CLEVELAND -- Ted Cruz did the Republican Party no favors last night when he pointedly refused to endorse GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, breaking a promise he and other rival candidates made at the outset of the primary campaign last year.
Cruz also made what appeared to be some kind of overture to race baiters by mentioning aspiring cop-killer Alton Sterling who was recently shot dead by Baton Rouge police during an altercation. It seemed very odd, but maybe in retrospect it shouldn't. After all, Cruz went along with leftists and a few other GOPers by baselessly smearing Trump as a racist after he urged the deportation of millions of illegal aliens.
Of course Cruz is not the only contender for the Republican nod to go back on his word but he is the most high-profile and he won the second-highest number of convention delegates after Trump. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who also had intense run-ins with Trump throughout the primary process, swallowed his pride and appeared in a video last night endorsing Trump.
It is true that during the primary campaign Trump launched some nasty, low-blow attacks on Cruz (and others). He retweeted an unflattering photo of Cruz's wife, Heidi, juxtaposed with a photo of Trump's beauty queen wife, Melania, a move that was interpreted as a dig at Mrs. Cruz's appearance. He embraced a crazy conspiracy theory that put Cruz's father at the heart of the John F. Kennedy assassination. He saddled Cruz with the undeserved nickname "Lyin' Ted."
But the convention is supposed to be where these matters are settled, the aggrieved individuals and factions reconciled, and the party united to take on the other party in November. As the saying goes, politics ain't beanbag -- and America's future is too important to jeopardize over one's own hurt feelings.
It was a huge missed opportunity for Cruz to bring Republicans together and it is dangerous because many hardcore Cruz backers will now feel justified in withholding their support in November for the GOP's nominee.
Cruz could not swallow his pride. The Texas senator was loudly booed off the stage at the Republican National Convention after he humiliated the GOP's new standard bearer by urging Americans to "vote your conscience." The boos and howling by delegates were powerful enough that they could be felt way up in the rafters of the Quicken Loans Arena.
Cruz and his wife Heidi had to be escorted out of the arena after the crowd grew angry.
"Leading Cruz backer Ken Cuccinelli, a former state attorney general who is a delegate from Virginia, escorted Mrs. Cruz off the Convention floor out of concern for her safety," the Daily Mail (UK) reports.
According to Cuccinelli, "during the course of the speech more and more people were coming down closer and closer to Heidi and [Ted Cruz's father] Rafael ... When the speech ended, there was an ugly crowd behind us ... She was trying to leave."
"People in my own delegation started physically approaching and yelling at her," the former candidate for governor of Virginia said. "The one that stuck with me was somebody pointing at her and yelling something about Goldman Sachs."
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich went on stage and tried to put a favorable spin on Cruz's speech. "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."
Not too many in the arena or in post-speech TV appearances seemed to be buying Gingrich's explanation.
TV host Lou Dobbs gave Cruz's words a big thumbs down.
"Ted Cruz looked like a man intent on committing career suicide," Dobbs said. "And I think that's what he pulled off here tonight."
Indiana Sen. Dan Coates excoriated Cruz, saying he "tried to destroy the Republican Party tonight just like he's tried to destroy the Republican caucus."
Trump, who entered the arena midway through the speech, took to Twitter. "Wow. Ted Cruz got booed off the stage, didn't honor the pledge! I saw his speech two hours early but let him speak anyway. No big deal!"
On Fox News, National Review's John Fund said Cruz is to blame for the oratorical fiasco but so is Trump because he agreed to put Cruz on stage. Liberal Ellen Ratner of Talk Media News later concurred, saying if Trump knew what Cruz was going to say he had no business giving him a platform to say it.
The Cruz speech began on a promising enough note. After referencing local athlete Lebron James, he offered well wishes to Trump.
"I congratulate Donald Trump on winning the nomination last night," Cruz said.
That was it. No praise. No endorsement. Cruz's pride and bruised ego apparently held him back.
