On Friday morning, Donald Trump held his first event in Cleveland since officially accepting the GOP nomination for the presidency along with his vice-presidential running mate, Virginia governor Mike Pence. It should have been a celebratory moment. It should have been a time when he went after Hillary Clinton. It should have been a time when he demonstrated that he would work to unify the party and fix bridges that he has burned.
But that’s not what happened. Instead, Trump spent a ridiculous amount of time trashing Ted Cruz and dredging back up his attacks against Ted Cruz’s wife, Heidi, and his father, Rafael. In addition, he put forth an allegation that Ted Cruz is dishonorable because he changed a sentence in his speech after the Trump campaign saw it.
Trump said, “I knew his speech, they gave me his speech, I saw exactly what his speech was. Well, he got up, and in the first two sentences, he added a sentence. It could have been viewed as a nasty thing, in terms of what he said, because he was implying something—which is wrong—but that’s OK.”
So, what was the sentence that Cruz added that had implications, in Trump’s mind, of nastiness?
Here is the transcript of Cruz’s speech as released by the RNC.
Thank you. Heidi and I are honored to join you here in Cleveland, where Lebron James just led an incredible comeback victory. I’m convinced America is going to come back too.
I congratulate Donald Trump on winning the nomination last night.
Conventions are times of excitement. But given the events of the last few weeks, I hope you’ll allow me a moment to talk to you about what’s really at stake.
Now, here is a transcript, courtesy of TIME magazine, of what Cruz said in those first few minutes. The changes from the what was on the teleprompter are in bold.
Thank you, and God bless each and every one of you.
Heidi and I are so honored to join you here in Cleveland where LeBron James just lead an incredible comeback victory, and I am convinced America is going to come back too.
I want to congratulate Donald Trump on winning the nomination last night.
And, like each of you, I want to see the principles that our party believes prevail in November.
Conventions are times of excitement, but given the events of the last few weeks I hope you’ll allow me a moment to talk to you about what’s really at stake.
So, what exactly does Trump view as nasty and dishonorable? Was it Cruz telling the audience God bless you?
Or was it when he said, after congratulating Trump that he wants to see the principles our party believes in prevail in November?
Seeing this as “nasty” and “dishonorable” with a bad implication is a ridiculous stretch.
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Chris Pandolfino, a writer at Conservative Review, ponders reasons why Trump, his camp, his supporters, and the RNC might be livid about this sentence. Insecurity.
What does Trump think Cruz was implying by that line? Doesn’t Trump, as the Republican nominee, champion the principles of the Republican Party? Aren’t those principles the “conscience” of the Republican Party? If so, how can those lines be read as anything other than an endorsement of those principles and therefore a tacit endorsement of the one who is the standard bearer of them?
Donald Trump is very defensive when he is accused of having thin skin but actions such as these do not support his claim. Getting enraged and going on and on and on attacking Cruz while claiming party unity because you think the line “And, like each of you, I want to see the principles that our party believes prevail in November” is dishonorable is very telling.
So much for “Making America ONE Again,” the theme for the final night of the convention on Thursday.