On Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, addressed the Republican National Convention, congratulating Donald Trump for his victory and urging those present to vote their conscience. He did not, however, endorse Trump, sparking a flood of anger.
But, the Daily Wire reported, the Trump campaign not only approved the speech well in advance, but also orchestrated the reaction in order to further vilify the Texas Republican.
According to Ben Shapiro:
“Late Wednesday night, a source within the Cruz team informed Daily Wire exclusively that the Trump campaign had sandbagged Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) over his speech at the Republican National Convention. Cruz spoke at the RNC, where he congratulated Trump on his campaign victory, then spoke about the necessity for freedom and finally stated that Americans should “vote your conscience.” He was met with resounding boos on the floor of the convention; his wife Heidi had to be rushed from the room; according to reports, one Republican delegate physically accosted Cruz, and Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson refused to meet with Cruz.
According to the source, the entire Cruz speech was cleared by the Trump campaign. Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager, expressly approved the speech at 4:30 PM ET. The source, who was standing on the convention floor at the time of the speech, said that Trump operatives were present, urging the crowd to boo. “This was orchestrated by the Trump campaign to make Senator Cruz a pariah within the party,” said the source.
“We made this arrangement weeks ago regarding the speech,” the source continued. “We said we wouldn’t cause trouble with the delegates, that Senator Cruz would give a speech, that Senator Cruz would not endorse. They agreed to that. That was always the deal. They saw the speech beforehand and knew what Senator Cruz would be saying. They offered no pushback on the speech whatsoever.”
The Daily Wire added:
- Donald Trump knew Cruz’s speech text in advance.
- Cruz told Trump two days in advance that he would not endorse him.
- The speech itself congratulated Trump on winning the nomination, ripped Hillary Clinton, extolled freedom, and then told Americans to vote their conscience.
- When Cruz gave the pre-approved speech clearly ripping Hillary and telling Americans to vote based on principle, Trump minions reportedly began whipping the crowd into boos. Paul Manafort reportedly “grinned and chuckled when asked by Mark Halperin if Trump aides encouraged boos of Cruz from the floor.”
- Trump obviously knew what was coming, too, and entered the arena as Cruz concluded his speech, before Cruz was booed off the stage.
PAUL MANAFORT just grinned and chuckled when asked by @MarkHalperin if Trump aides encouraged boos of Cruz from floor
— Robert Costa (@costareports) July 21, 2016
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“Ted Cruz booed off the stage, didn’t honor the pledge! I saw his speech two hours early but let him speak anyway,” Trump tweeted. “No big deal!”
“The best unity I saw was everyone booing [Cruz] off the stage,” he told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
“So, to summarize,” Shapiro wrote, “Trump knew what was coming, apparently planned the boos, and planned to take advantage of the situation in order to vindictively rip open a Republican rift that hurts his own campaign, and cast Cruz as a traitor.
“Then he lied about it.”
As a result, a number of conservatives are now castigating Cruz as a traitor.
Here’s Cruz’s speech, in full:
Wow. Amazing. Cruz just created the optical nightmare of Trumpers booing that little girl in Texas. Nice one #RNCinCLE
— Liz Mair (@LizMair) July 21, 2016
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