Ted Cruz just got done speaking at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Unlike many of Donald Trump’s former opponents, Cruz has not endorsed the Republican nominee, and his speech Wednesday night only mentioned Trump once. The RNC crowd, of course, is largely filled with Trump supporters. And as you can see above, Cruz’s steadfast nonendorsement did not go over well in the room; at one point there was an “EN-DORSE TRUMP” chant.
Here’s the part that really set it off:
And to those listening, please, do not stay home in November. [Applause] If you love our country and love your children as much as I know that you do, stand and speak and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.
“Conscience,” not coincidentally, has been the buzzword of the Never Trump movement.
Your takeaway: Ted Cruz just made a big bet that Trump will not just lose, but lose badly, and that in 2020 this moment will look like a principled stand against an encroaching disaster rather than a petty refusal to give his party’s nominee the support that would have pushed him over the top.