Cruz allies press Trump to hand over convention speaking spot

Delegates from Colorado and Maine have begun collecting signatures to place Cruz’s name into nomination at the convention alongside presumptive nominee Donald Trump. If enough other states follow suit, it would guarantee Cruz a high-profile opportunity to address convention delegates. And that could create an uncomfortable split screen as Trump and the party try to present a unified front heading into the general election.

It remains unclear, however, whether Cruz would accept a speaking role if his allies were to succeed in securing one for him. Conflicting reports have emerged about Cruz’s desire to speak at the convention, and his former campaign manager, Jeff Roe, declined to say whether Cruz was interested in speaking. Roe told POLITICO that he and Cruz “haven’t ever discussed” the prospect of giving a nomination speech, and he doesn’t intend to speak to the senator about it…

Placing Cruz’s name into nomination would be a largely symbolic effort. It would do little to deter Trump from earning the party’s nod, but it would provide a forum for Cruz to describe his conservative vision for the GOP during Trump’s crowning moment.

Empowering a rival candidate to speak onstage — especially when Trump is all but assured to walk away with the nomination — would also be a departure from recent history. In 2012, Mitt Romney’s allies at the convention helped rewrite the party’s rules to keep Ron Paul from delivering an address, a move that left lingering bitterness among the party’s libertarian activists.