Ed covered the initial reports last night, but the fallout from Ted Cruz’s embarrassing performance continued to reverberate straight through to this morning. What could have been an otherwise workmanlike, if not particularly remarkable speech on conservative principles became the major focus of the convention yesterday evening as the hall rose up in protest over Cruz’s decision to not only fail to endorse the party’s nominee at his own convention, but to invoke some dead-ender, #NeverTrump lingo into his closing remarks. The responses came rapidly from both inside and outside the venue. (Business Insider)
Republicans from all corners of the party scorned Ted Cruz Wednesday night after the Texas senator delivered a speech before the Republican National Convention that not only failed to endorse nominee Donald Trump, but encouraged audience members to not do so if it would violate their “conscience.”
“Cruz condemned to Republican hell,” conservative-news mogul Matt Drudge tweeted, before placing a “HELL’S A-BURNIN’” banner on his popular website.
“I think it was awful,” echoed New Jersey governor and Trump-supporter Chris Christie after Cruz’s speech. “And quite frankly, I think it was selfish.”
“For the life of me, I don’t know why he is doing this,” Fox News Channel and conservative talk-radio host Sean Hannity said. “I think there is going to be long-term damage for the party and for him.”
I asked yesterday why Cruz had been invited in the first place, but I clearly wasn’t looking far enough down the road. Even people who were initially cool toward Donald Trump as the nominee (to put it charitably) were piling on Cruz for this inappropriate display. There were exceptions, of course, but those cheering the speech were simply those who showed up hoping to derail the convention in the first place. So did it accomplish whatever the perceived goal was? Looking over the fallout this morning you’d be hard pressed to think so.
Still, people have to be wondering why Trump allowed Cruz on the stage since he saw the speech in advance. Why open the door for somebody who’s stated in advance that they’re looking to rob your house? Whether Trump planned it this way or it was just the winds of fortune, it may have turned out to be his best move of the week. The great irony of what initially looked like a debacle is that there seemed to be more defense of and unification behind Trump than there had been over the course of the first couple days of the event. And the candidate, for once, didn’t have to do a single thing to draw some positive headlines. Trump just sat back, waved to the crowd, and played it off on social media as a non-event, allowing everyone else to do his work for him.
Wow, Ted Cruz got booed off the stage, didn't honor the pledge! I saw his speech two hours early but let him speak anyway. No big deal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 21, 2016
You can insert your own motivation as to what Ted Cruz thought he was going to get out of this. If he was launching his own 2020 bid, he stumbled badly. Perhaps one of the most telling moments came when he attempted to get into Sheldon Adelson’s suite after the speech and was turned away at the door. (IJR)
Texas Senator Ted Cruz was denied entry into billionaire GOP donor Sheldon Adleson’s suite following his speech at the Republican National Convention Wednesday night, Independent Journal Review has confirmed.
A former U.S. Senator inside the Adelson’s luxury box at the Quicken Loans arena told Independent Journal Review that Cruz approached the suite after he finished his speech that fell short of endorsing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Cruz was not welcome in the suite “because he’s a piece of sh*t,” the Senator said.
You’ll recall that Adelson didn’t even endorse Trump during the heat of the primary battle, waiting until May to do so. And even then it seemed rather tepid, saying that Trump’s momentum “could not be denied.” But it does seem clear that the one thing the billionaire donor wants to avoid more than anything else is a Hillary Clinton presidency, and the petulant display on the convention stage last night has probably cost Cruz the future support of some major campaign funding sources. (And if Tucker Carlson is right, it may have cost him more than that.)
So is that what it took to unify the majority of the delegates and observers behind the nominee at this point? If so, it’s going to be entered into the record books under the law of unintended consequences.