quarta-feira, 20 de julho de 2016

Ted Cruz showered with boos at RNC as he withholds Trump endorsement / VÍDEO:Ted Cruz: Vote your conscience

Ted Cruz's non-endorsement of Trump sets fire to Republican 'unity'
Richard Wolffe
Thursday 21 July 2016 05.30 BST

When the senator took to the stage, we saw just how far the party has traveled since the bitter primaries: not very far at all

Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again. At least that’s what it says on his baseball cap. But after three days in Cleveland, it’s not clear he can make his own convention great again.

By this stage of an election, the disgruntled former rivals have normally reconciled themselves to their fate – and the party welcomes them back into the fold with cheers of relief. But this is not a normal convention and Trump is not a normal nominee.

So when Ted Cruz took to the stage, we saw just how far the party has traveled since the bitter primaries: not very far at all. When we last heard from Cruz, less than three months ago, the Texas senator held the reality TV star in something less than high regard.

“This man is a pathological liar,” he told reporters. “He doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies. He lies practically every word that comes out of his mouth. And in a pattern that I think is straight out of a psychology textbook, his response is to accuse everybody else of lying.”

That was before he called Trump “a narcissist” and “utterly amoral.” Oh yeah, and chronically insecure.

“Every one of us knew bullies in elementary school,” Cruz continued. “Bullies don’t come from strength, bullies come from weakness. Bullies come from a deep, yawning cavern of insecurity. There is a reason Donald builds giant buildings and puts his name on them everywhere he goes.”

For Trump, of course, that reason is: greatness.

“I want to congratulate Donald Trump on winning the nomination last night,” Cruz said in the most factual statement he could muster about his nominee. It was also the only time Cruz managed to say Trump’s name.

“Like each of you, I want to see the principles that our party believes prevail in November.”

Cruz’s autobiography was subtitled A Time for Truth and his campaign slogan was Conservative, Courageous, Consistent. But the Trump delegates didn’t seem to appreciate those qualities in Cleveland.

As Cruz droned on about freedom and the constitution, they began chanting their nominee’s name. When he urged conservatives to vote their conscience, they heckled and booed him like he was a member of the much-loathed media.

“I appreciate the enthusiasm of the New York delegation,” Cruz deadpanned. When he walked off stage, the senator turned in the darkness and delivered the kind of deep bow that oozed disdain for a convention that had cheered him wildly when he walked out just ten minutes earlier.

Trump, meanwhile, feigned indifference towards Cruz’s speech in a tweet. “Wow, Ted Cruz got booed off the stage, didn’t honor the pledge! I saw his speech two hours early but let him speak anyway. No big deal!” As the Clinton diehards said in 2008: party unity my ass.

Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker and failed veep candidate, later tried to defend Cruz by telling the Trumpistas, “you misunderstood one paragraph.”

But they understood Cruz only too well. What they wanted was good old fashioned mob justice for Hillary Clinton. Sure enough, the vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence delivered enough red meat to feed several chants of Lock Her Up!

There’s good reason to think this chant will become the de facto slogan for Trump’s general election. In place of Hope and Change, we now have Abandon Hope.

Marco Rubio didn’t perform much better than Cruz. He once suggested Trump was a sweaty con man who was variously incontinent, impotent, a business failure and a coward.

“It’s time to pull his mask off so that people can see what we’re dealing with here,” Rubio told one of his rallies in February. “This guy has bankrupt a casino. How do you bankrupt a casino?” he asked back then.

A great question for another convention. Instead, the Florida senator appeared on what looked suspiciously like a hostage video, testifying to the fact that Donald Trump was not Hillary Clinton on taxes and terrorism.

“After a long and spirited primary, the time for fighting each is over,” he said with a forced smile that suggested he didn’t quite agree to the terms of his release from captivity.

The tone on Wednesday night was set neither by Cruz nor Rubio, though, but by Florida’s attorney general, Pam Bondi, who ejected words from her mouth like she was deporting undocumented immigrants. “Lock her up,” she told the crowd after declaring Clinton a security risk. “I love that.”

In Trump’s Republican party, the best protest may be the silent kind delivered by Eileen Collins, the first woman to command the Space Shuttle. After arguing for a revival of Nasa’s manned space program, Collins somehow neglected to deliver the last two lines of her speech: “We need leadership that will make America first again. That leader is Donald Trump.”

Cleveland, we have a problem.
Ted Cruz showered with boos at RNC as he withholds Trump endorsement

An impatient crowd drowned out Cruz’s speech, which seemed designed to lay the groundwork for a future bid at the presidency, with chants of ‘Trump!’

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Sabrina Siddiqui in Cleveland
Thursday 21 July 2016 04.42 BST

Ted Cruz returned full of hope to the national stage on Wednesday, seeking to recapture the limelight at the Republican national convention.

But a speech designed by the Texas senator to lay the groundwork for a future bid at the presidency quickly unraveled as the crowd met Cruz with resounding boos after he withheld his endorsement of Donald Trump as the Republican nominee.

Cruz, the runner-up in the 2016 Republican primary, had arrived onstage to a thunderous reception at the arena in Cleveland. The senator, who clashed bitterly with Trump prior to suspending his presidential campaign in May, congratulated his former opponent for the first time on winning the party’s nomination and appeared to extend an olive branch to Trump’s supporters.

“Like you, I want to see our principles prevail in November,” Cruz told the thousands gathered.

But the mood within the arena changed dramatically when Cruz, while delivering what sounded like the opening speech of a second presidential campaign, declined to make the case for Trump’s election.

“Please, don’t stay home in November,” he 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.”

