Donald Trump was out for revenge Friday morning against Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas (A, 97%) for the speech Cruz gave Wednesday at the Republican Convention in which he did not directly endorse Trump for president.
At one moment in a press conference, Trump specifically took issue with an “added” sentence in the Senator’s speech.
“I knew his speech, they gave me his speech, I saw exactly what his speech was,” Trump said. “Well he got up, and in the first two sentences he added a sentence.”
Mr. Trump said that the added sentence “could have been viewed as a nasty thing, in terms of what he said, because he was implying something—which is wrong—but that’s OK.”
So what was that “nasty” added line in the “first two sentences?”
The text of Cruz’s speech as it was prepared for delivery was released by the RNC before Cruz took the stage and the first few sentences read:
Thank you. Heidi and I are honored to join you here in Cleveland, where Lebron James just led an incredible comeback victory. I’m convinced America is going to come back too.
I congratulate Donald Trump on winning the nomination last night.
Conventions are times of excitement. But given the events of the last few weeks, I hope you’ll allow me a moment to talk to you about what’s really at stake.
Now, Time magazine has a transcript of Cruz’s delivered remarks, and if we put the “added” sentences in bold it reads:
Thank you, and god bless each and every one of you.
Heidi and I are so honored to join you here in Cleveland where LeBron James just lead an incredible comeback victory, and I am convinced America is going to come back too.
I want to congratulate Donald Trump on winning the nomination last night.
And, like each of you, I want to see the principles that our party believes prevail in November.
Conventions are times of excitement, but given the events of the last few weeks I hope you’ll allow me a moment to talk to you about what’s really at stake.
So, umm, which one of those sentences were “nasty?” Surely it wasn’t “God bless each and every one of you.” Likewise, it couldn’t have been “I am convinced America is going to come back too?"
Was it, “And, like each of you, I want to see the principles that our party believes in prevail in November?”
Trump said he thought it was very “dishonorable” of Sen. Cruz to add one of those sentences, that Cruz was “implying something.”
The closest statement to the Cruz line that elicited boos from the RNC crowd—“vote your conscience”—was “I want to see the principles that our party believes in prevail in November.” So let’s assume that’s what Trump is referring to.
As Amber Phillips of the Washington Post wrote, that line is “not a full-throated embrace of Trump, but hardly the kind of snub Trump indicated Cruz ad-libbed.”
What does Trump think Cruz was implying by that line? Doesn’t Trump, as the Republican nominee, champion the principles of the Republican Party? Aren’t those principles the “conscience” of the Republican Party? If so, how can those lines be read as anything other than an endorsement of those principles and therefore a tacit endorsement of the one who is the standard bearer of them?
Telling Republicans to "vote their conscience" can only be an affront to the @GOP if they're admitting a vote for Trump violates conscience.— Steve Deace (@SteveDeaceShow) July 21, 2016
That’s one way. But Trump could've left it alone.
If Donald Trump wants to unify the Republican Party behind him, shouldn’t he live and let live?
Chris Pandolfo is a writer for the CR Wire. He holds a B.A. in Politics and Economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are Conservative Political Philosophy, the American Founding, and Progressive Rock. Follow him @cpandolfo2128.