If Ted Cruz doesn’t jerk it to this headline, I’ll eat $100.
On Wednesday evening, our oldest pal Ted Cruz took to the main stage at the Republican National Convention to announce that he would be running for president in 2020. Basically.
“And to those listening, please, don’t stay home in November,” Cruz said (according to a prepared copy of his remarks), actively avoiding speaking the name of the orange wraith. “Stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and be faithful to the Constitution.”
The move solidifies terrible Cruz as the only Republican candidate with a backbone. Sure, that backbone is totally deformed, but it’s there, which is refreshing to see considering the GOP is populated mostly with fluid-filled invertebrates.
But there is some confusion regarding whether or not the Trump campaign knew Cruz was going to fail to endorse the Republican nominee—in a CNN interview, campaign manager Paul Manafort said “[Cruz’s] words will leave no doubt that he wants Donald Trump to be president of the United States,” although Cruz’s adviser Jason Johnson told BuzzFeed News that Cruz told Trump there would be no endorsement several days ago.
Still, Cruz’s failure to align with the party resulted in consequences (among them, my very, very, very fleeting respect for the candidate). Namely, with party officials. BuzzFeed reports:
And afterward, there was more drama. According to someone who witnessed the scene, Washington State Republican Party Chair Susan Hutchison went “bananas” on Cruz outside the elevators near the bottom level suites in the arena after Cruz’s speech, calling him a traitor. According to the source, “security kind of stepped in. Cruz folks dragged him and Heidi into an elevator and security kind of pushed her the other way. Wasn’t like anyone got arrested, it was just really dramatic.”
Hutchison confirmed the incident to BuzzFeed News, saying she called Cruz a “traitor to the party.”
“I just told him I thought his speech was inexcusable, and I was so disappointed in him,” Hutchison said. Hutchison said she didn’t recall Cruz’s response. “I was angry, everybody was angry. You heard everybody booing him. We were astounded at what he did.” Hutchison said she did not think security got involved.
Cruz was also reportedly declined entry to conservative donor Sheldon Adelson’s suite. Passed-over lap dog Gov. Chris Christie called the speech “awful” and “selfish;” New York Rep. Peter King said Cruz was a “fraud, he’s a self-centered liar.”
Cruz answered questions in front of voters on Thursday morning, during which time he doubled down on his commitment not to vote for Trump (or Clinton)—a nice thought that means he’ll either be voting for Jill Stein or himself on November 8.
Cruz said, among other things, that he abdicated his pledge to vote with the party when the election became personal:
“I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father,” he said. “And that pledge was not a blanket commitment that if you go and slander and attack Heidi, that I’m gonna nonetheless come like a servile puppy dog and say thank you very much for maligning my wife and maligning my father.”
“It is not a game, it is not politics, right and wrong matter.”