dropping out.)

            If you think superpacs are not in contact with campaigns, you’re naive.

            I’ll never vote for either of them.

          • Sacagewea

            Do your homework. It was Iowa.

          • Bad Blood
  • Wilson James

    Not a fan of Cruz, at all. And I think he ruined any chance of either the GOP establishment or the wacko contingent ever supporting him. That said, he did what turned out to be right, even though I do not believe for a minute it was about his family.

    • Vik Verma

      The establishment never supported him anyway. And the wackos can always come back out of convenience

  • Rules of Blazon

    “I’m in ur base, killin ur d00dz”

    Gotta hand it to the oleaginous little puke. That was epic. Won’t get him anywhere, but soooooo fun to watch, especially the fallout.

  • Kozmo

    Commentary on The Salon speculates this is merely the first shot of the 2020 presidential campaign of Ted Cruz, http://www.salon.com/2016/07/21/the_2020_race_has_already_begun_ted_cruz_turns_the_rnc_upside_down_and_starts_a_new_race_to_the_white_house/

    But I expect the Bush dynasts to also continue to insist on their heritable right to the White House.

  • Beerman

    I do not care for Ted Cruz; however, I respect his decision to not genuflect to Ceasar. The biggest challenge for Cruz will be his Senatorial election in 2018. I believe his religious zealotry, used as a political weapon, is incompatible with democracy, and Texan are fed up with his opportunism and arrogance.

    • John Johnson

      Bingo.

    • Gunslinger

      I heartily agree with most all you wrote. Except for what you said about 2018 and Texans being “fed up.” 2018 won’t be a problem for Ted at all. Not one bit.

      • dave in texas

        The only way 2018 will be a problem for him is if somebody even further right (I know, I know, but stay with me here) comes out before the primary and reminds people that Cruz was the Establishment’s candidate at the end of the 2016 primary process. Being the establishment’s man is a good way to lose a primary in Texas.

        • Gunslinger

          Very true, Dave. But in all reality, who in Texas would go up against Cruz? Who could plausibly come at him from the right? Patrick? No. Cruz holds all the advantages and would crush him. Cruz is still the heavy favorite here. And I don’t think anyone could call Cruz the “establishment’s man” and offer up any legit proof for it. (Not that Texans require much proof to believe anything, but you know what I mean.)

          • Bad Blood

            Roger Stone and Alex Jones are apparently trying to find someone to try. If nothing else, it would be comical.

          • Gunslinger

            Oh, they’ll find some oddball like CJ Grisham or someone…but no one with a chance.

          • dave in texas

            Excellent points all. I was mainly going for the snark there. But there were a *lot* of stories out there about him being the last best hope of the establishment to somehow keep Trump from being the nominee, including a couple right in this very publication. But do I think there’s a legitimate challenger out there? Nah.

          • wessexmom

            Cruz v Patrick? Dark v Darker? Hmm.

          • Wilson James

            Lordy. The U.S. would build that wall: around Texas.

          • Unwound

            i wouldnt bet so heavy against patrick running, or winning for that matter.

          • Gunslinger

            I don’t think Cruz is weak enough for Patrick to run against. I think Cornyn would be an easier target. And Abbott would be a much easier target than Cornyn. I don’t underestimate Patrick’s desire for more power, but I do think he knows who the low-hanging fruits are. What do you think, Unwound?

          • Sacagewea

            Cruz is smarter than Patrick.

        • John Johnson

          Agree

        • AlmostNormalTexan

          “Establishment” is a fungible term. Look at the Legislature. A Republican lawmaker gets primaried for “selling out”/”compromising” and gets replaced by a “grassroots conservative.” 2-4 years later, that new lawmaker now has a target on his back from some other “outsider.”

          If you couldn’t win a primary as part of the Establishment, there would be no Establishment. Joe Strauss, Charlie Geren and a few other “Establishment” Republicans would disagree with your assertion.

