Ted Cruz Explains Trump Non-Endorsement, Invokes Attacks Against Family | NBC 10 Philadelphia
Decision 2016

Decision 2016

Full coverage of the race for the White House

Ted Cruz Explains Trump Non-Endorsement, Invokes Attacks Against Family

"I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father," Cruz said



    Ted Cruz was booed at the Republican National Convention for not endorsing Donald Trump. (Published Thursday, July 21, 2016)

    A night after being booed off the Republican National Convention stage, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz remained defiant about Donald Trump Thursday, saying he is not a "servile puppy dog" and vowing not to support anyone who wages personal attacks against his family. 

    Speaking to an incensed Texas delegation, Cruz recalled an answer he gave at a Republican debate this year, when he enthusiastically said he would support the party's official nominee. 

    "The day that was abdicated was the day this became personal," Cruz said. "I'm not going to get into criticizing or attacking Donald Trump, but I'll give you this response: I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father." 

    "And that pledge was not a blanket commitment that if you go and slander and attack Heidi, I'm going to nonetheless come like a servile puppy dog and say thank you very much for maligning my wife and my father," he added. 

    He said he'll be "watching and listening" to Trump's speech on Thursday but won't "sit down, shut up, support the team." 

    Cruz and Trump have significant bad political blood between them. Trump nicknamed him, "Lyin' Ted" and implied that Cruz's father, Raphael, had a connection to President John F. Kennedy's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. 

    Trump also retweeted a tweet with an unflattering photo of Cruz's wife, Heidi, opposite his wife Melania. The caption read "the images are worth a thousand words."

    Cruz tried to link arms with Republicans at the party's national convention Wednesday but was booed by delegates when he ended his speech without offering Trump his endorsement or even saying he would vote for the New York billionaire. 

    Michelle Obama: When They Go Low We Go High By Voting

    [NATL] Michelle Obama: When They Go Low We Go High By Voting
    Presidential elections are decided on a “razor’s edge,” Michelle Obama told a crowd at a campaign event in North Carolina where she spoke after Hillary Clinton on Oct. 27. The first lady got a loud round of applause when she pointed out what previous generations sacrificed for the right to vote, and encouraged everyone to exercise that right.

    “Casting our vote is the ultimate way we go high when they go low,” Obama said, “Voting is our high.” (Published Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016)

    The blatant sign of disunity in prime time angered the Trump campaign, with top adviser Paul Manafort saying Cruz "used very bad judgment" and was "not respectful to the invitation by the convention to come and speak." 

    Manafort told NBC's "Today" on Thursday that Cruz "understood what the responsibilities are, someone in his position." 

    Trump repeatedly mocked Cruz throughout the campaign as "Lyin' Ted." Trump also took jabs at the appearance of Cruz's wife, Goldman Sachs executive Heidi Cruz, and the Texas senator responded that Trump is a "sniveling coward." Trump also made suggestions that Cruz's father had indirect links to John F. Kennedy's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. 

    As he appeared on stage Wednesday night, Cruz basked in a minute-long standing ovation. Cruz finished second to Trump in the crowded Republican primary campaign and congratulated the GOP nominee on his victory. 

    Trump Mixes Business With Politics at DC Hotel Ceremony

    [NATL]Trump Mixes Business With Politics at DC Hotel Opening Ceremony
    As Hillary Clinton traverses battleground states across the country in the final stretch of the presidential election, Donald Trump took a detour from the campaign trail for the ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday of his Washington, D.C. hotel — but his remarks made clear the race to the White House was not far from mind. Trump claims the hotel is a symbol of what he'll do for America, noting it was completed "under budget and on schedule". (Published Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016)

    But the closest as Cruz came to saying he wanted Trump to win the White House was when he said: "I want to see the principles that our party believes in prevail in November." 

    Cruz didn't tell the convention crowd that he plans to vote for Trump. Nor did he ask his supporters, hundreds of whom encouraged him to run for president in four years at an event on Wednesday afternoon, to vote for the newly minted Republican nominee. 

    Interrupted by chants of "Trump, Trump, Trump," Cruz paused and said with a smile, "I appreciate the enthusiasm of the New York delegation." 

    But as Cruz ended his remarks, and as the crowd of more than 2,000 delegates at the Quicken Loans Arena waited for Cruz to say something — anything — kind about Trump, he demurred. 

    Crowd Sings 'Happy Birthday' to Clinton in Florida

    [NATL] Crowd Sings 'Happy Birthday' to Clinton in Florida
    At an event in Coconut Creek, Florida, Hillary Clinton said that Trump is "attacking everything that has set our country apart for 240 years," pointing to his refusal at the final debate to commit to conceding the race if he loses. As she tried to make this point, the crowd erupted into singing her "Happy Birthday." Clinton turns 69 on Oct. 26. (Published Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016)

    "And to those listening, please, don't stay home in November," Cruz said. "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." 

    Democrat Hillary Clinton, in a tweet, quickly echoed Cruz, saying, "Vote your conscience." 

    The delegates responded with angry boos, and Cruz backer and former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli escorted Heidi Cruz off the convention floor as she was heckled by Trump delegates. 

    But Trump said later on Twitter that Cruz's lack of an endorsement was "no big deal!" But he said Cruz "didn't honor" the pledge that Republican primary candidates had made to support the eventual GOP nominee. 

    'Late Night’: Trump's Obamacare Fail

    [NATL] 'Late Night’: A Closer Look at Donald Trump's Obamacare Fail
    With the Obama administration announcing that premiums for health care would go up next year, Donald Trump had a substantial critique in his grasp. But, host Seth Meyers says, the Trump campaign missed the opportunity for a substantial critique, opting to instead make strange appeals to black voters. (Published Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016)

    "He's a chicken," said Eugene Delgaudio, a delegate from Sterling, Virginia, who clucked like a chicken when asked about Cruz's decision. "He needed to toughen up like every other Republican loser of any nomination battle in the last 100 years since Abraham Lincoln and just suck it up, be a man and back the nominee that he was beaten by, fair and square." 

    "If we're not going to do that, why do we have elections? Because Ted Cruz has decided that he knows better? Than all of the people who voted in the elections?" he said.