Monday, April 23, 2018
Opinion

What was Ted Cruz thinking?

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, issued a blistering and accurate attack on Donald Trump in the waning days of Cruz's presidential race in May. He nailed him as a "pathological liar" and spotted his dangerous narcissism. He excoriated Trump for insulting his wife and accusing his father of being connected to the JFK assassination.

At the Republican National Convention in July, Cruz chose to show up — and pointedly did not endorse Trump. He was booed robustly but earned some grudging admiration from sincere conservatives. "To those listening, please, don't stay home in November," Cruz said. "Stand up and speak and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket you trust to defend our freedom and be faithful to the Constitution." That lasted about two months.

Naturally then, Cruz endorsed Trump on Friday on his Facebook page. What?!

No, there is no rational explanation. Everything Cruz listed as a justification for voting for Trump — the Supreme Court, for example — was a concern in July. Trump, if anything, has become more accustomed to lying. It's obvious to Trumpkins, #NeverTrump Republicans, the media, Democrats and every voter in Texas that Cruz simply lost his nerve, got concerned he would be accused of sinking Trump and couldn't bear the estrangement from the tea party faction that largely supported him in the primary.

The reaction on his Facebook page ranged from horrified to furious. One person wrote, "You have to be kidding me. What a sellout. I am ashamed to have supported you. By endorsing him you are endorsing everything he has said about you and so many others. What happened to, 'I'm not in the habit of supporting people that attack my wife and my father'? You are endorsing his liberal policies and the destruction of the conservative portion of the Republic Party. You just lost a voter, Mr. Cruz. The last standing conservative has bent his knee to the liberals running this country into the ground."

Oof.

Ana Navarro, a Jeb Bush supporter, referred to Trump's insults directed at Heidi Trump. "If after saying he was standing up for my honor, my man endorsed a guy who called me ugly ... he'd be sleeping on the damn couch for months," she wisecracked.

And David French, who contemplated an independent conservative run, ridiculed the notion that Cruz could not stand up to "pressure." French wrote, "What pressure? You might get primaried? The terrifying Reince Priebus might get angry? You might — gasp — lose your Senate seat? Good heavens — the nation just can't survive without Cruz in the Senate!"

In caving just after Priebus announced he would make it hard for those who signed the pledge to run, Cruz looks like a coward — the only person on the planet afraid of the RNC chairman. Whatever advantage he had over other Trump supplicants like Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has evaporated. The Texas Monthly was blunt:

"Either his endorsement is a pack of lies, or his speech at the RNC was: they can't both be true. And though it's possible that 'Lyin' Ted' might still one day become president, the odds, in my view, are now vanishingly narrow."

Cruz's move is nearly inexplicable. He is in the business of accusing every other Republican of selling out to big government liberals. Now he has done the same in embracing the big government nominee.

As many of his critics have observed, Cruz is not, as he claims, all about putting conservative ideals above blind party loyalty. It is and always has been about Cruz. Unfortunately, he has made that so obvious as to become the butt of Republican jokes. That scorn is richly deserved. —Washington Post

Comments

Leonhardt: A time for big economic ideas

The headlines may talk about growth, but we are living in a dark economic era. For most families, income and wealth have stagnated in recent decades, barely keeping pace with inflation. Nearly all the bounty of the economyís growth has flowed to the ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
PolitiFact Florida: Does Gov. Rick Scott want to privatize Social Security?

PolitiFact Florida: Does Gov. Rick Scott want to privatize Social Security?

The president of a PAC that works to protect Social Security says Florida Gov. Rick Scott doesnít have the backs of senior citizens.Jon "Bowzer" Bauman, the president of the Social Security Works PAC (and a former member of the band Sha Na Na), blast...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Editorial: Pruitt sets new low for ethics at EPA

Editorial: Pruitt sets new low for ethics at EPA

Not too many people took then-candidate Donald Trump seriously when he famously campaigned to "drain the swamp" as president. But that shouldnít give this administration a free pass to excuse the behavior of Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Env...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Perspective: The Heartland to Headwaters Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition finds frustration and fear seeking a safe path for wildlife across Interstate 4

Perspective: The Heartland to Headwaters Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition finds frustration and fear seeking a safe path for wildlife across Interstate 4

The original Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition in 2012 was inspired by how the Florida black bear roamed ó and the space it needed to do so successfully. In 2010, expedition team member Joe Guthrie conducted research through the University of Kent...
Published: 04/22/18
Romano: Okay, now who sounds like a hysterical teen talking about guns?

Romano: Okay, now who sounds like a hysterical teen talking about guns?

The writer of the letter sounds hysterical. Perhaps a little desperate. And maybe thatís just who Marion Hammer is these days.Most of the world knows her as the take-no-prisoners maven of the National Rifle Association who directs Florida politicians...
Published: 04/21/18
Editorial: Allegiant Air still has safety issues

Editorial: Allegiant Air still has safety issues

Allegiant Airís safety record remains troubling, and the Federal Aviation Administrationís reluctance to talk about it is no more encouraging. Those are the key takeaways from a 60 Minutes report on the low-cost carrierís high rate of mid-flight brea...
Published: 04/21/18

Editorial: Womenís work undervalued in bay area

Even a strong economy and low unemployment cannot overcome the persistent pay gap affecting full-time working women in Florida. A new report shows women in Florida earned 12.5 percent less on average than their male counterparts, and the disparities ...
Published: 04/21/18

Editorial: A missed chance for open primary elections

The Florida Constitution Revision Commission did a lot of things wrong this week by combining unrelated or unpalatable provisions into single amendments that will appear on the November ballot. It also wasted an opportunity to do one thing right. The...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Goodman: In America, truth is missing in action

Goodman: In America, truth is missing in action

Itís "Mueller Time," as the nation grows ever closer to a confrontation with the truth.Was collusion with the Russians an illusion? If not, who was involved, what was done, and when? Did it impact the 2016 campaign, the fate of Hillary Clinton and no...
Published: 04/20/18
Editorial: New Cuba president is chance for new start

Editorial: New Cuba president is chance for new start

For all the symbolism, Raul Castroís handoff of the Cuban presidency this week amounts to less than meets the eye even if his handpicked successor, the Communist Party functionary Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, is the first person not named Castro to le...
Published: 04/20/18