      • Beerman

        Many folks are “fed up” with Cruz’s bluster and belligerence toward fellow Senators. He has accomplished zero for Texas during his term in office. The WSJ evaluation of his Senate career is very simple: “Cruz’s naked pursuit of the presidency just months after joining Senate is disingenuous and counter productive for Texas.”

        His re-election is not a slam-dunk, far from it……..

        • Gunslinger

          You’re right in that people are fed up. I’m sure many in the Texas lege, leadership, donors and interest groups have had enough of his nonsense. But will that translate to anything? I doubt it. Who’s going to publicly come out against him? Who’s got the cajones for that? No one. No one wants to make of enemy of Cruz and his acolytes. The only one is Speaker Straus and that’s only because he won’t endorse him.

          As for accomplishing zero for Texas…well, that’s pretty much what people want nowadays. What has the lege accomplished? Who’s been tossed out of the Texas House or Senate for not accomplishing something? Accomplishing nothing is a well honored tradition.

          • Beerman

            Your rational is very valid.

        • Unwound

          youre certainly right in the sense that he may be primaried by dan patrick

        • Realist50

          The WSJ also ran an editorial yesterday pointing out that Cruz was more than happy to say nice things about Trump as long as Cruz thought it suited his interests, which was at least through December 2015 – http://www.wsj.com/articles/ted-cruzs-guilty-conscience-1469142326

          I find this quote from the Journal to be telling: “It’s true that Mr. Cruz changed his tone as Mr. Trump targeted him and his wife with insults and smeared his father. But that was long after Mr. Trump had done the same to other Republican contenders. Mr. Cruz was praising Mr. Trump when others were the targets.” It’s certainly understandable on a human level for someone to react more strongly when attacks are directed at his immediate family, but I don’t see any great point of political conviction in making that distinction.

          I’ll also argue that Cruz’s kind words about Trump last year were at least as enthusiastic as the grudging and qualified endorsements that we’ve seen from prominent Republicans such as Ryan and Rubio. (Christie and some others who have been vocally pro-Trump obviously aren’t in that category.)

          It’s also worth noting, as the WSJ does, that most prominent Republicans who wouldn’t endorse Trump therefore didn’t speak at the convention, and in many cases didn’t even attend it. That list includes Kasich (the governor of the state where the convention was held!), Romney, Jeb Bush, George Bush, etc.

          Cruz’s approach to the situation feels far more like calculated self-interest at every step than taking any stand on principle.

          • Beerman

            Cruz is a snake oil salesman…….

  • John Johnson

    Oh, Erica, your love fest continues. You got all sorts of stuff wrong in this piece.

    First, Trump did not enter from backstage with an angry face. Those of us watching on tv saw a close up of him with a broad smile. Know why? Because the wiley businessman suckered the Harvard guy into making a speech that Trump had already read.

    He planned on showing up Cruz, and I imagine he knew in advance that his New York delagates were going to get the booing started right before he walked in. He wanted to show Cruz’s dwindling stature to a national TV audience, and that is exactly what he did. Only a handful of Texas, Utah and Colorado supporters were applauding Ted, and they were completely drowned out by the people boo’ing and screaming Trump’s name.

    Cruz hung himself; Trump just handed him the rope.

    Cruz wants Hillary to win. A Trump victory all but assures him a move to a private law firm. It would be eight years before his chance at the Presidency rolls around again. With a Hillary win, he only has to wait four.

    I don’t think he has a chance to win any office from this point on. Jerry Patterson will be my choice for his senate seat the next time around, if he will run. I will never vote for Cruz…and according to Rep. Matt Krause’s request for FB comments on Cruz’s speech last night, Ted lost a whole bunch of one time supporters.

    He is toast, Erica. Take my word for it. I told you the same thing about Perry once upon a time, but you just couldn’t turn loose. Save yourself some heartache…kiss him goodbye.

    • Beerman

      JJ, I agree with your thoughts on Jerry Patterson running against Cruz for the Senate seat.

