Here’s the speech:
was cleared by the Trump campaign. Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager, expressly approved the speech at 4:30 PM ET. The source, who was standing on the convention floor at the time of the speech, said that Trump operatives were present, urging the crowd to boo. “This was orchestrated by the Trump campaign to make Senator Cruz a pariah within the party,” said the source.
Social media went crazy. Here are a few tweets:
— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) July 21, 2016
Men like Ted Cruz, if you call them liars and insult their wives, will stab you right in the front at the right time in front of the nation
— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) July 21, 2016
Just more proof this is about submission. We were told for months Trump didn't need Cruz, but when he doesn't endorse they go apoplectic.
— Brian Phillips (@RealBPhil) July 21, 2016
Christopher Rush, commenting on what he experienced on the floor of the convention, posted a great video on Facebook.
As for those who think that Cruz was under any sort of obligation to keep a pledge to support a man who himself violated the pledge to support the party nominee,
referred to Cruz as Lyin’ Ted nearly every time he mentioned him at rallies or on TV even after Cruz called off his campaign, insulted his wife, allegedly might have planted rumors in the National Enquirer, accused his father of being involved in JFK’s murder, and even had his plane buzz Cruz’s event the very afternoon of the RNC speech, Stuart Schneiderman has this to say (emphasis added),
In purely psychological terms, it is bad to kowtow to a bully. It is bad to give the impression, in any way, that you accept the role that you have been cast in. People have been saying that Trump was magnanimous in giving Cruz a prime time speaking slot, but Trump also orchestrated the boos and tried to steal the stage by walking into the convention as Cruz closed his speech. If you think that Trump was not trying to rub his defeated rival’s face in the mud, you do not understand very much.
Supposedly, Trump is a master of reality television. The unfortunate thing is that nominating conventions are not reality television. By all indications he has failed at organizing the convention.
Who is at fault for the Cruz non-endorsement. Donald Trump, that’s who. If Trump wanted an endorsement, he should have been magnanimous in victory and taken back the flood of insults that were directed against all of the candidates, but most viciously against Ted Cruz. He should have apologized. When he did not, Cruz could not have endorsed Trump without accepting the caricature that Trump had established.
If someone is bullying you, the one thing you cannot do is to give in and to accept the role he is casting you in.
When Trump did not take back his slanders, he left Cruz no other choice but to set an example by standing up to a bully. Others who have suffered the wrath of Trump did not show up. Others who made the pledge do not feel bound by it.
Schneiderman concludes, and I wholeheartedly agree,
If the nominee does not reach out, does not apologize for the torrent of insults he shot out at all his serious opponents, he has relieved them of their obligation to keep their pledge. For all I know, Trump might have found a winning strategy. Many people do not understand that the inability to apologize is a sign of weakness, not strength. How many there are, we do not yet know.
If your response to an appeal to conscience is to raucously boo, maybe your conscience is trying to tell you something. Want to unify the Republican Party? You may want to start there.
What is Trump up to this morning? Doing a dumpster run on NATO.
The only sensible Trump response to “vote your conscience” and “vote for freedom and candidates with principles” was to thank Cruz for the rousing speech and his commitment to conservative principles. Praise him for his defense of freedom, and then turn his call to “vote your conscience” into an endorsement of Trump’s agenda. After all, there’s only one candidate in the race who wants to put America first, there’s only one candidate who wants to keep America safe, there’s only one candidate who has what it takes to Make America Great Again. If you believe in restoring American greatness, then your conscience can only tell you one thing: vote Trump. If you believe in restoring the values that made America the greatest in nation in history, then your conscience can only tell you one thing: vote Trump. If you believe that strong leadership and a commitment to the American people are what’s required to keep this country strong, then your conscience can only tell you one thing: vote Trump.
That’s all Trump’s team had to do.
They had hours (an eternity in campaign time), if not days, to prepare for it. They could’ve flooded the zone with surrogates pushing that message. They could’ve worked it into Gingrich’s and Pence’s speeches. If they could spend a week saying that former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski never touched Michelle Fields, that she might have been planning to attack Trump with a bomb hidden inside a ballpoint pen, that we’ve always been at war with Eastasia, Team Trump could’ve spent a couple of hours pretending that “vote your conscience” was an endorsement of Trump’s agenda and a clear denunciation of Hillary Clinton.
But they couldn’t; they needed a scapegoat, which is exactly why they scheduled Cruz’s speech for that night.