Ted Cruz gave a rousing speech at the Republican Convention in Cleveland last night. In a rare experience for Mr. Cruz, the speech ended amid loud boos by many of the convention delegates. This morning it was revealed that the boos at the end of the Cruz convention speech were probably staged by Trump aides.
The booing occurred near the end of Cruz’s speech when it became apparent that he was not going to offer an explicit endorsement of Donald Trump. The booing began as Cruz began to wrap up his speech saying, “We deserve leaders who stand for principle, who unite us all behind shared values, who cast aside anger for love. That is the standard we should expect from everybody. And to those listening, please, don’t stay home in November. If you love our country, and love your children as much as I know that 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.”
Donald Trump tweeted last night and it was confirmed by Ben Shapiro in the Daily Wire this morning that Trump and RNC officials had received a copy of Cruz’s speech in advance. Trump tweeted, “Ted Cruz booed off the stage, didn’t honor the pledge! I saw his speech two hours early but let him speak anyway. No big deal!” Shapiro reports that Sean Spicer of the RNC confirmed that the speech was pre-screened.
Shapiro also points out that Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort played it cagey when asked if the Trump organization led the boos. In a transcript of a conversation between Manafort and unnamed reporter after the speech, Manafort grins and chuckles when asked whether Trump aides “foster[ed} the booing” or had “people on the floor leading” it.
The booing may have been orchestrated as revenge for a crowd of Cruz supporters who booed Donald Trump as his jet flew overhead Wednesday afternoon. That event was reported by NBC News. Cruz did not attack Donald Trump in either speech.
After the speech, Trump attacked Cruz for not following through with the pledge made by all Republican candidates to support the eventual nominee. Left unsaid is that Trump himself renounced that pledge back in March.
In response, Cruz stated on CNN that he made the pledge in good faith, but “the day that was abrogated was the day this became personal…. I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father. That pledge was not a blanket commitment that if you go and slander and attack Heidi that I will nonetheless come like a servile puppy dog and say ‘thank you very much’ for maligning my wife and maligning my father.”
Cruz continued, “This is not a game. This is not politics. Right and wrong matter. We have not abandoned who we are in this country.”
In orchestrating yet another attack on Cruz, who did not attack Trump or discourage people from voting Trump, the Trump campaign has placed petty revenge above party unity. It should make conservatives wonder whether Trump is serious about anything.
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