      • WUSRPH

        As much as I like Jerry, he showed the limit of his strength in today’s GOP in the lt. governor’s race. And, I have no reason to believe that tomorrow’s GOP will be any better—whether it is Trumptarian or TeaPartian. Jerry just cannot raise the money or attract the votes of enough primary voters to win. One reason, of course, is that he will not sell out to the “social conservatives” but that is Jerry. Sadly, he peaked at land commissioner.

    • BCinBCS

      JJ, I read fairly unbiased reports that the booing, especially in the NY delegation, was being augmented by Trump operatives encouraging it (makes sense once it became known that Trump had the speech two days before Cruz gave it).

      • John Johnson

        The Harvard guy got outsmarted by the New York businessman. This is not the first time it has happened. “Here’s the rope, Ted…go hang yourself.”

        • grubber

          I don’t think there was any outsmarting going on. Each knew the other’s play. Each got the headlines they sought.

          • John Johnson

            Cruz is getting crucified today. Old Cruz Texas supporters are bailing on him right and left today on Facebook. He is toast.

          • grubber

            He is in the pole position for 2020.

          • John Johnson

            Yeah, but he’s losing lots of blood as I write this. One or two challengers are going to smell it and put their name on the list.

  • PrattonTexas

    It was a great speech and only bothersome if all you were listening for was to hear him specifically endorse Trump. I wasn’t expecting such and wasn’t listening for such. I respect him for not selling out – something many of those mad at him always tell me they hate about politicians. Only the future will tell us whether it helped or hurt him.

  • BCinBCS

    Cruz never met a bridge that he wasn’t willing to burn.

    • WUSRPH

      But last night he might have been Horatius at the bridge….

      • BCinBCS

        You got me there – had to google Horatius at the bridge.
        I don’t think that Cruz is quite that brave or noble.

      • I wouldn’t go that far.

    • splendidday

      Ted Cruz is not a team player. Never has been a team player. He & his Daddy are in politics for themselves and their very own aggrandizement which they plan to use to get wealthy. His Daddy preaches in Houston and this family would scare the stuffing out of you.The old man rants forever about how traitorous Barack Obama is. No facts, just hate and division and screaming for more money….This whole family should have been deported thirty years ago.They have caused more behind the scenes trouble in our country than you could imagine. They rely on the evangelicals to promote themselves. Every sane person would agree

      Evangelicals are not the most knowledgeable people.

  • jammerjim

    I have seen it speculated that in fact, Trump knew that Cruz was not going to endorse him as such, and so arranged for the New York delegation to start booing. After all, what did Cruz actually say at that moment that would normally make people boo? Why would Trump do it? Trump likes humiliating his defeated foes. and he gets to look like the aggrieved party. You can see that in JJ’s posts here. However, the things Trump didn’t consider was that 1) Cruz comes out looking like a martyr to the cause for many people and 2) Trump once again looks foolish to all but the True Believers.

    There is no doubt that Cruz chose to roll the dice. He might lose his wager, no matter how the election turns out. But Trump erred as well. Sometimes giving your enemies the rope to hang themselves with trips you up as well.

    • Sacagewea

      Bread and circus . . . the mob loves it.

  • Gunslinger

    I don’t think Cruz has all that much to lose by doing what he did. He can play it off however he chooses.

    Scenario 1: Trump wins in November and his next 4 years are a disaster. Cruz primaries Trump running as the principled, conservative voice of “reason” who you should’ve voted for in 2016.
    Scenario 2: HRC wins. In 2020, Cruz runs in the primary as the the principled, conservative voice of “reason” who you should’ve voted for in 2016.

    I can’t see any other scenarios, like one where Trump is a successful president. That might be the only thing that dashes Cruz’s plans.

    • donuthin2

      Pretty much the way I see it.

  • Texas Publius

    Last nite Cruz shut the almost-closed door on his political career. He lectured GOP activists about sticking with principles as he simultaneously broke his public commitment to them to support Trump.

