Sometimes it’s not what you say, it’s what you don’t say.
As Ed Morrissey notes, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz delivered a powerful speech at last night’s RNC in defense of conservative principles, which is what the party needed. But in the end he declined to endorse Donald Trump and was greeted by a chorus of boos.
The closest Cruz came to an endorsement was in his opening words of congratulation shortly after he took the stage.
According to The Hill, the Texas senator’s senior advisers were urging him to endorse Trump.
Cruz never wanted to endorse Trump and is still furious about the personal attacks the GOP presidential nominee made on his family during the primary campaign, sources familiar with the speech preparations told The Hill.
Cruz, who has already begun to position his team for a presidential run in 2020, is still angry about attacks on both his father and his wife. His advisers worried, however, that the lack of endorsement will hurt the senator’s political future.
He spent most of his speech beating up on Hillary and the Democrats, but when it came time to endorse the nominee, Cruz instead told Republicans not to stay home, and to vote their conscience.
To those listening, please, don’t stay home in November. If you love our country, and love your children as much as I know you do, stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.
Sensing the non-endorsement, some in the crowd started chanting “Endorse Trump!” Cruz replied, “I appreciate the enthusiasm of the New York delegation.” The boos and jeers grew louder.
As Cruz concluded his speech, the crowd broke out in cheers but that was for the nominee himself, who had just entered the arena to listen to his son Eric’s speech.
In the end it was Cruz who damaged his own speech, and quite possibly his political future with his non-endorsement. Republican leadership was angry, and so were some of the party’s money men.
Fox News reports that as he left the stage, RNC donors called Cruz’s speech “classless.” He was followed by Newt Gingrich, who played mop-up:
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 21, 2016