“Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight” (Sean Connery in “The Untouchables”)

For a supposedly a smart guy, Ted Cruz can do some really dumb things and last night we saw it.  Donald Trump isn’t a person who lets by-gones be by-gones.

For a supposedly man of high personal morals, Ted Cruz can do some really ill-mannered things and last night we saw it.  Whether the Convention is “Donald Trump’s House” or the “Party’s House,” the Convention wasn’t “Ted Cruz’s House.”  He lost the primary in decisive fashion and was only given the right to speak by invitation.  I don’t recall ever getting my face slapped by my mom but if I went to another’s house and did what he did, I am pretty sure I’d have gotten the proverbial slap across the face.

The Washington Times is reporting three days ago Donald Trump was told direct by Ted Cruz that he wasn’t going give an endorsement.  My gut is Cruz was expecting Trump would respond by rescinding Cruz’ speaking slot and Cruz would be made a martyr upon which Cruz would launch his 2020 Presidential Race.

Trump instead didn’t respond as expected-  Gave Ted his moment in the spotlight.

And, in the end, Trump came across as the bigger man and Ted Cruz slithered off the stage.

Sidenote:  Cruz said this morning the reason he didn’t endorse admitting it is personal, referring to Trump’s attack on Cruz’ wife and father during the primary.   Ted’s decision to make a national convention the battlefield for a personal matter.  Ted can expect the same from those who have grudges against him.  Death by a thousand nicks is a painful death.

32 thoughts on ““Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight” (Sean Connery in “The Untouchables”)

    1. Anonymous

      Trump used Cruz and owned him. Trump is a street fighter and Cruz is a guy who couldn’t win a fight in the real world. Trump was brilliant letting Cruz destroy his future with his own actions.

  1. Tony Sayer

    Can’t entirely blame him. The party is imploding and despite what people say to salve their souls, the GOP will suffer splintering that will be extremely difficult to repair. Cruz is perhaps smartly distancing himself from this vessel clumsily slamming into an iceberg. What will make it worse is this lie that Trump can win. National polls mean squat too. When the numbers are broken down the numbers say Queen H will win big. That will further erode this once great party. Trump isn’t the actual end but rather the culmination, the nails in the lid if you will. Anger as a political base has a limited shelf-live and now being anchored to such the GOP is spoiling on the shelf too. Trump is just air and oxygen speeding it up. Everyone in Cleveland should have walked out before it started and just got drunk at the Great Lakes Brewery.

  2. Troy Jones Post author

    Tony,

    When I was in a fight with one of my friends and I said to my mom “he started it” or “he is wrong”, my mom shrugged her shoulders and just said, the bigger man will end it. Sometimes I ended it with a punch in the mouth, sometimes with a handshake, and sometimes I just moved on. But, I always tried to end it. Cruz lit a fire.

    1. John Campbell

      What Cruz lit was the fuse for the 2020 cycle. I don’t think the speech had much to do with this election cycle – it’s about what the party says and does after Trump loses.

      1. Anonymous

        I suspect he will be all alone with the smallest coalition known to man if he were to ever be the nominee. He could hold his convention in a phone booth with Latterell after this week.

  3. Michael Wyland

    It’s definitely both a high-risk and a long-term play on Cruz’s part. No surprise, though, that he doesn’t worry about being a team player. After all, he has already alienated the Senate GOP caucus (not to mention the Democrats!).

    If you watch the video of his meeting with the Texas delegates this morning (Thursday), he did an excellent job of explaining his motivations and challenging the delegates. Paraphrasing here, he said that if encouraging Americans to vote their conscience is seem as disloyal to or damaging to the GOP nominee, the GOP has far bigger problems. He also said that speaking truth to power – following one’s conscience – doesn’t just mean standing up to Mitch McConnell and John Boehner when they don’t support conservative issues.

    I don’t know what Trump could deny Cruz that Cruz would value more than his own reputation and his own name – Cruz will protect the Cruz brand as he sees it, come what may.

    Cruz has great earning power as a lawyer, association executive, and/or public speaker (not to mention that his wife has been an investment banker and a regional head for Goldman Sachs). His status as a US Senator – even an unpopular one – guarantees him a certain amount of influence and access to media and audiences. He could be challenged for re-election, but he’s still a heavy favorite for re-election in Texas.

  4. Anonymous

    Interesting take, Pat. I don’t know that Ted “slithered” off the stage as you characterized it. If Trump had been such an ass to you and treated your wife as Trump did, what would be your response?