Factions of the audience had already grown impatient, drowning Cruz out with jeers and chants of “Trump! Trump!” as he spoke at length with an impassioned pitch for conservative values without making a single mention of the Republican nominee.

Cruz at first made light of the protests, telling the crowd: “I appreciate the enthusiasm of the New York delegation.” It was a reference to his infamous skirmish with voters in Trump’s home state, whom the senator had knocked during his campaign as holding “New York values”.

The crowd nonetheless appeared to be holding out hope for a last-minute change of heart, even as aides to Cruz had repeatedly cautioned he would not be endorsing Trump in his speech.

Cruz instead issued a lengthy rebuke of Barack Obama, criticizing the president’s record on domestic issues and foreign policy. He also addressed the heightened tensions among Americans amid frayed race relations, before making an appeal for new leadership in broader terms.

“We’re not fighting for one particular candidate or one particular campaign,” Cruz said.
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“We deserve leaders who stand for principle, unite us all behind shared values, cast aside anger for love. That is the standard we should expect, from everybody.”

But as it became clear Cruz would not be backing Trump, most of the crowd revolted and drowned out the final moments of his speech with boos that reverberated across the basketball arena. Cruz put on a brave face, wrapping up his remarks and thanking the audience, but the damage had been done. In the midst of the uproar, Heidi Cruz had to be escorted out by security due to fears for her safety.

As the convention broke for the night, Trump accused his former rival of failing to honor a pledge all the GOP candidates had made to support the eventual nominee:

Republican officials told reporters the senator’s speech was “classless”, while commentators observed they had never witnessed anything like before. A moment intended to channel Ronald Reagan’s 1976 convention speech, when the former president revived his political career after failing to win the nomination in his first attempt, was dubbed as memorable for its brutal reaction in an election year already defined by grassroots anger.

The two men have shared a notoriously frosty rapport following a primary battle that grew uncharacteristically nasty, with Trump attacking the physical appearance of Cruz’s wife, Heidi Cruz, and even implicating his father in the assassination of former president John F Kennedy.

Cruz, on the final day of his campaign in May, let loose his feelings about Trump by assailing his opponent as “a pathological liar”, “a narcissist” and “utterly immoral”.

He was preceded on Wednesday by Florida senator Marco Rubio, who issued an endorsement of Trump through a pre-taped video message that played like a campaign ad.

“After a long and spirited primary, the time for fighting each other is over,” Rubio said.

In a stark turnaround, Rubio also offered full-throated support of Trump as the better candidate on issues such as national security, despite having maintained in recent months that he wouldn’t trust the real estate mogul with the nuclear codes.

Rubio’s absence from the convention was nonetheless notable, given his position as one of the Republican party’s more prominent stars. The senator, who is seeking re-election to the Senate, said he needed to focus on his campaign in Florida.
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Rubio, like Cruz, is widely perceived as harboring ambitions to seek the presidency once more.

Neither Rubio or Cruz has ruled out a second presidential bid as early as 2020. Cruz may run regardless of who occupies the White House in four years, an official with the RNC told Yahoo News on Wednesday, predicting the first major challenge to an incumbent president since 1980 if the Texas senator were to stand in a primary against Trump.

Both senators remain keenly aware of the damage they risk inflicting upon their own image by aligning themselves too closely with Trump’s controversial brand of politics. But staring down the barrel at a fractured party, they have taken vastly different routes while picking up the pieces of their failed campaigns.

While Trump’s long-term impact on the party remains unknown, many within the top brass have acknowledged they are bracing for a potentially devastating loss to Clinton in November.

On Wednesday, Cruz crystallized his view that the conservative movement will come to judge those who staked their beliefs on their support for Trump. What will remain to be seen is whether he can deliver on his bet that he will come through to lead the party back to power in 2020, or whether his ambition died in Cleveland.

What we learned from day three of the Republican convention

The third day of the Republican national convention is over and done. Here’s a summary of what happened:

Ted Cruz did not endorse Donald Trump in a speech to the convention, and he was lustily booed by a crowd that had cheered much of his speech to that point.
“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.” Then he stood and waved to thousands booing.
Newt Gingrich came out after Cruz and said the crowd has misunderstood, that what Cruz said was in effect an endorsement of Trump because Trump was the only candidate faithful to the Constitution, see?
A sense of deteriorating order in the arena was expanded by the flickering malfunctions of the jumbotrons as Eric Trump attempted to follow Cruz.
Vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence won an enthusiastic, if not quite rapturous, reception for a smooth speech that framed the election efficiently thus: “It’s change versus status quo.”
After Pence’s speech, the last of the evening and on the late side of things, Donald Trump came onstage to very strong cheering. And mis-kissed his running mate:

The big finale begins tomorrow just after 7pm ET, with Donald Trump, preceded by daughter Ivanka.
Early in the night, conservative radio host Laura Ingraham threatened to steal the show with attacks on Hillary Clinton and the media and a call on Cruz (not by name) to endorse Trump.
Marco Rubio addressed the crowd by video before the Jumbotrons went out and said it was time to unify the party and get behind the nominee. His pixels were cheered.
A Trump staffer released a statement inviting blame for the inclusion in Melania Trump’s speech Monday of Michelle Obama’s words. Trump said “we all make mistakes” and declined to accept her resignation.
The secret service was investigating a Trump aide who said Hillary Clinton should be shot for treason. The Trump campaign said the aide did not speak for Trump.
Cleveland officials said a flag burning that turned into a melee resulted in the arrest of 18 people, bringing total RNC-related arrests to 23.
A woman at the centre of sexual assault allegations against Donald Trump has spoken for the first time in detail about her personal experience with the billionaire tycoon who this week became the Republican nominee for president.

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