Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks at the Republican National Convention.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks at the Republican National Convention. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Cruz Roils GOP Convention With Last Stand Against Trump

Will he be remembered as a man of principle—or as someone who put his ambition ahead of his party?

CLEV­E­LAND—It was sab­ot­age night at the Re­pub­lic­an Na­tion­al Con­ven­tion on Wed­nes­day.

Trump’s rival, Sen. Ted Cruz, used his prime-time speak­ing op­por­tun­ity to de­liv­er a con­ser­vat­ive stem­winder dis­tin­guished by his re­fus­al to en­dorse the GOP pres­id­en­tial nom­in­ee on stage. “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!” Cruz in­veighed.

The Trump fam­ily, sit­ting in the VIP box, stared stonily at the po­di­um. They’d avoided ap­plaud­ing for Cruz throughout his speech. Boos start­ing cir­cu­lat­ing throughout the arena. One wo­man sit­ting in the club level star­ted scream­ing re­peatedly: “You say it!! You say his name!” at the top of her lungs. Minutes later, she was es­cor­ted out of the arena. Cruz smiled at the pro-Trump New York del­eg­a­tion, stand­ing in front of the po­di­um, ac­know­ledging their an­ger.

“I’ve nev­er seen any­thing like this in my life,” said Rep. Mark San­ford of South Car­o­lina, his mouth agape as he wit­nessed the chaos on the floor. Cruz was mak­ing his pitch for the 2020 Re­pub­lic­an nom­in­a­tion right in front of his hated rival. Un­like Trump’s oth­er 15 pres­id­en­tial op­pon­ents, Cruz (as he has done throughout his ca­reer) re­fused to go along with the flow, put­ting his am­bi­tion ahead of any forced solid­ar­ity with Trump. This time, his ob­stin­acy may be re­membered more vividly than his nu­mer­ous ni­hil­ist­ic clashes with con­gres­sion­al lead­er­ship. Cruz is the last man stand­ing against the Trump jug­ger­naut.

Then, in a scene re­min­is­cent from a World Wide Wrest­ling event, Trump walked in­to the arena as the boos to­wards Cruz cas­caded through the arena. It was a real-life rep­res­ent­a­tion of the two wings of the Re­pub­lic­an Party clash­ing at this con­ven­tion—the Trump wing and the Cruz wing. Cruz left the stage, mak­ing a new series of en­emies, as Don­ald Trump’s son, Eric, pre­pared to make the case for his dad.

As if on cue, the Jum­botron began flick­er­ing. Eric Trump de­livered his speech with the score­board lights flash­ing and dim­ming across the arena. His line about the in­fra­struc­ture at home crum­bling could have been a ref­er­ence to the elec­tri­city at the Quick­en Loans Arena. Don­ald Trump sat in the VIP box without much of an ex­pres­sion. His son-in-law, Jared Kush­ner, stand­ing in the back of the box, slowly paced around as the chaos un­fol­ded in front of him. Eric Trump’s speech, a heart­felt trib­ute to his fath­er, was over­shad­owed by events out of his con­trol. After Eric fin­ished, his fath­er stood up, whispered to Ivanka, “I’m leav­ing,” and ex­ited with min­im­al fan­fare.

Newt Gin­grich, who has taken on the role as Don­ald Trump’s “ex­plain­er,” then tried to calm the roil­ing hall with a deft im­pro­visa­tion. “Ted Cruz said you can vote your con­science for any­one who will up­hold the Con­sti­tu­tion,” he said. “… So, to para­phrase Ted Cruz, if you want to pro­tect the Con­sti­tu­tion of the United States, the only pos­sible can­did­ate this fall is the Trump-Pence Re­pub­lic­an tick­et.”

But this night will not be re­membered for Gin­grich’s plea for party unity, nor for the nom­in­a­tion of Mike Pence as vice pres­id­ent. Pence de­livered a com­pel­ling de­fense of con­ser­vat­ism, lay­ing out the case against lib­er­al­ism in the Obama era with hard-hit­ting one-liners. He de­livered a work­man­like speech, mak­ing the strongest case for Trump of any­one out­side of the nom­in­ee’s own fam­ily.

But Pence was over­shad­owed by Cruz. It was text­book Ted Cruz. Either his­tory will re­ward him as the lone Re­pub­lic­an will­ing to chal­lenge a nom­in­ee tak­ing the Re­pub­lic­an Party in a dis­astrous dir­ec­tion, or it will be the latest epis­ode of a Re­pub­lic­an who is will­ing to put his own am­bi­tions ahead of his party.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.