    I don’t think Trump has any high ground here, and if he was such a big man, he would have had the honor to apologize to Ted Cruz for the smears that were put out during the campaign. However, Trump is not one to ask for forgiveness or apologize.

    That said, I will vote for Trump because the alternative is too hideous to comprehend. However, I do have a problem with people portraying Trump as a great moral icon.

    1. Kelly Lieberg

      Excellent. Except I won’t be voting for Trump nor will I worry about it. I live in South Dakota.

    2. Anonymous

      If Cruz wins the nomination in 2024 after 8 years of trump does anyone in the GOP have to support him or can we vote our conscience and not support him and Latterell on his 4th try to get reeelected after the voters booted him out in 16.

  5. Cliff Hadley

    Cruz made the logical and moral case for liberty, conscience and the Constitution. What a stupid thing to do at the Republican convention!

  6. Closet Trump Supporter

    If you are convinced that all politics is orchestrated and perfectly scripted, then you should reflect on Trump’s own words. Trump states that all press is good. So today we are still talking about Trump not Clinton. Sly like a fox? Using optics and the MSM to dominate the news cycle? Got to love a Washington outsider!

    1. Troy Jones Post author

      I think you might be onto something. A guy just said to me, “Trump knew what he was doing by letting Ted hang himself. Look at all the people who supported Ted come out in support of Trump. It’s worth more than an endorsement.”

      1. Porter Lansing

        I’m lookin’. But I can’t see the Republican Party’s added any significant voting block since President Obama won landslide electoral victories over McCain and Romney. Same number of Republican votes with the same result. Any minority support you did have, Don Trump urinated on up front.

        1. Anonymous

          Obama win? One word, and literally one word. Oprah. That was years ago. The tailwinds have changed but Hillary doesn’t have Oprah. No slam dunk.

        2. duggersd

          Porter, it is always interesting to read what a liberal has to say. Let us look at what you said about minority support. Why would ANY Latino want to vote for Hillary? Because she will open the borders? Why would ANY African American want to vote for Hillary? To continue receiving programs that continue to keep them on the reservation? Why would any feminist believe Hillary is good for her? Because FINALLY there is a President who is a woman? Why would ANY American vote for Hillary? She could not even pass a simple background check.
          Latinos, African Americans and Native Americans suffer most under open borders. Ask any union and they will tell you they want an increase in salaries and benefits. What is the number one detriment to this? That would probably be the excess of workers willing to work for less. Who would that be? Perhaps people who are here illegally? What would happen if suddenly 10,000,000 people were no longer in the market? I submit you would an increase in salaries and benefits. Don’t believe me? During WWII when women were replacing all of the men who were at war on the assembly lines, businesses could not offer higher salaries due to laws in effect. Their solution? Health insurance. Any American who would support a socialist leaning candidate such as Hillary Clinton has no idea as to how this economy operates.

  7. enquirer

    i’m a trump supporter, but i became one long after knowing in my bones that ted cruz had not a single snowballs chance in hell of winning the white house. at crucial times cruz responded to ground conditions by doing the exact opposite of a candidate i would back – every time he threw in with the very elites who hated him, he lost me even more. his unfortunate remarks and choices for the dais were consistent with his other loserly acts.

  8. Porter Lansing

    I assert that your Republican Party has been so lax in distancing itself from the “hateful, half-.educated TeaBillies” among you that they’ve been allowed to vote en masse to discharge the validity of your party’s existence (fueled by your spiteful, abhorrent urging, Mr. Powers). Geo W. Bush is right. He’ll be the last Republican President for 60 years, at least.

    1. Closet Trump Supporter

      So says SD’s moral conscience who hasn’t been correct on the issues since before our last Republican President. Evidently you feel it is your sacred duty to reform us “hateful, have-educated Teabillies”. I know what it is like to be a Teabilly but tell me how does one get through the day being a self-righteous, pompous, bigot? Isn’t it kind of depressing with such a negative outlook on life?

    2. duggersd

      Your “hateful, half-educated TeaBillies” assertion is instructive. First, people from the Tea Party do not in general hate. Who hates? Just try being a pro-life Democrat sometime! Liberals have to make up their facts and to denigrate the people who are any kind of a challenge to them. Rather than debate based upon facts, they call people names and laugh at them. We all know who the REAL haters are! I believe one of them is being to replied to right now!

  9. MK

    Cruz’s speech was worth my time, particularly when he spoke about freedoms and less gov’t control on us all. I didn’t think he slapped Trump’s face. Just attending the convention and speaking was support for the GOP and Trump. I wouldn’t pat the back of someone who insulted my family. Interesting perspective, Mr. Jones!

