It was supposed to be akin to Ronald Reagan’s speech to the convention in 1976. He had just been bested by Gerald Ford in a convention fight, and Ronald Reagan was given a speaking opportunity. Basically, realizing that he had been defeated and there was no way he was going to win the nomination, Reagan graciously accepted defeat, brought both factions of the party together, and set himself up to be the nominee in 1980. That’s exactly what happened. That’s called vision folks. That’s called class.
Ted Cruz had that opportunity last night. He could have healed any divide of the Republican Party by bringing any stragglers of the party together, uniting them, and setting himself up as the next Republican nominee (of course, if Trump were to win in 2016, Trump would hold that mantle if he wanted it in 2020). But unfortunately, that wasn’t what happened.
Ted Cruz is a conservative, but he’s not about America. He’s about Ted Cruz. He’s not about bringing the party together, but about making himself the nominee. His line about “If you want the constitution followed, vote your conscience in November” was met with boos and jeers. It was bad. It was so bad that his wife had to be escorted out of the arena. Ted Cruz didn’t bring the Republican Party together last night. He tried to keep it divided so he could position himself as the front-runner for 2020, not 2024. And it took someone like Newt Gingrich to spin his line into a quasi-endorsement of Trump by saying that only one candidate in November will follow the constitution, and we all know it’s Donald Trump. Nice move Newt…but that’s not what he meant.
I was more aligned philosophically with Ted Cruz with Donald Trump throughout this process. But there was something about Cruz that bothered me. He was like a pit bull. He wasn’t classy about it either. He was out there like some junkyard dog going after a rabbit and he wasn’t about to stop until he got what he wanted. Now, I’ve never been accused of saying Donald Trump is the classiest guy in the room, but he showed a lot more of it during this convention than Ted Cruz showed last night.
Somehow, I think this speech by Ted Cruz turned out to be his “Chris Christie moment”. I’m of course, referring to the aftermath of hurricane Sandy days before the 2012 election, when Christie went and hugged Barack Obama. Republicans didn’t forget about that and I really believe that is one reason why Christie wasn’t viewed as a serious candidate by a lot of folks. This was that moment for Ted Cruz, and my hunch is that he will find it very hard to win any nomination for president in 2020, 2024, or beyond. He had a lot of fences to mend. He didn’t do it. Shame on you Ted.
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!