    If you can use feeling attacked as a basis for breaking a commitment, you can break almost any commitment you want. It was Cruz who first attacked Trump’s wife, not the other way around.

    At 1:15a this morning, Cruz sent out an email raising money….for himself.

    It’s obvious from a cursory read of tweets that Cruz lost LOTS of his own supporters in the last 24 hrs. More like lost and deeply offended them.

    Rick Perry or Dan Patrick or David Dewhurst or
    Abbott or Hegar will run against Cruz in two years, and the election won’t be in July, like when Cruz won. And the Canadian will lose his seat in the United States Senate–one termer.

    • WUSRPH

      Tweeters and Face Posters, just as those who post here on BB, are likely to much more opinionated than the general public. I think the long-term reaction to Cruz’s speech—especially if Trump loses in November—will be that it took guts to stand up in that room and say NO! It would have been so much easier to pull as Kasich and just not go…and even easier to say “Vote Republican” and let that be termed an endorsement but, for whatever reason he did, Cruz would not take the easy road. As much as I detest his politics and his views–as I have made clear here many, many times—I almost have to admire him for that. (NB I said “almost”.)

  • John Bernard Books

    Ok one nomination is set so on to the next in Philly. Who wants to bet these two will be the nominees on the ballot in Nov.?

    There are more twists and turns in store for this election year.

  • WUSRPH

    Read the text of the alleged “leaked” Trump speech….about what I expected…..but I could not force myself to watch him deliver whatever speech he ultimately will give. We will hear too much of it for the next 109 days. I can only hope that we won’t hear that much from him after January 20, 2017.

  • José

    The crowd applauded Peter Thiel when he declared that he is gay, and again when he said that the gender bathroom issue is unimportant. And they cheered Ivanka Trump when she called for childcare assistance and for gender income equality. Did the Republican Party just mainstream LGBTQ lifestyle and abandon its emphasis on traditional mom-at-home families?

    • John Bernard Books

      Every election the left runs as conservatives…except when they vote to take God out of their party platform.

  • BCinBCS

    I just watched Trump give his acceptance speech. It was chock-full of half-truths and hyperbole.

    I simply do not recognize the world that Trump describes in his message. Maybe it’s a quantum physics thing in which it is postulated that there are many versions of the universe and I’m living in one of them and the Republicans are living in another.

    I am truly, truly baffled by what I saw.

    • Wilson James

      As are most of us.

      • BCinBCS

        As I watched the speech, I found myself wanting specifics on how he would do what he was claiming but time after time he would say things like how he would defeat ISIS or get rid of the deficit or bring back the steel and coal industries and by the middle of his speech I was literally (yes, literally) yelling again and again at my television: “How, how?”.

        My God, if all it take to become the Republican party nominee for President is to promise the moon and a chicken in every pot, I could vie for the position (and I’m not qualified for the office, either).

        • WUSRPH

          By the force of his will. (Where have we heard that before?)

    • José

      USAToday and WaPo have good fact check articles this morning, correcting Trump’s many lies.

      These and other publications will perform the same service after the Dem convention, as well they should. I expect that the analyses will be quite different. Clinton has a disadvantage in a way because she is likely to delve into specific proposals. It’s easy to disbelieve but difficult to disprove many of Trump’s gauzy boasts.

      • WUSRPH

        But the people was speaking to last night do not care about “facts” or where he distorted the truth….They will not be affected by any analysis….They want to BELIEVE……

        • José

          Maddening, isn’t it? Having to put up with the willfully and negligently uninformed. Let’s hope they remain a minority of the voting public.

        • BCinBCS

          Before I clicked on the WaPo link, I thought that the article would essentially be a book-length essay. When I clicked on the link, I immediately looked at the scroll thumb to see how small it was (the thumb is inversely proportional to the length of the article – the longer the article, the smaller the thumb) and it was tiny. Then, I started reading and discovered that they were only covering 25 of Trump’s claims. I guess that if they had fact-checked everything, I would have needed a magnifying glass to see the scroll thumb.

