Three Little Words and Trump's Big Mistake

Mr. Trump's treatment of Heidi Cruz made an endorsement from Sen. Cruz impossible.

In his convention speech, Sen. Cruz stirred up a tempest among the "Ever-Trump" faction when he did not endorse Mr. Trump for President of the United States.

This, despite the fact that he had long ago promised to support the eventual Republican nominee, as had Mr. Trump and the rest of the candidates, including several others who have since declined to keep their word by supporting Mr. Trump, the nominee.

In a minimalistic nod to his longstanding promise, Mr. Cruz indicated generic support for Mr. Trump's candidacy by hinting, in effect, that Mr. Trump is preferable to "Crooked Hillary," but he did not "endorse" him. The "Ever Trump" faction booed him off the stage and has been critical of his "disloyalty" ever since.

As we're fond of pointing out, words have meaning. Let's explore three words which apply to this situation:

  • Endorse - declare one's public approval or support of.
  • Promote - further the progress of (something, especially a cause, venture, or aim); support or actively encourage.
  • Support - give assistance to, especially financially; enable to function or act.

The Duty To Support

The many Republican candidates were asked to "sign the pledge" which obligated them to support the eventual Republican nominee. Although he hesitated for some time, Mr. Trump eventually signed, but his signing didn't matter because he became the nominee.

Sen. Cruz's signing, and his clear anger at Mr. Trump's unnecessary attacks on Mrs. Cruz, made it an object of speculation whether he would keep the pledge he had made. Sen. Cruz's vivid reminder of our obligation to support someone who would nominate Supreme Court judges who support the Constitution suggests that he plans to keep his promise and vote for Mr. Trump.  But he couldn't bring himself to actually come out and say even that much.

The Stupidity of Mr.Trump

A lot of Republicans are angry at Sen. Cruz for weaseling out of his promise, but in fairness, this unfortunate situation can be laid at the feet of none other than Mr. Trump himself.

Midway through the campaign, and for no visible reason, Mr. Trump implicitly called Mrs. Cruz ugly by posting unflattering pictures of her online, in contrast to the all-too-apparent charms of his own wife Melania. Even at the time, we couldn't see how that furthered his campaign against Sen. Cruz.

Having conclusively defeated Sen. Cruz, it is incomprehensible to us why Mr. Trump has not apologized to him for this unnecessary personal insult. Legendary Prime Minister Winston Churchill, as was his practice, explained constructive leadership attitudes for all possible situations: 

In War: Resolution. In Defeat: Defiance. In Victory: Magnanimity. In Peace: Goodwill.

 - Sir Winston Churchill

Mr. Trump defeated Sen. Cruz in the competition for the nomination. At this point, Mr. Churchill advised him to show magnanimity, if only because Mr. Trump needs all the support against "Crooked Hillary" he can find, but Mr. Trump chose otherwise.

Most likely, Sen. Cruz would have accepted any form of public apology for Mr. Trump's clearly ill-considered attacks on his wife, and then both endorsed and supported Mr. Trump.  Having offered Mr. Cruz a prime speaking slot at the convention, Mr. Trump did not apologize. That made it it impossible for Sen. Cruz to go one iota beyond his prior pledge and "endorse" Mr. Trump.

The Fidelity of Mr. Cruz

Sen. Cruz is a strongly-declared Christian. The much-married Mr. Trump may not understand this, but sincere Christians believe that their marriage vows are made publicly before Almighty God, Who takes a dim view of people who don't keep promises to Him:

When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee.

 - Deuteronomy 23:21

A devout Christian who commits adultery or fails to support or uphold his or her spouse betrays the spouse and betrays sacred vows made to God Himself.  Sen. Cruz has made it plain that he holds to this point of view.  Whether you agree with him or not, he has generally attempted to live up to these standards throughout his career.

Having promised before God to defend and protect his wife, there was no way in which Sen. Cruz could possibly "endorse" Mr. Trump. How could such a man "declare one's public approval or support of" a man who had so publicly attacked his wife while keeping his vows to God?

Sen. Cruz may have caused an awkward situation in the party, but he did not create the breach, nor could he be the one to close it with honor.  Mr. Trump could have, but chose not to.  What does this mean?

Will Offensicht is a staff writer for and an internationally published author by a different name.  Read other articles by Will Offensicht or other articles on Partisanship.
Reader Comments

.... Senator Cruz may have caused an awkward situation but he did not create the breach and nor, while retaining his honor, could he be the one to close it ....

The calamity at the convention when Senator Cruz spoke, was in its entirety, manufactured and manipulated by #NEVERtrump. Who had been given a copy of and had ahead of time, approved the Good Senator's spech.