Cruz churned out some well-received conservative boilerplate about limited government and the nation's history, and let loose some soaring oratory.
"America is more than a land mass between two oceans," he said. "America is an idea, a simple yet powerful idea: freedom matters."
Cruz listed a number of examples of admirable "fights for freedom," citing the Emancipation Proclamation, the Civil Rights Act, and the struggle to eliminate Jim Crow laws.
He praised Sgt. Michael Smith, one of the Dallas police officers murdered July 7 during a Black Lives Matter demonstration by a Black Power militant in the deadliest attack on U.S. law enforcement since Sept. 11, 2001.
"Sgt. Michael Smith stood up to protect our freedom. So do our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines fighting radical Islamic terrorism."
But then Cruz took a wrong turn, seemingly putting a dead would-be cop-killer on the same moral plane as Abraham Lincoln and Michael Smith.
Cruz cravenly praised the family of dead thug Alton Sterling, the career criminal killed recently by Baton Rouge police as he resisted arrest and reached for a cop's gun.
After lauding the Marines fighting Islamofascism, he said, "So did the family of Alton Sterling, who bravely called to end the violence."
Bearing in mind that Cruz is no dummy -- he is an accomplished speaker and debater --let us unpackage that brief but meaningful sentence.
Cruz said that the surviving family of Sterling, a registered sex offender, should be hailed for calling to end the violence. But Sterling was the one dishing out the violence. The police were only doing their jobs when they tried to arrest him. He was a criminal who committed violent acts. He refused a lawful order to submit, fought with cops, and tried to harm them.
The appalling implication by Cruz is that Sterling's family is somehow engaged in a "fight for freedom," which is an utterly nonsensical claim to make. Is the family fighting against evil police and systemic racism as Black Lives Matter would have us believe?
Sterling's family, while not responsible for his actions, deserves neither praise nor condemnation in a speech at the Republican National Convention. Sterling should not have been mentioned at all except perhaps to be vilified as an enemy of law and order.
Near the end of the speech delegates started yelling and booing as it became clear Cruz was going to leave the podium without endorsing Trump.
There was a lot of rhetorical red meat for delegates to devour on the third night of the Republican National Convention, and the energy some talking heads said was absent earlier in the convention was palpable and abundant. Talk radio host Laura Ingraham brought the crowd to its feet railing against corruption in Washington and elsewhere.
Newly minted vice presidential candidate Mike Pence couldn't catch a break. After being introduced by convention chairman and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), the governor of Indiana gave a serious, solid, ideologically conservative speech that is now being completely overshadowed by Cruz's antics.
Meanwhile, some politicians in black robes just made it easier for Hillary Clinton to steal the election in Texas.
A new ruling from the Fifth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals struck down part of a common sense voter ID law in Texas.
This is especially worrisome because the Left is gearing up to go all out to put Hillary Clinton in the White House in November. A bad ruling weakening electoral integrity only emboldens left-wing fraudsters nationwide.
ACORN successor groups across America are conducting voter registration fraud drives in neighborhoods near you. For example, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) is registering voters in the San Francisco area. Obviously, no good can come of this.
In this case the appeals court ordered a lower court to change parts of the 2011 Texas law to remove its "discriminatory effect." Discriminatory effect is judicial supremacist speak for asking voters to take 30 seconds at the polls to prove they are eligible voters.
The ruling instructs a lower court to make changes that fix the “discriminatory effect” of the 2011 law.
The Obama administration intervened in the case because it felt the state law was unfair because it made Texas residents produce one of seven forms of approved identification. These judges agreed, ruling that low-income minority voters are too stupid to obtain such ID.
The Texas Democratic Party was overjoyed because the ruling opens the floodgates to voter fraud. It called the statute “the most restrictive and discriminatory Republican voter ID law" in America.
Hillary Clinton and other Democrats who profit from election fraud agree.