  • John Bernard Books

    Law N Order vs Crooked Hillary and lawlessness…..not a hard choice atall……

  • donuthin2

    I must admit that Ivanka came across as charming, smart, articulate and well spoken. Trump, himself, not so well.

    • WUSRPH

      I was a little more struck by all those references to Daddy’s WILL and how his mere existence is going to solve all our problems….Does she look that much like Leni Riefenstahl to you?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0kwnLzFMls

  • John Bernard Books

    Is irony lost on dems? They pick the City pf Brotherly Love to spread their hatred……how funny.

  • Pamela

    Another news brief from TM that could have been lifted from the NYT in its content angle and tone, with the expected derision from carpetbagger commenters claiming to be Texans. I was wondering if the constant sneering of conservative Texans outside Texas Monthly’s target demographics (younger, affluent, tech driven new arrivals to Austin), encouraged by editorial staff changes these past five years, is the reason for circulation of 300,000 in 2014 down from 310,000 in 2011?

    Love him or hate him, Cruz is his own man and I am grateful that I am not married to any male that would trade his wife or father’s reputation for personal popularity. This is called self-respect for those who can’t recognize it or never had it. Cruz didn’t make his initial pledge from naïveté but from his belief that others could compete honorably.

    I am not a Cruz voter and am sick about the Trump nomination. That being said, silent America is going to hold its nose and vote Trump.

    And it’s CAESAR, “Beerman”

    • Beerman

      Oops, thanks…..

    • José

      Carpetbagger? Oh honey, just don’t, especially when talking favorably about a couple of politicians from Canada and NYC. That’s silly.
      It may well be that Erica’s piece would feel at home in the prestigious NYTimes. And the comments do include a fair amount of derision targeting both Cruz and Trump. That being said, I can’t help but note that you dispute neither the accuracy of the article nor the appropriateness of the commentary. Nicely done.

  • BCinBCS

    NPR has a transcript of Donald Trump’s acceptance speech which includes embedded fact-check information. It is the best fact-check example that I have read today since it shows the context of what Trump said along with the fact-check.

    It is here:

    http://www.npr.org/2016/07/21/486883610/fact-check-donald-trumps-republican-convention-speech-annotated

  • John Bernard Books

    Texas and Texans stand up for what they believe. Like Sen Cruz and now
    “A criminal investigation is underway in a north Texas county, where nearly 1,800 votes appear to have been illegally cast in the March primary.”
    http://pushjunction.com/l/23834

    Dems were overjoyed as the 5th Circuit Ct over turned Voter ID but obviously have no problem with voter fraud. Does it exist? You betcha…..

    • Texas Publius

      Cruz is a Canadian, not a Texan. And he exhibits few Texan characteristics. He is dishonest not truthful, he is passive-aggressive not direct, he is slick not authentic, he uses strange long words when punchy short ones will do, he doesn’t connect with people personally, and he puts his personal interests above those of Texas and America.

      Wednesday eve Cruz deliberately hid why he wasn’t honoring his pledge to endorse Trump. Thursday morning he got sufficiently agitated by Texans into revealing it: personal reasons, pride, ego, and refusal to forgive. He would rather help Hillary this cycle by keeping up the appearance of division than help Trump, because (he thinks) that most benefits Cruz’s political career.

      Let’s not forget Cruz has won only one election in Texas, and it was a weird re-districting cycle/timing. He is extremely vulnerable in 2018 for his first re-election bid. He seems cartoonish now.

      • donuthin2

        I would suggest helping Hillary may eliminate his 2020 chances as she would certainly be a candidate for another 8 years. He would be better running against Trump.

      • John Bernard Books

        No one said he was a Texan…..
        Cruz is a dem’s nightmare; honest, truthful and educated….unlike “Crooked Hillary.”
        Slick?…as in “Slick Willie?”

        Hahaha

  • Pamela

    Jose
    You tell me everything about yourself by using the familiar term “honey” towards a woman you do not know. Did I hit a nerve?