Including his own entry into the auditorium before the speech was finished, The boorish, thuggish, infantile, ignoramus, Trump, pre-planned and choreographed every movement and every sound during Senator Cruz's speech.

Trump's not as bad as folks reckon him to be. He's 100 times worse than that!


July 22, 2016 12:38 AM

"Midway through the campaign, and for Midway through the campaign, and for no visible reason, Mr. Trump implicitly called Mrs. Cruz ugly by posting unflattering pictures of her online, in contrast to the all-too-apparent charms of his own wife Melania., Mr. Trump implicitly called Mrs. Cruz ugly by posting unflattering pictures of her online, in contrast to the all-too-apparent charms of his own wife Melania."

Oh, please. Didn't you even look at the Daily Mail article you linked to?: "Came after Cruz-backing super PAC tweeted image of nude Melania Trump" But, of course your claim of "no visible reason" is simply a lie, as the use of "all-too-apparent" in reference to the "charms of [Trump's]wife Melania" indicates. "[A]ll-TOO-apparent", how, if not in reference to the nude shot?

July 22, 2016 5:52 AM

THe quote got munged, of course. No edit button.

July 22, 2016 5:53 AM

There is a big difference between a super PAC, which by law is forbidden from coordinating with the candidate, from doing something off-color - and the candidate himself responding in kind. It would have been perfectly reasonable for a Trump-backing super PAC to tweet the unflattering comparison - in fact, that's where the tweet originally came from. But when Trump officially forwarded it, that's where he stepped over the line.

It's the difference between the homeless bum on the street making rude remarks about your wife, and your boss doing the same.

July 22, 2016 6:53 AM

Not to mention the fact that the pledge was declared null and void by none other than Trump himself months ago. He said the whole system was rigged so he was no longer committed to it.

It's very telling of where the Republican party is these days when someone says "vote for the person who will defend liberty" to a Republican audience and is immediately and thunderously booed. If "voting for the liberty guy" means, in code words, not to vote for your candidate, you may want to take a hard look at your candidate.

July 22, 2016 8:22 AM

It is amazing to me that Cruzbots are so willing to overlook the fact that Cruz NEVER criticized or disavowed the actions of his SuperPAC in posting the picture of Melania Trump (which IS what started the entire brouhaha). To this day, Cruz acts offended about criticism of his wife but refuses to acknowledge that the picture posted of Melania was a cheap shot (even though she looked beautiful). What gives Cruz the right to resent anything Trump said about his wife when he refuses to criticize or reprimand the people who (in his name) posted a nude picture of Melania (from when she was a swimsuit model) very conveniently on the eve of the Utah primary. Is it because that picture was partly responsible for him winning Utah? It's OK for Cruz's people to attack Trump's now-wife, but not for Trump to retaliate? I don't think so!

July 22, 2016 1:23 PM

Touche Brennan. I read this article this morning and have been trying to figure out who was right, who was wrong, and if anyone even remembered the photo of Mrs. Trump that started it. Well, at least we know who's side Mr. Offensicht is on. This election is really bringing the truth to the surface.

July 22, 2016 5:30 PM

Patience: "There is a big difference between a super PAC, which by law is forbidden from coordinating with the candidate, from doing something off-color - and the candidate himself responding in kind."

There's this bridge in Brooklyn that you might be interested in, if you think that Super PACs don't coordinate.

There was also that half-$million Cruz's other SuperPAC gave to Fiorina's campaign in 2015... Also with no Cruz fingerprints on it, eh? Just a coincidence that he exercised his option, six months later, on taking her as his VP candidate?

In any case my primary point was about Mr. Offensicht's claim that Trump's retaliation was completely inexplicable...while linking to an article that explained it in detail, and while his own words made it quite clear that he, Mr. Offensicht, was quite familiar with the explanation.

July 23, 2016 7:50 AM

I have read both Trump and Cruz disavowed the commitment to endorse or support the nominee, during the same debate. Trump justified his disavowal on the grounds he had been treated unfairly, but if one disavows his earlier pledge he cannot expect others to honor their pledge to him.

July 23, 2016 8:48 AM

@Gandydancer You are correct that the article I cited stated that Mr. Cruz was the one who posted pictures of Mr. Trump's wife, but a moment's googling suggests strongly that the perpetrator is unknown. I've seen articles which say that Mr. Romney did it in the hope that his Mormon friends would regard Mr. Trump as unsupportable.

In the age of false flags all over the internet, I doubt that anyone will vr bother to get jury-style proof.

OOH, you are right about PACs coordinating. Do you regard the Clinton Foundation as a PAC?

July 23, 2016 5:32 PM
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