  10. enquirer

    it’s always SO fun to be alinskied by porter, judged and found wanting by a man whose candidate preference is the most amoral, self-engorging allegedly-intelligent she-rat ever to chew the faces off her competitors as the other rats cheered.

    1. Cliff Hadley

      Enquirer, that’s the finest paragraph of invective I’ve read in many a moon. And oh so on the mark.

  11. Troy Jones Post author

    John Campbell: Ted Cruz had the audacity to come to a convention where the person selected by the GOP primary voters to win the Presidency THIS YEAR and stop Hillary from becoming President and make a speech for himself in four years. The arrogance and selfishness is palpable.

    Michael Wyland, context is everything. The term “conscience” was the battle cry for the “Dump Trump” movement right up to their decisive defeat. Ted was either feeding the anti-Trump forces to move to Hillary to make him able to run in 2020 or he is so dumb he didn’t know what he is doing. Ted is a smart guy so it is the former.

    MK, I wholly understand Cruz’ problem with Trump personally. I don’t like alot of various things about Trump either. But two things: First, Ted isn’t exactly lilly white either. His false missive about Carson is a good example. Second, if Ted had stayed home, I’d have understood and respected it.

  12. Troy Jones Post author

    CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: “Last night what Cruz delivered was the longest suicide note in American political history. This morning he added an addendum. Because last night was the theme of it was, it’s a matter of principle as a conservative and as a constitutionalist he could not endorse Donald Trump.

    And at the beginning of this thing this morning he said I’m going to watch and wait and see if I can support him. And then he lost it. He blew it. We just saw it. It was towards the end of the event and he was asked a question about endorsing. He said, you can see him calculating, should I really give the reason. And then he said it’s all personal. This is about the wife and the father. And then what that does — he’s a calculating guy. What that does is it totally undid the great political philosophical reasons he offered last night.

    That was already in jeopardy because remember for the first 6 months of the campaign he was especially nice to Trump. He was drafting in the wake of the head car and everybody was attacking Trump over the McCain comments. He didn’t. So this was not a matter of principle, it was already in question as of last night, but as of this morning I think he’s destroyed his political career.”

  13. Troy Jones Post author

    “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson (who supported Cruz in the primary)

    “I mean give me a break Ted, go ahead and endorse the man. I mean, you lost, he won. I love that dude [Cruz] but all the guys who lost and gals, they all need to swallow their pride and say the people [and] the Republican Party has said Donald Trump is the man we want in the White House.”

      1. Troy Jones Post author

        Ted Cruz was proud to have Phil Robertson’s endorsement:

        Robertson officially endorsed Cruz last month in a video put out by the Cruz campaign that shows the duo duck hunting.

        “You know there’s a reason he (Phil Robertson) terrifies the mainstream media. He says the things you’re not supposed to say,” Cruz said at Friday’s rally. “He actually remembers who we are as Americans and just speaks it with a joy, not with an anger, not with a hatred, with a joy in who we are.”

        Ted can’t have it both ways.

      2. duggersd

        Um, those DD people make more money than either of us will, unless you are doing something I don’t know about. They have a business that does real well. Rather than make some remark about something you know nothing about, why don’t you just tell us what it is you don’t agree with him about? I personally don’t pay much attention to endorsements, so what this guy says does not have an effect on me, but people like you who think they are so superior to everyone who does not talk like you shows your ignorance.

  14. JCO

    Ted Cruz had a right to speak at the convention. He had around 500 delegates there and received a significant number of primary votes. Historically, most primary candidates have had the opportunity to speak at the convention, especially when they came in 2nd place.

    Also, Cruz did not say a single negative thing about Trump in his speech. He could have burned the house down. He could have incited a floor fight and caused a procedural nightmare if he wanted to. He didn’t. He campaigned for a year, garnered significant support from republicans, second only to Trump, he deserved to his time.

    Reagan gave his speech and didn’t endorse Ford in 1976. Nothing Cruz did is very novel or unprecedented. Trump also said that he would no longer honor the pledge to support the eventual nominee on March 29 when it was down to him and Cruz as the most likely nominees. Seems to me that folks are drastically skewing the context of Cruz’s actions.

    1. William Beal

      While Reagan didn’t explicitly endorse Ford in 1976, he did end his speech with this: “We must go forth from here united, determined that what a great general said a few years ago is true: There is no substitute for victory, Mr. President.”