All week long, the Republican National Convention (RNC) has been going on strong at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland Ohio. Each party gets together right before a Presidential election to show support for their front running candidate, to show the country the unity of its respective party, and celebrate the hopeful victory come November. At the convention, the halls, stadiums, arenas, or what have you fill to the rim with party supporters, delegates from the party, and members of government giving speeches trying to hype everyone up in attendance and at home watching live on television to make sure they do what they can and to vote for their candidate.
This years RNC started of no different even though it has been filled with controversy. First with the RNC breaking precedent with an explicit partisan prayer lead by preacher and televangelist from Easley South Carolina Pastor Mark Burns who said “Our enemy is not other Republicans but is Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.” Then came the plagiarism filled speech of Donald Trump’s wife Melania Trump quoting “word for word” a speech that the first lady Mrs. Michelle Obama gave at the Democratic National Convention back in 2008. Yet even with all this, Republicans were still in high spirits dancing on the convention floor, cheering to good times to come. But the biggest was yet to come.
On a night that was suppose to be celebrated with the acceptance speech for Vice President made by Indiana Governor Mike Pence, there was still an uneasy buzz in the air because coming to the stage was Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Throughout the entire Republican Nominee campaign, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump were quite the bitter enemies escalating when Donald Trump attacked Ted Cruz’s wife Heidi and stated that Ted Cruz’s father had part in the assassination of JFK. And now the entire convention waited with baited breath to see if Ted Cruz would endorse Trump for President.
Ted Cruz’s speech was perhaps one of the more mature and presidential speeches given to date at the convention. He began with a story of a touching story of a 9 year old girl who turned out to be the daughter of one of the five gunned down police officers in Dallas. He talked about a world full of evil in places like Orlando, and Paris, and Nice, and Baton Rouge. He talked about what elections were really about; to let “our kids and grand-kids know that we did everything we could for them and our country.” He moved on to the expected negative political attacks of Hillary Clinton and President Barrack Obama as did every other speaker at the convention yet it wasn’t with a comical tone but concern and remorse. He reiterated beliefs and values that the Republican party was founded on and mentioned historical references of freedom movements from Abraham Lincoln to eliminating Jim Crow Laws. He made statements about religion and hate and freedoms of the people that were surprising compared to things he said in the past. Even going as far as stating what no one else had said in previous speeches be stating, “Obama and Clinton will also tell you that they care about our children’s future, and I want to believe them.” He even mentioned about “building a wall,” so would he say that he endorsed Trump?
At the end of his speech he said, “We deserve leaders who stand for principal, 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 our children as much as 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.” The crowd went in an uproar; they expected him to say “Vote for Trump” but with the comment “Vote your Conscience” was almost as though he was telling people to not vote for Trump. Boos and shouts of “Go Home” and “Lyin’ Ted” filled the room as Ted Cruz stood on stage smiling.
Donald Trump appeared out of nowhere almost as to do damage control that turned the audience from Boos back to Cheers as Ted Cruz left the stage. Then shortly there after Newt Gingrich tried to control the damage after Cruz’s speech with an improvised display of logic stating, “Ted Cruz said you can vote your conscience for anyone who will uphold the constitution. In this election, there is only one candidate who will uphold the constitution. So, to paraphrase Ted Cruz, if you want to protect the constitution of the United States, the only possible candidate this fall is the Trump/Pence Republican ticket.” But was the damage already done?
Reporters interviewed many people on the convention floor to get their reactions. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said that Cruz’s speech was “Awful” and “Selfish” while New York Representative Peter King said that, “Cruz is a Fraud.” After the fallout, Trumps campaign people said that they knew what Cruz was going to say and that it “would make Republicans happy”. I don’t think they know anymore what will make Republicans happy.
At the end of the day, it appears for all intensive purposes that Ted Cruz believes that there is no way that Donald Trump can defeat Hillary Clinton in November; that he was priming himself to be the front runner for the 2020 elections and a return to the true ideological beliefs of the Republican party.