A prominent supporter said he wishes he could have vetted Cruz’s speech. Phil Robertson, the star of TV’s “Duck Dynasty,” who stumped around the country for Cruz’s presidential campaign, told Cruz to “swallow your pride.” Trump’s campaign manager said he and the campaign are disappointed with Cruz, who was denied access to a suite occupied by billionaire GOP donors Sheldon and Miriam Adelson. Hours later, there was another stinging rebuke: The Texas Republican was heckled and booed Thursday morning by his own state’s delegation, including a man who held a sign reading: “Clinton/Cruz 2020.”
Cruz’s own plans for 2020 seem clear, particularly if Trump loses in November: to try another run for president. He also will come up for reelection to the Senate in 2018.
Katie Packer, a Republican strategist who founded Our Principles PAC in a vain attempt to stop the Trump nomination, called the Cruz speech a “Rorschach test” that will reverberate into future contests.
“If you can’t stand Trump, like me, you saw it as bold,” she said. “If you love Trump, you saw it as a betrayal. If you don’t like Trump but have been cowed or fallen in line, you saw it as self-serving, because you need that to feel better about your own weakness.
“I think he will be a force to be reckoned with in 2020.”