Cruz Explains Why He Didn’t Endorse Trump at the RNC (Just As Reagan Didn’t Endorse Ford in 1976)

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From Western Journalism:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) faced a chorus of boos Wednesday night when he refused to endorse Republican nominee Donald Trump during his speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Those negative sentiments continued Thursday morning when Cruz spoke at a breakfast for Texas’s delegation. The senator made it clear that his decision was due Trump’s personal attack on his family during the campaign.

“I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father. Neither he nor his campaign has taken back a word of what they said about my family,” he said, making reference to the New York billionaire’s retweeting an unflattering photo of his wife, Heidi, and spreading rumors that his father was involved in the JFK assassination.

This line of thinking was championed by nationally syndicated radio host Mark Levin several hours before Cruz’s speech. Levin said many people urging Cruz to endorse Trump as past runner-ups had done – notably in the case of Reagan and Ford in 1976 – were not taking into account that in those instances, the runner-up’s family members had not been dragged through the mud.

Levin also argued that it would not be unprecedented if Cruz did not endorse Trump because despite popular belief, Reagan never actually endorsed Ford, he merely endorsed conservative principles. Historian and Reagan biographer Craig Shirley concurred with Levin and said Reagan “did not speak of or even endorse the candidacy of Gerald R. Ford for President.”

Cruz seemed to echo the “endorse the principles not the candidate” approach both in his speech and his remarks at the Thursday breakfast.

“This isn’t just a team sport. … This is about standing for what we believe in,” he told the Texas delegation.

He also made clear that he would never vote for Hillary Clinton and his failure to endorse Trump was not meant to be taken as anti-Trump.

“In that speech last night, I did not say a single negative word about Donald Trump. And I’ll tell you, this morning and going forward I don’t intend to say negative things about Donald Trump.”

He added, “What I wanted to do last night was lay out the principles I believe we should stand for as Republicans.”

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